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I'm under pressure to neuter 9 month old Labrador, advice needed.

(18 Posts)
freshstart24 Tue 31-Oct-17 11:34:24

We have a wonderful 9 month old Labrador. He is pretty well behaved, relaxed and a wonderful addition to our family.

Both local vets and the day care that we use twice a week have advised us to delay neutering him until he's at least 18 months old. They said recent thinking is that early castration can cause bigger dogs to grow larger than their genetics intended (leading to joint issues), become fearful along with other negative effects.

We've taken this advice on board and delayed castration indefinitely.

The only behavioural issue that we have is that he gets very excited when he sees other dogs. He wants to play, strains on the lead, jumps about a bit and totally looses focus. We are working on using high value trays to reward him for focussing on us rather than other dogs- but it is slow progress and sometimes his focus is totally on the dogs.

We never let him close to other dogs when he is like this as we are mindful that many dogs don't want an overexcited lab in their face.

When at day care he runs out with the pack and gets on fine, he also pays nicely with some of my friends dogs. If he gets too boisterous they tell him off and he listens and backs off.

My in laws are putting huge pressure on us to get him castrated in order to calm his craziness upon seeing potential play mates. That have four dogs, have kept dogs all their lives (collies), and use more forceful training methods than we would. Their dogs are very very well behaved. When we get together our dog can easily get too boisterous, we always remove him when this happens.

I thought he was a normal adolescent dog, but they are adamant that he is t

freshstart24 Tue 31-Oct-17 11:36:34

Oops posted too soon...

They are adamant he is too boisterous, and would calm down and be less excitable in company if castrated.

I'm interested in other people's experiences of over friendly adolescent dogs who really really want to play with every dog they see- am I missing a training method? Will he grow out of it? Should we be considering castration?

RiseToday Tue 31-Oct-17 11:41:52

I have two males. One is an ex stud dog, castrated a few years ago when he was six.

The other one is 3 years old and entire.

In my experience, castration definitely calmed the older one. When he was entire he wanted to get up close and personal with every dog. He would puff his chest out, pull, whine etc. My younger entire dog does exactly the same thing.

So I do agree that castration does tend to curb their intense interest in other dogs and calms them down but yours is so young so he will likely still retain some of that behaviour anyway, whilst he's still so young.

Elphame Tue 31-Oct-17 11:58:41

Young labs are boisterous - it's in their job description. Castration might help a bit but it won't be a miracle cure.

Your inlaws have probably forgotten what young dogs are like if they have mature collies.

SparklingRaspberry Tue 31-Oct-17 12:04:41

Don't do it

Wait until he's at least 18 months old.

Steeley113 Tue 31-Oct-17 12:27:07

I have an intact male. We rescued him 12 months ago when he was 3, when I took him for an initial vet check up they said to get him done be by 4 otherwise there is no benefits. Well, due to some of his separation issues and us spending time working on those, a year flew by and he's now 4. I think we're just going to leave him intact as he's lovely as he is...

Lonecatwithkitten Tue 31-Oct-17 13:12:02

In some cases castration coincides with training coming together and the dog calms down.
Castration is not a magic bullet and will not calm him down. There is not a shred of evidence to support that.
Your vet is saying wait listen to them they make no money from telling you to wait.

sparechange Tue 31-Oct-17 13:27:45

The behaviour you describe is typical 9 month lab - bitch or dog

Castrating him now won't change it overnight. He just needs to grow up a bit and calm down, which you are reinforcing with his training as well as his pack teaching him doggy manners

mummyflood Tue 31-Oct-17 14:43:37

What Lonecat said. If his enthusiastic behaviour is your only consideration...I would say dont make a castration decision on this alone.

We had our( now deceased) retriever done at roughly the same age for this same reason. It definitely made him worse. His over-fussy behaviour with other dogs and people actually increased. No amount of training ever had any noticeable effect. And we tried everything. I am still firmly of the belief that early castration, i.e. before they are fully developed, can
detrimentally mess with the hormones, and on this basis decided to hold off with our subsequent dog.

We now have an almost two year old male dog, different gundog breed, who is still entire and will remain so indefinitely. I have taken advice from our vet, who basically said that the only thing castration was guaranteed to sort was his ability to father puppies. Anything else is hit-and-miss.

Your pup is at prime adolescent age...any previously learned training and focus etc can go out of the window at this age!! but as with kids, the mantra is ''it is a phase, this too shall '' we were given the advice to just remain consistent and vigilant.


freshstart24 Tue 31-Oct-17 15:44:47

Thank you for all your helpful replies. I'm really glad to hear that our young dog's behaviour is quite typical of an adolescent lab.

I will stick by my guns regarding delaying castration.

I wish MIL, SIL and everyone else would accept that things change and that neutering at 6 months is no longer considered best practise. They have their judgey pants pulled up very high and think we are indulgent and bonkers. I might have a google to see if I can find anything to show them that backs up the latest theories.

SwimmingInTheBlueLagoon Tue 31-Oct-17 18:20:28

I thought there had been research papers published on both the joints issue and on the behavioural issues. If you don't allow them to go through their teenage hormonal time, they do not mentally mature properly, behavioural issues normally get worse, aggression often gets worse (fear based aggression does which is what most 'aggressive' dogs are displaying).

I have a Cavalier so also a people and dog loving breed. He was exactly as you describe until 12months old when he just suddenly changed and stopped doing at most dogs. He is now 17months and fully stopped.

Also in humans the many negative effects (non-sexual too) of not having correct hormones is well documented. It is always seen as a major issue for humans health, so i cannot understand why the negative effects for animals are often overlooked.

missbattenburg Tue 31-Oct-17 18:34:04

Interesting study showing intact males display less aggression than neutered and that aggression levels reduce the later on they are neutered.

Similarly showing low anxiety in intact males but high levels of anxiety in males neutered early (6 months) - reducing the later the male is neutered.

Pertinent to your case, also showing higher levels of excitability in neutered males than intact ones.

The conclusion mentions a larger data set that also showed significant decreases in trainability in neutered males.

Hoppinggreen Tue 31-Oct-17 18:34:19

Our Goldie was over excited by other dogs and sounds a lot like yours
We had him neutered at 1 and he is much calmer and better behaved
Daycare say he's like a different dog and they much prefer him!!
Worked for us anyway

feudebois Tue 31-Oct-17 18:36:19

Our lab was like this. He's 5 now and very calm. We never did get him neutered, he's got fab breeding and we thought we might breed from him one day.

Nifflerbowtruckle Tue 31-Oct-17 18:43:59

My in laws 18 month old springer is exactly as you describe. He was castrated at 6 months. It’s mainly puppiness not to do with not being castrated. It’s only in the past couple of months he’s a bit more focused on owner rather than other dogs when walking. He plays rough and a lot of dogs don’t like it. He likes being nipped though hmm. He has specific dogs he plays with for the most part who are used to him now.

LadyinCement Wed 01-Nov-17 10:37:30

It really depends on the dog.

I had my golden retriever neutered at 13 months. I was trying to hold off, after reading much on the subject on the internet and listening to doggy people's views, but dog was rampant . He was eyeing dd's friends (well, more than eyeing) and I couldn't take him out as he was pursuing every female dog within a mile. At certain houses he'd start baying outside and lie down and refuse to move.

He was a changed dog when he limped home from the vet's. He would have made a wonderful stud dog - handsome, and obviously very willing! but at the end of the day he was a family pet and not a canine Hugh Hefner.

Hoppinggreen Wed 01-Nov-17 12:57:36

Yes lady DD's teen friends certainly got a lot of attention in Our house before our Goldie was neutered - didn't need to ask DD if she had her period ( or anyone else who set foot through the door) !!!

MsAdorabelleDearheartVonLipwig Wed 01-Nov-17 14:42:20

Eewww. grin

My lab is now two and a half and I’m of the opinion that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. He’s physically and mentally fantastic and I’m not going to upset matters.

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