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Hi
I'm new to the forum here and i have a quick question i hope somebody can help me with! I have a 4 month old staffie cross who i've had since 12 weeks old. As i'm a teacher i had 3 weeks off work and worked very hard training and socializing him. To be honest he is my perfect dog, amazing with kids, our 2 cats and any other dog he sees. I'm really worried that this is all going to change when he reaches puberty!! Is my dog as lovely as i think he is or is he just being a puppy?? I'm worried that when he reaches puberty he is going to become aggressive to cats/ kids etc. If puberty does change a dogs temperament will neutering him before puberty preserve my lovely dogs nature? My husband does not want him neutered as he wants him to be a "real dog" but if i will loose my lovely puppy i would rather argue with him about this! please advise!
 

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I can honestly say that all my dogs went though a " Teenage " phase at around 6 months to about 9 month of age. After it was over they returned to their normal sweet selves. :) Pups do go through some stages as well as fear stages. I am personally still trying to learn about the timing of the fear stages also. I did not find neutering to change much of anything nor did I the spaying other than not having to worry about unwanted puppies and maybe the boys not wanting to roam looking for a potential mate so much. My boys never marked in the house nor does my female. Still I do not attribute this to N/S.
 

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All pups go through a "teenage" stage. . .it might partially be due to hormones but even early-neuters will do it. He'll be a pain for a few months, just like teenage humans but for a shorter time period.
 

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The "adolescent period" depends to a large extent on the breed and the line. So it's not really accurate to say it will end at nine months of age. Also, once it begins, it can last considerably longer than a few months. And to be frank about it, some dogs do become quite a handful during that period.

With a mixed-breed dog such as yours, it really hard to say what will happen.

Early neutering before puberty has its plusses and its minuses. One of the plusses is that you won't go through all the hormonal changes as he matures. But there are minuses as well. You might want to discuss the whole thing with your vet. In any case, you will STILL have to train your dog and continue training him through that period. Neutering him doesn't relieve you of that responsibility.

Whatever you do, don't get discouraged and don't give up on your dog. Some of the most common surrenders at shelters are adolescent "bully-types" that their owners can't handle any more.
 

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Neutering guarantees no puppies and may reduce fights with other dogs. Won't necessarily change personality or anything else. The typical age is about 6 mos.

Adolescence doesn't usually result in more aggression, but can result in more energy, excitement, and Independence. The best way to keep the sweet puppy personality is to teach lots of bite inhibition, lots of socialization, and with a Pit... teach control of excitement to avoid getting over excited even in play...
 

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A couple of the worst dogs I've worked with(as in dog-dog social skills) will pediatric neuters. So I'm really not convinced that an early neuter is going to help you through adolescence.

To be frank, the "teenage" dogs are the biggest handfuls to work with. They're suddenly more independent, energetic, and testing the waters with other dogs. Continue socializing and training out the wazoo and you should be fine. Don't be surprised if he magically "forgets" a lot of training during that time period; Just keep truckin'.

As for your husband... neutered dogs are still "real dogs". That's just ridiculous anthropomorphism. Why some men feel the need to keep their males intact is beyond me.
 

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Neuter your dog. A dog does not care if he has balls or not. If your husband objects, take him to the shelter to observe them euthanizing perfectly nice dogs because nobody wants them. Those dogs were created by people like your husband who wouldn't do the responsible thing.

As for adulthood and bully breeds, yes, you can never fully trust an adult bully around cats and other dogs, but humans of all ages will be fine. Adolescence doesn't make any dog, bully or not, hate children or become human aggressive.
 

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Dogs will have a "teenaged" period, neutered or not. Just like teenaged children, they will want to test you and their new independence ;). Doesn't mean they are bad dogs or that they won't be a perfectly nice dog when they reach young adulthood (just like kids!). Adolescence is different for everyone. Our BC mix is in the middle of it right now...she does not bite, is never aggressive, she will just sometimes try to figure out whether she really HAS to comply with our commands or rules, doing things she knows she is not supposed to, with a cute, evil, little gleam in her eye ;). She also has an awful lot of energy, giving her opportunities to work that out and giving her little "jobs" helps with the behavior a lot.

You SHOULD, however, neuter your dog in any event. The dog doesn't care whether he has his boy parts or not. In fact, he'll probably be happier without them, fewer things to worry about and get stressed over. A neutered male is less likely to wander, less likely to fight with other dogs and will not be contributing to the pet overpopulation problem. Neutered males are actually my favorites...in dogs, cats and horses. I've found them to be generally good natured, laid back and pretty sensible...with just enough of a "silly" streak to be fun. I find females, spayed or not, to be a little more serious about everything. These are wild generalizations of course, and I do love my two, spayed, female dogs ;).

BTW, some places have restrictions on intact animals...they may not be allowed in some doggies daycares, play groups, training classes and dog parks. It doesn't make sense to restrict your options for no good reason. My husband is pretty masculine (6'3", 195 lbs, strong, deep voice, spends his spare time fixing cars, watching football, drinking beer, etc....), he's all for neutering male dogs, he doesn't see it as a reflection on his own masculinity ;). Neutered males ARE real dogs, they don't magically turn into a cat when their balls are removed!
 
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