Intact male dog

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Barked: Thu May 19, '11 12:16pm PST 
Hi everyone,

I'm considering becoming a guardian home to a male medium-sized breeding labradoodle and was wondering if anyone has input about what it's like to own an intact male. To any of you who have owned an intact male, what's your experience been with aggression, marking, mounting, running away? I know that it's more than possible to train a well-behaved intact dog (show dogs!) but I do live in a city exploding with dogs and I don't want my pup howling through the night every week after catching the scent of a female in heat, or getting into fights at the dog park. The dog could be in the breeding program for up to five years, so it's likely that neutering him at age 5 won't make much of a difference in behavior at that point.
Shiver Me- Timbers- "Charlie"

My Little Dog, a- heartbeat at my- feet.<3
Barked: Thu May 19, '11 4:11pm PST 
I've had my Beagle, Charlie since he was eight months old. He will be four this year and has never been neutered. He is fully intact. I have NEVER had any issues with aggression, mounting, or marking and rarely with 'running away' per se. These are all things that need training and don't necessarily come with a dog simply being intact. I quote 'running away' because Charlie has escaped his yard before(before I got a secure dog run and began vigilantly supervising), but he NEVER left our block, he didn't even go off our street and running away is more a matter of vigilance, prevention and responsibility.

They will not howl through the night after catching the scent of a female in heat. The female in question, would have to be in close proximity, think next doors yard, or your yard or in your home, etc in order for it to truly stress out the dog and that's exactly what any howling would be. They don't typically howl about this though. It's mostly just panting, pacing and sometimes whining but you aren't likely to get much more unless the dog is provoked to bark or howl by other dogs doing so - or if the dog is territorial and outside at night.

The dog park is a 50/50 thing. Some dogs do great at dog parks, some do not. This has to be socialized for and there needs to be lots of positive reinforcement in regards to parks with lots of loose dogs. I have never seen intact male dogs fight at a dog park and I have been frequenting dog parks since I got Charlie(the local one I go to has anywhere from 40-200 off leash dogs in a day, at once, half of which are usually intact males). Fights at the park are usually caused by rude behavior displayed to other dogs in greeting, or in play - by play getting carried away, by dogs that are toy aggressive and are brought with toys, or sometimes by food. An occasional snap, growl or nip to tell a dog off for rude behavior happens too, but isn't typically anything to worry about.

You shouldn't have many, if any issues with a labradoodle. They're fairly smart, easy to train dogs, if not energetic.

As long as you train from day one for the CORRECT behaviors you want your dog to display, and make sure he doesn't have the opportunity or learns in regards to the behaviors you want to avoid, then you'll be fine!

Work? What's- that?
Barked: Thu May 19, '11 5:15pm PST 
To any of you who have owned an intact male, what's your experience been with aggression, marking, mounting, running away?

Samson is a pretty stereotypical marker when he is outdoors, but indoors I've never had problems with him. This is usually more a problem with smaller breeds (though some not at all).

Aggression? I suppose he's acted aggressive in response to certain stimuli but it isn't common and I don't think it is something that could be linked to hormones. Mostly it's my fault for not doing as well on socialization as I needed to. Living out in the sticks makes that kind of hard. He's never had an issue with other male dogs which is where the hormones WOULD come in.

He's been around in-heat females before (heavily supervised) but didn't really act out of control or really too much different than he normally does when he's getting to know new dogs and new people.

He will mount in play but he doesn't hump. Mounting/humping is normal dog behavior and not usually hormone-related (hence why neutered dogs will still do it) It's more a dominance thing and that's not something you can "cut out" of a dog.

As far as running away...heh. Samson is pretty much like velcro with us and the house. My dad accidentally left him outdoors after he'd been up something like 30 hours (took him outside to play before he went to bed, wasn't in his right mind and didn't bring him in with him). Samson didn't stray more than about 50 feet from the house (we have a big yard, live out in the country). This was the middle of winter so I could see his tracks in the snow and tell where he went. While certainly roaming is a concern for an intact male, genetic temperament and your own training play a pretty significant factor as well.

Honestly I think genetics play a much larger role in a dog's behavior then whether they have balls or not. A castrated male's behavior will change, yes, but it isn't a panecea like some people think. And from what I've observed you can't really depend on it to do too much of anything in the behavior department - altering a dog's hormonal system is simply too complex a thing to say what it would do to any individual dog for absolute sure. Reducing desire to roam and same-sex aggression you could maybe count on, that seems to be a common result but even then I've heard of some neutered males where the problems in those areas remained or even got worse.

Edited by author Thu May 19, '11 5:15pm PST


Sanka- I'll Miss- You

The ground is my- newspaper.
Barked: Thu May 19, '11 7:10pm PST 
I have an intact male and a neutered male.

Sanka is intact. As far as aggression goes, I doubt anyone could even get Sanka to growl at them no matter how much you harass him. He's incredibly mellow. Even when my other dog would bite really hard and chew on his legs, Sanka just stood there and did nothing. Not even a bark or a snap.

Marking...well, I really don't notice any difference in marking between my two dogs. They both mark equally. Anything that sticks out of the ground is fair game.

Mounting...never had any problem with mounting for the first 9 years of Sanka's life. Then, when I adopted my other dog, Sanka did get a little frisky. But again, I can't really directly relate that to him being intact. What about those 9 previous years with no problem? And when I first got Kato, my other dog, Kato humped too.

And running away...Sanka wanders off not because he's intact, but because he's a hound. He goes where the wind takes him...not his testicles. laugh out loud

Whippy- The- Whipador
Barked: Fri May 20, '11 3:48am PST 
Another one with an intact male here!

Ty, like Samson, is a pretty determined marker outdoors. He has never marked indoors or at other peoples homes. I find that his marking is not really an issue but because he's very interested in scents i find he can be quite intense with having to smell things and sometimes that can interrupt training or gaining his attention.

He is very good around other dogs, although the past year he has taken to defending himself when challenged by other dogs. I wouldn't say this is because he's intact though. He mixes well with both dogs and bitches, intact or neutered. He's also never been "targeted" by other dogs as you sometimes read with intact dogs.

I've never had an issue with him humping anything. He will occasionally, and i mean occasionally, air hump over Missy or something but it literally lasts about 2 seconds. He's never been mounted by other dogs out and about and he's never tried either. We have been around an in heat bitch ( by accident ) and Ty was off lead. Of course he payed quite a bit of interest in her but nothing extreme. When it was time to go, he followed me perfectly fine ( still off lead ) with no running after the female or whining etc. My parents live in a built up area with lots of dogs around. Ty has never attempted to escape the garden after bitches in heat, and then again, we wouldn't know whether there was any bitches in heat around anyway because he never acts any different then his usual self.

He's an extremely laid back, sensible, quiet and well mannered dog, and honestly, i couldn't ask for better.

Be Cool
Barked: Fri May 20, '11 4:52am PST 
Goodman was intact up until a few months ago.

Never had issues with marking. When I adopted him (as an adult) he had mild resource guarding which went away quickly once treated.

He is very attached to me, so running away wasn't an issue (I also live in a city apartment, which means he isn't left in a yard).

He did cry and howl when there was a female in heat nearby and he couldn't access her (I had no intention of breeding him even when he was intact).

Work? What's- that?
Barked: Fri May 20, '11 6:22am PST 
I should also add that when Samson does mount in play it is only with dogs that he has a good established relationship with. He never attempts to do so with new or otherwise unfamiliar dogs. It's not even a sexual position, it's more just from the side, jumping up on top, etc (he and Jake do this to eachother a lot - although Jake (who has been castrated) I've seen mount and hump in a sexual position). It isn't sexual behavior, though - it's just dominance. Typical dog stuff. I don't worry about it unless it is frequently leading to fights.

I should also add that you can reasonably rely on castration to curb marking behavior (as well as the other two behaviors I mentioned) but I didn't mention it as I've never understood why people consider outdoor marking to be a problem. It's a problem when it comes in the house.

Like Ty Samson is also very interested in scents. Every once in a great while I have to repeat a command if he's caught a particularly interesting scent. But I can call him off mid-chase (he will break INSTANTLY and come for me), he is always checking up on me when I am letting him explore off-leash, he knows what is going on. I would not describe his character in ANY way as "distracted" or "out of control" or "sex-craved" as is some of the typical descriptors of intact male dogs.

I'm not sure how Samson would behave if there was an in-heat female down the road. Given how he has acted around in-heat females before I don't think there would be much of an issue. He might ask to go outside more - when something is "different" he demands to investigate it to make sure us and the house are okay smile. The backyard is fenced in and I've never once seen him attempt to vault it even when chasing after a squirrel. He will go up to the fence-line and then just sit and watch.

Edited by author Fri May 20, '11 6:23am PST


Barked: Fri May 20, '11 7:30am PST 
I'm sorry, but I couldn't get past the "breeding labradoodle" part.

I know its off topic but I'm curious what why anyone would want to have a part in creating more of these?
Stella- "Blue"

Puttin' my freak- on!
Barked: Fri May 20, '11 10:45am PST 
way to go - Trigger

Barked: Thu Jul 28, '11 7:45am PST 
Hi Busby is an un neutered male, my neighbour has two neutured females and one in particularly he keeps trying to mount, this has only happened in the last couple of days, and today he has totally stopped eating all he is interested in is the dog next door. Could there be another dog in the neighbourhood that is in season and he has got confused.
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