Through my fostering, I’ve learned that many male dogs get surrendered at about one year of age. Many of the complaints are the dog jumps. The dog barks. The dog marks. The dog humps.
ALL of these things are completely normal behavior for any one-year male dog that isn’t neutered. If dogs are neutered many of these things lessen and some completely go away, especially the marking and humping.
I have gotten several adult male dogs during my fostering. All have needed to be neutered. There is a night and day difference in the dogs after neuter surgery. They go from hyper-vigilant dogs that have to be in everyone’s business to more relaxed guys. It’s almost like they are go-go-go and then just ease into retirement. The dogs are immediately easier to work with and more mellow-likable dudes.
They go from vigilant guard dogs to mellow fellows who can relax enough to learn. If the dog is so focused on who they can breed and when they can breed, and who they can show dominance over they can’t relax enough to learn. Please note…this is bred into male dogs…it’s not their fault. That’s one reason why neutering is important.
I brought one dog to the vet and I said the dog I had been walking, a foster, lunged at my neighbor. The vet quickly said try him again a week after the neuter and see how he is. TRUTH, he was better.
So my number one, top-of-the-list, suggestion is if you’re having trouble with a male dog that isn’t fixed, get him fixed. I know it costs a lot of money but it is a life-changing difference.
Every dog I’ve had whose owner complained about marking and humping has gotten better after a simple neuter surgery. EVERY ONE!
A lot of barking can be lessened if dogs early on are taught acceptable barking. We all think it’s cute the first time a dog barks…but if it’s not nipped, it can grow into obnoxious barking.
Beagles are known to bark and howl and I know that so when Rosie, my beagle, was little and the UPS man would come, she was allowed one bark and then I would clap my hands loudly once and tell her I knew the UPS man was here. No more barking. I did that every time. She is allowed to do her job…but she’s not allowed to be obnoxiously barking.
If she’s outside and starts barking, she has to come in. She knows it. I know it.
If you have a dog that is between 10 months and two years old and you are struggling…know that it is completely and totally normal. These are the teen years for dogs. Dogs will test and try the limits like any teenager.
You can’t “coast” with a dog until they are at least two years old or even three. I’m much more lax and don’t have to do nearly as much correction with Rosie as I do with Izzy. Izzy is trying to test the limits still…she is a year old. In fact, Friday of last week was her birthday!!
She will try to dig in the garden. She jumps on people…Now is the time I have to put the training firmly in place. If these things aren’t nipped in the bud now, then they will turn into bad habits.
I’m sure you long-time blog readers know that I struggled for a LONG TIME with Rosie. She hit 2 1/2 years old and was much better…then she hit 3 and is a great dog.
All of this is to encourage you not to give up if you have a dog in the adolescent stage. They will come around if you put the time in to work with them. Sadly too many people give up their dogs without even trying. They don’t exercise their dogs…they don’t train their dogs and don’t mean the command type of training (although that is great too)…I mean the be good dog training like no obnoxious barking.
Jumping is an issue. When I got Spot, he was a jumper. He was going to be adopted by my son and I didn’t want him to hurt my grandkids. I immediately started working with him. The first thing I did was watch Youtube videos. There are 100s out there. There are MANY different trainers and each has their own philosophy. I highly suggest watching them and trying them. I tried several different things and the one that worked best for Spot was to take a step into his space as he jumped at me. It totally worked. He got better.
My problem with Izzy right now is that she doesn’t jump on me ever. She does jump on my grandkids. We don’t have an overnight fix yet for her…but we’re working on it. She is doing better…but I’ve learned that I need to be there when new people come into my house. I need to give commands and give her something to do. Right now, it’s sitting. She’s getting better.
Every one of the dogs that have come through the rescue could have been helped and likely been able to stay in their home if only the owners had implemented even one of these suggestions…
-Neuter and Spay
-Human education on training (watch Youtube videos)
It all just makes me sad. Speaking of sad. Iowa again tied for 2nd place as the worst state for dog breeding. You can read the article HERE. It lists the worst breeders. PLEASE do not buy dogs from those places!
I’ll get off my soap box.