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Castration - small breed dog

(33 Posts)
heatseeker14 Tue 07-Apr-20 18:30:55

I nearly had my miniature cockapoo castrated when he was a very young puppy. I asked for views on here and general consensus was against early castration, so I decided to wait until he was older.
I have started to think about booking him in for the op now he is nearly 9 months old. I know that he can’t have the op at the moment because it is not emergency surgery, but I’m interested in your views on this subject again.
If you have had your dog castrated, please can you tell me the following:
How old he was when he was castrated.
His breed and size (toy/small etc).
Any changes you noticed positive or negative (coat change/behavioural).
How long he took to recover from the op.
If he has forgiven you. 😉
TIA

OP’s posts: |
TeacupRex Tue 07-Apr-20 19:01:11

I have a English cocker spaniel (show type) - he was neutered at 3 years old. I didn't want to do it too early because I wanted him to have fully matured both physically and mentally.

The main reason I got him done was because other male dogs at the park were attracted to him and were challenging him, he's not a submissive dog so would end up having a pop at them. Nothing serious just a lot of noise but I didn't want to chance a proper dogfight. Never had any issues with him marking in the house or humping.

A couple of months after the op, I noticed he's a lot more chilled out with all other dogs in general at the park. Dogs that would regularly have a go at him now didn't care less about him. His recall actually improved, although he can still be very stubborn when he wants to.

Negatives - his coat unfortunately did change - before it was very long and silky and a few months after, his coat sort of blew up and went all woolly. He can't be handstripped anymore, only clipped. But it was a small price to pay to have a calmer dog. He also became even greedier, before we could leave food around and he probably wouldn't touch it, now you have to be very careful. He never turns his nose up at his dinner now though, if he does we know there's something seriously wrong! He did actually lose weight after neutering, as opposed to putting on like some dogs do.

He was back to his normal self about a day after the op after the sedatives wore off.. do have to be careful about them running/ jumping up onto things as you don't want the stitches to open up. Took about 2-3 weeks before the wound was fully healed. They do bounce back extremely fast.

On the whole it was the right choice. He's always been a very confident, good-tempered dog, neutering just took the edge off when it came to territorial males. Shame about the coat, but he still looks just as handsome!

heatseeker14 Wed 08-Apr-20 09:12:13

Thanks for taking the time to reply, TeacupRex. I found your post very helpful. Our puppy is already very greedy, so I hope this doesn’t get any worse! The main reason for wanting to get him done sooner rather than later is his increased humping. He is humping quite a bit now and becoming more persistent, especially with my youngest ds. I’ve also noticed a couple of male dogs have started to have a go at our boy recently for no apparent reason. Perhaps it is linked to him hitting adolescence. Good to know that this sort of thing should stop once he has had the op.
I am worried about how I’m going to stop him jumping up on the sofa and beds (especially mine which is ridiculously high). The very thought of him bursting stitches makes me feel ill. I could sleep downstairs with him to begin with to stop him getting on the bed. He doesn’t use his crate anymore, so I don’t think he would want to go in there to sleep.

OP’s posts: |
sestras Wed 08-Apr-20 09:26:04

My dog is a small breed and was neutered at 1.

He was starting to become an absolute horror to other dogs out on walks and was pestering the life out of my other dogs.

He's never lost the urge, he still shags my other dogs and he's still a horror to other dogs out on a walk so nothing changed at all.

He recovered after a few days.

thereinmadnesslies Wed 08-Apr-20 09:35:28

I got my cockapoo castrated at 9m, on the vet’s advice. I regret it tbh. It didn’t stop him humping. It escalated all his nervousness into full scale anxiety. It also left him with a total aggressive fear of going to the vets. If I had another dog I would wait until about age 2 when they seem to calm down a bit anyway.

heatseeker14 Wed 08-Apr-20 10:20:34

That’s a bit of a worry, Sestras. How old is your dog now? We have been trying to train our pup to stop humping. I thought him having the op would help calm him down, perhaps not. 😏
Sorry to hear your dog has had a bad experience, thereinmadnesslies. The vet we use hasn’t given any advice about castration. They just told us they offer paediatric castration and dogs recover a lot faster when they are young. Our boy is super confident, and apart from being spooked by a lone ground worker in a very quiet field, he hasn’t shown fear around people or dogs.
Has anyone had their super confident puppy become nervous after the op?

OP’s posts: |
koshkatt Wed 08-Apr-20 11:15:18

I considered this long and hard OP and did lots of research and asked several of the vets at my practice. The consensus was pretty much that neutering should not be seen as a catch all for any behavioural issues and that evidence is emerging that it can put your dog at risk of more cancers.
So I left well alone and my three year old boy is happy, well adjusted, fit and well.

vanillandhoney Wed 08-Apr-20 11:38:39

How old he was when he was castrated.
We got ours castrated at eighteen months old.

His breed and size (toy/small etc).
He's a beagle and weighed 17.5kg at the time of surgery.

Any changes you noticed positive or negative (coat change or behavioural).
He calmed down considerably and settled easier in the house. Otherwise his behaviour remained the same. His coat didn't change.

How long he took to recover from the op.
We picked him up from the vets at 1pm. He came home, slept all evening, had dinner, slept all night and had a slow walk the next day. He was a bit groggy that day but the following day he was absolutely fine and had no issues. The hardest part was keeping him on lead while his wound healed!

Fluffykitten23 Wed 08-Apr-20 11:52:44

Hi op I had our small dog neutered at nearly 12 months. He stopped humping stuff and is alot calmer with other dogs. He wasn't nasty I'd say just more relaxed now. It hasn't changed his personality as a household member at all. Still guards the house so has not became submissive in that regards. Has not gained weight has actually lost abit although he still eats the same. His coat never changed although he is going from a black dog to a brown dog this summer I have no idea why but castration was a year ago so not that. I'd say only positives and I don't have to watch the humping Infront my children. Hope this helps

k1233 Wed 08-Apr-20 12:04:35

My staffy was neutered at 11 yo due to cancer in one testicle. He recovered fine.

My westie was done at 9mo as I was worried someone would steal him for backyard breeding - we're on a high traffic road and he is heartbreakingly gorgeous.

There was no change to either dog personality or coat wise. Both still love(d) going to the vets. The staffy was very well trained and a very friendly, popular with other dogs type of dog. Always got on well with other dogs at puppy park despite being entire.

Both were boofier types - the staffy was lean at 21kg, westie is 10kg and a good weight for his build. The presence or absence of testicles doesn't appear to have changed their build (in my sample size of two).

Lunafortheloveogod Wed 08-Apr-20 12:17:11

My boy was done at 5, late but he had unexplainable medical issues so voted against any unnecessary anaesthetic until we had answers.

Chihuahua 3.4kgs at the time.

He’s still an arsehole.. but at his age neutering wouldn’t change behaviour. But he’s gone up to 4kg ish so has oddly helped one of his issues.. insanely poor appetite anyone who says they won’t starve themselves hasn’t met him. Probably unrelated but he’s less than impressed looking if you ask him “where’s the ball”

Mentally he probably never will, no ones sent out the Oscar. Physically about two days when I dropped a bit of chicken he immediately reverted to a normal fast moving dog, before acting again for two weeks.

WhWt Wed 08-Apr-20 16:20:08

Mine was 8 months when I had him done, he’s a 11kg Working Cocker so quite small.

I would have ideally waited a little longer but he started scent marking in the house.

It stopped instantly after neutering, but there were no other pros/cons to note. He’s always been disinterested in other dogs before and after, and his recall was excellent before and nothing changed after.

I was very concerned about his coat changing but thankfully it hasn’t, he’a still got a very flat, straight silky coat rather than than wavy woolly look some can get.

I thought it might help him to maintain his weight a little but no such luck! He is a very, very slim dog. Eats like a horse but always on the go.

JosieJosie1 Wed 08-Apr-20 17:29:11

This is an interesting thread. The day care we want to send our dog to says all dogs over 6 months must be neutered. So we were thinking we will have to do it then.

heatseeker14 Wed 08-Apr-20 17:55:01

Thank you for all of your replies. Lots of helpful posts. It seems most of you have waited until 1 year +. I hope the op will either stop or reduce the humping. He also seems to have his pocket rocket out a lot these days.
I have heard that if a dog is castrated too early, they will be locked mentally at that age. Is there any truth to this?

OP’s posts: |
BiteyShark Wed 08-Apr-20 18:30:58

My working cocker was castrated at 10.5 months.

I can't say we saw much change either negatively or positively.

* I have heard that if a dog is castrated too early, they will be locked mentally at that age. Is there any truth to this?*

Not for us. I was told by other spaniel owners around 3 years they calm down and I would agree with that which had nothing to do with him being castrated.

Wolfiefan Wed 08-Apr-20 18:33:53

Humping isn’t a sexual behaviour and neutering won’t stop it.

MaryLennoxsScowl Wed 08-Apr-20 19:55:54

Watching this with interest. I was holding out for a year as I read it was healthier and as pup is now nearly ten months it looks like we won’t have a choice even if we wanted to do it now by the time lockdown is lifted. He isn’t marking in the house or humping (cross fingers) but has shown signs of rougher playfighting with other dogs (they all seem to be enjoying it though) and being more territorial - he now barks if he hears something outside the flat after I was so proud he wasn’t noisy - and his, erm, lipstick makes regular appearances now. He’s a wcs too.

Wolfiefan Wed 08-Apr-20 20:43:46

Neutering is not something I would consider unless it was for health reasons or to prevent unwanted puppies.
Behavioural issues are better dealt with by training or the help of a behaviourist.

koshkatt Thu 09-Apr-20 10:17:04

I agree completely with Wolfie.

Mary your dog is just doing his job. Mine bark if there is someone at the door or they hear something outside and I am glad they do. They stop when I tell them to.
Playfighting as a puppy is what puppies do! I am not sure why you feel that you have no choice in this when your young dog is just being....a young dog?

heatseeker14 Thu 09-Apr-20 10:45:18

Koshkatt, MaryLS was saying the decision has been taken out of her hands due to the virus. Her pup could be a year old once the lockdown has been lifted.
We will be getting our pup neutered at some point because we don’t want him to father any pups. If there are any positive side effects to having it done that would be a bonus. Most dog walkers I have spoken to said it calmed their dog down. It seems some people notice a change after the op. It could be a coincidence. I fully understand that it is not guaranteed to calm a dog or stop humping. Our boy is still a very young dog. Some of the humping is due to him getting overexcited. I understand neutering is not a quick fix solution to unwanted behaviour, and training will continue as normal after the op. I’m just curious and would like to hear about other people’s experiences post op.

OP’s posts: |
koshkatt Thu 09-Apr-20 10:59:39

Sorry Yes I misunderstood. Apologies Mary!

I still think that castration to fix behaviour is wrong though. Training is the way forward. And responsible owners do not allow their dogs to sire litters in any case.

MaryLennoxsScowl Thu 09-Apr-20 11:55:32

I didn’t mean to give the impression I wanted him not to play! I don’t think neutering will stop him barking anyway and agree he needs training; I just meant it’s a sign he may be becoming more mature and I hope he doesn’t start doing anything more problematic like marking indoors.

But actually I don’t want him to bark when he hears regular noises either. I live in a flat with 12 households in the building so you can imagine how often someone is walking through our stairs, and him barking at everyone is a nuisance to the neighbours. At least we’re home constantly now to tell him not to do it...

Wolfiefan Thu 09-Apr-20 12:17:53

Dogs don’t understand “no” so telling him not to do it won’t eradicate the behaviour.

heatseeker14 Thu 09-Apr-20 13:42:36

Good luck with the training, MaryLS. Thankfully our pup only barks occasionally if there is a pigeon in the garden. I’ve learnt to look around outside before opening the back door!

OP’s posts: |
SutterCane Thu 09-Apr-20 15:22:59

It's well worth reading the SkeptVet's blog posts about neutering. The APBC also have some useful information about the possible behavioural effects of castration on male dogs.

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