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Hi! I was just trying to figure out the best age to get my puppy neutered. My vet told me when he turned 6 months she would do the procedure but a dog trainer I spoke to told me if you neuter them before they are fully grown they develop behavioral issues such as worsened separation anxiety...my puppy currently has bad separation anxiety so I am concerned about neutering at 6 months making that worse...any advice?

Thank you! :giggle:
 

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I think answering this here would violate the ban on giving medical advice. Do some searching around on the internet and you'll find people with strong opinions pro and con and about best age. There have also been some actual studies done.
 

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That question opens up a can of worms similar to the ones that exist over raw food vs kibble, annual vaccines vs minimal vaccines and titering, and training methods. As mentioned, there has been some research done within the past decade or so that indicates in some cases that not altering them is the better choice. One of the main questions to ask yourself is "can I live with an intact dog, and make sure that he never has the chance to sire an accidental litter?". If you can, then waiting to neuter until physical maturity is the better option if he has to be neutered.
 

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I had my dog neutered when he was 13 months old. The primary reason I waited was to be sure he had reached his "normal" full grown size.

The research I had done indicated to me that the closing of bone growth plates would be retarded if neutered early. This can lead to weaker bones and a taller dog than normal. The bones tend to be more susceptible to problems later in the animal's life.

Research has also indicated that there is no advantage to early neutering and later neutering is becoming preferred.

Only you and your Vet can decide about when or if your pet should be neutered.

FWIW, I would ignore the dog trainer's advice about the health of your pet or procedures for your pet. Only your Vet should advise you on such matters.
 

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There is some research that indicates neutering early can lead to an increased risk of cancer, behavioral issues, and improper (lankier, less muscle) growth because of the lack of hormones. For these reason, it seems to be generally suggested to wait until a year old or until growth is complete to neuter or spay. Others say it is better to never neuter. That choice is ultimately up to you.

My dog was adopted from a rescue, and neutering was mandatory before I could adopt him, so he was neutered at six months old. If I were to do it my way, I would neuter past the one year mark when growth is complete. For our lifestyle, I find it's easier to deal with a dog who is neutered because they charge more at boarding or daycare facilities for unfixed dogs, or they don't allow them all together. It's also just another worry off my mind. I don't ever have to worry about my dog creating a litter of puppies.
 

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All of my male dogs were neutered at 6 - 9 mos. with no noticeable ill effects. Some research has suggested neutering after about 2 years to guarantee full growth. Your Vet will be familiar with current clinical studies, and will have her own opinion based on experience etc. Ask for her opinion, based on what you just read. Trust your Vet for her training and experience.

Note - A Vet goes through 5 - 10 years of school and certifications. I doubt that most trainers have that type of health certifications. Training certifications are a different focus.
 

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Another dog soon to be needlessly mutilated and irreversibly deprived of a major component of the hormone system for the rest of his life.

Good luck with that. What next weird, mysterious, heartwrenching ailment will this dog later bring to the board to add to the long list here? Golly gee, I wonder what could be wrong with this picture?
 

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Another dog soon to be needlessly mutilated and irreversibly deprived of a major component of the hormone system for the rest of his life.

Good luck with that. What next weird, mysterious, heartwrenching ailment will this dog later bring to the board to add to the long list here? Golly gee, I wonder what could be wrong with this picture?
Stephanichrin: Understand that the above is one person's opinion. Please discuss with your vet. In the U.S., at least, there are a number of legitimate reasons to spay or neuter a dog. Obviously, not everyone will agree but don't let anyone bully you into making a particular decision.
 

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Obviously dogs aren't horses, but I think pretty much any equestrian can confirm that geldings (castrated horses) live as long or longer than stallions, in as good of health or better. I'd be interested to hear what specifically is different about canine physiology that being neutered when full-grown would cause health problems in dogs where it doesn't in equines.

I've yet to see scientific evidence showing, or even strongly suggesting, that neutering full-grown dogs has a deleterious effect on their health or longevity. If there's been a study or some such that I'm not aware of, I'd be very interested to hear about that, as well.

Heck, there have been a few interesting historical studies that suggest eunuchs probably had longer lifespans that intact men who had similar lifestyles...so that's something to think about. What would you trade for some extra years of life? lol.
 

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Heck, there have been a few interesting historical studies that suggest eunuchs probably had longer lifespans that intact men who had similar lifestyles...so that's something to think about. What would you trade for some extra years of life? lol.
You're getting warmer. (Don't stop now.) And I doubt your dog is LOLing while you make that decision to cut off his balls which, face it, you would DEFINITELY NOT make for yourself.

No matter what your vet (a.k.a. Big Brother with his/her own multiple vested interests- you really believe otherwise?) said.
 

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You're getting warmer. (Don't stop now.) And I doubt your dog is LOLing while you make that decision to cut off his balls which, face it, you would DEFINITELY NOT make for yourself.

No matter what your vet (a.k.a. Big Brother with his/her own multiple vested interests- you really believe otherwise?) said.
I'll take that to mean you don't have a substantive response to my questions.
 

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I'll take that to mean you don't have a substantive response to my questions.
Well, you love Big Brother. What else would you do. You're no longer in control of your own thoughts. They have been relinquished to the Borg. I suppose that superficially it must be a warm, fuzzy, feeling. Well, enjoy the reality index you have bought (been sucked?) into.

While your dog's balls are being cut off.
 

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Well, you love Big Brother. What else would you do. You're no longer in control of your own thoughts. They have been relinquished to the Borg. I suppose that superficially it must be a warm, fuzzy, feeling. Well, enjoy the reality index you have bought (been sucked?) into.

While your dog's balls are being cut off.
Quite the opposite, my views are based in personal experience as well as research. I've observed and participated in quite a few castrations, as I grew up on a working farm. In a healthy, typical animal it's an extremely minor surgery. I've observed castrated animals doing as well or better than their intact counterparts in terms of health, longevity, and quality of life. For example, my folks often keep their horses until the ends of their natural lives, and the large majority of 30+ year old horses they've had have been geldings - only a few mares, and one stud (who actually later had to be castrated due to a medical issue). Granted, this is anecdotal, and yes, horses and dogs are different animals, but it's made me unsentimental about testicles.

Now, if you have some real evidence that adult dogs have better health outcomes left intact than neutered, I'd be interested to hear it.

(I don't have any objection to responsible owners leaving their dogs intact, FTR. I just think for many people the practical option is to spay/neuter their pets, and there's no fair cause to guilt trip them for that.)
 

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Obviously dogs aren't horses, but I think pretty much any equestrian can confirm that geldings (castrated horses) live as long or longer than stallions, in as good of health or better. I'd be interested to hear what specifically is different about canine physiology that being neutered when full-grown would cause health problems in dogs where it doesn't in equines.

I've yet to see scientific evidence showing, or even strongly suggesting, that neutering full-grown dogs has a deleterious effect on their health or longevity. If there's been a study or some such that I'm not aware of, I'd be very interested to hear about that, as well.

Heck, there have been a few interesting historical studies that suggest eunuchs probably had longer lifespans that intact men who had similar lifestyles...so that's something to think about. What would you trade for some extra years of life? lol.
I agree.
I have seen studies on gelding young vs older. The research shows there was about 1/4" size difference. Hardly enough to worry about.

All my dogs have been altered fairly young. We adopted one dog that was neutered shortly before we adopted him at 2 years old. We lost him to cancer at 8 years old.
We have a female that was spayed during her first heat cycle (emergency spay, as she prolapsed), she'll be 15 in a few months, and other than being hard of hearing, she's super healthy.

As with question like this, you're going to get a WIDE range of answers, and everyone thinks they are right.

For me, I typically adopt my dogs so they are altered when I get them. I also compete in AKC agility, rally and obedience, so they have to be altered.
I start them in the rally ring to get them ring experience, while waiting for them to be old enough to compete in agility. My current agility dog was spayed when I got her at 12 weeks old. She'll be 9 this year, and was just diagnosed with hip dyplasia....but we think she is a Lab/Boxer/Golden Retriever, and those breeds are all prone to it. Chances are very high that she would have it no matter what age she was spayed.

Bottom line. You have to make the decision that you are comfortable with. Dogs have been altered at young ages for a long time, and dogs have been left intact their whole lives. Some issues in both instances.
 

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One thing to take into account is the breed of dog (or mix/size of dog) you're talking about when determining the age. Large and giant breeds are much healthier being spayed/neutered at an older age (14-18 mos.), while smaller breeds can be spayed/neutered younger. So knowing the type of dog you have (even if it's not purebred, you should have a good idea of the mix and the adult size) will help to make the decision.

That said, if the dog is mostly an outdoor dog, then to avoid increasing potentially unwanted litters, spay/neuter early!

Ultimately we need to keep in mind the heath of our beautiful family members, as well as be responsible parents for any "antics" they could get into if they have the opportunity...

Just my two cents! ;):)
 

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Neutering a dog at 6 months old!?! Dear God, no! Your dog is going to be healthier and happier if you keep him intact. Neutering is associated with a large variety of health problems, mainly cancer and joint problems. I wouldn't castrate my dogs if you paid me.
 
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