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Discussion Starter #1
What is the best age to spay/neuter your dog? I've gotten a lot of controversial response to this...

Some people say the earlier, the better.
Some people say no earlier than 6 months.
Some say wait almost 2 years...

EEK!
 

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Yup, there's opinions in every direction, and most of them have good reasons behind them. Basically, you have to do the research and decide what's best for you and your dog. Because no matter what you decide, someone will be against it :p.
 

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Honestly I think it's alot to do with size and growth rate of the breeds involved, you say the pup is Lab/GSD, both are large generally slow growing (as in maturity around 2 years old at minimum) breeds, therefore I'd say at MINIMUM 1 year, optimally at 2.

Pediatric spay/nueter can lead to far too many complications and the lack of sex hormones causes the growth plates to stay open far longer which has been linked in a couple studies with Osteosarcoma. In spays, pediatric spay has been linked with increased risk of spay incontinence, it's why even with small breeds I think 6 months should be the minimum (after the first heat in females).
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yes, that's one way I've heard it. The other side of the argument is that if you allow the dog to hit puberty first, it can cause a lot of behavioral problems. Hormones + adolesence = Eek!

I think we neutered my mom's golden around 6 months and he turned out fine.
On the other hand, we haven't spayed my dad's maltese yet (she is now nearly 7 months) and she is showing signs of hormonal bouts.

The real frustration for me is that places like Petsmart Doggie Daycare and other play groups around here don't allow unneutered dogs in.

A conundrum for me!
 

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They're going to go through adolescence anyhow and honestly it doesn't matter about the hormones. My Mastiff was never nuetered and was great through his adolescense (unfortunately I lost him at 20 months to a heart condition), my Pug was nuetered at 6 months and was a little twerp through his, totally forgetting his housebreaking and taking off down the street to the stable every time the door opened. Angel (Doberman) was spayed at 2 years and was pretty good although she's always been a spaz (I got her at 6 months, she's been kept in a kennel run unsocailized and neglected and wasn't even housebroken when I got her). It all depends on the base YOU lay for the pup.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Oh I'm so sorry about your Mastiff :( That's terribly sad...

I guess all I can do is talk to my vet about it and then decide. I'm so torn! I don't want to damage his development, but I also don't want to have to keep him more isolated b/c his being unneutered means I can't take him to these great social places for dogs around here.
 

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In Northern VA you can find places he'll be allowed unnuetered, training clubs (you said you wanted to get into agility/flyball with him), Pet stores ect. As far as dog parks, well I hate those anyhow as there are far too many people that are irresponsible and allow their dogs to be bullies. Heck, most Lowes stores will allow dogs in as long as they're well mannered ( I know the one in Dale City did when I was working there). You can also look at Meetup.com for play groups that allow unnuetered dogs as long as they're well mannered and that's FAR preferable to me than dog parks as it's more controlled.
 

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we have a boxer puppy who is going next week to get neutered. Do any of you have any special care techniques to help them or is there anything important we should know. i have been researching so i have an idea but i would like to hear directly from dog people.
 

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Dont rush it. As Carla said there are plenty of other options to socialize an intact male. We met Busters best doggy friends while walking in the neighborhood.

Your vet will likely tell you 6 months is a great age to neuter. Mine has been on me to schedule surgery since Buster (Saint Bernard) was 4 months old. Living with an intact male isnt THAT difficult (or I just have a really easy boy). Most, if not all, of the "normal" intact male problems are training issues. Buster is just over 2 years old, 140lbs and will remain intact for at least another year. He's not aggressive, he's marked indoors once (he peed on the Christmas tree) and he will hump if he gets super amped up (it's happened once, now we watch him for signs that he's getting to wound up). These are training issues, neutering him right now will not stop the humping if I dont teach him it's not acceptable.

Ive gone from "must neuter by 6 months" to "let him grow up first". In the end, you have to decide what you're able to handle. Can you keep an intact male from ever escaping? It only takes once for him to sire a litter...
 

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LOL no, nuetering does NOT stop humping or marking, I have a pug that is a testament to that! he doesn't mark indoors, but it we're out on a walk he has to overmark EVERYTHING and he (and Angel) fully mark 'their' yard.
 

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LOL no, nuetering does NOT stop humping or marking, I have a pug that is a testament to that! he doesn't mark indoors, but it we're out on a walk he has to overmark EVERYTHING and he (and Angel) fully mark 'their' yard.
Ive seen lots of neutered males that mark a lot more than my intact boy does. Busters buddies were both neutered around 6 months, they both mark every vertical surface (long blades of grass included). Bus will mark here and there if given permission.

will it affect him growing his full growth amount????
Neutering early decreases the hormones responsible for closing growth plates meaning you end up with a taller dog than what he was supposed to be. Some studies also link early neutering with an increased risk of bone cancer.
 

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Dont rush it. As Carla said there are plenty of other options to socialize an intact male. We met Busters best doggy friends while walking in the neighborhood.

Your vet will likely tell you 6 months is a great age to neuter. Mine has been on me to schedule surgery since Buster (Saint Bernard) was 4 months old. Living with an intact male isnt THAT difficult (or I just have a really easy boy). Most, if not all, of the "normal" intact male problems are training issues. Buster is just over 2 years old, 140lbs and will remain intact for at least another year. He's not aggressive, he's marked indoors once (he peed on the Christmas tree) and he will hump if he gets super amped up (it's happened once, now we watch him for signs that he's getting to wound up). These are training issues, neutering him right now will not stop the humping if I dont teach him it's not acceptable.

Ive gone from "must neuter by 6 months" to "let him grow up first". In the end, you have to decide what you're able to handle. Can you keep an intact male from ever escaping? It only takes once for him to sire a litter...
I completely agree with this. Manero was not neutered till this past January (he turned 8 earlier this month), and we have not lacked for socialization. He gets his exercise in our backyard or on walks, so no dog park for us. But we visit pet stores regularly, and outdoor parks/tourist areas.

And I completely agree that many behavior problems are training issues. Manero has been far from perfect, but ultimately, I do not blame his hormones. Most of his problems had to do with us not realizing he needed more guidance. He has gotten that, and his problems have improved. And we learned a lot, and will not repeat those mistakes with dogs down the line.

I do agre - living with an intact male dog is not that tough. Especially if he's never bred - he doesn't have the experience to know when a bitch is receptive. Overall, the worst hormone-related problems we had with Manero were because of Naples. She is spayed, but has had recurrent vaginal infections. He has always found them VERY interesting!
 

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They're going to go through adolescence anyhow and honestly it doesn't matter about the hormones. My Mastiff was never nuetered and was great through his adolescense (unfortunately I lost him at 20 months to a heart condition), my Pug was nuetered at 6 months and was a little twerp through his, totally forgetting his housebreaking and taking off down the street to the stable every time the door opened. Angel (Doberman) was spayed at 2 years and was pretty good although she's always been a spaz (I got her at 6 months, she's been kept in a kennel run unsocailized and neglected and wasn't even housebroken when I got her). It all depends on the base YOU lay for the pup.
Thanks for this reply. I'm trying to figure these things out now, for our male Rotti mix and female Pitt mix, and when the Vet told me 18 months, I was thinking - I thought it was 6 months?! He also told me they have contraception for female dogs!
 

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Thanks for this reply. I'm trying to figure these things out now, for our male Rotti mix and female Pitt mix, and when the Vet told me 18 months, I was thinking - I thought it was 6 months?! He also told me they have contraception for female dogs!
If you have one of each gender, I'd recommend having at least one altered before sexual maturity. I've heard of way too many oops-es in that situation. Preventing pregnancy can be done, obviously, but it's difficult for most families (the more people in the house, the more likely someone will mess up). I'd probably do the female first, at 7 or 8 months.
 

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Thanks for this reply. I'm trying to figure these things out now, for our male Rotti mix and female Pitt mix, and when the Vet told me 18 months, I was thinking - I thought it was 6 months?! He also told me they have contraception for female dogs!
Make SURE you're careful when hte female comes into heat, it is COMPLETELY possible to keep them separated and prevent them from breeding but you have to be DILIGENT and keep them separated by a WALL (not jsut a kennel or fence as they CAN breed through anything with a hole). In the 15-20 years my mother bred she only had ONE accidental litter and that was thanks to my little brother.
 

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Make SURE you're careful when hte female comes into heat, it is COMPLETELY possible to keep them separated and prevent them from breeding but you have to be DILIGENT and keep them separated by a WALL (not jsut a kennel or fence as they CAN breed through anything with a hole). In the 15-20 years my mother bred she only had ONE accidental litter and that was thanks to my little brother.
Well, we do not have a way to keep them completely separate, and my vet said something about dog contraception (I said this above). Or was he just kidding?
 

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It can bedone, but there's a very high risk of complications for your girl (including a nasty uterine infection that can result in death). TheONLY 100% way to prevent pregnancy is keeping them from breeding, which means 100% separation or having one or the other desexed.
 

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Well, we do not have a way to keep them completely separate, and my vet said something about dog contraception (I said this above). Or was he just kidding?
The vetinarian can attempt to induce the dog to abort after she has become pregnant-it IS NOT recommended. It is very, very hard on the dog with no guarantee that it will be successful and for some people (or at least for me anyway) there is the ethical issue of killing the puppies (not looking to debate the ethics here please). As to actual birth control that prevents the female dog from becoming pregnant (like hormonal pills, IUD's, etc. that humans have), I've never heard of anything like that. Just the spay/neuter option.
 
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