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Seeking advice re having multiple male dogs in a household

November 8th, 2010, 02:21 AM
Hi, I just adopted 2 male Golden Retrievers, brothers, both 5 years old. I admit I didn't really think about it before making that decision. I already own a 2-year-old male Siberian Husky, and he's very dominant. The Retrievers are very friendly, but my Sibe always fights with them and doesn't welcome their attempts to befriend him. One of the Retrievers is also a dominant type, so when my Sibe lunges, he doesn't back down.

I've read that neutering dogs lowers their aggression. My question is, would it be a good idea, and would it make a difference, if I have one or both of the Retrievers neutered? Or should I neuter the Sibe instead?

Or are there other solutions to this dilemma? I really want the dogs to peacefully co-exist. I also don't keep any of my dogs in cages. And there are 2 native female dogs here, so you guys know what can (or WILL) happen when they're in heat. T___T

Loki Love
November 8th, 2010, 04:49 AM
I would neuter all 3. I would do it sooner than later as well as once your dogs start showing signs of aggression it can almost be too late for the neutering to help.

Given you have females as well - definitely neuter. I'd also highly recommend spaying the females.

November 8th, 2010, 10:48 AM
Females should be spayed first imo. Even though the boys are neutered, the girls coming into heat can still exacerbate the aggression amongst the males, neutered or not.

There is no easy fix to ongoing aggression between dogs, especially ones living together. May I ask why you adopted the two Goldens and from where?

November 8th, 2010, 02:55 PM
as said, spaying and neutering will help you out. aside from not doing anything aggressive against each other, having the girls spayed and the guys neutered will help your dogs to be placed away from the risk of developing health problems suich as tumors and possible cancers.
Find a good vet and see for yourself the benefits of these procedures.

November 9th, 2010, 07:37 AM
There's no solid research to support the oft told "neuter will stop aggression." As a matter of fact there IS solid research to support exactly the opposite, neutered dogs, male and female, are MORE aggressive.

Neutering cannot be expected to reduce aggressive behavior in all dogs

Neutering will not always completely eliminate aggressive behaviors

When the neutering is carried out cannot be expected to influence the rate or magnitude of changes in behaviors

How long the problem behavior has existed does not tend to affect the level or trend of change in behavior after neutering

If an intact dog demonstrates aggressive behavior neutering should be considered as an adjunct to other behavior modification practices

Early neutering is probably not helpful at preventing aggression and may pose certain medical risks.From:

This one is also extremely interesting:

It is also impossible to say neutering will be healthier for either the girls or the boys. Especially in the boys it seems the risk of cancers and disorders that arise from neutering might outweigh the ones that arise from not neutering. The following two articles are particularly good at dealing with the health risks and benefits of neutering.

I am not saying one way or the other whether you should neuter any of your dogs. What is obvious from the research is you should not expect a miraculous change in their interactions. It might work, it might not. My only concern is that you be aware of the implications of the choices you make. An "oops" litter or big Vet bills from fighting dogs isn't good either.

You might find your best option is to rehome some of the dogs. If any of these dogs are champions in show or a sports venue they might more easily be homed to folks proficient in those areas if not neutered first.

November 9th, 2010, 08:31 AM
does the poster own the females? or are they just from around that area?

November 9th, 2010, 09:22 AM
Thank you for those links, Longblades.

There's no solid research to support the oft told "neuter will stop aggression." As a matter of fact there IS solid research to support exactly the opposite, neutered dogs, male and female, are MORE aggressive.

I had heard that specifically about females if spayed before maturity. I also heard (and experienced with our Lucky) that, if neutered after full maturity, it may not make much of a difference in terms of aggressive tendencies towards other adult males.

November 9th, 2010, 11:12 AM
Thanks LP. It's tricky on this board to say anything against neutering and I'm not against it. I just hate to see people advocating it as a cure-all with no mention of all the training work that has to go along with it. I wonder if that's what led to the one study showing more aggression in neutered than intact dogs in the first place; the owners of those dogs just thought the neuter would do the job for them? Who knows.

November 9th, 2010, 11:34 AM
If any of the dogs are re-homed I would recommend to have this dog absolutely neutered/spayed. Who knows where this dog will end up, how many hands he/she may pass and not to mention all the dangers for unsterilized dogs in the system.

True however in regards to aggression. Sterilizing an animals does not guarantee calmer dogs nor remove all aggressive tendancies.

I on the other hand am all for sterilization. I don't trust people enough to know 100% that a dog will be used for breeding or for 'accidents'. There are enough dogs and cats in the system that are being euthanized due to over populations...yadda yadda.

Best of luck to you.