Our expert says:
Dog Behaviour Expert
Hi Ty, nice to hear from you. I have never known sterilization to affect a dog adversely at all. what I think may be happening is that the dog was (understandably) stressed by the experience,of going to the vet, being left without his people, having a strange person handle him, being in the crate, the surgery etc.
What I would suggest is to go back to basics - incorporate the House Rules (you can get these of my free website www.friendsofthedog.co.za, let the dog know by these simple methods such as 'work to earn', ignoring demanding behaviour, etc, etc that you are in charge (not in any aversive way-just thinking dog)and this may well reassure him and the behaviour will change accordingly.
What could also be happening is that the timing of his sterilization is coinciding with the 'adolescent' period ie. about 8-18months, when a well behaved dog starts to find his own place, assert his authority, figures out where he is in the combined human/pack hierarchy. This is a bit like a 16year old male teenager asserting himself - questions and ignores the rules etc. The same as above would apply to this situation as well, bring in the House Rules, reward good behaviour and ignore or redirect what you consider 'bad' behaviour. During this stage a dogs training often seems to go backwards. just concentrate on the things he is good at, dont bring in much new stuff and keep sessions short and sweet. i would also suggest that you concentrate on his 'bite inhibition', to ensure that he learns that human skin is not something to get his teeth into, even in play. I am sure your trainer will have knowledge of these basic exercises, and it is much better to be demonstrated, rather than written about. If not, do let me know and I will give them to you. There is an article on the site on Puppy Biting by Dr. Ian Dunbar that you can also read through. Good luck, Scotty
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