To neuter or not?

(20 Posts)
Lau123lau Fri 01-Feb-19 10:13:07

Give me some arguments for and against neutering (male dog). I’ve always just taken for granted that we would neuter pup once he was old enough but DP can’t see why we should bother as long as his behaviour isn’t affected.

OP’s posts: |
TheLostTargaryen Fri 01-Feb-19 10:23:07

No chance of developing testicular cancer, reduced chance of prostate problems, reduces risk of running away (following in heat bitch) if they get off lead or out of the house/garden and of course, neutering young hugely reduces the chances of developing aggression. Waiting until there is any behavioural issues before doing it may not cure the issues after the fact.

TheLostTargaryen Fri 01-Feb-19 10:23:48

And he can't impregnate any unspayed bitches. Pretty good reason right there.

TheLostTargaryen Fri 01-Feb-19 10:24:36

No arguments against either because unless you are keeping him as a stud, there is no reason at all to keep him intact.

BiteyShark Fri 01-Feb-19 10:24:45

I had mine neutered because I didn't want any hassle of him running after bitches in season plus it makes it easier for daycare and dog walkers as some of them won't walk an in neutered male in a group (my primary walker doesn't have that restriction but my backup one does).

The downside is that's once it's done apart from expensive regular testosterone injections there is no going back. The current thinking is that neutering too early can affect the growth plates and can increase fear aggression if your dog has that prior to the operation.

However, I am happy that we did our dog.

BiteyShark Fri 01-Feb-19 10:25:55

Sorry a few typos as my phone won't let me preview anymore.

I also forgot I had no plans at all to breed from him as he's simply my pet.

Esssa Fri 01-Feb-19 10:27:54

I think a lot of people these days are realising it's not just the thing you do there are good and bad things about it.
Old enough could be 2 years old especially for large breeds to ensure their growth isnt affected. It your dog shows any issues with fear/fear aggression you could make it worse by neutering. The dogs metabolism would most likely slow down and his appetite increase so you would have to be more careful with his meals and exercise to keep him a good weight. I assume 'spay coat' is also a thing for dogs?
On the plus side he wouldn't get testicular cancer and he would be less likely to go lookibg for bitches in season that he can smell, making escapist behaviour and recall problems due to that less likely.
Thats about all i can think of right now. Im sure someone else will be along to advise or correct what ive said if its wrong.

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TheHodgeoftheHedge Fri 01-Feb-19 10:30:03

Everything TheLostTargaryen said.

Done at the correct time, you are potentially keeping your dog healthier and key is preventing the risk of unwanted puppies. Unless your dog is going to be a stud, there is actually no good reason not to.

missbattenburg Fri 01-Feb-19 10:32:29

Pros
No chance of testicular cancer
No chance of unwanted puppies
Reduced instinct to roam and follow bitches in heat but no guarantee of this.
Reduced risk of marking behaviour
Reduced risk of humping - but not guaranteed
Reduced risk of territorial aggression

Cons
Increased risk of bone cancer
Increased risk of hip and joint problems, especially if done before mature growth is finished
Increased risk of fear based aggression
Reduced confidence, especially if done young

Neutral: growth is affected in the following way - neutered dogs tend to be taller with finer bones; intact dogs would grow less tall but stockier. Again, the amount of influence would be greater the younger the dog was done.

So, it depends on your dog. If you have a breed that is prone to hip and joint problems you might want to wait several years until he is fully mature and his joints are all fully settled etc. If you have a breed with a tendency to bone cancer you may not wish to increase the risk any further by neutering. If you have a under confident dog you may choose to leave him with the added confidence boost that testosterone brings.

If you have an over confident dog, you might not worry about any impact of neutering. If you have a garden that is not 100% secure, you may choose to neuter to reduce the drive to escape. If you have a humper or a marker you may choose neutering to see if you can reduce it (would still need training as well). If your dog is regularly walked by other people or children you may choose neutering to reduce the chances they fail to control him and you end up with a paternity case smile.

Whitney168 Fri 01-Feb-19 10:33:47

I fully expect to be over-ruled on this thread, but there are medical and behavioural arguments both for and against neutering males and females.

No properly managed dog impregnates any unintended females either.

Neuter coat is definitely a thing in both dogs and bitches, the effect of this will depend on the type of dog.

Neutering has it's place, but I think it's a great shame that it has become the standard without any thought. It affects dogs' social relationships and is completely unnecessary in most dogs.

BoeandBall Fri 01-Feb-19 10:47:59

My 7mo puppy is going in for castrations next week. He's been marking everywhere and humping his toys and my arms. I think even if he wasn't doing this we would still have him done because you never know when he could potentially get a bitch pregnant. It could happen on a walk off lead without you even knowing. Also, some breeds have problems. My puppy cannot be bred because he has cherry eye

missbattenburg Fri 01-Feb-19 10:48:19

I'm with you, whitney. I am neither strongly for and against it but hope people take the time to understand all the possible effects so they can make an informed decision, rather than just thinking neutered = good, intact = bad. There is not right answer but a case of which will work best for the dog and owner and the environment they live in.

Moreover, not all the effects of neutering on dogs IS known and there is a fair bit of research interest in the subject again, mainly as a result of the two main studies that appear to link fear/unprovoked aggression with neutering early.

All the best any of us pet owners can do is look at the science, gather information and try to make the best decision we can with the info we have.

As OP is doing smile

OP - chemical castration is way of testing the water before committing to something permanent.

Whitney168 Fri 01-Feb-19 10:50:08

you never know when he could potentially get a bitch pregnant. It could happen on a walk off lead without you even knowing

Unless your dog regularly goes AWOL on walks for half an hour or so, it really really couldn't!

spot102 Fri 01-Feb-19 15:08:04

I'm not a great fan of neutering, however if you and your dog wish to interact with other dogs it is certainly more convenient to have them neutered. If not entirely up to you. Some good reasons above, but do continue to research on line. None of mine have been neutered (yet - always a first time!) and no puppies here (that I know about anyway). Personally, if I was to do it, I would wait till the dog is fully mature first as it can affect their growth.
One statistic I saw recently was that it would reduce their metabolism by about 30% and increase their appetite, which could make for a fat and/or hungry dog, but I cant vouch for its reliability. Might be worth checking out if this concerns you

BiteyShark Fri 01-Feb-19 15:11:03

The increased appetite isn't something I have seen but my dog has never been highly motivated by food and is very active so it isn't something I have had to worry about a lot. However, if you have a dog that steals food and never says no to any food that might be a different story.

Wolfiefan Fri 01-Feb-19 15:15:39

@BoeandBall I don’t know what breed yours is but I would never consider neutering such a young dog.
OP your dog needs to be fully mature and you need to consider why you want to do it. It’s not a cure for behavioural issues. Would you consider the implant to see what (if any) effect it would have?

Blistory Fri 01-Feb-19 15:22:53

It depends on how you view risk.

If testicular cancer is already very low risk or very treatable, it's much more of a tick in 'confers a small advantage' box of neutering

If the risk of cruciate ligament damage is increased even slightly by neutering, that's not a risk I'd be so willing to accept as a trade off in a large breed so that's a big cross in the disadvantages of neutering box.

I'd rather manage the inconveniences of an intact dog but I understand that for some it that can make day to day management of behaviours more hands on.

Lau123lau Fri 01-Feb-19 15:27:20

Thanks for replies.

Pup is approaching 8 months and is a medium sized breed. Currently loves everyone and has no issues with aggression at all. He does however have a very keen interest in other dogs but he’s a whippet so this is a common trait and unrelated to his neutering status!

Currently no marking or humping. I think waiting until his 12-18 months and reassessing might be a good idea.

OP’s posts: |
Wolfiefan Fri 01-Feb-19 15:31:01

Neutering won’t necessarily change either of those behaviours. A year is very young too.

peeblet Fri 01-Feb-19 16:11:05

we waited until 18 months and did it because he was horrendous at trying to escape and find girls , would literally scream loudly and pulling on the lead desperately sniffing every time we went out and was just very stressful.
it did solve all that... but he has packed on so much weight which even being super strict on is v difficult to get rid of, and is constantly seeking food ever since the neutering. his coat also changed which is a shame as it now takes more to look after as its a bit fluffy rather than wirey.

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