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Discussion Starter #1
Today we got my 4 month old lab/husky/mastiff mix puppy Mocha neutered. I wanted to wait until he was a bit older to get him fixed, but my mother wanted it done now since he was growing fast and she didn't want to pay extra money when he's 60+ lbs. (She's helping me pay for the dog until I can find a part time job) I was just wondering if fixing him at a young age had any negative effects. Does anyone know?
 

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I am not sure about his mixes and neutering. But I have a Dobie/Rott and a Dobie/Lab/Rott/Husky rescue and was told that I should wait until they were one year old to neuter them. The advice given to me was that their bones are still growing and the lack of hormones can cause bone issues if done too early.

I am sure someone else more qualified on the forum will have an answer to this. This is just my experience. Especially being a large breed puppy.

If your pup is your avatar.......he is cute! :)
 

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I know about the bone problems it can cause which is why I started worrying. Unfortunately I had no say in it even though I wanted him to get fixed when he was older. I'm really worried that this is going to negatively affect his health and I can't stop worrying about him. We're going to pick him up in a few hours. And yes it is, thank you!
 

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After consulting the internet (and not trusting it entirely) I asked my vet about that. The consensus of all my research led me to the conclusion that, with a large breed dog, early neutering allows the legs to grow a little longer than they should. A male dog will end up with a smaller than normal head and neck, more like a female, and with a musculature more like a female than a male. Also, he may go through his entire life peeing like a girl, never lifting his leg. The surgical risk is theoretically higher with a younger pup.

Overall, the "negative" effects probably don't outweigh the benefits. I've decided to wait until my pup has finished growing...but if he begins to mark inside the house, I'm afraid it will be out of my hands.
 

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While in general it is better to let them grow up before neutering, a lot of puppies are spayed/neutered very young by shelters, and the vast majority of them have no ill effects. So if you have a choice, it's better to wait, but if there's no choice don't worry! Chances are he'll be just fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you everyone. I just got a call from the vet and she said the surgery went well and that he'll be fine for me to pick up at 4. I really appreciate your help! I'll stop worrying.
 

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Maybe your Mom can read this thread or talk a little more to the vet. It may be helpful. I would rather pay a little extra for the neutering at a later date than to wait and pay for bigger health issues on down the road from bone cancer or something else related......IMO. I am not saying it will happen.....because I do not know.....I don't hold the future in my hands! :) I would talk to the vet for options.
 

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He went through the surgery already so I'm afraid I can't do that. It went well though, so for now I'm not as worried. I just hope he's healthy in the future.
 

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Like others more experienced than I said........I am sure everything will be fine. My female Dobie/Rott,... Abbylynn was a rescue and she was spayed at five months of age. She is now 11 months old and all seems fine! :)
 

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I'm not sure with every dog, but with my breed - we always like to wait a year/year and a half to neuter/spay. This way, they've developed most of their skeletal strength, length proportions, etc.

Some of the breeders I talk to that breed borzoi, have some dogs that were neutered at a very young age (6 months) and have grown up very under developed. But, I don't know how it goes with ever breed or mix. I personally think that a year is a good age to neuter, because nature meant dogs to have their "parts" and they do play a crucial part in different hormones and whatever for development. That's just and experience with my breed. Hopefully someone will have better information. But, fixing at a young age isn't going to cause any major concern or health issues or anything like that.

Good luck!
 

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There is a ton of conflicting information. Most of what I came across I found many months ago, but if I can find any of the articles I read I'll post them (and remember, its the internet, take it with a grain of salt and a pound of common sense) When deciding when to spay, I came across an article outlining the "statistical pros/cons" for preventing disease by sterilizing early or late. They pretty well balanced out as far as problems that they prevent or don't prevent (Mammary/testicular cancer, urinary tract infections, etc).

A very important point is the link between sexual maturity and growth hormones. Dogs have these hormones to fuse their bone plates once they're sexually mature - by sterilizing before sexual maturity, you throw a wrench into that. As a result, your dog may not be proportional. There is also evidence that inhibiting this hormone stunts mental development, and some believe that it also problems with tendons and joints.

In the end, I found that I had two groups of experts who I'm certain have reasons for their opinions on the subject - but the side that says to spay early seemed to have less of a leg to stand on (it always seemed more like an noble attempt to control the pet population). So I decided that i was responsible enough to keep my dog from reproducing, I let nature take its course, and only after her first heat cycle did I get her spayed.
 

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I've had large breed dogs for over 30 years. We've taken in a few rescues that were neutered young and compared to our dogs we raised from pups who we kept intact, I've found them to be thinner-boned, longer-legged and spindlier than our dogs we allowed to reach maturity. While Coco, who is intact is muscular and a well-built male, Willow is lean, wispy and needle-nosed. It changes the look. There are health benefits to either choice and negative conscequences to either choice.

Early neutering interupts the control of several hormones, including the growth hormones. It prevents hormonal feedback to and from the pituitary gland. In early desexing the bones grow beyond a normal stopping point and lack density.

If you have just a pet dog, with no work or sporting activities expected, you probably won't notice any effects, just in the way he looks.

In dogs chosen for work or sport, the weak bones can lead to injuries that shorten their career.

For most pet owners, desexing is essential to prevent unwanted pregnancies. It does not take away territorial aggression in males, or other myths, however. It just takes away the desire to mate. It can sometimes lead to incontinence, esp. in females. But then, you don't have to deal with the female going into heat.

In all preferences, I would want to wait until a dog reached full maturity to neuter in a large breed. Unfortunately, most pet owners are not so responsible as to be able to deal with that.
 

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Honestly, I have NEVER had a problem with spaying/nuetering young. None of my (or my family's) dogs have any issues with their bones or "not being proportionate". I'm not saying that people couldn't have problems but I feel like the poster will get overly worried with this. All (or most) of our dogs where spayed at a very young age. I would suggest just continueing to feed a good food and to ask your vet about the issues you have discovered to ask it you need to add in a bone/joint supplement.

I would personally prefer for them to have reached maturity but there has been nothing negative so far....
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thank you, I'll stop worrying and get him vet checked regularly to make sure he's developing alright. He's only a pet dog and I don't plan for him to need to do rigorous activities. I am pretty active with him but not nearly to the extent that dogs are in sporting competitions, so I guess it will be alright. We're going to pick him up in 1/2 an hour so thank you all for your support and information. The next dog I get (which won't be fore quite a few years) is going to get fixed after s/he reaches sexual maturity.
 

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Overall, the "negative" effects probably don't outweigh the benefits. I've decided to wait until my pup has finished growing...but if he begins to mark inside the house, I'm afraid it will be out of my hands.
Why are you afraid it will be out of your hands? My intact male dog has not peed in my house nor in anyone else's house EVER after the age of one year old. The last time he peed in the house was at 10 months old he lifted his leg on a chair at a family friend's house who also owns intact males, he was caught in the act and strongly corrected for it. He is now 3 and a half years old and goes in many different peoples house, even people who have bitches in heat in the same room(crated) and multiple intact males and he has never done it again. It's simple house training.
 

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Why are you afraid it will be out of your hands? My intact male dog has not peed in my house nor in anyone else's house EVER after the age of one year old. The last time he peed in the house was at 10 months old he lifted his leg on a chair at a family friend's house who also owns intact males, he was caught in the act and strongly corrected for it. He is now 3 and a half years old and goes in many different peoples house, even people who have bitches in heat in the same room(crated) and multiple intact males and he has never done it again. It's simple house training.
Good question.

When I insisted on getting a male ridgeback to replace my last big yella hound (may he RIP), the wife extracted a promise of early neutering in the event he begins marking inside prior to full physical maturity.

Her evidence is based entirely on a sample size of two: the hound in question was intact until the day he died and never, not even once, messed up in the house. The westie on the other hand, began a habit of marking the furniture at about 2 years of age, which ceased completely when he was neutered. It may be "simple," but it ain't all that easy.

So, to answer your specific question, I'm afraid of my own weakness, in giving in too soon instead of holding out like I should have. I have a confession to make: the "fully grown" argument is really just a stalling tactic; I'm hoping to avoid neutering altogether. My real motivation is that owning a large intact male dog makes me feel superior in the presence of other dogs. I know it's entirely irrational, and I try not to let it show. You may think I'm compensating for something, but I'm not. Let's just keep that between us, ok?
 
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