Aggression towards my wife (recently neutered)

Posted by Ryan20
Dec 8, 2010
Hello everyone,

We have an 8+ month old golden retriever male that has always showed signs of aggression/misbehavior towards us. I was able to have him understand that I have the role of alpha in the household, but my wife has yet to get him to come around. He is absolutely aggressive to her, but we understood it was mostly him wanting to play. He would come up and bite her arm or leg to get a rise out of her. We tried ignoring, saying ouch, etc, etc... basically everything that you could find on the Internet or from a "specialist". I've even posted on here asking for help. It became manageable, but not fixed... which brings me to my current posting...

We just had him neutered at 8.5 months. He is in day 5 of recovery (doing very well), but has become horribly aggressive.. in just everyday situations for a good part of the day. As soon as she is near, he will start breathing heavily and then try to bite her arms, legs, whatever... I realize he's definitely hyper because of the lack of playtime, but this seems out-of-control. I've also noticed that he has really started to refuse listening to commands... and I have to use my "serious" voice to have him react. Could these things be tied to the neuter? He is also showing an erection pretty much whenever I have to use my serious voice and command him, which I usually bring him to a "sit" at the end. He also shows it as he's trying to overtake my wife. And the other side to it is... it's like when this "puppy terror time" is over, he's back to normal for the both of us. He'll lay with her... lick the both of us... sleep on our feet... whatever. Almost like he had to get it out of his system... But the toll he's putting on everything is too much. It's really aggressive to her.

He has been trained... he knows all the basic commands... walks well on the leash... very friendly with other dogs/people (though he's regressing back to jumping up on people... but some of those people cause that too)... and even now with the aggression towards us, he will wait (stay) for us for most situations - like when feeding, we can tell him to wait, put down him food, and he'll wait until he's allowed to eat. We can take rawhides away from him, and there isn't even any growling. He's really a great dog 90% of the time... but the 10% of biting, misbehaving, and sass is really causing a major problem.

He's crate-trained and currently allowed in two rooms of the house. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated as we are in need of major advice to get him to stop the aggressive behavior!

Thank you!!!
Posted by k9-listener
Dec 8, 2010
hi ryan
just goingby what you have said that your dog is acting like it is a young teenager and is tring to push the boundries such as ignoring your comands, you have a lab which means it needs plenty of exersise to get rid of his energy, it seems that youare the alpha dog and your wife is at the bottom of te pack which we all know is not right so when your dog is behaving like this to your wife then you should be correcting him, constantly, does your wife get nervous? and backs away when she corrects him? you must make your dog aware of his place in your pack (at the bottom)
to be honest ryan there wil be a lot more to this than what you have said i suggest that you get a behaviourest around to assess the sittuation at your home. where do you live may i ask?
Posted by KOPCaroline
Dec 9, 2010
Hey Ryan,

I think your wife should work on her dominance skills. She should be the one to feed the dog, initiate play, and reprimand him when he misbehaves. If ignoring and saying ouch doesn't work for when he gets worked up, try something that provides a bit of a shock, like rattling a can with rocks in it, or spraying him in the face with water, or water with lemon juice (citrus can act as a good deterrant for dogs, they don't particularly like the smell, but it doesn't harm them). Make sure your wife goes through doors before the dog, eats in front of the dog and before him, all that sort of basic alpha training.

I do agree that it sounds like its just a young dog pushing his limits, it doesn't really sound like full on aggression to me, and you might find that a bit further past his surgery recovery he'll calm down a bit. Age should help too

As far as his erections, I wouldn't worry. Its a common response for dogs when they get excited (even neutered dogs), and doesn't mean anything sexual. My dog still gets them occassionally when we're playing rough and tumble games

Hope this helps, let us know how it goes, or if you've already tried these suggestions and we can think of more ways to help