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Discussion Starter · #162 ·
Post-spay update for anyone interested:

Peggy is eating, drinking, playing, peeing and pooping fine. But she is absolutely different, either because of the surgery itself, the post-surgery rest, the change in hormones, her second birthday, or perhaps all of the above. She is quick to tire, is more reactive to dogs and spooky things, and is generally more submissive to us.

(Note: “Submissive” was previously never a word I’d have used to describe Peggy.)

She still has a gentle mouth, but she was using it inappropriately in the weeks immediately after her spay, and we had some incidents where she snatched treats from us in a way that didn’t break skin but definitely hurt. I attribute this “drift” in bite inhibition to our decision to abruptly end her adolescent play dates. I went back to puppy basics and she seems to have remembered her manners. Keeping her under threshold also helps with grabbiness.

One of my biggest fears was that we’d see an increase in resource guarding, but so far it’s been very much the opposite. Hard to believe she was ever a resource guarder, to be honest, but I’m aware we could see some regression here at some point. We continue to apply the RG-busting protocols we developed in collaboration with our behaviourist.

I’m not confident this new attitude towards treasures will translate to interactions with other dogs. I suspect, actually, it could be worse now. But I’m not too interested in testing that theory.

She has a playdate next week (her first post-surgery) and I’ve asked the other owner to ensure all toys are removed from the property. If her guarding is bad, though, it will extend to sticks and other found objects. If this happens, I will reach back out to the behaviourist and get some advice on dog-dog management.
 

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Elroy: Standard Poodle
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Post-spay update for anyone interested:

Peggy is eating, drinking, playing, peeing and pooping fine. But she is absolutely different,
She is quick to tire, is more reactive to dogs and spooky things, and is generally more submissive to us.

(Note: “Submissive” was previously never a word I’d have used to describe Peggy.)
Sorry to hear this Robin. Maybe in time she'll be better than ever.
 

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Discussion Starter · #164 ·
Sorry to hear this Robin. Maybe in time she'll be better than ever.
I think the 14 days of rest not only deconditioned her, they taught her new expectations. She learned a new normal and she adapted. I’m fine with that, as long as she’s happy. Some days it feels like her spirit’s broken, but then she does something silly and I breathe a sigh of relief.

She can still go from 0-60 in a split second. It’s just now she’s much quicker to go back to 0 and stay there.
 

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Hopeful that with time these problems will be resolved. I, of course, had a neuter and Asta was a little queer for awhile after but soon was even a better dog. More attentive, more loving and yes doing his training. More focused and no big boy stuff (like marking or humping)
 

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I’m surprised at some of the changes Peggy is going through. I have a feeling it might take her a while to find her new post-spay self but when she does, it will be much like she used to be, but better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #168 ·
I’m surprised at some of the changes Peggy is going through. I have a feeling it might take her a while to find her new post-spay self but when she does, it will be much like she used to be, but better.
She’s actually reminding me a lot of the week or two in her cycle when she was typically really mellow. Maybe we’re just seeing a dog who’s not being tormented by her reproductive hormones? That’s kind of a nice thought. During those periods we did always think, “Wouldn’t it be nice if she stayed this way?” And I purposely scheduled her spay to land on one of those days.
 

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Discussion Starter · #169 ·
Hopeful that with time these problems will be resolved. I, of course, had a neuter and Asta was a little queer for awhile after but soon was even a better dog. More attentive, more loving and yes doing his training. More focused and no big boy stuff (like marking or humping)
I do think she’s much more focused.
 

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Discussion Starter · #170 ·
Update: We’re coming up on 2 months post-spay and it’s safe to say the transformation has been dramatic. I feel fairly confident now that a lot of what we knew as Peggy’s “personality” was in fact sensitivity to hormonal fluctuations.

How do I feel about it? Happy, I guess. I don’t think it was fun for her, being so intense. And I’m glad she still has the drive to learn and do tricks and play and snuggle with her humans. She’s still up for anything, just in much shorter spurts. These are all good things, right? We never wanted a super athlete and I hated how she’d get about 8 weeks after being in heat, so stressed and guardy and weird about toys. That couldn’t have felt good.

Assuming no other major changes, I expect this’ll be my last update. Thanks for following along. :)

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