It's A Guy Thing

Written By Dr. Gary Holfinger

Those bad male dog habits are a nuisance at best and deadly at worst but he’s just being himself. Intact male dogs are more likely to roam, mark their territory, be aggressive, wet inappropriately, and display possessive behavior. These habits generally show up about 7 to 9 months old; puppies rarely show male bad habits. But at the “teenager” stage, male dogs start showing independence and stubbornness. You’ll sometimes see them testing you, or forgetting their training. They start marking territory by urinating on vertical objects, getting out of the yard, barking at people passing by the yard, or being overly protective of children. It’s a sad fact that 75% of the “hit-by-car” accidents are intact male dogs who are roaming. They also are responsible for most of the dog fight wounds we see.

It’s important to remember that these are normal behavior in males – it’s a macho thing. Males are affected by the hormone testosterone, which reinforces the bad behavior. Sadly, it can get out of hand, and the pet becomes unenjoyable, or even dangerous to have with guests. In order to greatly decrease these habits, we suggest neutering your dog at 6 months of age.

Leaving him intact not only increases bad habits, it’s also a potential health risk. Intact older male dogs can have prostate enlargement, just like men. Testosterone also increases the likelihood of some tumors and hernias. These problems are unpleasant for your dog and expensive for you to repair once your dog has reached old age.

Neutering is a strong consideration if your pet is not to be used for breeding purposes. You can decrease problems both behaviorally for you and medically for your pet. Give us a call if you have any more questions.