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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys, so my chihuahua, Brows, is 6 months old this Sat and he has been cocking his leg to pee without wobbling or falling for around 2-3 weeks now. I have noticed for around a week or so he has began scent marking outside like crazy! To the point where he will pull frantically on his leash to get to the next post or bush. This is all well and good until yesterday when he cocked up my lamp and my sofa cushion and then in my cats tray....then again lots at my sisters house. Aswell as this unwanted behavior he has picked up a couple of others in the last couple weeks to go with the scent marking. He is less interested in me, he barks much more, he has began growling when he is tired or when playing with a toy with me and I attempt to touch him. I have bought a clicker and have done bags of research on positive training techniques and these are all under way I just wanted to know if this is normal adolescent behaviour or something that will be helped by castration?
 

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Castration may well help, its best to castrate earlier (just my opinion) as dogs can learn behaviors which will be harder to stop if left to do it for a long period of time. After castration it maybe take a little while for the hormones to fade as well so you may not see a behavior change straight away. I have recently gotten a 9 month old male who is also marking in the house and has recently started humping anything that moves! so I'm also looking into castration asap lol
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yeah I had heard that it was best to stop it before the behaviours but really how is that possible...if the behaviour isn't present how are you to know it may happen at all? Brows is 6 months, some say that's too early. As I said its been happening around 2-3 weeks so hopefully if I get him done in the next month and keep up the positive training I should be ok right? Brows only humps his teddy....for now :)
 

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A lot of people argue that it's better to wait until later to spay or neuter (after first heat for females, 2-3 years old for males) because they are not sexually mature and removing the hormones can cause stunted growth among other things. That said, all of my dogs were neutered before they were a year old and I have never experienced any growth, health, or mental issues resulting from castration at a young age.

All of my males also leg-lifted, though never in the house. None of my dogs, however, did much marking. They did their long pees to relieve their bladder and that was it. Neutering a dog doesn't make it more or less likely for the dog to develop poor behavior. That is all on the owner to prevent by training and capturing good behaviors, redirecting poor behaviors to something else. Neutering has nothing to do with it. I know a few perfectly well-behaved intact dogs and many, many more behavioral atrocities of altered dogs.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you for your reply, im on it with the training and can now see that a lot of his problems are all my own doing....not taking him to pee before taking him into a new house etc. Thank you so much.
 

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To be fair small breeds mature more quickly than large breeds so a lab or mastiff isn't physically mature until 2 or 3 years old but a chihuahua might physically mature before a year.

Neutering might help with behaviors like marking or humping since those behaviors are influenced by hormones. Some of the other behaviors you listed sound like normal adolescent behaviors which neutering could possibly help but more likely you'll probably just have to wait it out and be consistent with training in the meantime.
 

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A side note that may also have something to do with it depending on your situation - humping, specifically, may or may not have to do with hormones. You will often see dogs humping one another and that is mostly to do with the fact that the dog doing the humping is over-excited and doesn't know what else to do with himself (or herself; it's not a one way street). Still not a behavior I would actively encourage...
 

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Personally, I would try to wait at least a year. In males, neutering before full maturity can halt the bone growth, specifically thickening and capping of the growth plates. In your average housepet it may not be a big deal, but for a dog competing in high-impact sports OR a particularly delicate, fragile breed, that extra wait could stave off troubles like fractures or osteoporosis down the road.
 

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A side note that may also have something to do with it depending on your situation - humping, specifically, may or may not have to do with hormones. You will often see dogs humping one another and that is mostly to do with the fact that the dog doing the humping is over-excited and doesn't know what else to do with himself (or herself; it's not a one way street). Still not a behavior I would actively encourage...
I agree, I notice that with adult dogs but with intact adolescent males I've noticed it seems to be very hormone related. We don't have females in heat at work but that doesn't matter- the intact pups go crazy once their hormones start kicking in. You can put them in time out or do some leash work with them which would usually calm down a dog that you describe but when the pups between 6ish to 12ish months that still haven't been neutered are released they just make a beeline for the first dog they see and start right up again. It's like a kid going through puberty- they have a huge rise in libido during adolescence- just think about teenage boys xD Then they get neutered, and the next time they come in they're playing like normal puppies instead of trying to hump anything that moves.

With the older humpy dogs you can usually see that they're either overstimulated/stressed or just really socially awkward and trying to get other dogs to pay attention to them. Those dogs can usually be worked with and taught to calm down.
 

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Funny enough, the intact males that come over for boarding (APBT mix, Labrador, and GSD) never hump anybody. Most of the dogs get along really well with each other and we don't have any problems. The little female (spayed) Beagle that comes for daycare will try to hump some of the larger dogs occasionally. The biggest butthead with this behavior is my brother's (neutered) Husky, but it's still very rare for him. Mostly it happens when he's meeting a new dog and everybody's acting excited so he doesn't know what to do, poor thing.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
This is all great advice I am so great full. Brows has a 6 month check next week and I will talk to the vet about neutering although they had already mentioned it to me when Brows was much younger and they like to do it early I think. As Brows is only a small dog do you think this would be ok at 6 months or should I wait? If so what age would you recommend? The humping isn't a problem as he only does it to his teddy bless him :)
 
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