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Neutering dilemma(9 Posts)
We have a 10 month old Kelpie cross (mum is a Newfy) and he's growing into quite a big strong boy. The vet has advised that he's classed as a large/giant breed and (if possible) to leave neutering him until he's 18 months to 2 years, if possible due to him being a larger breed.
Several dog owning friends have advised to get him done sooner rather than later, particularly if he's likely to encounter any bitches in season. They say he will calm down a lot. He's not aggressive or noisy but will nip if he's playing and thinks you're ignoring him and he's obviously young and energetic.
When walking him, he's generally ok, but if he sees a dog or a fox, he can pull suddenly and last week it was wet and I slid and lost my grip and he ran off into the nearby farm. We live rurally, so most of the walking is on narrow country lanes, on the nearby beach or in the woods. We rarely take him into town. He gets 2-3 walks a day and can run around the garden 2 acres).
DH is keen to get him done soon but I wonder if we should try leaving it longer?
Neutering makes no difference to being young and energetic, nor to running off in the situation you describe. All of that is consistent training over time.
You are lucky your vet is giving you such good advice - I would wait as long as possible. Castration will have no difference on the behavioural traits you describe but could affect his physical development if done too early. The only behaviour that improves after castration is scent marking.
Tbh you have a kelpie/newfy cross he is never going to calm down without consistent positive training.
Nipping is a common kelpie trait and you will need to work on this. He is an intelligent herding breed and will nip when frustrated.
I personally feel that you need to be doing more brain work with him than just exercise. The exercise is good but you will never tire out a Kelpie physically so will need to up his brain work.
Are you getting help with his training?
Have you considered a dog sport with him, scentwork, mantrailing, tracking etc. All of these would be great at giving him something to do and also get him tired.
I bet he is stunning though - any pictures?
Neutering early won't change his behaviour, training will do that. It's potentially damaging to his joints and growth plates if you neuter too early. Listen to your vet!
I think the problem is people think neutering changes dogs behaviour in all ways because of the ages dogs are often neutered at coinciding with mentally maturing.
Op the only behaviours neutering help with are if he's being a sex pest or marking his territory (and neutering doesn't always stop that).
Could you use a double ended lead with a headcollar? So you walk on normal collar but if he tries to charge off you can engage the headcollar to stop it?
Oh and lost of testosterone can cause a nervous dog to become fear aggressive because nervous dogs tend to need their testosterone.
Thank you for all your replies. It's helped me to understand a little more about the effects of neutering.
I'll discuss with DH again and probably with the vet at his next check up.
i have always had giant breed dogs, leonbergers and saint bernards, we have never had any of ours neutered, neutering will only stop a dog from being able to breed, it wont calm a dog down or improve bad behaviour training is the only thing that will help with any bad behaviour, a good head collar, halti or dogmatic, will help with the pulling and you will be surprised how easy it it to control them in difficult situations, treat when walking nice, stop when not