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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-09-2011, 09:50 AM Thread Starter
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Neutering Dilemma

I have a nine month old male Havanese. He is my first dog that has not been a rescue so I decided to show him for fun. His first show at six months and one day old he won a major, his second show at seven month he won another major. I have shown him a total of three shows, the third show he won two ribbons but did not get any points. There are several shows in my area this summer I wanted to take him to and I was even hoping to show him at the Nationals in North Carolina.
The last show I took him to about a month ago, he started lifting his leg in the hotel room. He than started lifting his leg in the house when we returned home. I called my breeder and she said start housebreaking over again like when he was a puppy. He was either in his playpen or attached to me so I could supervise him. After a day and a half of yelling "no" everytime he lifted his leg and praising him when he lifted his leg outside, he quit peeing in the house. However, he pees all over everywhere else, during obedience class, pees all over at the indoor puppy play and peed in the hotel room when we went on a trip two weeks ago.
My rescue dogs were all neutered by five months and never lifted their leg anywhere other than outdoors. I wanted to wait to get his Championship and than neuter him, hopefully by the end of summer, but I am worried that he will mark everywhere if I wait to neuter him. I love to take him everywhere with me, friend's houses, the nursing home to visit, hotels, but he is not a welcome guest when he pees everywhere.
If I wait six months to neuter him will it be that much more difficult to curb his lifting of his leg everywhere. I would love to get his Championship, but he is a pet first and I want to be able to take him everywhere as a welcome guest.
I am torn, any advise? Is there anyone out there that has a pet that they also show? If so, how do you deal with the unneutered male syndrome? I know, ideally, if I had not decided to show him, it would have been best to neuter him before this even started but it's to late for that now.
Thanks for any advise you can give.

Cristi
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-09-2011, 10:10 AM
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The same thing just happen to my friends male dog Bailey. He even lifted his leg on me during a walk. The last straw for her was when he went to the groomers and did it all over the place their. The groomer said he was not welcome back tell he was neutered. I think if he is a pet first and you like to take him places get him fixed. That is cool that he is doing so well at shows but if your plan has always been to neuter than what is the point. You could get involved in another type of activity with him.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-09-2011, 10:51 AM
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Does neutering curb the habit after they've already formed it?
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-09-2011, 11:11 AM
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You will have to stop this habit now or later, marking is one of the 10 most common reasons a dog ends up in the pound. So I hear your pain. When you are in a hotel room you can put a belly band on him and a diaper over that if it is still a problem. Before you take him to visit or to class let him mark outside until he is dry. Now is the time to start treating (so always have treats) for going in the right places. Some dogs mark more then others. Although it is not comfortable to deal with marking, if you want to keep showing you may need to try some of the things I suggested. Also you will need to crate him more often when visiting. The one thing you do not want to happen is for him to start marking during a show. It happens and it makes everyone uncomfortable and red faced. If you have your heart set on showing go out a few more times but if you are not getting any points toward his championship then think about hiring a handler. Once you neuter him his show days are over. There are lots of other fun things you can do with him. Just make for sure you are comfortable. You will have to deal with the marking now or later so if you still want to show him do it.

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-09-2011, 02:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evaofnc View Post
Does neutering curb the habit after they've already formed it?
Our 7 year old Lab was not neutered because he is a hunting dog and my husband believes that neutering makes them lazy. However, once he started marking in the house we had him cut. He has never marked inside again.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-09-2011, 04:08 PM
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Once marking becomes a habit you have to teach them not to do it regardless of being neutered. Neutering at a young age can keep them from developing the habit. Dogs do not only mark to advertise for sex, they can also mark a place as their's. Females can also be markers. If you have a dog for stud, if you want to keep him in the house as a pet, you must train him not to mark in the house, its like potty training all over again. I have a dog that was a puppy mill breeder, I had him neutered, he still marked and I had to train him not to mark in the house. If you want to show your dog, you need to deal with the marking. If you are done showing then you can neuter you may still have to deal with ending the marking as it can be a habit.

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-10-2011, 09:22 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you everyone for your comments. I guess what I am wondering is now that he lifts his leg everywhere (not in the house thankfully) will it be easier to train him to stop if I neuter him now, at nine months, rather than wait until the end of summer. I would like to get him his Championship, we already have two majors which is the hard part, but if I wait to neuter will the marking be more ingrained and therefore more difficult to stop. Once it has started does it make any difference whether you neuter them next week or six months from now? Does anyone have any experience in the difference of neutering at nine months versus one and a half years? I guess I worry that the longer I leave the hormones in him the harder it will be to change that behavior.

Thank you for your comments and suggestions.

Cristi
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-10-2011, 11:21 AM
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I too have an unneutered all grown up boy and he never ever marks in house, no mater which house it is. Not all unneutered males do this, and I'm sure you can teach him not to do it.


Last edited by El Bueno Habanero; 03-10-2011 at 11:24 AM.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-10-2011, 09:08 PM
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Yes you can train them not to mark. After marking starts neutering will stop it in about 60 percent. Marking outside on trees, telephone poles, bushes, fences is normal for male dogs, its how they talk to other dogs. Many male dogs never mark in the house but most dogs even females will mark outside.

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-10-2011, 11:06 PM
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Neutering isn't a sure bet. I had my Papillon neutered young in hopes of not lifting his leg. But that went out the window once he was introduced to my best friends leg lifting Shih Tzu. Neutering may remove the hormones but it doesn't take away the instinct.

Sounds like territorial marking, which is typical for males when they are in new places.

Might try using a belly band when he's in those situations. I also found that this calming collar greatly reduced my Papillon's marking:
http://www.petco.com/product/109324/...:referralID=NA

(Its quite a large collar for small dogs so if you cut it in half you can get 2 uses out of it.)

If you don't use a collar on him I've also had success with Bach Flower Remedies. Look at Chicory + Walnut: http://www.bachflowerpets.com/
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