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Behavior / Training
Less dominant after spay??
Here's a quick question for thos who have experience with female dogs. What has your experience been with your dogs tempermant after she has been spayed? I'm inquiring specifically because I'm curious if Kahlo's tendancy to want to dominate other dogs will diminish. This is the second time she's gotten into a scrap because she tries to dominate another dog.
Is it also true that a female dog may get a bit more agressive post surgery for a few months?
This is a complicated question, the answer depends on what you mean by "she tries to dominate another dog" and how she reacts to hormones when she is in the swing of a heat cycle (before or after her heat).
Can you elaborate on "she tries to dominate another dog"?
Both of my girls were spayed around 6 months. And to be completely honest, I did not notice any difference in their behaviour or personalities after the initial healing process. I am not sure if this is because they were spayed young or just their temperament.
Hopefully someone who has had an adult dog spayed will be able to provide some more information.
Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
I Wander, I Ride
I will give you what I have learned from our experience fixing our girls., but I still would like to know what you mean by "she tries to dominate another dog".
Ahi - She was fixed early, and we didn't notice a big change in her behavior, tho she has progressively got bitchier as she ages. Ahi never went into heat.
Lani - She was very "moody" through her 5 heat cycles before we fixed her. She was very lethargic at times, clingy, bitchy with the dogs at times, etc. Post spay she has normalized and seems a lot more care free.
When you fix a female their testosterone levels spike for several months, and that can cause some added "bitchyness", but, from our experience, the increase in "bitchyness" is no different from the mood swings you see when a female come in and goes out of heat.
Kelly was spayed last thursday (4-9-09) so shes only about a week into her post surgery but she is WAY more agressive and dominant. she disobeys most and sometimes all of my commands, which is a dramatic change for me because he was very respnonsive before. she plays with things shes not supposed to and when i say "no" she grabs it and runs off. she is also seemingly more territorial and barks at our other house dogs when they try to enter my room. and when we are giving out treats, normally both dogs will sit next to each other nicely and wait, but now she sits in front of the other and if the other dog comes closer she starts to growl. she is also more reactive towards outdoor noises (birds, neighbors wind) meaning that she gets in a really alert stance and lets out a low volume bark. finally, she is never allowed on my bed, but since shes been spayed, she jumps onto my bed and sleeps there when im not home. she also jumps on in the middle of the night but it never wakes me up so i cant correct her.
you mentioned that female dogs might be more agressive after surgery, in my personal experience i cant say its several months yet, but for the week since shes been spayed, its definitely true.
Post edited by wliu003 at 2009-04-17 21:32:40
We encountered two dogs (both male). The one dog jumped on top of Kahlo, she was okay with that, still in play mode. Then she went to mount the male dog in return (which is what I mean by dominate)...it's interesting though, because when she goes to mount a dog (she's done this twice with me) she gets very quiet...in fact, I knew about 1 second before the fight broke out what was going to happen, it's like this strange demeanor comes over her just as she's about to jump on top...and it freaks out the other dog. The dog turned on her instantly. Kahlo does not back down, and in fact escalated the disagreement to flat out fight. I was able to pull her off, get control and put her in a down stay which was pretty remarkable. Am I making any sense??
William: Be careful about drawing that conclusion. It's easy to want to associate the behavior changes with being spayed, but there are way too many complicating factors for that to be an accurate conclusion. "
Post hoc ergo propter hoc
"..."after it, therefore because of it". It's a logical fallacy. I also point to Oocam's razor. Wouldn't the simpler and more obvious explanation that she's either not feeling well after surgery and maybe confounded by any pain or anti-inflammatory drugs she's on be more likely cause?
Karen: How long ago was she spayed? It's possible she's still not feeling well and therefore feeling vulnerable and will get more reactive as a result. Also, how long have you had her? Not that long right? It could be that she just happened to mount the wrong dog that didn't take kindly to it and it escalated.
Actually she hasn't been spayed yet (that's upcoming)...this is her second altercation with a dog. The first one, the owner took responsability saying her dog is a bit agressive and tends to try and attack bigger dogs (that resulted in one of the biggest eye-rolls I've ever given), this last one was a bit strange...I could actually sense her entire mood shift as she placed herself above him.
My last dog was really submissive and would instantly submit and rarely did I ever see anything escalate, and if it did he would respond instantly to voice command...with Kahlo, she's very quick to take things up a notch and finish it, thus a complete departure from what I'm used to. I wasn't sure how much of this is because she's not spayed, if spaying will alter this tendancy much, or if this is just her breed tendency....
Probably little to known of it had to do with her not being spayed. If I may suggest, since it sounds like she has a personality you are unfamiliar with, perhaps schedule a few appointments with a good behaviorist to help you gain a good understanding of what she is actually reacting to, and help you all effectively communicate with each other.
I"m definately going to bring in a behaviorist...as far as training, she's a dream...but I think bringing in the behaviorist is a must..especially since we will be introducing a puppy to the mix.
David- thanks for the response. I am not going to draw any conclusions yet. But i wanted to share what I have experienced so far like the OP requested. Also, she refuses to take her medication. NOTHING works, no pill pockets, hidden pills in treats. Shes an expert at isolating the medication and spitting it out. Again, she does not appear to be in pain. I mentioned that she is ultra hyper, shes incredibly playful. infact, when i mentioned earlier that she no longer responds to my "no", my roommate pointed out that she looks like she thinks i am playing with her. i guess is i had to describe the difference from before she got spayed and today, i would say that her personality is heightened.
I love the Oocam's razor explanation. Kelly could be acting like a pill from the restricted activity giving her "ants in the pants disease".
Karen, that reminds me of the dog park where you can see lots of dogs suddenly assume this very tense or rigid posture just before deciding to mount another dog (right before a scuffle). That's where you can avoid fights, by intervening when (or before) you see them t-off and the one dog arch it's neck up. Call that dog off or distract it/remove it from the group so it knows that behavior isn't acceptable playing. Playful mounting is different, but that sudden shift when they become very tense and focused can cause trouble."Common sense isn't so common"
Art by www.chryscleary.com/
I think a session (evaluation) or few with a certified behaviorist is a fantastic idea. It really helps to get to understand a dog you've not had all that long - it really helped me with my rescued male shiba who we had for 4 months without incident (already neutered) then one day BAM dog fight with another male. We know how to read him much better now and understand what he tries to tell us even in the single moments leading up to a possible altercation.
Is she not spayed yet because she's in heat?
Yes, she went into heat just a few days before her scheduled surgery, so the vet has advised even though her heat is over to give her a few weeks for the swelling to go down.
I'm bummed because I could have put Kahlo through a very extensive real-life training class, but because of major schedule conflicts I'm missing out on the spring sessions...I'm hoping for a summer session though. This would be with the behaviorist we are planning on using.
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