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 Spaying / aggression
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D.Heilbrunn

Canada
320 Posts

Posted - 07/04/2013 :  10:27:28 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Gotta question about spaying females. Do you think it tones down the fighting impulse like how it can in males? I've neutered males for that reason with good results, and the females I've spayed haven't been fighters to start with.

In the topic from a few years ago, "neuter success in aggressive males," Jessica Doherty wrote something interesting: "Females are different, there have been studies that show females can become more aggressive after spaying, especially if young and not allowed to have a few heats. I don't have the studies off the top of my head, but have heard of a least 2."

All sorts of weird potential problems involved, but still a better method of birth control. I got this little fighter that I just wanna spay... God forbid she gets worse. Only goes after intact females...

midnightwind

Canada
514 Posts

Posted - 07/05/2013 :  06:17:30 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
the only females I have spayed were older (for health reasons) but I certainly never had any agression as a result.
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swanny

USA
869 Posts

Posted - 07/05/2013 :  09:57:33 AM  Show Profile  Visit swanny's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thus far, results of behavioral studies have had mixed results and many of the studies readily available on-line were published in the early 1990s, and based on a misunderstanding of canine dominance hierarchies as related to interactions with humans. Some examples include;

Polsky R. H. (1996). "Recognizing dominance aggression in dogs". Vet. Med. 91: 196201.

Blackshaw, J.K. (1991). "An overview of types of aggressive behavior in dogs and methods of treatment". Appl. Anim. Behav. Sci. 30 (34): 351361

Wright J. C. (1991). "Canine aggression toward people. Bite scenarios and prevention". Vet. Clin. North. Am. Small. Anim. Pract. 21 (2): 299314.

Crowell-Davis S. L. (1991). "Identifying and correcting human-directed dominance aggression of dogs". Vet. Med. 86: 990998.

One of the reasons the impact of spaying on aggression is difficult to study is because it's generally done in conjunction with other behavioral modifying events or efforts. That makes it difficult to rule out other variables.

My personal opinion is that I would not want to breed a fighter (there is a genetic component to many agnostic behaviors), so if the dog is beyond the age of puberty, I would probably spay the bitch, and then address whatever behavioral changes occur starting a month or so after the surgery. That's primarily based on kennel population control and reducing the risk of reproducing unwanted behaviors in future litters than on dealing with her as an individual.

If she isn't yet an adult b*tch, I'd give her some time to reach puberty due to other potential health issues associated with sterilization.

I really don't think that sterilization has a huge impact on established adult dog behaviors either way. It has 'some' impact, but I don't think it's the magic bullet cure-all that some would have us believe.


A good dog is so much a nobler beast than an indifferent man that one sometimes gladly exchanges the society of one for that of the other. William Francis Butler

http://www.tworiversak.com/mushing.htm
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RSmith

USA
3105 Posts

Posted - 07/05/2013 :  1:45:43 PM  Show Profile  Visit RSmith's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Dan,
I currently have 30 adult dogs in my kennel of which about 1/2 are fixed. Of that number half are female and half male. I have noticed NO difference in the dogs' temperaments, male OR female. Take it as you will. lol
All dogs were spayed/neutered around 5 yrs old if that makes any difference.

Roy Smith
Adirondack Kennel
Skandinavian Hounds/Stagsters
http://www.adirondack-kennel.com

Edited by - RSmith on 07/05/2013 1:46:41 PM
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D.Heilbrunn

Canada
320 Posts

Posted - 07/05/2013 :  3:41:32 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Swanny, I'm with you on not fixing em too early - this girl is 3. She's gonna get fixed regardless on account of I don't want to breed her.

Roy, I wonder if you didn't see much change in their temperaments because they were all fully mature adults? I've neutered a couple 2 year old aggressive males (aggressive towards dogs) and they turned into big teddy bears... for the most part. We fixed a three year old male this Spring whose eating habits weren't great and would get worse when females came into heat; now his post is right next to the heat pen and he hasn't missed a meal since the surgery. Great leaders, all three, but neutering has done them well.

Has anyone fixed a young aggressive bitch and seen a positive change?

Edited by - D.Heilbrunn on 07/06/2013 02:13:18 AM
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Razor

Canada
807 Posts

Posted - 07/06/2013 :  04:56:51 AM  Show Profile  Visit Razor's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Dan, We have had the same results with some of our dogs, who were infatuated when females came in heat and stopped eating, loosing valuable pounds. Once they were fixed, they seemed to grow a brain. We have found that fixing females for aggression issues never changed their attitude though, not the same as it did for our males. Once a bitch, always a bitch, I guess. We have never found it to make a difference in their running abilities afterwards either. The old school of thought was a fixed dog won't have the same desire to run. Not so.

Razor
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TSteele

USA
169 Posts

Posted - 07/07/2013 :  10:33:27 PM  Show Profile  Visit TSteele's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I've been wondering about this too and especially today. 50/50.

I have three females in a pen - 2 daughters and their mother. None are fixed. The one daughter had puppies before and ever since she had pups she's been aggressive towards other dogs - well she got fixed this spring and got really fat (ugh). Her attitude changed slightly better, but then I got her mother fixed.. and shes just the same.. never was aggressive and still isn't. I'd say it just depends on your dog, really.
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DougElerath

USA
2 Posts

Posted - 09/06/2013 :  4:43:45 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by swanny

Thus far, results of behavioral studies have had mixed results and many of the studies readily available on-line were published in the early 1990s, and based on a misunderstanding of canine dominance hierarchies as related to interactions with humans. Some examples include; <snip>


You might want to check this out:

"Behavioral and Physical Effects of Spaying and Neutering Domestic Dogs" published in 2010.

http://www.vizslacanada.ca/SNBehaviorBoneDataSnapShot.pdf

They looked at nearly 11,000 dogs. I found some of the results surprising.

Doug
3 Borzoi
Will order ArticRig for cross training & rehab in two days (got to round up the dough first).

Build a man a fire and he's warm for the night. Set him on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
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D.Heilbrunn

Canada
320 Posts

Posted - 09/08/2013 :  5:34:34 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Interesting article, but I don't know many sled dog people who would want to spay/neuter puppies right off the bat.

Another thought - I don't know if spaying an extremely aggressive female would do anything to curb her aggression (never had a super aggressive one), but I'd bet it would certainly do something for the bitches that seem to turn into werewolves when they or their buddies come into heat.

Another trick to tone down fighting in the summer (worked for my little girl): although I try and keep em well exercised, if they do gotta sit for a few days, run the aggressive one by herself first to get her piss and vinegar out before running her with the group. She hasn't had a scrap since.

Edited by - D.Heilbrunn on 09/08/2013 5:36:14 PM
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DougElerath

USA
2 Posts

Posted - 09/08/2013 :  8:51:57 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by D.Heilbrunn

Interesting article, but I don't know many sled dog people who would want to spay/neuter puppies right off the bat.


With respect to males, note that the first figure shows:

"There was a significantly higher aggression score in neutered dogs as compared to intact dogs regardless of the age at which the dogs were neutered."

Nothing about 'right off the bat', but you are right that the results for increased aggression in bitches are for those spayed under a year.

We open field course and don't know anyone in the sighthound world who would think of spay/neuter for an active hunting dog. Older, sure, or slow dogs or ones with low prey drive. Good pets, but wouldn't want puppies by any such.

Build a man a fire and he's warm for the night. Set him on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
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D.Heilbrunn

Canada
320 Posts

Posted - 09/09/2013 :  08:38:32 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
"There was a significantly higher aggression score in neutered dogs as compared to intact dogs regardless of the age at which the dogs were neutered."

I don't believe that. If they're studying over 10,000 different dogs, they've got tons of different people working with the dogs, each person dealing with them differently. In terms of neutering dogs and performance, I don't know nothing about sighthounds, but from my experience, neutering increases certain elements of performance. No more distractions from in heat bitches during feeding / running, they tend to hold weight better, and in my experience the fighting habit just about disappears - but then again, a big part of the aggression factor is who is training the dogs, and fighting, or more importantly showing the signs that your thinking about fighting, is a not allowed in our yard.

Edited by - D.Heilbrunn on 09/09/2013 08:40:42 AM
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doggirl

Canada
316 Posts

Posted - 09/09/2013 :  9:03:17 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have never found it to change the behaviour of females at all. I am having 3 females spayed this week and it certainly should make things quieter...

Lynn Cheffins
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Polaris7

USA
78 Posts

Posted - 09/11/2013 :  4:36:24 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Id like to piggy back on this... and my apologies if this is a repeater. I have 7 dogs, who have free range most of the time in a fenced area. Everyone is fix except for one female. She is just 9 months and has not gone into heat yet. When she does go into heat is this going to be a crazy mess? How will everyone else treat her? Im dreading this time as I have never experienced a dog in heat.... stop laughing ....LOL.
The reason I have not spayed Panda, is because I would like to see how she does as a puller and who knows... maybe some baby Panda's are in my future
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D.Heilbrunn

Canada
320 Posts

Posted - 09/11/2013 :  11:58:16 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
"When she does go into heat is this going to be a crazy mess?" - probably not, but that depends 100% on you. you may have to isolate her, for the sake of the other dogs.

"How will everyone else treat her?" - sniffing.
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silverbelle

USA
134 Posts

Posted - 09/12/2013 :  01:07:14 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Many years ago, I had a female AKC Malemute. She was wicked aggressive to any other female- whether they were spayed or not. As I had great success neutering butthead males, I figured spaying this bee-otch might tone down her kill tendencies. Absolutely did not work. Mind you, this is just one example, but, in this case, it did not work. I sold her (the buyers knew full well what they were getting)and through the years I got reports that she always was a nasty witch to other females.
Neutering males btw, always cured the a-hole side of their personality.
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CrazyDaisy

Canada
155 Posts

Posted - 09/23/2013 :  11:07:08 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My three females were all spayed whent they were adults. None of them changed, including a "bitchy" bitch that stayed dog aggressive.
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