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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've seen a lot of articles and messageboard replies in various places on the 'net concerning the "aggressiveness" of un-neutered dogs. It got me wondering what, if any, effect neutering has on a dog's temperment.

I have a 12 mth old un-neutered male and was told that if we were going to neuter, not to do it until after 2 years of age b/c it might affect drives. I'm not sure how true that is, either. The breeder about had a heart attack when I asked about a spay/neuter agreement during his purchase (she couldn't understand why anyone would want to sterilize a dog).

So I'm turning to you experienced dog people: is there a difference? Do you neuter your dogs? If so, at what age?
 

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Personally I won't neuter my male unless there's a phsyical medical reason to do so. Same goes for spaying my girl, unless there's a medical reason, I won't do it. I also feel that neutering as a puppy kinda "locks" the pups mindset in a less mature state than neutering as an adult, because all the things that the body needs to mature and develop aren't present.

My vet threw all these statistics at me about neutering reduces aggression this that n the other by this much percent n eliminates this that n the other.... I told him "if I can't fix those things with training then that would make me a crappy trainer". I don't rely on un-neccesary surgery to solve potential behavioral problems.

There are some people out there who SHOULD spay/neuter, but, IMO, most of these people are either pet people who are often not responsible or vigilant enough to keep "accidents" from happening, or the dogs have medical issues, or the dogs aren't in absolute perfect health.

These are just my opinions on the subject, everyone has their own idea on when to neuter/if to neuter... personally I don't see any need for it, neutering causes more problems than it solves in my book.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Mike,

Have you found that your males "wander"? I've had that said to me, as well: that unneutered males are constantly looking for females.

It's rare to see altered animals in Germany. They feel, as you do, that it is unfair to surgically alter a healthy animal.

My rescue dog is spayed b/c that was a condition of her contract. In all fairness she's a pet and I had no choice, so it was done. My cat was also done. But I just somehow feel it's wrong to do Achilles, even though I've had more than one vet get upset with me on the topic.

That's a very good point about training...and I'm not sure that neutering DOES control aggression and other behavioral issues. Is there any evidence on this?
 

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Mike Schoonbrood said:
Personally I won't neuter my male unless there's a phsyical medical reason to do so. Same goes for spaying my girl, unless there's a medical reason, I won't do it. I also feel that neutering as a puppy kinda "locks" the pups mindset in a less mature state than neutering as an adult, because all the things that the body needs to mature and develop aren't present.

My vet threw all these statistics at me about neutering reduces aggression this that n the other by this much percent n eliminates this that n the other.... I told him "if I can't fix those things with training then that would make me a crappy trainer". I don't rely on un-neccesary surgery to solve potential behavioral problems.

There are some people out there who SHOULD spay/neuter, but, IMO, most of these people are either pet people who are often not responsible or vigilant enough to keep "accidents" from happening, or the dogs have medical issues, or the dogs aren't in absolute perfect health.

These are just my opinions on the subject, everyone has their own idea on when to neuter/if to neuter... personally I don't see any need for it, .
A big AMEN! even though i´m an atheist :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
OMG: I think just met one of those people who SHOULD sterilize!

He was asking me I want a puppy (ummmmm, got a puppy: thanks). So he starts telling me that he as an English bulldog and they were going to breed her but couldn't find a stud and she went into season and was bred by a black lab! She had 5 puppies but they lost 3 b/c she smothered them. They kept one female and gave the male away. Now the bulldog/lab female they kept was bred by another black lab! So they have 11 puppies to find homes for.

He was telling me he was letting them go home at 6 weeks (which I said wasn't a great idea, I'd wait until 8 or so) and that they're beautiful dogs. I did tell him that I thought the puppy owners should be careful about teh dogs' hips with the extra weight from daddy lab on those bulldog frames (they've retained the build of a bulldog with teh flat nose and lab coloring, and lab size).

Hmmmmmm...................I think even Achilles was shaking his head while this guy talked LOL.
 

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Mike Schoonbrood said:
Personally I won't neuter my male unless there's a phsyical medical reason to do so. Same goes for spaying my girl, unless there's a medical reason, I won't do it. I also feel that neutering as a puppy kinda "locks" the pups mindset in a less mature state than neutering as an adult, because all the things that the body needs to mature and develop aren't present.

My vet threw all these statistics at me about neutering reduces aggression this that n the other by this much percent n eliminates this that n the other.... I told him "if I can't fix those things with training then that would make me a crappy trainer". I don't rely on un-neccesary surgery to solve potential behavioral problems.

There are some people out there who SHOULD spay/neuter, but, IMO, most of these people are either pet people who are often not responsible or vigilant enough to keep "accidents" from happening, or the dogs have medical issues, or the dogs aren't in absolute perfect health.

These are just my opinions on the subject, everyone has their own idea on when to neuter/if to neuter... personally I don't see any need for it, neutering causes more problems than it solves in my book.

COULDN'T HAVE SAID IT BETTER. I AGREE 101%. I have a 14 months old male full male.

Rashmi
 

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Personally I won't neuter my male unless there's a phsyical medical reason to do so. Same goes for spaying my girl, unless there's a medical reason, I won't do it.
There are several physical medical reasons for speutering. Spaying a female can decrease her chances of developing 'breast' cancer - the percentage goes down to almost 0 if she is spayed before the first heat. It can also completely eliminate the chances of her deveoping uterine or ovarian cancer, and pyometra (a very serious infection of the uterous, which can be deadly and is extremely costly to treat). Neutering a male dog can decrease the chances of him developing prostate disease, and completely eliminate the chances of testicular cancer.

As for the behavioral problems that are supposedly solved by speutering, many of those things CAN be dealt with through training, but some cannot. Female dogs have mood swings just like some women do, and can become cranky and even aggressive when they are in heat. Bitches in heat are not fun to deal with - why do you think the term is used for certain women?! :lol: The inclination to roam is also something that can't really be trained out. When a male dog smells a female in heat (and he can do so for miles!), he is going to do all he can do to get to her. Sometimes he can cause injury to himself in the process. One of my trainer's dogs was so frustrated that he licked his front paws completely bloody raw because the bitch in the kennel next to him was coming in to heat (they didn't realize she was in heat at first). Also, statistics prove that intact dogs are more likely to bite; most of the dog bites you hear about in the news are from unneutered males.


Is this an arguement for speutering? Yes and no. I do not feel that anyone on this board needs to be fussed at or lectured for having intact dogs. Jak is intact, and will remain so until he is at least 2 years old, but will be neutered at around that time if he isn't suitable for breeding, or when he becomes too old to be bred. My other dog was spayed at 2.5 months old. She is a mixed breed. I have no experience breeding dogs, and no desire to have a female with puppies. No reason to keep her intact at all. The average pet owner, however, should not own an intact animal, in my opinion. There is absolutely no reason at all for average people to own or breed an intact animal just because. That's where our overpopulation problem stems from, and I'm sure you all are well aware of this. Shelters and rescues that don't speuter their animals before they are adopted are a BIG peeve of mine, as are breeders who sell their animals to pet homes but require that the animal be bred at least once before the new owner is allowed to speuter it.
 

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Kristen Cabe said:
Personally I won't neuter my male unless there's a phsyical medical reason to do so. Same goes for spaying my girl, unless there's a medical reason, I won't do it.
There are several physical medical reasons for speutering. Spaying a female can decrease her chances of developing 'breast' cancer - the percentage goes down to almost 0 if she is spayed before the first heat. It can also completely eliminate the chances of her deveoping uterine or ovarian cancer, and pyometra (a very serious infection of the uterous, which can be deadly and is extremely costly to treat). Neutering a male dog can decrease the chances of him developing prostate disease, and completely eliminate the chances of testicular cancer.

As for the behavioral problems that are supposedly solved by speutering, many of those things CAN be dealt with through training, but some cannot. Female dogs have mood swings just like some women do, and can become cranky and even aggressive when they are in heat. Bitches in heat are not fun to deal with - why do you think the term is used for certain women?! :lol: The inclination to roam is also something that can't really be trained out. When a male dog smells a female in heat (and he can do so for miles!), he is going to do all he can do to get to her. Sometimes he can cause injury to himself in the process. One of my trainer's dogs was so frustrated that he licked his front paws completely bloody raw because the bitch in the kennel next to him was coming in to heat (they didn't realize she was in heat at first). Also, statistics prove that intact dogs are more likely to bite; most of the dog bites you hear about in the news are from unneutered males.


Is this an arguement for speutering? Yes and no. I do not feel that anyone on this board needs to be fussed at or lectured for having intact dogs. Jak is intact, and will remain so until he is at least 2 years old, but will be neutered at around that time if he isn't suitable for breeding, or when he becomes too old to be bred. My other dog was spayed at 2.5 months old. She is a mixed breed. I have no experience breeding dogs, and no desire to have a female with puppies. No reason to keep her intact at all. The average pet owner, however, should not own an intact animal, in my opinion. There is absolutely no reason at all for average people to own or breed an intact animal just because. That's where our overpopulation problem stems from, and I'm sure you all are well aware of this. Shelters and rescues that don't speuter their animals before they are adopted are a BIG peeve of mine, as are breeders who sell their animals to pet homes but require that the animal be bred at least once before the new owner is allowed to speuter it.
Well said.

Also, the original poster asked if other forum members do spay/neuter. My answer is yes. Because I plan no breeding, my personal belief (not forcing it on anyone else) is that a male who is kept intact but not bred is maybe going to have frustration and tension that's not necessary, and the health reasons for spaying females are compelling, for me. Again, I see others' points of view on working dogs; we were asked for our own opinions.
 
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I have loads of info on why NOT to neuter/spay for health reasons. I love the astute medical statement that neutering eliminates the risks of testicular cancer :lol: . Well....duh. Just hack off everything that might get cancer some day. :wink:

What they don't like to tell you is that neutering INCREASES the likelihood of developing very aggressive, usually terminal, prostate cancer. Testicular cancer is rarely fatal, and can be cured by neutering once it occurs. I have one neutered animal, and my female cat is spayed. I waited until the dog was 6yrs old, and neutered him only because he was cryporchid. I will not neuter Caleb, (regardless of contract), if he should turn out to have bad hips because neutering is one of the worst things you can do for connective tissue problems and bone/joint issues. If that means sacrificing a replacement, so be it.

About wandering: I agree w/Mike that it's a training issue. Why would you allow your dog to wander, period? People have hormones too, and while some men can't behave :lol: , most would rather be "frustrated" than castrated :wink: . Not an expert on men by a long shot, but it's a hunch. :wink:

"There is a slightly increased risk of mammary cancer if a female dog has one heat cycle...only about 30%of mammary cancers are malignant, and prognosis is good when caught and surgically removed."

"A retrospective study of cardiac tumors in dogs showed that there was a 5 times greater risk of hemangiosarcoma in spayed bitches than intact bitches, and a 2.4 times greater risk in neutered dogs than intact males."

"A study of 3218 dogs demonstrated that dogs neutered before age 1 had a significantly increased chance of developing bone cancer, a cancer that is much more life-threatening than mammary cancer, and affects both genders. A separate study showed that neutered dogs had a two-fold higher risk of developing bone cancer...Despite the common belief that neutering dogs helps prevent prostate cancer, at least one study shows that neutering provides no benefit."

"Yet another study showed that neutered males were significantly more likely to suffer cognitive impairment when they were older."

"Finally the AKC-CHF report demonstrated a higher incidence of adverse reactions to vaccines in neutered dogs than intact.'

REFERENCES:

Meuten DJ. Tumors in Domestic Animals. 4th Edn. Iowa State Press, Blackwell Publishing Company, Ames, Iowa, p.575

Ware WA, Hopper DL. Cardiac tumors in dogs: 1982-1995. J Vet Intern Med 1999 Mar-Apr:13(2):95-103

Ru G, Terracini B, Glickman LT. Host related risk factors for canine osteosarcoma. Vet J. 1998 Jul;156(1):31-9

Google "Early Spay-Neuter Considerations for the Canine Athlete". Great article by Chris Zink, DVM, PhD-many of these references are available through this article.
 

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I don't understand the wandering comment. I mean, I know dogs like to wander n find a bitch in heat even if they smell her a mile away... but come on, my dog is never out of my sight unless he's in a crate or in a fenced in back yard that I know he can't jump. My dutchie might jump the fence -- but right now I'm not worried about that, I'm more worried about her realizing she can squeeze thru the fence bars LOL, but she's in the "I follow my daddy everywhere" stage of life so she's even off leash in unfenced areas because I know that all I have to do is walk away from her n she'll be nipping at my heels in seconds.

Every issue that my vet told me will be reduced/cured by neutering can be argued with appropriate containment and training.

I also think that studies are skewed, I've said it before and I'll say it again -- lets say they take 3000 dogs for a study... how many of those 3000 people take the kind of care of their dogs that most dedicated working dog folks do? I'll be you that my dogs are healthier than at least 2000 of the dogs in the studies. They don't take into account good breeding, lifestyle or good health. I believe in letting mother nature take her course, because that's the way it's been done since the beginning of time. If I decide to breed my bitch one day I don't wanna look back and regret spaying her because some statistics said she'd get cancer if I didn't. I've known alotta people who didn't spay their bitches, n none of them developed cancer -- is it possible that I just happen to meet the 1% of unspayed dogs who don't get cancer?

I'm not being argumentative to those who believe in the studies... the studies have their validity, but I'll take my chances with my 2 healthy un-altered dogs.

And yes Jenni, most men would rather be frustrated than castrated LOL... then theres the ones that castrate themselves for fun... go figure.
 

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Jenni Williams said:
.......I love the astute medical statement that neutering eliminates the risks of testicular cancer :lol: . Well....duh. Just hack off everything that might get cancer some day. :wink: .
Lots of good points being made on both sides of this issue.

Sarcasm and "well....duh" are probably not required to present another point of view. I know we can play nice!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Jenni Williams said:
What they don't like to tell you is that neutering INCREASES the likelihood of developing very aggressive, usually terminal, prostate cancer. Testicular cancer is rarely fatal, and can be cured by neutering once it occurs. I have one neutered animal, and my female cat is spayed. I waited until the dog was 6yrs old, and neutered him only because he was cryporchid. I will not neuter Caleb, (regardless of contract), if he should turn out to have bad hips because neutering is one of the worst things you can do for connective tissue problems and bone/joint issues. If that means sacrificing a replacement, so be it.

About wandering: I agree w/Mike that it's a training issue. Why would you allow your dog to wander, period? People have hormones too, and while some men can't behave :lol: , most would rather be "frustrated" than castrated :wink: . Not an expert on men by a long shot, but it's a hunch. :wink:
I was wondering exactly that about prostate cancer, Jenni! This might be TMI, but one of the reasons that neither hubby nor I is "fixed" is that the surgeries increase the liklihood of prostate cancer for him and uterine cancers for me! I was thinking that if it just cauterizing the vas deferens has that effect on human males, why wouldn't castration have that effect on dogs?

I never let my dog wander. EVER. I was just wondering if that weren't a myth. Does neutering actually take away sexual desire? My spayed female still has mood swings! And won't a dog still hope fences it can whehter or not its' been altered? And I do beleive your hunch is correct: most men would rather be frustrated than lose the wedding tackle all together...

I do understand neutering/spaying for otherwise irresponsible owners. There are people who just should not own in tact animals. But I'm just not sure that it's better for the animal. I suppose if I also owned an in tact female I might feel differently, but since I don't :wink:
 

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Stacia Porter said:
I was wondering exactly that about prostate cancer, Jenni! This might be TMI, but one of the reasons that neither hubby nor I is "fixed" is that the surgeries increase the liklihood of prostate cancer for him and uterine cancers for me! I was thinking that if it just cauterizing the vas deferens has that effect on human males, why wouldn't castration have that effect on dogs?
I believe that there are also psychological consequences to this in humans, but I've never had my womb removed so I couldn't say for sure... :lol:

Stacia Porter said:
I was just wondering if that weren't a myth. Does neutering actually take away sexual desire?
The theory is that if you neuter before a behavior can develop, i.e. at 5 or 6 months or whatever the reccomended age is, that the behavior will never develop -- but supposedly if you wait till the dog has developed such behaviors, i.e. at 2 years old after maturity has been hit, then the neutering won't take away the behaviors -- so from a behavioral modification standpoint, neutering is pretty useless unless done as a puppy.


Stacia Porter said:
My spayed female still has mood swings! And won't a dog still hope fences it can whehter or not its' been altered?
Training training training... I know dogs who COULD hop fences.... but because the dogs know better, they don't.

Stacia Porter said:
I do understand neutering/spaying for otherwise irresponsible owners. There are people who just should not own in tact animals. But I'm just not sure that it's better for the animal. I suppose if I also owned an in tact female I might feel differently, but since I don't :wink:
Absolutely. I also think spaying/neutering should be mandatory for stupid people, but unfortunately this is some type of human rights violation :( :lol:
 

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Mike Schoonbrood said:
......I also think that studies are skewed, I've said it before and I'll say it again -- lets say they take 3000 dogs for a study... how many of those 3000 people take the kind of care of their dogs that most dedicated working dog folks do? I'll be you that my dogs are healthier than at least 2000 of the dogs in the studies. They don't take into account good breeding, lifestyle or good health. ......
This is a huge point, Mike. No study I know about ever followed dogs who receive the kind of vet care, nutrition, or exercise program that's the norm among working-dog people. People with working dogs from known lineage are going to have a much different point of view than that of people with a lot of experience adopting dogs with unknown parentage and unknown health history. People who take excellent care of their dogs are also not likely to have accidental pregnancies or wandering males.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Poor Achilles hasn't got any fence to hop or not hop :cry: However, he did try really hard to dig a hole under my in-laws' whilie were there in Feb and it turned out that the dog next door was in heat. But we were able to get him to stop by correcting him and laying bricks across the fence line. So I completely see your point. Plus he's been doing GREAT at staying in our yard when he's out off leash, even when he does see other dogs/people. He already seems to know that he has to stay in his yard (we've only lived in this house about 3 weeks and we brought him home to an apartment with no yard).

I'm telling you after meeting the dude with 11 bulldog/lab mix puppies to find homes for I'm thinking you're right about the mandatory speuter thing :lol: . One oooopsie litter is one thing, but TWO? Shouldn't ya learn your lesson with #1?
 
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Stacia, there are many similarities between dogs and humans. I've looked into vasectomies for a dog as an alternative to just cutting off all hormone production, and found the same thing: higher risk of prostate cancer :cry: . So, I'm leaving things as they were created. 8)

Connie, I was not quoting anyone on this forum :? :| . I have heard this ridiculous, *obvious* statement countless times from people with medical degrees, and I can't think of anything but "duh" to say when I'm told that...it's like saying that you'll never be killed in plane crash if you don't fly. :wink:
 

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Jenni Williams said:
it's like saying that you'll never be killed in plane crash if you don't fly. :wink:
.... well why didn't someone tell me that before? Holy crap I must have flown more than 250,000 miles n only NOW people are telling me this? pfft. Some friends I have! ](*,)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Jenni Williams said:
Stacia, there are many similarities between dogs and humans. I've looked into vasectomies for a dog as an alternative to just cutting off all hormone production, and found the same thing: higher risk of prostate cancer :cry: . So, I'm leaving things as they were created. 8)
Okay, this might sound totally and completely ridiculous, but bear with me for a moment. I do know of a contraceptive device in humans that actually has a BETTER pregnancy preventative track record than female tubile ligation: the intrauterine device. Now of course it's not more effective than hysterectomy, but we know that hysterectomy has its risks, as well.

I wonder what the effect of creating a doggie IUD would be. There is a slightly increased chance of ectopic pregnancy among human females with an IUD inserted, and there is increased risk of uterine infection at time of insertion.

I know: you're all laughing at me right now. This is what happens when Stacia's hubby is away for training for six weeks and she has no one to talk to besides 3 kids under the age of 8 (who are all thankfully asleep at thee moment), 2 dogs, and some squirrels in the front yard...and of course dude with 11 bulabrador puppies.
 
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I'm not laughing Stacia. I think I should be spayed, but I can't get a vet who will do it. :(

Mike-I'm your friend, Buddy :) . No more planes for you; I fear for your safety. 8)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Jenni Williams said:
I'm not laughing Stacia. I think I should be spayed, but I can't get a vet who will do it. :(
. 8)
Dang vets. Always turning us down...

I think I'm on to something dammit. Forget expensive spays/anesthesia/cancer: just go have your bitch fitted with a doggie IUD during her first heat. Suckers last TEN years!!!!!!! And she's fertile the minute you remove it!

Course there is that issue where it sometimes gets expelled, and that thing where it has strinngs that stick out of the vagina: but on a female sheppy who the heck would notice some strings sticking out under all that fur?

I swear that female dogs everywhere would collectively let out a big sigh of relief :wink:
 
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