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Every time there is a thread about spay and neuter, people though out recommendations of what age is best. 6 months, 12 months, 18 months, etc.

It can take a LONG time for a dog to mature.....

24 months is not always enough....Even for a medium sized dog.

Here are photos of my dog at 20, 24, 30, 47, and 58 months. (I do not have a good photo at 36 months because I sat him out a year to finish maturing)

He was not fully physically mature at 20, 24 or even 30 months.









 

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I'll be honest: To someone who doesn't know ACDs well, or even dog structure -

I see very little difference in the dog, in those photos - and what I do see is primarily in his head. I absolutely believe that it's there, but it's not something that is glaringly obvious to me. Which means that as a pet owner, I'd probably see no difference. No argument at all, and I'm a big proponent of later (Ie: Not pediatric < 6 months) spay/neuter, for dogs NOT coming out of shelters and rescues. But I don't see big differences in physical APPEARANCE. Spell it out/point it out for those of us with less experience/knowledge?
 

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I think I see what you mean...he filled out? Kinda like my brother- 6'3" at 19 and 180lbs, 6'3" at 45 and 220lbs. Not fat, but done. Sort of like
that?
 

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I can definitely see the difference.

I think it probably varies based on the size of the dog. I find that papillons look mature pretty early on. My klee kai (who topped out at 18.3 lbs) was leggy forever and still kind of is -- I had to get him neutered within six months of purchase, which I didn't want to do (I wanted to give him more time to mature). He has filled out since then, but I feel like he wouldn't have been quite as leggy and probably would have had more chest (although the breed in general doesn't have much chest) if I'd been able to leave him longer.

Not proper stacks, but you can see the difference anyway:

Six months:



One year and four months:



Two years and four months:

 

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I see the difference...clearly very mature in the last photo. Very interesting thread for me, especially since so many places do pediatric sterilization.
 

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I have a dog that was spayed at 12 weeks. I will try to do a similar time-line and you will see the same dramatic changes in appearance as time goes on. She is 4 years old now and is radically different than she was at two or even three... Her whole structure deepened.

I am vehemently opposed to pediatric spays but did adopt one anyway... My purchased female is 11 months old and still intact.
 

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Strauss is a great example for this.

Here he is at around a year (go ahead and laugh)


Strauss at 4


At 5


At 6


At 7


Now, at 8 years old
 

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Ah see I thought you meant mentally matured. Boone was four years old before his brain engaged.
 

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The difference between 1 and 4 is striking. Wow.
 

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Yes indeed. Strauss is still intact by the way. I cannot imagine him looking as he did at 1 year of age forever if I had neutered him early.

I personally feel he was in his physical prime starting at age 5 and is looking excellent at 8. You can see how his body deepened, chest broadened and how he gained muscle and a bit of bone. Yes, exercise helps with muscle tone, but so do those hormones.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I have a dog that was spayed at 12 weeks. I will try to do a similar time-line and you will see the same dramatic changes in appearance as time goes on. She is 4 years old now and is radically different than she was at two or even three... Her whole structure deepened.

I am vehemently opposed to pediatric spays but did adopt one anyway... My purchased female is 11 months old and still intact.
When you alter a dog, you do not get the muscle definition, the chest does not drop, the neck remains weaker, less shoulder, etc.

A dog may continue to develop if it is altered...... In fact it is common for them to run right over the height standard....

But it will never develop into the dog it would have been. Sort of like an overgrown adolescent.
 

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BB at 4 months old



BB at 10 months old



BB at 18 months old





BB at 24 months old (BB is 30 months old now), granted this is not the best photo.



I will have to take some photos of her now as she has matured some more.
 

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Gorgeous dog!

Our dogs are 1, and I want to sterlize them now, but you are convincing me to wait!

Our vet here says 18 mos minimum.

BB at 4 months old



BB at 10 months old



BB at 18 months old





BB at 24 months old (BB is 30 months old now), granted this is not the best photo.



I will have to take some photos of her now as she has matured some more.
 

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When you alter a dog, you do not get the muscle definition, the chest does not drop, the neck remains weaker, less shoulder, etc.

A dog may continue to develop if it is altered...... In fact it is common for them to run right over the height standard....

But it will never develop into the dog it would have been. Sort of like an overgrown adolescent.
I think you got it right on the nose with over grown adolescent.

In my perfect world dogs wouldn't be spayed or neutered although they would be kept absolutely responsibly and never allowed to breed unless of quality. I think that if a person can absolutely properly keep their animals/apart they should keep them intact for all the health, physical, and mental reasons that have been said.
 

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I wish it could be that way. We actually use a contraceptive shot with Sacha. I didn't even know it existed!

I think you got it right on the nose with over grown adolescent.

In my perfect world dogs wouldn't be spayed or neutered although they would be kept absolutely responsibly and never allowed to breed unless of quality. I think that if a person can absolutely properly keep their animals/apart they should keep them intact for all the health, physical, and mental reasons that have been said.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
It is not difficult to keep intact dogs without accidental litters. I have been doing itmy entire life (45 years this month). My dad did it for 50 years, grandfather did it for 60 plus years...... No accidental litters My Bitch just finished her latest heat cycle.

I don't even dread heat cycles..... Its no big deal, I just rotate my bitch and my dog....
 

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I will have to dig up some photos of Manero. He was about 4 before he looked really mature. We're still working on Armani! He's not quite 2.
 

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I wish I had pics but Flickr deleted all of Roxie's 6 mo old "gotcha day" pics, but she very clearly filled out between when I got her and now. She was... "squishy". If that makes sense. Nothing was well defined except her legs, she even had a bit of a pot belly compared to now but wasn't fat or wormy. She was spayed after her first heat, I'm not sure when exactly but it was after a year anyway and she actually filled out pretty well imo.
 
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