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Now that I own a boy dog, I was thinking about neutering. Growing up, we had a bitch who ended up having an emergency spay due to a nasty infection at her first season. Now, I expect she would have been spayed anyway to prevent unwanted litters. So, is castration the way forward with a male pup? My BIL never castrates his dogs on the basis that he thinks it changes their character. I have no idea if that's true or not. If you have a dude dog, have you castrated? And if not, why not?

wildfig Mon 10-Oct-11 22:12:27

I have a big dude dog. I waited until he was fully grown (18 months or so) then despatched him for the snip, for the following reasons:

1. I have another gal dog who at the time wasn't spayed, and I didn't want any accidents.
1a. ... or indeed accidents with any other local unspayed gal dogs, although his breed is so clueless when it comes to the opposite sex that they frequently need some outside help from their owners, so this was more theoretical than anything.
2. he is a very handsome example of his breed, and I wouldn't want any lowlifes even thinking about stealing him to sell on as a stud dog to a puppy farm
3. no balls = reduction in associated cancers

I still felt terrible about taking him though, and cried all the way home from the vets. He, on the other hand, doesn't seem to miss his hilariously pendulous appendages at all. I don't know whether it's affected his temperament - he's still growing out of his teenage grumpiness and training is an on-going thing, but he's a pretty easy-going chap.

Crosshair Mon 10-Oct-11 22:16:35

I havent chosen to neuter as after some reading I dont think the pro's out weigh the cons for my dog.

What are the cons, Crosshair?

Crosshair Mon 10-Oct-11 22:24:54

DogsBeastFiend Mon 10-Oct-11 22:51:47

I have 3 dogs, all adult large breeds. The elder of my 2 GSD isn't neutered but that's purely because he's epileptic and the risks of surgery are too great.

My Lab came to me as an adult rescue dog and was neutered, as any reputable rescue should ensure before rehoming. My younger GSD was also a rescue dog but a pup and so I had him neutered when he was nearly 2. My vets advice was to wait until he was cocking his leg - he's now 5 and if I'd have carried on waiting he'd still be unneutered!

Neutering reduces or eliminates the risk of some serious illnesses and of dog/dog aggression and mounting, the latter of which is not only embarrassing if he does it to the vicar but also dangerous if he does it to another male who will take offence to it as many do. However, it's not just that. For me just as important is reducing the risk of my dog escaping to find a mate and getting hurt, killed or picked up by a dog warden or unscrupulous person, never to be seen again and eliminating the possibility of him adding to the already huge unwanted dog population in this country.

As a rescuer I get to learn of daily a huge number of healthy, perfectly lovely dogs who are in pounds, desperate for rescue to come forward and save their lives. There are far fewer rescue spaces than there are unwanted dogs and many of those pound dogs don't make it but leave the pound in black plastic bin liners, dead.

I fight like buggery to find what few rescue places there are for such dogs and, like all responsible rescuers, fight equally to beg people to neuter their own dogs and not to add to that number.

I'm aware of the argument against neutering above but for the very, very vast majority of dogs the op is a simple one with no lasting ill effects and much to gain. I would argue back that if that was not the case rescues up and down the country would not insist on neutering and neither would vets. It can be counter argued of course that there's profit in it for the vets but there certainly isn't financial gain in it for rescue, quite the opposite so why would they insist upon it were it not for the overall good of the individual dog and for dogkind? Likewise there's no profit in the RSPCA charity hospitals, the PDSA or Dogs Trust neutering but nonetheless they advocate it strongly and insist upon it for the dogs which they rehome.

Crosshair Mon 10-Oct-11 22:54:30

I would neuter if:

1. Dog had a retained testicle.
2. Lived or had access to an intact bitch.
3. For extreme behavioral reasons on a vets recommendation.

(Just my personal opinion, I'm open to other peoples views)

musicposy Tue 11-Oct-11 00:17:05

My dude doggy is neutered. He's now getting on for 10 and in fantastic health.

We neutered him for a lot of the reasons above.

When he hit adolescence he started mounting everything, particularly DD1's leg. I got a bit weary of DD1 (then 6) saying "he's hugging my leg again, Mummy!" I also remember an unneutered male dog we had as a child and he humped everything. He was also marking territory round the house and got a bit stroppy - a bit of a bolshy male!

Now, training classes would probably have been as good, but the neutering worked a treat. Apart from last year when our female dog had her first season and he thought he might give humping a try, it stopped the humping completely. His behaviour improved dramatically and he's been a lovely dog all these years.

I also like having no worry when we are out and about, and I know he won't go off his food and try to escape because there is a female in season somewhere in the village. Plus he is a pedigree and I wanted to make him less valuable to others - he's our pet and the thought of him being stolen to breed from was something I wanted to avoid.

He was over the op incredibly quickly. But I still haven't had my girl dog spayed through fear of the op and I know I probably ought (definitely won't be allowing her to breed).

DogsBeastFiend Tue 11-Oct-11 00:39:24

Very good point about neutering making a dog less of a desirable target for theives (or spaying for that matter, musicposy, tut tut!). Dog theft is RIFE and an unspayed/unneutered dog a puppy farmer or backyard breeders dream.

DejaWho Tue 11-Oct-11 07:55:17

Mine's neutered purely because of the idiot factor who'll take an in-season girl to a park and let her off lead. Sad I've got to do that - but someone's got to take responsibility and since I'm the part of the equation in posession of a braincell...

Poor guy doesn't appear to miss his assets at all now - he did look most forlorn after the op when he put his head down there for a good slurp and found them missing though! I shouldn't laugh but it was hilarious.

misschenko Tue 11-Oct-11 09:51:41

I'm stlll undecided about my 14 month lab but veering towards not neutering. So far no problems with humping or behaviour, training seems to be paying off and he's turning into a lovely dog. We meet lots of other labs on walks and many of the males aren't neutered, they all seem to be fine, slim and very active and into everything but well behaved.
The neutered labs are noticable for being overweight, some are huge and owners, who seem very concerned and responsible, say they don't understand why, they take dogs for 3 hour walks, give special diet from vet, no treats etc.
My (unscientific) theory is that male labs, and perhaps some other large breed dogs, have a long puppyhood, and can be bouncy and boisterous for the first year or so, but then they calm right down. If they've been neutered, perhaps in the hope that behaviour will improve, they end up a bit too calm as adults. Perhaps they're not so interested in sniffing and exploring and playing so get less exercise and are more likely to put on weight.
Feel free to disagree, would be interested in others opinions.

Elibean Tue 11-Oct-11 10:51:57

My little dude is castrated. He's a rescue pup, only 5 months old - apparently didn't notice when it was done, a dissolvable stitch and no upset.

He has a lovely character smile

My last dude was also castrated, also gorgeous. Both were/are slim and active.

My brother's pointer, OTOH, is not castrated - he is large, 3.5 yrs old, very well behaved on the whole but still gets mouthy when excited, knocks people over, and (IMO) can be a bit of a pain. My sil wants him castrated, as he occasionally pesters bitches when out (not often, admittedly) but my brother has a weird, male aversion to castrating anything hmmgrin

Elibean Tue 11-Oct-11 10:53:48

ps both my last dude and this are labrador crosses, slightly smaller than a lab. Dingo (the last one) was easy, but always bouncy and happy, up for long walks and masses of sniffing around - I would never, ever have put him in the stereotypical 'lazy fat because castrated' category, if there is such a thing smile

beachyhead Tue 11-Oct-11 10:59:15

We had ours castrated as he had both retained testicles..... No surprise as he is the most juvenile dog imaginable grin. We would have had him done anyway, both for the humping and also for the dog theft issue, which seems to be massive in our area at the moment. He hasn't got any fatter, he is a very slim labrador/pointer cross, who is a bit hyper (hence the slimness, I think)...

Because he is so unusual looking, I was worried that he would be attractive to breeders, (but because we suspect he is not all there mentally, it wouldn't be fair to breed from him!)

misschenko Tue 11-Oct-11 11:01:53

Perhaps the big show type labs which may already have a tendency towards lazyness are more likely to put on wt when castrated.

Thanks. I think I probably will castrate Jasper. My vet said she prefers to do it when the dog is cocking his leg, but will perform the op from 6 months. I have to admit I am a bit worried from a theft POV (he gets a lot of attention when we're out and about) and I don't really want him humping the youngest if he sits on the floor to watch cartoons. DH winces whenever it is mentioned, but I think that's a fairly usual reaction to a discussion about lopping the balls off. He agrees with it in principle.

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