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We have a rescue boy who we believe will be 5 months tomorrow. It seems he's marked outside a few times and has tried to hump my son on a few occasions. I contacted the vet and he said it was time to neuter him. He is approximately 28 pounds. A lot of people have told me that he should beat least 6 months before he is neutered. I was recently told that a dog will hump when they play so now I'm not sure of the purpose of the humping..
So my question is what is the minimum age to neuter and what happens if he is neutered too soon?
 

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I don't think 5 months is too young. There are no real adverse affects to early spay and neuter. The reason why vets would wait to 5-6 months old is that when the dog is smaller and younger, sometimes it's difficult to get the right amount of anesthesia to use. This is especially true for small breed dogs. A lot of shelters would in fact spay and neuter really young puppies before they are adopted out to ensure the dog isn't bred when it gets older. Puppies as young as 8 weeks would get spayed or neuter without adverse affects. I have also heard early spayed and neutered dogs tend to grow up a little more slender, though I'm sure it's not all true in some cases. The neutering might lessen the marking and humping, but won't eliminate it altogether. If you want the it to stop, you have to redirect him and train him not to hump. Dogs hump for a lot of reasons, not just sexual. They hump when they're generally excited, overly excited, and when they're anxious.
 

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I have a two year old dog that was neutered young and he still humps me! My other dog was neutered around 6 mos of age and he never humped me at all. Now he just dominant humps the foster dogs. Both of which are being worked with to stop those behaviors.

I agree with Wicket.

The neutering might lessen the marking and humping, but won't eliminate it altogether. If you want the it to stop, you have to redirect him and train him not to hump. Dog hump for a lot of reasons, not just sexual. They hump when they're generally excited, overly excited, and when they're anxious.
 

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5 months is fine. There is some evidence that in large breed dogs prone to hip dysplasia it might be best to wait to full maturity, but there's also evidence that a lot of HD prevention has to do with how the puppy is exercised from birth to 3 months, so who knows how much early neutering really effects it.
 

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I don't think 5 months is too young. There are no real adverse affects to early spay and neuter. .
There have been numerous studies on the adverse effects of early spay and neuter. Much depends on the size/ breed of dog. Small breeds mature faster and are close to adult size at 5 months. In larger breeds the growth plates may not even close until well after a year. Agreed that humping is a training issue, and a good many neutered dogs still hump if they are not taught otherwise. Many vets want to s/n as early as possible to avoid accidental breedings. And if you're not able to keep your dog out of situations where an oops litter might happen, that's a valid concern. If you are able to keep your dog out of those situations, and especially if you have a larger dog, you may want to let him mature first,.
 

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My dog is from the shelter and they neuter ALL animals before they are released. He was a day shy of 8 wks old when we got him, and had been neutered the previous day. He's a small dog, and thus far, we haven't noticed any adverse effects.
 

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Gotta agree with Pawzk9 on this one. It is breed dependent, but 5 months seems too young to me. 6 months seems to be the norm, it seems like that is more driven by societal risk management (making sure that there are no oops litters, even from irresponsible owners who let their dogs wander around females in heat) as opposed to what's actually best for the dog.
 

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Our vet has said he only does s/n on dogs our size at 18months or later. It was the first I'd heard that, but he said something about continence and other health issues.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Wow, so many different opinions on this one. I don't want to do it too soon, but want it done as soon as possible. I'm not sure what to do. :0(
 

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Our vet likes to wait until the dog's adult teeth are coming in good. This allows the vet to take care of any lingering dental problems at the same time without the additional cost of a second surgery. For our chi, it looks like this will be at about 7 months. She's right at 6 months now.
 

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Obi was neutered at 10 weeks, because he's from a shelter and they desex all animals before they go to new homes. There's not really any issue with having it done early, but for dogs that are doing sports they usually recommend waiting until they are fully grown due to the development of growth plates etc.

Obi started humping at 14 weeks, and marking outside at 6 months. Neutering has limited effect on those behaviours, so if that's the main reason you want to get it done, I wouldn't bother.
 
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