Neutering a dog to prevent fighting

We are about three weeks away from adding a male great dane puppy to our family. Currently Shadow is a 7 year old Chocolate Lab who has had some fighting interactions with some dogs coming into our yard. He has also had a recent hound puppy (6 mos +/-) come into the yard and he played great with him. Shadow has not been neutered and we may want to breed the Great Dane later. Shadow marks his territory regularly outside and still shows some hormonal tendencies with my wife, son and I (mainly licking which would be followed by humping if we allowed it to go that far). Would it benefit to neuter Shadow before we brought the puppy home?

Neutering your dog is a big decision and it may be a wise one in the long run for several reasons.  Neutering can certainly help with the urine marking, ‘fighting’ and ‘humping’ behavior – but it may not. He has been ‘intact’ for so long that some of these behaviors may continue after neutering.  It may certainly be worthwhile as neutering has other benefits, especially for older dogs.

As your Lab gets older, he will be more prone to developing prostate infections, prostate cancer and testicular cancer. Neutering will eliminate testicular cancer (as the testicles will be removed) and the prostate will be a little more protected. It is still possible for him to have prostate problems after neutering, but it is much less likely.  One of the treatments for several prostate problems is neutering! 

If you decide to neuter him or not, you will still need to work with him before and after the new puppy arrives will help with the transition. Many ‘intact’ dogs interact just fine with new members of the household, you just have to manage it and teach him what is appropriate and what is not.  Introduce the puppy to him in a controlled environment, where they are both leashed and under your control. Don’t allow them to be together unsupervised for the first couple of months. Reward both of them for polite behavior and take breaks if anyone gets upset. Always remember that safety comes first for all dogs and humans involved.

EPN