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Question for those familiar with dog behavior

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brooklyngirl

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Oct 9, 2007
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My 2 year old Foxhound mix has been exhibiting strange behavior at the dog park. He was neutered 2 months ago, and prior to that was always the alpha dog, running after every dog in the park, trying to dominate.

The last few weeks, he has been chasing down other dogs, and submitting to them, belly up and all. These are usually bigger dogs (Huskies, German Shephards, etc.). Most of the time they ignore him, and he keeps running after them, getting their attention, and submitting. They get visibly annoyed, barking at showing their teeth, but he doesn''t care, and keeps bugging them.

I understand that he is no longer producing the hormones necessary for dominance, and has become submissive. But, isn''t part of submission respecting the dominant dog when they clearly tell you to GO AWAY?
 

whitby_2773

Ideal_Rock
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Jan 5, 2009
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hi brooklyn girl :)

your dog is exhibiting a combination of who he was and who he now is. how old was he when neutered? if a dog is neutered as a puppy, they go through life reasonably submissive. if they''re neutered after they''ve grown, they''ve developed their personality and will continue to exhibit that, neutered or not. however, the absence of testosterone will affect *how* they exhibit that personality, so you''ll probably get a mix of both submissive and assertive behavior.

over the first 12 months he should settle down into a more consistent behavior, tho, if neutered as an adult, he''ll never be as submissive as he would have been had he been neutered as a puppy.

in tact males are normally fairly patient with neutered males and females, but you might be wise to keep your dog on a lead and teach him a less invasive behavior. it''s normal pack behavior for the submissive dogs to try to get the attention of the alpha dogs and bitches, so a mature in tact male shouldn''t react badly to your dog trying to get his attention and approval. where you''ll have problems, however, is if your dog consistently approaches a young in tact male or bitch who doesn''t know how to deal with him. the bitches can be less patient than the males, so don''t overlook them either.

carry a water spray bottle with you when you go to the park - and use it should your dog get inappropriately close to other dogs. practice this first when your dog is on a lead (this may take a month or two), then when he seems to have learnt to keep a distance, let him off lead, but use the water bottle should he fall back into his old ways. keeping him from being overly friendly is for his own well-being and safety.

good luck!
 

brooklyngirl

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Oct 9, 2007
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Thanks for the info, Whitby!

I had a feeling it was due to him being neutered at 2 years of age, and his alpha personality manifesting itself in a different way. I do notice that problems occur when the other dog seems confused by his behavior, and becomes defensive.

We only let him off leash in the dog run, most of the time the other owners don''t have a problem with his behavior, and we closely watch his interactions with any dog that he seems to be bothering. Whenever these things happen, we call him over, and he listens without shenanigans. I will try to bring a spray bottle with me going forward, in case he doesn''t listen one of these days.

I don''t know if he''ll ever learn to keep his distance. Since we got him as 4 month old puppy, he has always pulled towards other dogs, and seems to really enjoy interacting with them. Although, I''m sure this behavior stems from his alpha personality. It''s only been 2 months since he was fixed, so I''ll see how things go, hopefully he''ll tone it down a bit.
 
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