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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, I am getting my new redsetter puppy in August and will probably opt for a male but not completely decided as yet. I am getting very confused regarding all the different views on whether to spay/neuter pup as I have heard it can turn the redsetters coat 'woolly'. Is it that unheard of not to spay/neuter our pets anymore?
Any personal experience/ advice would be greatly received.

Thanks
 

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You could wait until he's fully grown to be safe. It's probably the lack of growth hormones that affects the adult coat development.
I don't think it would ruin the coat if you just spayed him after his puppy coat is shed out and his adult coat is fully grown in.

But that's just speculation on my part -- hopefully someone that knows more about Irish Setters can answer more fully.
 

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Actually, IME, hormones (and s/n) have more effect on a bitch's coat than a dog's. Really good nutrition and a good conditioner will keep the coat texture correct, though.
 

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No idea about long coated breeds, but our greyhounds coats tend to get softer after sp/neuter. I prefer the texture and since they aren't show dogs it doesn't really matter anyway.
 

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We had 2 females. Both spayed at about 6 months (if I remember correctly). With both of them, their coats definitely acquired that fuzzy or wooly texture.
If this was a cause of the spaying - I do not know - but that would make sense.
 

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I didn't have a red setter...but, I had a red golden retriever. He had a very settery type coat. I waited until he was 2 years old to neuter him and his coat changed anyway. I wished I had never done it to him! He never had any temperament problems. But, after he was neutered he bacame slightly more needy, less confident and a total chow hound! His coat became less silky, more wooly and curly and lost some of its deep red color.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hi and thank you all for your posts. Yes i luvlucy, it seems that your two females coats changed due to being spayed. I presume though that unless showing our pets they are still beautiful even if a tad woolley. I just think it is a shame that vets don't really inform us of this particular consequence.
Hersheypup - was there any real problems with not having a dog neutered (ie before he was unfortunately done) eg, running off, constant humping furniture etc? Sorry to sound crude :rolleyes: Sorry that he has changed so much for you:(

My Breeder said there is no need to spay/neuter a dog unless medical reasons. But I also want a pet that is not constantly trying to escape
 

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Hersheypup - was there any real problems with not having a dog neutered (ie before he was unfortunately done) eg, running off, constant humping furniture etc? Sorry to sound crude :rolleyes: Sorry that he has changed so much for you:(

My Breeder said there is no need to spay/neuter a dog unless medical reasons. But I also want a pet that is not constantly trying to escape
The running off and humping behaviors are training issues more than anything else. I have several intact males that do not run off because I have taught them not to. They are polite and well-behaved because I have taught them to be--they would never even consider humping furniture or people's legs. I live in the country and there are plenty of strays and dogs allowed to run loose, so I'm sure they've smelled the lure of a girl in season, but they are good boys because we spent a long time teaching them to behave.

I have friends with a red setter (which, for the information of those less familiar with the breed, is a bit different from a traditional Irish Setter--smaller, less coat, bred completely to work--not for the AKC show ring at all). She has never had much coat, but when she was spayed, she got horrible orange wooly fringes almost all over her body. Not pretty coat at all. She is a cool dog, though!

This is Grace, post spay:

You can see the light-colored, fuzzy wooly fur on her body and her legs.

Like I said, still a cool dog!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you for your info, it has made me feel better as I do not want to have my puppy altered unless absolutely necessary. Training is the key then! And my puppy would be an Irish setter but is red - does that make it an Irish red setter??? It is all quite confusing to a novice like me bit I am learning.

Do you have any top training tips? From what I have researched it is all quite common sense I think. I have raised babies so I hope I can train a puppy.
Grace by the way looks like a lovely cool dog, nice picture. Thanks:)
 

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Did your breeder call the puppy an Irish Setter or a Red Setter? Do you live in the US or somewhere else, as that would make a difference. In Ireland, the breed is called "Irish Red Setter," and that would encompass both the Irish setter as we think of it and the smaller, less heavily-coated hunting dog that is called a Red Setter in the US.

There is more breed information about the Red Setter here: http://www.nrsftc.com/
They are registered as Irish Setters, but if you read the history section on that website, you will see how they did some judicious crossing out to other breeds to improve working ability, and how there are now different registrations available for Red Setters, depending on the registration of their ancestors.

There are some links on that site to local clubs, etc., and those people would be great resources for you, if you are indeed getting a Red Setter!
 

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I just think it is a shame that vets don't really inform us of this particular consequence.
That is because most vets don't know what a proper coat is in the first place. Typicaly the majority of the dogs vets see have been fixed and they very rarely see dogs in a full and proper show coat. If they've never seen a correct coat then they aren't going to know that the coats they see on a daily basis aren't how they should be.

Once we had a client bring in a Cavalier and asked the vet this same question about the coat change. The vet said she's never heard or seen it happen, but since she know's I have a Cavalier that I show she asked if I had ever heard about it. The next week I brought my boy in for all the vets to compare against a neutered Cav. They couldn't belive the difference, they thought Cavaliers were all suposed to be soft and fluffy like the neutered one.

If your fully responsible and prepared to deal with an intact dog then there's no need to neuter. I've managed to keep my boy traind and contained without too much trouble. You just have to be aware that because you have an intact dog there are some extra consequences and responsibilities. Licensing will cost more, you might not be allowed at dog parks or other public areas, groomers/daycares/kennels may refuse service, your dog will usually be blamed for starting fights (even if he wasn't in them, as long as he's with in sniffing distance you'll probably be blamed), and most importantly you have to make sure he's contained and not out fathering unknown litters. All in all though it's realy not that mcuh harder than keeping a neutered dog.
 

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Glad I asked, then! You will be getting a "traditional" Irish Setter, which is not the same as what we in the US call a "Red Setter." They look like lovely dogs, and nice to see some Sh Ch titles in there!

You should also know that attitudes towards spaying and neutering your pet are typically different in the UK and Europe than they are in the US. I think most of my UK friends (and I am there at least once a year, visiting with my Flatcoated Retriever buddies--was there just 6 weeks ago!) are very much against spay/neuter unless there is a medical condition that warrants it.

I perused your breeder's website, and the dogs are lovely and obviously well cared for! How exciting for you! Your breeder will be a great source of training info--you should also look into a club near you, and hopefully your breeder can point you in the right direction.
 

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Honestly, I would very, very, very, very strongly advise having the dog spayed/neutered. To me, it just saves a ton of potential headaches. The concern about the coat is definitely valid though and I think waiting until the dog is full grown will fix any problems in that area.
 

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Honestly, I would very, very, very, very strongly advise having the dog spayed/neutered. To me, it just saves a ton of potential headaches. The concern about the coat is definitely valid though and I think waiting until the dog is full grown will fix any problems in that area.
From my experience - and keep in mind, my experience is herding breeds, not sporting breeds- this is one of teh things that waiting to maturity to spay does NOT fix.

Kaylee's coat is MUCH woolier and she's much more prone to getting 'packed' undercoat. I would ahve spayed her (it's not optional for a service dog- I can't afford to keep her locked up for two months a year when I need her working), regardless, but I wish I'd waited till she was out of coat to do it so I could have started with a TOTALLY blown coat- her coat changed IMMEDIATELY on being spayed.
 

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That is because most vets don't know what a proper coat is in the first place. Typicaly the majority of the dogs vets see have been fixed and they very rarely see dogs in a full and proper show coat. If they've never seen a correct coat then they aren't going to know that the coats they see on a daily basis aren't how they should be.
I've heard a similar complaint about some vets that are inexperienced with dog reproductive issues, because they almost never see intact or pregnant dogs. Picking a good vet can get a bit more complicated if you're breeding/showing.
 

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I actually really prefer the coats on my two spayed girls. Rose's coat is very wooly but when we spayed Summer she actually got a coat. Summer's did suddenly turn wavy though, and Rose's coat is a pain to keep up. It grows very very fast.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
wow, thank you all for your posts - there are definite pros and cons either way aren't there! Thank you Wabanafcr for checking out my breeders website and your info, gosh I am really learning now.

Pai & animal cracker- I will bear that in mind re: the vet. I will question mine about it. I have 2 cats and have been taking them to a local one, so will ask some questions.

Thank you everyone!
 

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From my experience - and keep in mind, my experience is herding breeds, not sporting breeds- this is one of teh things that waiting to maturity to spay does NOT fix.
Interesting. I would've thought otherwise. I freely confess that I don't have any personal experience at all as all my dogs have been fixed. I do wonder if a male dog who got a vasectomy instead of being neutered would have the same problem.
 

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Interesting. I would've thought otherwise. I freely confess that I don't have any personal experience at all as all my dogs have been fixed. I do wonder if a male dog who got a vasectomy instead of being neutered would have the same problem.
Good point,maybe this is something i need to look in to. Thank you
 
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