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Question
Posted by: ..... | 2004/01/12

Neutered dog.

Hi Doc.

I have a 3 year old Bullterrier / Pitbull cross. I had him neutered when he was 6 months old. What I don't understand though, is that he still marks his territorry, by urinating against the cars wheels, & he'll also make his round through the house, marking the walls. He also challenges the 1 year old Bullterrier male (not neutered) whenever one of the 2 females are on heat.( And even when they aren't!) They already had a very horrific fight, and the neutered male came of 2nd best! He couldn't walk for 2 weeks, & still has trouble with his one leg, but he's constantly challenging the younger male. I keep them seperated during the day, when I'm at work, but in the afternoon & weekends they all run free, & there's no fights when I'm around to supervise them.

What I don't understand though, is that I was told that all this would not be happening when you neuter the dog! And yet, it does. Is there a reason why this is still happening, and is there something I can do about it?

Thanks!

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberVet

Hi .....
The problem is genetics! Bull terriers and Pit bull terriers have been selectively bred for fighting other dogs and so this is genetically programmed into them. Sometimes it is possible to avoid this by socialising (from 8 weeks old with all types of dogs) and castrating a male terrier, but often even these measures are not enough to outdo the genetic makeup, as you see with your dog. He is obviously also quite a dominant male and perhaps if you had neutered the other (less dominant?) one and kept him entire things may have been better. Usually one neuters the less dominant of two males to increase the status difference. Urinating to mark territory is quite common in neutered males and sometimes even bitches cock their legs! He is obviously constantly trying to assert his leadership on your property, which has to do with the other male dog and the bitches (especially if they are on heat!). Taking him for regular walks where he can cock his leg outside his territory may help. You may also consider hormone treatment (e.g. Ovarid), which may or may not help. Otherwise separating him from the other male dog may be the only solution, if you want to avoid dog fights.
Karen Gray-Kilfoil
ANIMAL BEHAVIOURIST

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