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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So my dalmatian Brutus is 1 year old tomorrow. Until recently, he was pretty well behaved when out playing on the local field. He'd not run off too far and would come back pretty much every time I called him.

Recently though, when he's sees (or smells) a bitch on the other side of the field, that's it - he's off and the selective hearing kicks in!

This morning I had to go retrieve him twice when he took off - the second time he followed the dogs off the field and onto a car park which he knows not to do without his lead on. He's not aggressive with other dogs, but he's just persistent. Most owners don't mind, others do which can be pretty awkward/embarrassing.

So, the questions. I'm sure this kind of behaviour is pretty normal for a young male to chase around the ladies?

Crucially, is there anything I can do training wise that'll bring this under control, or is it a case of him needing to grow out of it?
 

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You need to put a leash on him and keep it on him. Yes, you can firm up recall and general obedience, but until then, you need to keep him contained. Otherwise, you'll get to pay for an emergency spay, and those aren't cheap.
 

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^^what Amaryllis said, plus consider getting him neutered. When an unaltered male gets wind of a female in heat, their brains seem to go to only one thing and one thing only!
 

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well maybe let the dog mature a bit before you neuter
 

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I'm guessing he's not neutered? If he's not, welcome to the world of an intact male dog. Some of them will do just about anything to get to a female in heat, if that's your boy then you may be better off neutering him.

If it's not him trying to follow females in heat then it may be a case of an adolescent dog deciding it's more interesting to do what he wants to do rather then what you want him to do. Lots of dogs do go through that stage. If that's the case then working on his recall will help. Start over in the house, then add more and more distractions working your way up to the dog field, and increasing the value of the treat as you increase the distractions.
 

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Put him on a long line so he can still enjoy the field, but you can also have him secure and practice recall.
 

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It does not necessarily mean a male chasing a female, sounds like he just wants to go visiting other dogs. I would keep him on a long leash until his recall is better. Dogs will do this whether they are neutered or not and neutering him is not going to make him automatically have a good recall.

I have two unneutered males and they do not run off to visit other dogs but come when they are called regardless of whether it is a male or female.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the advice all. Not too keen on the neutering - I'd like to avoid that I think if possible. The long leash maybe a good call and I like the retraining in the house too.

Thanks again, I'll let you know how it goes :)
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If you won't neuter him (I know in England people tend not to do so, for either sex), then you'll really have to keep him on a leash or long line. The hormones at this age are at very high levels. I don't think any amount of training is enough to overcome the hormones if he smells a bitch in heat. If you do not keep him physically contained, then expect him to soon sire a litter, or at least end up at someone's door step howling and barking and trying to get into the home of the female. The drive to reproduce is incredibly strong! ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ok, here's an update.

This behaviour has continued and is getting worse! When I first started this thread, he'd take off on the odd occasion, not too frequently.

Now though, at 16 months old its becoming pretty regular. He picks up a scent (that other intact dogs don't) and he's off. I had to chase after him yesterday and again this morning. It's like a switch is flicked and he doesn't care how much I shout him, there's no listening!

The only option I have I think is to have him castrated.
 

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Ok, here's an update.

This behaviour has continued and is getting worse! When I first started this thread, he'd take off on the odd occasion, not too frequently.

Now though, at 16 months old its becoming pretty regular. He picks up a scent (that other intact dogs don't) and he's off. I had to chase after him yesterday and again this morning. It's like a switch is flicked and he doesn't care how much I shout him, there's no listening!

The only option I have I think is to have him castrated.
To get him neutered is only fair, i know human males arent keen on the thought of male dogs getting thier balls chopped off but think of it this way if you were a dog and not neutered and intact and you saw all these bitches and full of teenage hormones what would you rather do? listen to your owner recalling you or go mate with a bitch? I think the answer there would be obvious.

It just isnt fair on the intact male otherwise. I had my charlie done young to prevent that and also because of the fact we werent going let him sire a litter.

My neighbour has a daughter who had a intact male and OMG glad that daughter moved herself and that dog! ALWAYS ran away and escaped he ran halfway to the city before being caught by police on a motorway. No amount of recalling, food etc would get him back. was a nightmare
 

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Yup, hormones are incredibly powerful. It really is not possible for most owners to train intact males not to chase females. The motivation for sex is way more powerful than any postive motivation we humans can build to come back to us.

The only way I've heard of being able to train an intact male dog to come away from a female in heat is to train with extremely harsh, abusive methods... for example using shock collars on a high level or chasing the male dog down and physically punishing him so severely that he feels his is life is in danger. Its called "breaking" the dog, and indeed this is what they used to do to hunting dogs in the old days. Whips were used.
Need I say more?

Just get him neutered. Really, he won't miss them, and neither will you. The romance about being intact is in your head, not his. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Get a leash. It's really that simple.
I have a lead of course, but I like to let him be off lead; he's a Dalmatian and loves to run around with his buddies (when he's not on the scent of a bitch of course).

Castration it is. Thanks for all the replies! :thumbsup:
 

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I have a lead of course, but I like to let him be off lead; he's a Dalmatian and loves to run around with his buddies (when he's not on the scent of a bitch of course).

Castration it is. Thanks for all the replies! :thumbsup:
Good choice! The hormones don't settle down right away, may take several wks to months. So you will have to keep him tethered for a while. BUt you are doing the right thing.:thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Are you prepared for the possibility that chopping off his gonads might not put a stop to the wandering?
It's a possibility I guess. If that happens, I'll have to try to break him like Tess recommended.






I'm joking of course :)
 

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Are you prepared for the possibility that chopping off his gonads might not put a stop to the wandering?
I think you need to consider this...This is exactly what I was going to ask lol.

Some dogs just can't be trusted off leash, no matter how much training you put into it. Some will always decide to take off on a whim to visit another dog or chase something, and then magically go deaf to your calls.

How are you training him to recall? What sort of rewards are you using?
 

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Like has been said, just put along line on your dog, put some effort into recall training, and be done with it.

Nothing wrong with speuter, but if this the only reason you're doing it... Then I think you're doing it for the wrong reasons. Just contain and manage your dog, don't assume that castration is going to be the solution to the problem(s).
 
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