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With the new puppy I am picking up on Tuesday, I would like to get her spayed The dogs I had in the past I did not spay because they where all papered and being trained for work. So I left it up to the buyers to decide to breed later on not. Of course, if there was a health and genetic concern I did spay or neuter. One male had a genetic teeth fault, one female died of a uterine infection (pyometra). This puppy is just for me, I will not be selling her, but keeping her as my family/working dog. The working part just to give me and her a job to do. So is there any truth to a delayed spaying being better than a puppy spaying? The other question is, if she is spayed, will that disqualify her from earning titles if we ever went the Schutzhund route??
 

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Someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't believe a dog must be intact in order to participate in Schutzhund.

I'd spay her before her first heat. Doing so nearly completely eliminates the chances of her ever getting mammary cancer, where if you wait, the chances increase with each heat. It will also prevent pyometra and other uterine diseases (duh :lol:). For me, not having to deal with a bitch in heat, and the fact that spaying before the first heat pretty much prevents the chance of breast cancer, I'd do it early. There are no findings that prove that spaying early is harmful. The only thing I've been able to find on the issue just says that the dog *may* grow a little taller than its intact counterparts.
 

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my opinion on this

I would wait and spay until she is 2 years or older. I would never spay a work dog because you may end up w/ something special. If you end up w/ something special, and you spayed her then you will be sorry. Let the dog mature and see what happens. I see no need to spay at < 2 years age on a working dog. A house pet is another issue. Example. We have a yorkie who had a abnormally large uterus and we had her spay at 6 months. Unless it is a medical issue or a pet I would never spay before the dog is 2 years of age.
 

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In the first post, Liz said she *might* do schutzhund with the dog, but that it is going to be a family pet, with "The working part just to give me and her a job to do." That's why I said I'd go ahead and do the spay before the first heat. She said specifically that this puppy was not going to be strictly or primarily a working or SchH dog. I agree with what you both said, but I don't think it applies to Liz's new puppy.
 

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Kristen Cabe said:
In the first post, Liz said she *might* do schutzhund with the dog, but that it is going to be a family pet, with "The working part just to give me and her a job to do." That's why I said I'd go ahead and do the spay before the first heat. She said specifically that this puppy was not going to be strictly or primarily a working or SchH dog. I agree with what you both said, but I don't think it applies to Liz's new puppy.
I know exactly what you are saying. I will give you an example why not again and then I will concede. We had a litter of puppies out of a BSP male and working sch3 female that bites like a male. One of the female puppies went to the breeders sister. This dog did a little bitework as a puppy but then it became a pet and never came back to the club for 15 months. Then one day the lady who had the female had some health issues. There was a someone in our club who took care of 18 month old female for a few weeks. We brought the female out on the field. She had never done anything but rag work. We grabbed the sleeve and gave her a bite. She bite it like she had been doing it forever. This dog was a very nice sch prospect and breeding prospect but then we got the wammy. She was fixed. The dog had what it took to work. I was very disappointed but that is the way it goes. i would just wait until your dog is 2 years of age to spay.
 

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Lyn Chen said:
Just look at it this way...once it's gone, you can't put it back in. :wink:
That's true. With a pet dog, though, there'd be no reason to.

JMO, from the POV of a person who has done shelter work and sees the results of casual breeding. I applaud Liz for asking. This is just my opinion: The only question about spaying and neutering for pet dogs is "when".

There are arguments against altering before sexual maturity, but for me those are the only valid "against" arguments for pet dogs.

There are many theories about the dismaying rate of canine mammary tumors (25% of females who remain intact through 8 heat cycles will have mammary tumors, and about half are malignant; and benign doesn't mean "not a health problem;" all it means is non-cancerous), but there are no arguments against the fact that spaying cuts the possibility to near zero (if early) or in the single-digit percents (if done at sexual maturity). Every cycle experienced increases the chances of later breast tumors (generally around age 8 or 9), so it's a matter of weighing all factors.

I believe that spayed bitches can participate in all events except conformation. I know that if that's incorrect, someone here will know it, but I did several rule searches before making this post.

Good question, Liz.
 

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I'm doing a mini grant proposal on the somewhat related subject of intrauterine position effect in dogs on adult hormonal phenotype as if I was doing a DVM/PhD (which I'm not...just a masters and DVM is good enough for me), and from several studies I've read, spaying before maturity actually makes the bitches more territorial, not more puppyish. In particular, one paper showed female GSDs who were being used I believe by the military in one of the Asian countries (Korea or Japan perhaps?) that spaying females before 7-9 months made them more territorial to both strange people and strange dogs. I'm not at the office right now, so I can't get the citation at the moment.

Edit: and yeah, as far as I know, you can still do Schutzhund with an altered dog. Me and Zoso will try the AD in a few weeks (hopefully if I get some good training in!) and he was neutered at 4 months.
 

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This is a good thread. We all have the world views that we developed through our own experiences, and we all have valid opinions about this. And they are being expressed without condescension or combat! =D>
 

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Connie, I think it was you that posted a couple of good articles about the results on early spay nueter on dogs.
One thing that comes to mind is the growth plates closing late because of early "fixing".
The GSDs that I've seen all look like long legged coyotes.
There was also something on another forum about females becomming more aggressive when spayed at a late age. Similar to what Maren commented about on early spaying.
 

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Bob Scott said:
Connie, I think it was you that posted a couple of good articles about the results on early spay nueter on dogs.
One thing that comes to mind is the growth plates closing late because of early "fixing".
The GSDs that I've seen all look like long legged coyotes.
There was also something on another forum about females becomming more aggressive when spayed at a late age. Similar to what Maren commented about on early spaying.
Yes, that article addressed the growth plate thing (and the long-bone development) versus the cancer protection and the oops litter challenges, etc., and came up with what the author, a vet who trained SchH dogs, considered to be a valid compromise for working dogs who are not going to be bred. He mentioned 18 months for both sexes. I have read others who suggested 24 months for working dogs who are not going to be bred.

As for strictly pet dogs -- I'm with Kristen in that I haven't seen a compelling argument against early "fixing" of pet dogs, especially when the comparative ease of recovery in a younger dog is taken into account (when we're talking about a dog who will be spayed and the question is only when). By "early," I mean before sexual maturity.

Three million dogs enter shelters every year in this country. 25% are pure-bred. Most do not find a new home.
 

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Totally agree about the pet dogs.
Of the last 5 dogs I've owned, three remained intact. Two show Champions. One of those (Border terrier) was a great working earth dog also. and one Schutzhund dog.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Oh my god, the replies are great. I'm almost scared to decide at what age now though. One poster said that some info suggests that early spaying causing more territory defense - and that terrible first female I ever had I spayed right away, and she was REALLY territorial. But I also think she was just plain un-balanced emotionally, too. So who's to say.

I was an Animal Control Officer many years ago and I continued the habit of taking in lots of stray or unwanted cats and dogs over the past five years. Each one was heartbreaking to let go to their new homes. All of these dogs where coming in as not altered and the last one - the Alaskan malamute was just over a year ago. I knew her since she was a puppy and took her as a favour to my friend who had a animal hoarding problem. Actually she is no longer my friend because I finally called it quits and reported her when her Rotti, male Malamute and Dutch shepherd (all intact) mauled one of her kittens and she called me like usual to come in and clear the dogs and mess of cat blood and fur from her home. That ended our friendship and I left with her female malamute who was pregnant from the male. My heart broke when I had to watch her leave my home to go to her new home, I loved that dog and raised and found homes for her puppies after they where born.
Even if this new dog for me proves absolutely incredible as a work dog, I never want to sell her or see her go. If she turns out great then she will reflect on her lines and that is enough for me.

So I think I will take all the Good advice from everyone, each had a good point and let her have one full heat cycle, that will be in the middle of the road and could be the winner, LOL.
 

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I guess what I mean by my post is if Liz does decide to do Schutzhund, and she ended up having spayed the dog early before it matured properly, and it may not display the total range of behaviours that would be required for the protection phase of Schutzhund. Just something to think about--once you get into the sport, you may become so addicted that a dog who isn't 100% capable of doing it may frustrate you. But if the dog was spayed at two years old, at least it would have developed fully and except for the possibility of breeding you wouldn't have any 'regrets' working-wise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks, this is good information. I don't want the risk of a coyote looking long-legged dog, LOL, and I don't want another crazy dog like my first one. So most people here are somewhat saying that wait until two years of age for the physical and mental growth to finish, then spay if still wanted. This is good advice, I better build a taller fence to keep the neighborhood boys out during heat times. LOL

Edit: Thankyou Kristen for your input, you really did get my most important meaning, the dog is a family pet first and foremost. She will be spayed, but I think I have to play it safe and try the waiting period for her growth.
 

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Liz, sounds like you want your female for the same reason I have Zoso my male. He is a pet first and foremost. Schutzhund is an outlet for him from general nuttiness and if I can even get a BH out of my neutered $90 shelter dog of dubious origin, I think I'm doing pretty good. :D If especially if you're doing it for fun, there's no reason you can't use an altered dog. Another thing I love about Zoso is since he was neutered before puberty, he doesn't mark at all and is my demo dog for my behavioral clients as though he's a rather dog dominant dog, it is in a benevolent sort of way. He "gets along" with the vast majority of other dogs, so he's great for my fosters and my clients with leash aggression cases and things like that.

Lyn, from my understanding of dog estrus cycles, I don't think a spayed female woud be all that much different than in her normal diestrus/anestrus phase. Proestrus, estrus, and metestrus would be another story though. At least with a spayed female for sport, you don't have to deal with pro through metestrus moodiness or overt pseudopregnancy. But then again, I study the hormones in mice and not dogs (at least not yet), so maybe maybe not. Dog behavioral studies are sooooo much harder to do as the in and outbred strains of mice are practically clones of each other while a relatively popular breed like the GSD are not as there are pretty distinct geographical differences.
 

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But spayed "when" are we talking about here? Of course there'll be a difference when you spay before maturity vs. after maturity. :wink:
 

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You already decided to spay so I won´t talk you out of it :wink:
My choose will be at 18 mo. -24 mo. because of her development in character and physics.
 
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