Your Take On Neutering / Spaying and When

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Your Take On Neutering / Spaying and When

Post by Mila_7 » Tue Jul 07, 2015 9:24 am

We're thinking about getting a new dog and one of the things we were looking in to was vet related things, and we came across the spay / neuter issue. From what I've gathered, the general consensus from a health and behavioral standpoint is that you should wait till the dog is full grown and matured (which depends on size but is usually anywhere from 1 to 3 years old, right?). I'm just really confused because for the longest time I believed what I heard from so many sources like vets and rescue orginizations which was that neutering was always the only responsible choice, and that 6 months old was definitely old enough. But come to researching it and I'm finding out that there's a lot of evidence to suggest that neutering that young can be detrimental, and that the benefits of neutering aren't as clear cut and that there are lots of possible risks associated with it no matter when you do it.
Obviously if you chose to never have your dog fixed you would have the responsibility of preventing them from mating, but I think that would be worth the extra bit of work if there are a lot of risks associated with neutering.
So my question is, when do you feel it is best to have a dog spayed or neutered, if ever, and what are your reasons / support / experiences for this? And also, what are the behavior differences between having a fixed dog and having an intact / unfixed one? I know opinions will probably vary. Thanks for input.

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Re: Your Take On Neutering / Spaying and When

Post by Nettle » Tue Jul 07, 2015 10:36 am

We have quite a bit of discussion on this on previous threads, and also information in the 'Articles' section, with veterinary references. Thank you for your question which helps us to bring information up to date, as there is new research all the time.

Others can answer for themselves, but my take is that the entire dog, male or female, is the correct design specification, and so there are risks if we do and risks if we don't neuter. Keeping entire dogs (implies male and/or female) does not automatically mean unwanted puppies, and it is rather insulting of many organisations to say that it is irresponsible per se. There are downsides to keeping entire dogs just as there are downsides to neutering. Therefore people need to consider these, and apply them to their own life situation and preferences. Knowledge is power.

All neutering does in a positive sense is prevent unwated puppies and prevent disease in the parts that are cut out or off. In a negative sense, there are both health and behavioural issues to consider. If we prefer to neuter, it is best for the dog if we wait until it is mature. If we don't want to, and we accept the responsibilities involved, then that is just as good a decision.
A dog is never bad or naughty - it is simply being a dog


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Re: Your Take On Neutering / Spaying and When

Post by ckranz » Tue Jul 07, 2015 12:12 pm

Shelters and rescues are usually required to Spay/neuter all animals before adopting...including puppies and kittens 12-14 weeks in age. If you are getting a dog from a rescue or shelter assume then it will be neutered. If purchasing from a breeder there is a whole other set of issues to consider:

show quality or pet quality?

Show quality a breeder may not sell or have stipulations in the contract about spay and neutering...especially when there is co-ownership. Unless there is a reason a dog cannot be shown in the ring, most likely the requirement will be for the dog to be intact.

Pet quality is where you will need to read all the research and make your decision based on the risks you will chose to accept.

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Re: Your Take On Neutering / Spaying and When

Post by mum24dog » Wed Aug 19, 2015 8:13 pm

All but one of mine have been neutered between 6 and 12 months without any adverse effects. Currently there are a nearly 10 year old still competing at top level in agility, 2 at 12 and one 15. All those are rescues.
The exception is my one bought dog that is 13 months old. The jury is out as to whether he will be neutered as he needs to bulk up and doesn't have any behavioural issues. I have no intention of using him at stud.
I would always have a ***** spayed though, for my convenience and the peace of mind of my dogs. Doubt ids frequently cast on the evidence that spay early reduces the chances of mammary cancer but all the bitches I have known with it have been entire or were spayed late so there is a health consideration for mē too.

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Re: Your Take On Neutering / Spaying and When

Post by emmabeth » Wed Sep 09, 2015 9:58 pm

My preference would be to neuter bitches at maturity and leave dogs entire unless they develop testicular cancer and then neuter at that point (canine testicular cancer is not the same as human testicular cancer in that its a pretty 'safe', slow to spread cancer), and the reason for that is, I can see testicular tumours with my eyes... I cannot see prostatic tumours though, and neutered dogs are at a much higher risk of prostate cancer - with entire dogs the risk is BPH.. Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia, which causes the prostate gland to become enlarged and interfer with their ability to wee in the latter stages - the cure for this is castration.

However, I live in an area where people walk entire bitches off lead, or take them to the pub, whilst in season (i recentl saw a ***** in the local pub offering herself wantonly to the bar stools... ) and I live with a bloke who frequently doesn't engage his brain.

I also have a neutered dog who is a total git to entire dogs, so in my household currently the best option is to wait until maturity and then neuter.
West Midlands based 1-2-1 Training & Behaviour Canine Consultant

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Re: Your Take On Neutering / Spaying and When

Post by jacksdad » Sun Sep 13, 2015 11:12 am

I know this is a bit of an older thread, but since there are recent posts.....

In my own research into this question a few facts have bubbled to the surface.....

1. this is probably the most important fact..... there is NO perfect answer to this question. You need to read up on the best information you can find, think critically about what you read, then make the best choice you can for your dog.

2. you can always spay/neuter "tomorrow", but you can't undo a spay/neuter once done. NEVER let your self through "guilt" created by someone else opinion make the choice of which way you will go. Responsibly dog owners will be responsible regardless if their dog is intact (non spay/neutered) or spay/neutered. you will (being a responsible dog owner) already be taking steps to prevent unplanned/unintended puppies from happening. take the time you need to feel comfortable with your choice...what ever that choice is.

3. health benefits of your choice. there are pro and con health benefits to whichever choice you make. don't let one side or the other scare you into a choice based on their cherry picked health talking points.

4. this forum has turned out to be one of the more sane and rational and informed places to get "over the internet" advice.

Hopefully this helps.

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