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Will getting him neutered calm him down?

(17 Posts)
MaddyHatter Tue 05-Jul-16 18:54:57

I'm stumped.

My mom has a nearly 3yo Cavalier. He's currently unneutered as the breed is so susceptible to Mitral Valve deformity that my mom is quite wary of putting them under anaesthetic because of the stress on their hearts.

This is her 4th Cavvie, and 2nd male. The last one was quite a calm dog, barely barked and when he did, went quiet when you told him.

This one is a whole other kettle of fish.

He's excitable, barks like a loon at anyone coming to the house, and anyone who leaves. He patrols the windowsill where he sits and even frightens the postman with the level of barking.

He's not aggressive, he just really really wants to see you! If you come in he's all over you with love and attention.

He's very attention seeking and constantly is all over mom and won't leave her alone.

I have voiced the suggestion it might be worth getting him de-balled to see if it will calm some of this behaviour down, the patrolling, barking at anything that moves outside...etc

Am i right? Or is it a waste of time?

Wyldfyre Tue 05-Jul-16 19:00:39

In short, it might - or it might not. Absolutely no guarantee

Wolfiefan Tue 05-Jul-16 19:03:57

Sounds like a training issue rather than a testicle issue!

DiamondInTheRuff Tue 05-Jul-16 19:53:33

The only guarantees with neutering is that you won't get unwanted pregnancies and you won't get testicular cancer / infections. It's possible to get an injection to chemically castrate them. That MIGHT give your mum an idea of what full on castration will do. Or it might not.

You may also find that the behaviour is ingrained, so even if it was caused by testosterone chopping them off won't stop it.

Personally I would start with a good trainer or behaviourist and go from there.

DiamondInTheRuff Tue 05-Jul-16 19:55:37

Actually reading your post again he sounds quite anxious. If that's the case definitely don't castrate! Hard to say without seeing though. Has your mum tried any sort of "settle", or desensitisation?

DartmoorDoughnut Tue 05-Jul-16 19:56:42

What's his diet like? That can be the cause of a lot of behavioural issues

georgedawes Tue 05-Jul-16 20:04:55

Has she tried to change the behaviour through training? If he's been practicing it for 3 years it'll be quite ingrained behaviour. I'd forgotten right back to basics, management first to stop occasions when likely to bark then teach quiet command.

georgedawes Tue 05-Jul-16 20:05:21

Not forgotten! Go back to basics

TrionicLettuce Tue 05-Jul-16 20:08:09

Sounds like a training issue rather than a testicle issue!


The only guarantee when it comes to castration is that it removes any chance of procreation, there's no certainty it will have any effect at all on behaviour.

A visit from a good trainer or behaviourist would be a good idea to establish if there are any specific issues to work on, such as him being anxious or bored.

In the meantime working on teaching him to settle (this is a great little video on the subject) would be a good place to start.

MaddyHatter Tue 05-Jul-16 20:41:48

Thanks smile

She's tried some gentle training, but he's a bit more hard headed than the other 3. TBH i think he's too much for her and have been gently trying to suggest rehoming him.. he's incredibly healthy for the breed, and a little on the large side.. he's a big dog compared to the smaller bitches she had in the past, definitely not on the petite side of the breed, lol.

Food wise he has a mix of dry and wet food. He also doesn't get much exercise, she has mobility issues, but tries to wear him out in the garden with fetch games. i try to walk him when i go visit but i'm not to good on my feet at the moment myself (back/hip/sciatica issues)

I have suggested paying someone to walk him and also trying to get a trainer in, but she doesn't have the funds!

He's very food motivated, so i've also suggested trying clicker training with him.

Thanks for that video, i will send it to her and see if its something she's willing to try!

DiamondInTheRuff Tue 05-Jul-16 21:16:42

Do you know the brand of food?

Tbh if he's not being walked he's probably lacking stimulation, which would explain the problems you describe. Playing fetch in the garden may wear him out physically, but not mentally. If she can't take him out herself or afford to pay a dog Walker I think you're probably right to gently suggest if she's the right owner for him.

What about borrow my doggie?

TrionicLettuce Tue 05-Jul-16 21:35:47

As Diamond says, whilst fetch in the garden might wear him out physically it's not going do much mentally and it does like he could be finding mischief because he's bored.

Obviously getting him out for proper walks will help with the mental stimulation (depending on her situation it might be worth approaching the Cinnamon Trust to see if they can help) but there's all sorts that can be done at home to wear their brains out.

101 things to do with a box is brilliant for getting dogs' brains working. Rather than just feeding him from a bowl he could be fed from puzzle/food dispensing toys or his dry ration could be scattered in the garden for him to find. She could do a few short sessions of trick training each day from her armchair. Even a cardboard box with a few treats scattered in amongst/inside scrunched up newspaper can keep them occupied for ages and wear them out a fair bit.

MaddyHatter Tue 05-Jul-16 21:49:52

i think the dry food is the Royal Canin and wet food is pedigree.

i did get her one of those puzzle feeders you stuff the treats in but he's a chewer and pretty much destroyed it!

i'll give the box trick a try though.. will he not just shred the paper?

DiamondInTheRuff Wed 06-Jul-16 09:19:44

The food won't be helping I'm afraid, pedigree in particular has been linked to all sorts of issues. Would your mum consider changing to a better quality brand? Something like burns or James Wellbeloved.

I think shredding the paper is the whole point. wink

MaddyHatter Wed 06-Jul-16 09:57:08

i can ask her.

She's just enjoying the novelty of being able to use shop bought dog food, the last one was allergic to every single meat protein except lamb, so lived off a diet of raw lamb mince, porridge oats, carrot and swede for his 11 years.

After that long of having to physically prep each meal, she's enjoying just being able to open a packet, lmao.

DiamondInTheRuff Wed 06-Jul-16 10:21:22

Pets at home stock both burns and JWB, if there's one nearby. We buy our burns on subscription from amazon, it just turns up once a month, no thinking required on my part! It's lovely.

DartmoorDoughnut Wed 06-Jul-16 14:47:45

Ditto to diamond Burns on Amazon Prime = good diet and hassle free!

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