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How to calm down hyper dog.

Species: Dog
Breed: labrador retriever m
Age: 1-2 years
We adopted Samson a year ago from the local shelter. He has been a great pet, highly trainable and calm-except for barking at strangers. He is neutered. He is able to get along well with other dogs. He does have a birth defect in both of his back feet, but is able to walk and run with the help of Medicam.

Our neighbors have a pit bull/boxer mix which they wanted to give away. Since Samson and the pit/boxer had been long-time friends through the chain-link fence, we agreed to take her. She is not spayed; she is slightly larger than Samson, and she is very, very strong and energetic. Even with a lot of exercise for the pit/boxer, she and Samson play too hard together--we can't leave them alone because he tends to get hurt. Would spaying her help? Do they just need more training? or is this not a good match because of her strength and high energy level?


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

This is a tough question to answer! I'll give you my thoughts on your situation though.

First of all, yes, spaying the new girl may help to calm her down a little bit. However, I find this is more dramatic for males (i.e. when they are neutered). I don't think we could guarantee that she would slow down after being spayed. However, it really is best for her health to be spayed anyhow.

How long have you had the new dog? You may find that after they have been together for a few weeks that things settle down a little bit. It's kind of like when a 10 year old boy has his friends over for a sleepover - they are CRAZY. But, if his friends were to live with him for a while they wouldn't be quite as rambunctious after a while.

Obedience training in classes would be great for the new dog as well. The reason I say to do it in classes (rather than trying to train her at home) is that the class atmosphere will teach her to behave amongst other dogs as well. And, as she learns to be obedient you may be able to have better control over her when she wants to be too rambunctious with Samson.

You've got the right idea about exercise as well. The more you can exercise her the better behaved she is apt to be!

I hope she calms down a little more for you soon!

Dr. Marie.


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.