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Aggression and the Heat Cycle
  • TacyeTacye
    Posts: 31
    Hello my Shiba friends,

    I am mommy to Kiyoko, female, who will be 3 in August and Mei-Mei, female, 1 1/2 years. Mei is on her 2nd heat cycle and Kiyoko should be starting her 3rd or 4th any day. Ive been freaking out because my otherwise friendly dogs are now trying to kill each other. One minute they are the best of friends, chasing each other and running the Shiba 500 together and the next, Kiyoko will look at Mei a certain way, Mei will start growling and the fight is on. I’ve been looking up aggression in shibas and I’ve come across a couple of articles that pretty much confirm what I have thought: this will continue every season unless I spay them. Which means I will be spaying them both in 2 months. Has anyone else had suddenly aggressive female shibas during their heat cycle? A. Does it get better when they are both spayed? B. How long can I expect them to be aggressive toward each other or in other words, how long is the heat cycle?
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8542
    Aggression issues aside, yes... please spay your dogs. You are not breeding them, so there is no reason to keep them intact this late in their lives.

    As for the fighting... I have no idea whether or not spaying them will help, but it definitely will not hurt. Keep them separated if you are not able to supervise and I would suggest that you contact a behaviourist to help you work through the issues once they are spayed.
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
    I Wander, I Ride
  • LilikoiLilikoi
    Posts: 1196
    I almost got an adult female from my breeder, and she is currently intact, but would obviously be put on a pet contract and spayed if I adopted her. We were interested in meeting her, but decided to wait for a puppy for a few reasons, like this being our last dog for probably 15 years or more, and who knows where we’ll be at in 15 years and whether we would be ready for another dog...so we want to wait for the perfect pup. This female is also aggressive to females, particularly during heat hahah. So we talked a bit about how her spay could entirely cause her female aggression to disappear, but that’s also not guaranteed. Also, we talked about how the risk for pyometra is greatly increased when females are having empty heat cycles (not being bred), so it’s in the best interest of the girls to be spayed if they aren’t being bred.

    I’m not sure about the logistics of heat cycles hahah. From my understanding, I think they usually have like a couple a year and last for a month or so? I’m not really sure, but I’m sure that’s google-able. :))

    I definitely think females should be spayed if they’re not being bred by a dedicated, ethical breeder since the health risks are especially high for them.
    Post edited by Lilikoi at 2018-06-12 02:41:45
  • TacyeTacye
    Posts: 31
    Well, these darn dogs would play fight and only once or twice it would get out of control, but since mei’s heat cycle began a couple of weeks ago, they have been fighting all the time. They almost cant be around each other, which is difficult because they are always together. We just broke up a fight and have them separated in different rooms. It’s easy to pinpoint the heat cycle as to when the aggression started. Im going to call the vet tomorrow and find out how quickly I can get them spayed. I worded that badly but I can’t think right now. We haven’t been purposely not spaying them, it’s just that when we think about it, there’s some reason we can’t. Lol. We didn’t have any intention of breeding. Anyway, wish me luck.
  • plasmodiumplasmodium
    Posts: 128
    Good luck! I hope the process goes smoothly and that resolves the issue.
  • viv_henleyviv_henley
    Posts: 21
    @Lilikoi off topic from the thread, but which female did Sandi have in mind for you? We just got an adult female from her this past weekend.
  • LilikoiLilikoi
    Posts: 1196
    @viv_henley - Kata! Did she end up going to you? That would make me sooo happy! She’s gorgeous and hope she finds a great home. We just decided this was really our last chance to do things the way we wanted to and chose to wait for the right pup! And we want to do what’s best for Ozzy, too, of course. I really loved the puppy raising experience and want to go that route while I know I have the time, space, funds, etc...
    Post edited by Lilikoi at 2018-06-14 01:39:10
  • TacyeTacye
    Posts: 31

    Good luck! I hope the process goes smoothly and that resolves the issue.



    Thank you. I hope it does too. I don’t know what I’ll do if the aggression doesn’t stop. What kills me is that it HAS to be hormonal because she has NEVER acted this way toward the other dog, EVER. It started as soon as she started spotting. What I’m dying to know is if, once I spay her, the aggression will immediately disappear, or if it’s a gradual decline. Anybody know? It has been a nightmare trying to keep these dogs apart.
  • MeghanBCGMeghanBCG
    Posts: 67
    @Tacye In my experience it takes some time for the hormones to work themselves out of a dog's system, with either neutering or spaying. It's not an instant thing. Hormones are transported through endocrine glands, and bodies have quite a few of those. The hormones will linger for at least a week, maybe two. Unfortunately spaying and neutering doesn't always change behavior. Bonsai (my boy) was a serial humper before we had him neutered, but it didn't change his personality, just the frequency of the humping. It really depends on the dog.

    I would be sure to keep them separated after surgery though, especially if they're aggressive to each other. It's easier than you think for a dog to pop a stitch. Bonsai did just by jumping off the couch. Try to set them up for success in their healing as best you can. (:
  • TacyeTacye
    Posts: 31
    Thank you Meg. We’re definitely going to keep them separated during the healing. It’s difficult because they are both used to being in my room, but we’ve been rotating them in and out. As I said earlier, they have never been aggressive toward each other in the past, just since Mei went into heat, that is why this is so difficult to wrap my head around. This is Mei’s second heat. There was no problem with aggression during the first heat. Kiyoko has been though a couple heat cycles and there was no problem between them then, either. But it’s a different story with Mei this time. Rehoming is not an option for me unless I have exhausted all other avenues and it comes down to a quality of life issue, which I’m hoping it won’t. As soon as Mei heals I will be talking to a behavioralist to get some help.

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