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To neuter a male dog or not?

(42 Posts)
Indecisiveismymiddlename Sun 13-Mar-16 21:47:32

I have a male dog who is purely a family pet (ie not shown or stud).

I don't know whether to neuter him or not. Currently he has no signs of aggression or fear, or wandering, or interest in girls.

I read that having them neutered can prevent some cancers and illness, but then read having them neutered can lead to higher risk of cancer and illness.

It can change coat and personality, it may not change either.

Please give me case for or against neutering and at what age. Pre adolescent, after adolescence, when older?

RakeMeHomeCountryToads Sun 13-Mar-16 21:55:53

I'm interested to know more about this too. How old is your dog now Indecisive?

Indecisiveismymiddlename Sun 13-Mar-16 22:10:55

Five months - so contemplating whether to get him done in next couple of months.

Whitney168 Sun 13-Mar-16 22:26:44

What breed/type/size is he?

For any breed this is far too early, but how early and impact/likelihood of coat change depends on these factors.

Dieu Sun 13-Mar-16 23:34:11

My pup is 10 months and I am considering it. He is a small breed. I'd like to put him into doggy daycare a day a fortnight, as I think he'd love it, being the sociable wee chap he is. However, they won't take him unless neutered. And he is starting to notice the 'girls' and make clumsy, humpy passes at them! It can't be natural to have balls, but never any sex, surely?!

mollie123 Mon 14-Mar-16 06:05:03

IMO under a year is far too young for him to be neutered as he will not be mature enough.

lamingtonnutty Mon 14-Mar-16 06:07:07

Yes! Always! It cuts out aggressive/domineering behaviour. I think the answer is always yes.

Lonecatwithkitten Mon 14-Mar-16 07:18:19

It does not always cut out aggressive behaviours in fact there are certain cases where neutering can make it worse. The evidence is very much 50:50 and breed is very important for the decision.

Stradbroke Mon 14-Mar-16 07:25:16

When do they neuter puppies in rescue places?

Claraoswald36 Mon 14-Mar-16 07:32:37

Had my cocker done at 6 months. He stopped humping orrery much straight away. He is aggression free and very good with other dogs. He has no food aggression or domineering or really ever got grumpy at all but I think he was like that anyway. The only thing I've noticed is that he's more submissive with other dogs on walks - he lies down in the path to see what they do rather than bounding up to them.
I think pp are right - it's v dog/brews specific but we haven't had a single issue. I think it's the right thing to do if it's a pet only.

AddictedtoGreys Mon 14-Mar-16 07:42:43

I feel that if your dog is not used for stud then neutering is usually the best option. Because it stops certain unwanted behaviours such as wandering when a bitch is in season (they can smell this up to a Mike away), also can prevent aggression between makes if a both is around in a public place. But I would suggest waiting until at least a year old to allow him to mature. It will also prevent certain cancers in male dogs.

AddictedtoGreys Mon 14-Mar-16 07:43:14

*mile not Mike

Lonecatwithkitten Mon 14-Mar-16 08:58:35

Stradbroke rescues generally neuter very early, but when they make these decisions it is on a population. Individual dog owners have different things to weigh up for themselves.
Neutering does not stop all aggression and there is lots and lots of really good evidence that in certain cases it can make things worse.

RhodaBull Mon 14-Mar-16 09:05:36

I had read advice (from very doggy people) not to neuter. So I held off. But my golden retriever was an absolute nightmare. He was cocking his leg every few centimetres on a walk, he was howling at various gates we passed, and lying down and refusing to move (female dog inside). And worst of all he started humping with a vengeance. The final straw was when he was pursuing dd's friend with a mad glint in his eye. It was absolutely unacceptable for a family pet.

After neutering (at 13 months) he was a changed dog. Never lifted his leg up again, and no humping whatsoever. He is a handsome fellow and would have enjoyed being a stud dog (!) but sadly for him it was not to be.

Claraoswald36 Mon 14-Mar-16 10:16:48

My cocker has never once cocked his leg or done any scenting behaviour grin

user1457949281 Mon 14-Mar-16 10:27:12

Yes; neuter. It will be easier for him when he is younger than if he begins to have urges at and older age whilst out on a walk, for example hmm. I wouldn't do it before 12 months though. Healthier and much less issues in future with regards to doggy day care or 'home away from home' boarding kennels.

AlpacaLypse Mon 14-Mar-16 10:46:30

Dog walking and doggy daycare agency here. He's far too young at the moment, but it's good that you're starting to think about this.

Some intact males are far more sex-crazed than others. We do walk some, but only in groups that are otherwise neutered. For some breeds, late neutering is better, usually to help develop bone-mass - this is the reason for the three entire dogs currently on our books. If you have a good vet, follow her or his advice.

A number of breeds seem to lose coat condition after neutering, I've particularly noticed it in Cockers.

Ultimately, it's you that has to live with the dog. One of our regulars was in RhodaBull 's situation a couple of years ago, it was affecting everyone's lives negatively. Local vet refused to operate - as a practice they were rather evangelical about leaving neutering late at the time. In the end owners took him to another town. It took about a year for the operation to really kick in, but he's now a quiet, friendly Labrador, not a frothing, eye rolling mess, humping anything and everything indiscriminately! Also he's perfectly Labrador shaped and muscled.

Floralnomad Mon 14-Mar-16 10:52:34

Neutering does not stop them cocking their leg every few minutes on a walk ,my terrier was done at approx 10 months as he was a demon humper but he still cocks his leg every 5 minutes when we are out !

mummyflood Mon 14-Mar-16 13:27:55

Interesting AlpacaLypse. Friends cocker was neutered. (cant remember what age). Subsequently developed skin condition & coat deteriorated. One vet wanted to go down allergy testing route, another said it was a fairly rare side effect of neutering due to hormonal changes.

Having recently got a cocker ourselves, we are wondering about this as part of our decision eventually. Will see how he develops, only 9 weeks old but vet has already broached subject at his first jab! she reckons the ideal age is between 6 to 9 months.

Whitney168 Mon 14-Mar-16 13:41:36

A useful post:

Indecisiveismymiddlename Mon 14-Mar-16 21:35:24

Interesting it seems to be us with a cocker that have the dilemma smile

While no issues I'll hold off and keep reviewing it but wait for first birthday to pass smile

MagentaSpunkTrumpet Tue 15-Mar-16 01:49:58

Both our working cocker boys are entire. DDog1 because he's a naturally fearful, anxious chap who we worried neutering may adversely affect and DDog2 because he slit his mouth apart two days before he was due to be done and we've just never got round to it again hmm

Aggression isn't an issue for us per se, but there are what could politely be described as "tensions" between them on occasions. So DDog2 will be done, just to try and balance the status quo a little.

Cheerfulmarybrown Tue 15-Mar-16 07:47:19

Some scary old fashioned ideas on this thread.

Castration at an early age is unnecessary and can cause problems in some dogs. So always wait until the dog is fully mature.

Castration will not "solve" behavioural problems and can in many cases make them worse.

There are usually few health benefits to castration (unlike spaying)

Not all dogs become sex starved bitch stalking dogs if left entire

Each case needs to be discussed individually.

Humping is not a result of sexual activity or desire and will not stop if a dog is castrated.

Some dogs are happier castrated some are not - do not think that this is an automatic decision if having a male dog.

babyblackbird Tue 15-Mar-16 07:58:35

Totally agree with pp. my lab is still entire at nearly 2. I had always assumed we would neuter but he is quite fearful of some dogs and I worry that removing the testosterone will tip that fear into aggression so at the moment he will stay intact.

Any aggression issues we have had have been from neutered makes who apparently can feel intimidated by an entire dog and have a go but this seemed to peak at about 12-14 months and seems now to have subsided.

I would only neuter if there is a real reason to. Our dog only occasionally humps a toy and has shown zero interest in females, doesn't roam. Only issue is he does mark on walks a lot but quite frankly I can live with that.

Noitsnotteatimeyet Tue 15-Mar-16 08:02:16

We had Ddog done when he was about 10 months old (not a big breed and vet said his growth plates had closed)

He'd become an absolutely rampant humper and was really starting to piss other dogs off and he was marking everything in sight (thankfully not at home but when we went to other people's houses if they had a dog blush)

I agonised about it but it had a transformational effect on his behaviour- the marking and humping stopped immediately and he was no longer being picked on by other dogs

His coat is just as glossy as it was before, he's certainly not put on any weight - in fact we have to watch him quite carefully as he's so active he just burns through calories and at times he's veering towards being underweight

Although he's usually pretty easy-going with other dogs, generally polite but aloof unless he knows them well, ironically the only time he tells another dog off is if they try to hump him ...

A friend had her dog neutered after he suddenly took off after the scent of a bitch in heat - she finally caught up with him a mile down the road after he'd crossed main roads and ended up in a busy town centre. Up to then she'd have said his recall was rock solid ..,,

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