to neuter or not to neuter
#1
Hi!

I have a 4 month old male bc puppy. I am thinking of neutering him when he gets older (btw, when is it ok to do so?)

However, some people keep telling me not to do it, they say that dogs are animals and that by neutering them, you are taking a piece of who they are. But I am worried about future health issues such as cancer, dominance attitude (like marking), following female dogs around which can be dangerous, and so on and so forth. But I am scared that his character will change. I don't know, he is just such a nice, friendly little boy I am scared his relationship with me will change? Also, I've been told that they gain weight after surgery?

Have you neutered your male dogs? If so, what changes did you perceive? Do you recommend it?

Thank you.
Frisbee_dog
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#2
There' has been a discussion on this, but I can't remember who's post.
Personally I would not fix my dogs under a year, and later than that. Possible not at all depending on how manageable this is. There is growing evidence of the health risks. You need to wait for growth plates to close. Unfortunately although I am European, a Brit I live in Canada and North America are fixing Puppies!

There is an interesting article regarding this in truth4dogs.com
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#3
Dilwyn was neutered when he was 15 months. His character hasn't changed in any way, he just doesn't chase after bitch g essential in season. If you decide to go ahead leave it as late as you can. I do have to watch his weight but that's not too hard.
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#4
There is quite a bit of controversy on this subject. In my personal opinion unless you are seriously committed to breeding then you should neuter. And I am a firm believer of breeding for the betterment of the breed not just because it looks pretty or you might want to try it. Border collies were and are bred for herding and I hope they always will be. By breeding them for any other purpose they will soon lose the characteristics which make them a good sheepdog. I've read (and I don't know if it's true but sounds likely) that this can start to happen in as little as three generations. If they don't have the qualities to herd anymore then they really aren't the border collies we know and love, are they? So if you want to breed you should have a reason to. I.e. your dog won or ranked high in multiple open sheepdog trials. All that to say, of you're not committed then don't do it and out of respect for all the responsible breeders, by all means, neuter.

And I know this part has a LOT of controversy... Some say neutering will stop "dominant behaviors" and some say it won't. Some say it's cruel some say it isn't. Some say it will change the behavior a little and again, some says it won't. I personally think the changes are all based in myths and the placebo effect.

The time to actually neuter also has some controversy. Some say six months but IMO this is WAY to early. If you really want to get it done sooner I would suggest you at least wait until he's a year old. The longer you wait the better. Some say 18months, 2 years and still others at 3 I'm sure. I'll say at least wait for 14months because that's probably when the growth plates will be done sealing so no more physical development.

Hope this is helpful and not too confusing! Big Grin
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Sometimes, the smallest things bring the greatest joy.
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#5
You have to make the decision that you are comfortable with, everyone will have an opinion. Here in the US infant spay/neuter (under 6 months) is what is done to shelter and rescue pets. I understand the reasoning but I talked to a veterinarian tech. that worked for a shelter and she agreed that it was necessary but not the best for the health of the animal. Many (almost 30) years ago when I was first married my vet at the time wouldn't alter a pet before six months.

All of my pets have been altered (six dogs, four cats) and I have never had issues with any of them. I do have one cat that is a bit overweight but that is due to his personality, he is just a really lazy cat. With all my other pets keeping them slim was never a problem.
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#6
We intend getting Bronwen spayed but not until she's at least a year old and had at least one season (which I'm expecting soon as I know 2 of her sisters have come into season for the first time in the last few weeks - they are 9 months old). Purely from a biological point of view I want her growth plates hardened off and the hormonal changes that occur in all mammals when they reach puberty to happen. Bronwen is a very pretty dog with fantastic temperament, I've no plans to do agility or herding with her but do want her as a running buddy 9not old enough yet). The only reason we aren't going to breed her is I know I couldn't part with the puppies!
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#7
I am really glad to see this cause we have been thinking about it. Jolie is but 5 and a half months and we were not thinking now but wondering about the future. With males I always was taught by my grand father who raised working dogs and hunting herd dogs with males ya break them when their gonads drop and become external/visible/ ya can feel them. He called it breaking them stead of fixing them saying they were working just fine fore ya did it you didn't fix any thing and broke their puppy makers. Cajun country boy philosophy. Wink
He didn't often "Break females he raised and trained three packs of different dogs for his own use and to sell. When he did break a girl he said wait till after the first litter. Since we dont want a litter we are planning to wait till after her first cycle. And with your advice wait till after her first birthday.
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#8
Some of the issues:

Neutering before 14 months can cause uneven growth. Growth plates close at different ages depending on which bone it is. Neutering causes the growth plates that are still open to stay open even longer, increasing the length of time that that particular bone is growing.

Neutered dogs have a higher incidence of bone cancer.

Early neutering causes dogs to retain some juvenile characteristics.

Neutering slows the metabolism.

Not neutering can predispose a dog to prostate problems.

Unneutered dogs are more likely to roam and work at escaping.

Unneutered dogs mark more than neutered dogs.

Personally, I prefer to neuter a dog that isn't going to be used for breeding, but only after growth plates have all closed.
Gotta love 'em.
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#9
GM That happened to Max i.e.: retain juvenile characteristics. He needed surgery for a blockage and being anxious about anaesthesia I made the call to neuter at 13 months rather then have another anaesthesia. He has definitely retained the more juvenile head, it didn't broaden as it may have if not neutered. I sometimes regret doing it when I did. Anaesthesia freaks me out as I have had a dog who was negatively effected.

Jasper will be done but not before 18 months or maybe even 2 years.
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#10
Same with Gideon. The breeder was freakishly careful to make sure all dogs she produced were neutered early. I didn't know better back then, so he was neutered at 4 month and he just about has a greyhound head. When he greets someone, he just about turns himself inside out in puppy excitement. It took forever to get him to stop submissive wetting, and for some people he still will. He's higher in the rear than the front and has a bad hip. But he is wonderful with puppies and small children. He can coax kids that are afraid of dogs into petting him.
Gotta love 'em.
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