Do neutered dogs get aggressive with unneutered dogs? A Comprehensive Guide

Lack of Socialization

Its very important for puppies to receive a good dose of socialization during that critical window which is open until the pup reaches 12 to 16 weeks of age. During this time the puppy should be exposed to all kinds of dogs of different sex, color, shapes and sizes. The same goes with exposing the pups to people and different environments.

If the dog was never exposed to the scent of a an intact male before, it could likely be that this is something quite new to him and he may react negatively. Some dogs are truly neophobic, which is the term used to depict dogs who are fearful of new things.

How Can I Help My Neutered Dog?

With many shelters and vets advocating the spaying and neutering of dogs, exposure to intact male dogs should be limited. Also, intact dogs are often not accepted in dog parks. Could this have caused an increase in reactivity to these fellows because they are rare? Could it be that because its so different it immediately raises a red flag?

Interestingly, there are many countries where neutering is not as in vogue as it is in the US. If your dog is reactive towards intact dogs, and exposure to intact dogs is a common occurrence, you may wonder how you can help your dog. Following are some steps:

1 Answer 1 Sorted by:

Im really sorry to hear that. Usually, we expect neutering to make a dog calmer and less aggressive. But unfortunately, several studies found that neutering increases territorial aggression (for example against strangers and delivery workers approaching or just passing by the home) and anxiety in dogs.

This article has a summary of 2 studies;

The article references a study (from 2006) and a masters thesis (from 2010) as sources, but I couldnt find any of them online. However, the team that worked on the study published a new study in 2018: Aggression toward Familiar People, Strangers, and Conspecifics in Gonadectomized and Intact Dogs

So, the “problem” is Blake and neutering Bosco wont change Blakes behavior. The best advice I can give you is to seek the help of a professional dog trainer. Not one of those puppy schools, but a trainer who specializes in dog psychology and training of problematic dogs. Even though Blake is the “problem” at the moment, you might be the solution. The dog trainer should teach you how to recognize signs of aggression in him (there are a lot of those signs and they start way before any growling or attacking) and how to redirect his attention away from the aggressive behavior.

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    Intact dogs are no more aggressive than others, but other factors need to be taken into account