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Neutering a nervous dog

(19 Posts)
Hazelnutwhirls Fri 07-Jul-17 20:25:41

Hi I have a 10 month old shihtzu cross, he is very submissive and nervous with other dogs, when we first got him he would run and hide behind us if another dog approached him and do anything he could to avoid them. He is improving as he gets older and will now have a sniff and be sniffed by other dogs but won't play at all he has only ever played with one other puppy that was much smaller than him!! He is now 10 months as I said and my vet is saying it's time to neuter, I have always neutered my previous dogs because of the health benefits but they weren't so nervous!! I have done research and it seems to be a bad idea to neuter a anxious dog? He has come such a long way I don't want to turn him fearful!! Should I neuter or stick to my guns and say not yet? Or not ever?

MsAdorabelleDearheartVonLipwig Fri 07-Jul-17 21:03:45

I certainly wouldn't be getting him done if you're not certain yet. You are right though, there can apparently be problems with mucking about with the hormones of dogs with issues which can make them worse. Obviously your vet is going to push for neutering but if you're unsure I'd personally be getting a second opinion from dog trainers and behaviourists.

Hazelnutwhirls Fri 07-Jul-17 21:20:59

Thank you for replying 😊He has seen a behaviourist because he was so submissive, he is good with people and kids and loves any cat (although they arent keen on him!) She was fantastic and he is so much improved I am just worried to set him back after all the hard work! He is lovely when we are out now, he goes off lead and his recall is perfect he doesn't really take any notice of other dogs now but I am hopeful that eventually he will be brave enough to have some doggie friends and have a play!! I will stick to my guns for a while longer then and say we will think about it at a later stage. Thank you 😊

Hazelnutwhirls Fri 07-Jul-17 21:22:33

Should I see the behaviourist again or just carry on with what she suggested previously? He is definitely improving?

MsAdorabelleDearheartVonLipwig Fri 07-Jul-17 21:25:00

I'd definitely ask her opinion on neutering him, yes. She'll be a bit less biased than the vet.

Hazelnutwhirls Fri 07-Jul-17 21:28:59

Thank you very much I will call her on Monday. A top up can only be a good thing!!

SparklingRaspberry Sat 08-Jul-17 09:11:36

Please do not get him done

He's far too young! At least wait until he's 18 months old. Most (decent) vets wouldn't do it yet anyway.

However as a nervous dog regardless of age you should definitely NOT be getting him done!! You will be getting rid of the testosterone which gives him the bit of confidence he actually has. If you get him done, you are very very likely to end up with a fearful dog, which trust me, is a lot harder to deal with than a nervous dog.

Again, most decent vets wouldn't do him if he's nervous anyway.

Hazelnutwhirls Sat 08-Jul-17 14:21:29

Thank you I thought it was best to wait but when the vet started pushing I started to question myself!! I will hold off for now at least and maybe look at a new vet?!! Thanks again.

LaGattaNera Sat 08-Jul-17 19:17:56

SparkingRaspberry is completely correct and I personally know a similar dog who is now much unhappier and I would even say depressed as a result of neutering. Poor thing.

Ridingthegravytrain Sat 08-Jul-17 19:22:53

My fear aggressive dog had to be neutered age 7 due to suspected Sertoli cell carcinoma. We had kept him entire due to his nervousness. He is much worse since the operation. I would think long and hard before doing it

Hazelnutwhirls Sat 08-Jul-17 19:32:15

I will definitely wait then.thank you for all if your advice, her is such a lovely dog with no behaviour problems at all he is just so submissive even to us! if he is left home ( never for more than an hour or 2 and built up gradually) he rolls over to show his belly!!! He saw a behaviourist and she was super he really has improved but I'm really hoping that if we carry on working with him he will find his confidence and enjoy a game with another dog!!! He is confident at home and with people 😊

Hazelnutwhirls Sat 08-Jul-17 19:33:10

Gravytrain I hope your dog is ok now 😊

PhoenixJasmine Sat 08-Jul-17 19:39:49

Ahem less of the vet bashing please grin contrary to popular belief we really don't make money on neutering animals - castrations are usually priced on a pretty much break even basis, due to competition and them being 'shopped for' prices.

My stance is to counsel caution before neutering any dog with anxiety issues, and to work on the issues first with dietary supplements, pheromones and most importantly a behaviourist-devised behaviour modification training programme. There are temporary hormonal treatments that can be given to mimic the effect of castration to see what may happen.

Assuming the behaviourist was on referral from your vet (any decent behaviourist should only take patients on veterinary referral so any physical causes of behavioural issues have been checked out first) are you not discussing your concerns about your dog's anxiety with your vet ongoing?

Hazelnutwhirls Sat 08-Jul-17 20:03:29

No vet bashing!!! Although I have had him from 7 or 8 weeks he is a rescue puppy he was abandoned at the rescue centre very young and they had no history on him such as exact age or origin. I was supposed to get him neutered as part of my adoption agreement. The behaviourist was rwcommended to me by the rescue centre lady and she was fantastic he has come on leaps and bounds. I think I set him back a bit with puppy classes, the other puppies were much bigger than he and very exuberant during free play I stopped taking him after a few weeks and tried socialising on my own then realised he was so anxious and wanted to nip it in the bud so I called the rescue and got the recommendation. We had 4 sessions with her and she have us guidance on how to continue to help him. I feel like it is working, he has gone from trying to climb up us to hiding behind us and now he will have a little sniff and be sniffed as long as the other dog is not to full on and then he will walk off and carry on with his walk, if a dog is too excitable around him he gets scared, makes himself small and tried to run away, if it gets like this I will block the other dog and walk on. He is getting a bit braver. The vet recommended adaptil spray since he is not anxious at home as being better than the plug in and says he is very good health.

Hazelnutwhirls Sat 08-Jul-17 20:08:43

My vet hasn't suggested dietary supplements, I have heard if chemical castration but will that not have the same effect as the full castration with the testosterone? He also shows no signs of sexual interest only occasionally humps if he is very excited in play!!

Hazelnutwhirls Sat 08-Jul-17 20:09:31

I will ask about the supplements 😊

Ridingthegravytrain Sat 08-Jul-17 21:10:52

The chemical castration is temporary but gives you an idea of how your dog would behave should he be castrated. We tried it with ours (and decided to definitely not castrate, though obviously eventually we had to)
Think it was called suprelorin

PhoenixJasmine Sat 08-Jul-17 21:53:35

Suprelorin is an implant that lasts 6 months+. There is also a shorter acting injection available.

There are a lot of different supplements out there, I'm becoming quite a fan of a new one called YuCalm, and would use it for a minimum of 3 months, but carry on longer term if we thought it was needed.

Adaptil comes in a collar form as well, so it's with the dog at all times.

Hazelnutwhirls Sat 08-Jul-17 22:04:24

Thank you I will speak to the vet and see if that would be an option for him I would prefer to try the shorter lasting one so that if it has a negative affect then it's not so long because I am worried about undoing all the progress we have made so far.

Can you get the yucalm from the vet?

I will try the adaptil collar too currently I spray onto a bandana when we go to the park but maybe a constant dose would be better!!

I really appreciate the advice!!!!

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