Bitch or dog?(17 Posts)
Breed has specifics issues with neutering both.
20% of spayed girls are incontinent at a young age ( according to breeder and vet agrees, but I can't find any evidence for this)
Season every 8/9 months average
Loss of coat condition is marked for both sexes but even more so in bitches post spay
False pregnancy and a womb infection ( pyo?) more common in this breed than average
Slow development so 18 months plus for first season for girls and a longer adolescent period for both, entire male stay as horny teenager for longer.
Breeder had advised heavily against neutering either sex because of above issues.
My vet says same, and that its best to leave alone unless necessary.
My heart wants a bitch. Just because. No good reason really, but it's a strong feeling
Ps. Please don't suggest a rescue. It's complicated and that difficult decision has already been made.
I had a bitch who had a season once a year. During that time she obviously dripped on the floor but we have hard flooring throughout downstairs so was easy to mop. She also became a bit depressed during the 2-3wks season. We took her on walks on the lead so we could ensure she wasn't bothered by dogs. However I once had my groceries delivered to the house shut the front door after the delivery only to find a random dog in her bed (she was in the garden on heat!) I guess the dog ran away during his walk because he caught her scent. We now have a dog rescue who used to be an escapee from the garden possible due to the scent of bitchs in heat. He was neutered before we took him and he has been no bother at all. Out of the two, messy seasons and wandering dogs I would probably have less worry with a bitch.
I hadn't considered wandering dogs.
This is so difficult, just trying to get it right with tons of research.
Is it very messy?
I had an in season bitch once and it wasn't fun. The bleeding wasn't too awful but she was grumpy, more dog aggressive than usual and went stir crazy without excersise.
I spayed her when she was 1 and wouldn't hesitate to do so again.
I also have dogs but neuter them as I don't like the look that old entire males have and have seen lots of perineal hernia, prostate and testicular cancers in entire males.
If I had to have an entire though I would proberbly go for a male as I wouldn't want to deal with a pyo or mammary mass.
Not sure why breeder would advise not to neuter based on a pyo as spayed bitches can't get one?
Coat changes wouldn't influence me at all, health issues would.
It was incontinence that was the main health reason for not spaying. 20% she told me.
And the pyo was reason not to get a female that I had been advised not to spay. Sorry it wasn't clear
Ah sorry, I wouldn't risk an entire female myself due to the amount of pyos and mammary strips I have seen in entire bitches. I know plenty of people who do keep entires, but it wouldn't be a choice I would make for my own dogs.
Im not sure statistically the risks of incontinance in individual breeds but I can say that in 7 years of theatre nursing in a very large practice veterinary practice that spays on average 15 bitches a day I can only think of one incontinant bitch that occoured after spaying and after referal it was found she had an underlying condition. I can't remember a single other despite the scaremongering. Obviously personal experience isn't a study of any kind but it was enough for me to risk it with my own dog and spay her
Like I say I would prefer an entire dog over an entire bitch for easiness...but would still castrate him as I can't bear saggy old entire males that mark everywhere
I would wait to neuter until a year at least either way but I think it's a difficult one and there are risks and benefits to both and it's a personal decision.
Out of interest which breed is it?
Could you cope better with an unneutered male? I really wouldn't want to walk an unneutered female. On the lead won't stop an amorous dog and males could scale fencing.
Is the 20% breed specific? What about laparoscopic?
Yes the 20% is breed specific ( that's from very experienced breeder). I haven't been able to find any data to verify this but breeder and my own vet said it was higher in this breed ( Irish setter)
I am thinking a male maybe easier and also looking at vasectomy rather than castration but lots more research to do. I still want a girl but think with my head switched on it would be more risky
What makes you want a girl? Have you met lots of both sexes?
Beautiful dogs. Grew up with a rescued setter cross. He wasn't neutered. (Years ago and advice then was don't unless aggression issues!) He would get what we called his "setter head" in and rush off after smells. Not sure neutering would have helped much!!
Wolfie. I honestly don't know! My last dog was a rescue collie neutered male but that was years and years ago.
I've met lots and lots. All quite recently and all breeders own pets while I've been searching for a breeder that 'feels right' as well as leaving me confident about their practises and the health of the dog.
It's a dream from childhood, my mothers friend had one when I was about 7/8 and was mad as a box of frogs. But their eyes, and the temperament, just so attentive and loyal to owner. I've waited 35 years to have one.
Breeder says mum is about to come into season, so no guarantees that another will happen on my preferred timeline, also it's mums first litter ( she is 2.5) dad is some super champion crufts type dog and he is just stunning and looks so healthy.
Breeder already has homes for 10 puppies and they haven't even been conceived yet. I think we are number 6 on her list. So no guarantees anyway!
My parents had a Irish red setter when I was small the rehomed him off a friend but had to give him back because he was mad as a hatter, he could not be left alone. He was beautiful but crazier than a bag of monkeys.
I'd go for a male dog over a female one any day, but that's my preference.
I have experience with both sexes being entire, my previous male dog was entire and he lived till age sixteen but he would constantly hump his bedding and would mark his territory alot never had a problem with him wandering though.
My father's female dog is still entire she's eight now and has a season every 6 to 7 months it's lucky he has wood floors as you get spots of blood everywhere and she gets really grumpy and won't tolerate people near her when she's in season.
My current dog is male and he was Neutered at 10 months old, I wasn't going to neuter him but did in the end because he was marking alot, which stopped immediately after he was Neutered.
I'd pick a puppy that I felt I had a connection with rather than go in knowing I wanted a male or a female. I'd also ask to see the mother and I'd find another vet.
My male has just been neutered in April and he was driving me crazy with humping and marking. He would find his favourite toy or even his bed and go at it while looking you right in the eye! We got on with the neutering when he started marking anything new that was brought into the house (bags of shopping, kids school bags etc).
With a female I would worry about the health risks of not neutering later in life. We took in a family members 9 yr old gsd bitch, and she ended up being neutered at 10 yrs old as she was developing mammary tumours. Was obviously a riskier procedure at that age but thankfully she was fine.
Not sure I could have either a dog or a bitch and not neuter.
Like a previous poster, I'd find a pup that I had a connection with - and then worry about whether it was a dog or bitch. And I'd also find another vet - they're not all brilliant with/knowledgeable about dogs (and unfortunately, I type with experience of this...)
My last three dogs have been male. Two of whom were neutered whilst young (I think they were both about 9 months - although one might have been a lot younger, because he was born with considerable health problems and there was a hunt for a teste to remove it so that it didn't form a cancerous mass elsewhere. It turned out to have developed in his stomach cavity, bizarrely enough. He lived a very healthy life once I'd almost bankrupted myself to have his various issues rectified, and died when he was 13). The one who wasn't neutered was the father of the one with health problems - by my 10 year old, first litter ever, bitch. In my defence (before anyone starts on me), the mother of the one with health problems was my 3rd birthday gift. And to this day, we have no idea how she and the pups father got together, because as soon as she showed signs of coming into season, my dog (who was about 3) was sent to a neighbour for the duration of. I knew she was pregnant weeks before my mother started to panic (I pointed out to her, one evening, that I could see my bitch's stomach moving and something finally clicked in her brain). The pups were born 4 days later, after scans galore and huge concerns over her age for a first litter, with the first pup getting stuck and a mass panic at the vets to get the three of them out/spay my little bitch at the same time. Fortunately mum and the three pups all survived - but it was touch and go for a while. My little bitch didn't bond at all with the pups and we had to raise them ourselves. As far as my little bitch was concerned, she went to the vets with a stomach ache, had a nice sleep, and then woke up with three demanding little creatures beside her and undoubtedly in more pain from the section and spaying! All 3 pups lived until they were 12/13, only one had severe health problems from the get-go, another developed epilepsy two or three years later, and as far as I know the third had no problems whatsoever (we kept the first two, the neighbour who used to have my dog during seasons, had the third). My little bitch was 15 when she died - of what is, essentially, breast cancer and heart problems which she didn't develop until after that first (and last) pregnancy.
She was the second bitch I watched die from cancer of the mammary glands. My mother's GSD bitch produced a litter when she was 2 years old - of 10 pups. She bonded, perhaps, a little too well with them because when they were taken away from her, to go to their new homes, it broke her. Actually, that's why I had my little bitch because my mother's pined and had phantom pregnancy, after phantom pregnancy, after phantom pregnancy. My mother's hope was that my little bitch, being a pup, might alleviate some of her bitch's grief. It did, and it didn't. The phantom pregnancies continued, she became ever more protective of me (I was 10 months old when she littered, and by all accounts she decided I was one of her pups - and I was the only one who stayed...), and when I was 10, she died of the same thing that ended my little bitch's life. Actually, only yesterday, my mother answered the question as to why she didn't have her bitch spayed (or, indeed, mine as I was a child and incapable of making decisions like that), when she showed me the various pedigrees she'd drawn up of the different matings that she'd tried with her bitch over the years. None of them "took". Her grief for her first litter was that severe that she absorbed several others and simply continued with the phantom pregnancies.
My mother had another bitch who died last month, actually. Fortunately she never littered - but my mother's refusal to spay her until she was 5, is the sole reason that my current dog was neutered. They were siblings, from the same litter, and I was terrified that they'd create pups together unless I did the responsible thing. I knew my mother wouldn't. It took myself and two vets spelling out to her the health risks - which she already knew, from having watched two other bitches go through awful, horrendously painful endings to their lives - to convince her. Now she's looking for another pup... and in her heart, she wants another bitch. But I think (hope) that she'll do the sensible thing and get a dog. The breeder of the GSD litter she wants one from is a friend of mine, so knows the history - and both of the bitches in the litter have gone. Only dogs are left.
Her reasons for wanting a bitch? They're more maternal than dogs (well... yes; but no at the same time. When my little bitch littered and refused to have anything to do with the pups, their father stepped in and alerted us when they were hungry, cleaned up after them, stimulated their bowels... he was brilliant with them, and he continued to adore the two we kept - all of whom were dogs - until the day he died), they're more obedient (erm...?), they learn commands more quickly (even my friend - who prefers bitches, herself - says that dogs will do their utmost to please their owner, whilst bitches are more prone to doing what they feel like, in her experience. And she's a qualified dog trainer who works with rehabilitating "problem" dogs, so... I figure she knows her stuff), and they're easier to house-train (my current dog figured out his commands and house training several months before his sister did...).
My complete dog didn't wander at all, incidentally. He obviously did the deed with my little bitch, but... no idea when/how, though, to this day!). He also obeyed me far better than my little bitch ever did (and I trained both - even when I was 3 years old, my little bitch would obey me and no one else!) and would walk to my heel without a lead no matter where we were. When my DD was born, with sleep aponea, I swear he saved her life more than a few times, because he'd nudge her seconds before her breathing monitor's alarm would sound (it still went off, but she'd started breathing again just before it did). He slept on the end of my bed with his head hanging over into her cot, every night. He genuinely adored her. If my little bitch had still been alive... she'd have hidden herself away.
So no, bitches aren't always better than dogs... it literally depends on the individual personality. But bitches are prone to horrible things that, whilst they also get mammary lumps (my current dog has had to have one removed - but that was just fatty tissue, thank goodness!), dogs tend not to be. Affection depends very much on the bond between the animal itself and the owner.
Good luck with whichever you decide to give a home too, though, and may it live a long, happy and healthy life.
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