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Hi, I'm Penny, a soon to be puppy owner! I'm looking at getting a black lab pup, male, in 7 weeks (I just went to see him - 12 days old!)

It's my first puppy although we did have a female black lab when I was growing up.

My main worry that I need sorting before I commit to the puppy is this -

I live with a friend who has a 6 month old working cocker spaniel male, who hasn't yet been neutered. Are this dog and my puppy (who will be 2 months when I hopefully bring him home) going to have a problem living together? I'm going to get mine neutered as soon as the vet says it's okay to do so, but will there be fights if one is neutered and one isn't?? (Or before mine is neutered??)

Please let me know your thoughts - is this a bad idea, should I get a female instead or should an unneutered male dog not live with another dog at all?

Any advice would be great! Thank you :wave:
 

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I think most unaltered males can live together just fine, but it can depend very much on the individual. I think you would have better chances of them getting along if you were to get a female, but I would get the sex that you really want. Most vets recommend neutering at 5-6 months. However, there is evidence that early neutering can have detrimental health effects. I would recommend to wait until your dog is full grown around 2 years old.

I have an altered male and an intact male with minimal issues.
 

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I think it really depends upon the individual dogs. I have two intact males (they're both quite young) and they're fine. Some intact males don't get along with other intact males. On the other hand, aggression in neutered males towards intact males is commonplace.

How does your roommate's dog do with other males? I would honestly not expect problems to crop up until *both* dogs reach sexual maturity. So an 8 week old intact male and a 9 month old intact male would probably be fine. It's when the younger Lab starts hitting sexual maturity that you may begin to see problems. Or, alternatively, if your roommate neuters her dog, he may target your intact Lab because he's been neutered, whereas they may have been just fine if he had been left intact.

Overall, I think it's a wait and see situation, and one that may end up with you needing to crate and rotate until your Lab is an appropriate age to neuter without health risks.

I would also recommend to wait to neuter. Some vets will neuter as early as 8 weeks of age. More and more evidence is emerging that links early neutering (before growth plate closure) to increased risk of cruciate disease and multiple cancers.
 
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