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When to Castrate?

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by mufti, May 12, 2010.


  1. mufti

    mufti PetForums Junior

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    I was always under the impression it is a must if one is not planning on breeding (im not) to castrate. My Rottie boy is 7 month's old and LOVES other dog's even when there mean to him :(

    He walk's beautifully to heel and has about a 90-95% recall off leash. He has only just started to cock his leg and only does so outside for some reason lol though he is poo trained he still has a few accidents in the house with wee. Though is finally just starting to let me know when he want's to go out for a wee by standing near the front door :D

    As such I don't have any problems with him that castration will cure apart from a bit of bitting/jumping up seperation anxiety if I leave the front gate to put out the rubbish and come back and he is in the yard.

    Along with the same sort of excited/frustrated behaviours with chewing the leash at the start of walks and sometimes during and on the way home though this is all getting better.

    Anyhow I was going to castrate until I had two dog trainers tell me that they would wait till he was older 12-18 months so he does not lose confidence around other dog's.

    Thoughts please? I want to do the right thing for him, so im confused as to when and IF I should give him the snip?
     
  2. Nicky10

    Nicky10 PetForums VIP

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    I don't recommend it until at least a year personally especially with a large dog like a rottie. Not so much losing confidence with other dogs I think that's dogs done much earlier but I think it's better to let them mature more. You'll get a lot of conflicting replies though some people seem to think it's better to have them done almost as soon as their eyes are open
     
  3. Acacia86

    Acacia86 PetForums VIP

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    I personally would not do it until they are physically and mentally mature. For a Rottie with a responsible owner (which you definately sound like!) i would wait until at least 18 months. 2 years better. When i had the old Lab my vet said i could easily wait until he was 3 years old.
     
  4. leashedForLife

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    a SCHOLARLY paper on juvie-desex in Australia -
    Early age neutering
    juvenile neutering is EITHER gender + before 16-MO -
    pubertal is 6-MO to 7-MO;
    post-pubertal is 8-MO to approx 12-MO


    my personal opinion -
    @$!%!, this is getting really tiresome :(
    not long ago, NOBODY ever worried about desex at 6-MO, which was the USA-standard for pet-dogs since 1960 or 1965 -
    in Ms AND Fs. it was not seen as remarkable in any way; no fuss, very simple.

    surgery-techniques + suture-materials, etc, have ** Improved! ** in that time - so whats the big deal? :confused1:
    its bizarre - At The Same TIme that the breeders is the USA began to get up in arms about mandatory desex laws in various cities,
    and LIMIT laws in cities and towns - all of a sudden in the early-90s, pubertal-desex (6 to 8-mos age)
    became not just QUESTIONABLE, but condemned. :crazy: yet surgery is safer than ever.

    i do not believe in this criminalization /evil wicked desex finger-pointing.

    the Denver, Colorado, Humane-Society has been doing JUVENILE desex, defined as under-16-WO, since 1974.
    if there really were all these terrible, inevitable after-effects of EARLY (juvenile, not pubertal) desex,
    don;t U think that Denver would have been the Ground-Zero hotspot for this shocking discovery?

    millions of juvenile and pre-pubertal puppies in the USA have been desexed in the past 36-years, and the shelters, rescues and adopters have not reported a surge in the supposed health-problems or behavior problems that
    *breeders* claim are the lot of early/juvenile or standard/pubertal desex.


    meanwhile, i have been working with clients pets, most of them desexed (about 75%), more than one-half shelter or rescue adoptees,
    about 40% are bought from breeders; in all my years, over 25 years of dogs and puppies, i have had ONE dog come thru
    with an after-effect of desex:
    a F-dog adopted at 6-MO from a municipal shelter, desexed at 6-MO before she was released, who developed urinary incontinence
    at night at 9-MO.
    an inexpensive medication fixed the problem.
    according to studies, at 4-MO / 16-WO the risk of urinary incontinence LEVELS * OUT, and is no higher in Fs desexed at or after 4-MO/16-WO than it is in Fs desexed as adults after 2-YO - there is no difference in risk.
    what is eliminated by desex before 6-MO is almost-100% of risk of mammary cancer, AND 100% of risk of Pyometra -
    as well as a large reduction in the risk of urinary-tract infections, UTI, and other kidney / bladder complications.

    NONE of the dogs, M or F, that i have met - who were juvie-desexed (under 4-MO), NOT pubertal-desexed - developed any of the supposed terrible problems predicted for them;
    many were desexed as young as 49-days ---
    which no, is not IMO ideal - but shelters + rescues cannot keep the puppies for another 4-mos before adopting them out! -
    and adopters FAIL * TO * DESEX even if they sign contracts to do so.


    to address the OP - mufti, hun,
    Ur dog is past-puberty and well-into teenager; there is IMO + IME of more than 20-years, no reason to wait -
    and as he APPROACHES his testosterone spike at 9-MO, his behavior will be affected, and not for the better.

    the infant-boy a woman brings home from the hospital is not the 12-YO who mouths-off to his teacher,
    nor is that infant the 18-YO, who is having unprotected sex with his girlfriend...
    but thats the same child, at another age + stage.

    AGES ARE STAGES - and hormones and behavior are interactive.
     
  5. As a dog trainer myself i always like the owners to embrace all phazes of there dogs maturing and would advise castration after 18mths if the owner desires!! and spaying after there first season.
    I think ur dog sounds well rounded but should not be marking in his home at this stage so thats something that needs work.:)
     
  6. mufti

    mufti PetForums Junior

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    Leashed I bow down to your expertise and knowledge :) but im just wondering if I don't have a problem and im NOT EVER going to rehome him for any reason :D If unwanted behaviours don't develop in the next 2 month's is there any reason I should go for the snip at 7-9 months rather than wait till some of the other posters are recomeding @ 12-18 MO.
     
  7. leashedForLife

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    hey, mufti! :--)
    i don;t know if i can explain this well, but i will give it a shot...
    9-mos to approx 10-mos is the peak-period of testosterone, with a ramp-down after that -
    so M-specific behaviors U see at 7 or 8-mos get bigger - more intense, more persistent, hair-triggered -
    i hope that makes sense, its a broad spectrum, and all of it happens simultaneously over that time;

    as ONE possible example -
    if he humps women he has not met before who come to Ur house as visitors, at 8-MO...
    then at 9-MO, he may hump any man, woman or child who stands within leash-length at the park,
    and he will be much-harder to peel-off, once he has begun. Does that make sense? :huh:

    trying again -
    as he grows older + gets Yet-More testosterone, any behaviors fueled by it get
    * more intense; harder to stop
    * more easily-triggered; easier to start
    * they generalize:
    they have One Specific trigger early-on, and develop multiple triggers with more age/higher testosterone.

    practiced behaviors also become self-rewarding - just like SIT.
    if a dog has been rewarded as a puppy for SIT many times, then by the time the pup is 6-MO, SIT itself *feels* good -
    that behavior has become a reward, in and of itself.

    the rush of excitement + arousal that goes along with M to M posturing and stare-downs can also become self-rewarding,
    in precisely the same fashion - or humping, barking reactively, anything done repeatedly that rewards the doer -
    its that old consequences law, rewarded behaviors become repeated behaviors...
    and the simple act of repeating them, magnifies the appeal + the reward of DOING that behavior -
    its a self-reinforcing spiral. [i sure hope i am explaining this well, cuz its a slippery concept. :eek: ]

    anyway... if U see something developing, that U **know!** U would greatly dislike is it was Bigger, More Duration,
    More Persistent / Hard to Stop, and Easier to Trigger -- nip it in the bud, as soon as it begins.
    U have to imagine it as a future full-blown, highly-persistent, easily-triggered vice,
    and *manage* carefully to prevent that behavior being practiced.

    its a bit like trying to keep a plant from growing any taller, while avoiding cutting off the flowers, as U want the fruit -
    NOT easy, a real balancing act.

    hoping i didn;t make a muddle of it,
    --- terry
     
  8. mufti

    mufti PetForums Junior

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    Thank's Terry informative and interesting as ever :) Can I ask in your opinion what if any are the down sides of neutering at 7-8 month's for the male Rottie?
     
  9. leashedForLife

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    none that i can think of, hun - really.
    it avoids the ramp-up to the 9-MO spike, which is good - the long-bone epiphyses have already closed, so height
    at spine to ground is unaffected; i cannot think of any negatives.

    for pups who are manic about mounting at an early-age, humping legs + hassocks + dogs of all ages or genders,
    SPECIALLY if the pup also *fights* or *bites* or shows RG or turfy behavior -
    i prefer to get them desexed a bit earlier, to stop practice of those anti-social thug behaviors.
    so for sexually-precocious or obsessive or testosterone-fueled aggro-behavior, earlier is better, IMO.

    average-Ms with no red flags IME can be snipped anytime between 6-MO and 9-MO, to avoid the spike.
    all my best,
    --- terry
     
  10. billyboysmammy

    billyboysmammy PetForums VIP

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    Terry we need to talk lol

    I am VERY pro early neutering for our feline friends, but feel somewhat differently for dogs.

    I agree with you 100% on recovery times, ease of surgery (providing the vet is experienced... many in the uk are not), etc

    I am aware that castration whilst removing the risk of some cancers and other sex organ diseases can actually increase the risk of others.

    Unlike in cats there is a significant difference in the growth of early neutered dogs, their long bone density is different, they tend to be much taller and their growth plates close at a significantly different age (compared to felines where the difference is a matter of days and does not effect their overall size). It seems the long bone growth plates close sometime after 7m, but before 12m. There are arguments on both sides of the fence as to whether it effects orthopaedic issues such as HD...i'm still on the fence on that one. The argument for early neutering (from 7weeks -8m) seems to be flawed on the behaviour things... it works but only if conjoined with behaviour modification training, it is not a fix all.

    My personal view on castration is that i would rather wait until my dog had matured. Preferably 18m-2yrs but no earlier than 12m.

    Just my thoughts. I am much more experienced in the literature on early feline neutering and speying... but have read a fair bit of literature regarding pups.
     
  11. haeveymolly

    haeveymolly PetForums VIP

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    I am all in favour of castration but at the right time and certainly wouldnt castrate a large breed before 18 months personally, let him fully mature first.
     
  12. Olly's Mum

    Olly's Mum PetForums Member

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    We had our olly (weimaraner) done at 7 months old at our vets recommendation. We havent seen any adverse affects... Yet! :D
     
  13. leashedForLife

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    hey, MMB! :--)
    the best (easily read, clearly marked) medical chart i;ve found, is here -
    PROVET HEALTHCARE INFORMATION - Growth Plate Closure Times - Dogs

    6-mos is approx 180-days age; there is a proximal (nearest) + distal (furthest) epiphysis, plural epiphyses, on each long bone,
    radius + ulna (lower fore), humerus (upper-fore), fibula + tibia (lower-rear), + femur (upper-rear).

    the most-rapid rate of growth in skeletal, muscular + tissue growth is in neonates -
    the larger + older pups become, the slower they grow; initial lengthening of bone is rapid, then more-slow, then slower still.
    by the time the epiphisis is more than half-completed its task, it grows at less than 1/4th the rate it had, at the start;
    by the time its within months of calcification, it grows very slowly indeed.

    i have spent a good part of my life - over 30-years since the 1970s - around dogs of both sexes who WERE early-desex -
    defined as juvenile, or PRE-pubertal, meaning =under 12-Weeks-Old when desexed=.

    IME there has been no enormous difference between dogs of the same breeding - meaning M-littermates,
    one juvie-desexed + one pubertal desex (6 to 7-MO) in height; yes, there has been a difference in height,
    but it is less than an inch in dogs of 40 to 50# as adults, and only a half-inch to 1.25-inch in over-50# to 75# dogs.

    by the time U get to pubertal desex - at 6 to 7-MO -
    there is no discernible difference to the eye, and i would not bet that any differences were not due to food, exercise,
    or simply genetic variance...
    which in cross-breeds or random-bred dogs is far higher - there may be half-siblings with different sires in the same litter, and any cross-bred who sires or whelps a litter has much-more variability in their parental range of genes.

    i have yet to see the huge differences in height at the spine, and supposedly ridiculously-leggy M-dogs,
    due to PRE-pubertal desex - let alone pubertal or post-pubertal.
    i have seen moderate differences, but never the claimed giant vs dwarf contrast.

    any M-dog desexed after 7-MO is a post-pubertal desex, BTW - depending upon the dogs adult-size,
    anything from 12-MO (20 to 30# and under) to 2-YO (over 90#) is adult-desex.

    and yes -
    for APOs to experience many difficulties with intact-M dogs thru puberty into adulthood, and for those dogs to *practice*
    undesirable behaviors all that time, only to desex them as adults, is IMO ridiculous.
    nothing has been gained - the dogs are not, and never WERE, meant to be breeding stock anyway -
    and the extra management, training, oversight and hassle is IMO + IME, simply not worth the supposed trade-off.
    its like volunteering to be smeared with honey, and lie on an anthill -
    Why? to what end?

    having adolescent-Ms snark, ark, hump, mark, escape, posture, provoke, resource guard, get turfy, and all the rest?
    growing more fluent, faster on the draw, and more habitual with age - and MORE testosterone?
    why bother?

    i cannot see any gain - and i can see a LOT of loss, including pet-owners who simply get disgusted + quit, leaving yet-another
    un-wanted, intact-M dog PAST puppyhood in a shelter or rescue.

    i reiterate -
    if U don;t intend to breed Ur M-dog OR for that matter Ur F dog:
    * anytime from 6 to 8-MO is fine for normal, average M-pups -
    aggro, sexually-precocious or turfy/RG Ms can be snipped before 6-MO

    * waiting until 4-MO or after levels the risk for urinary-incontinence in Fs to equal that of 6-MO thru adult-spays
    * spay by 6-MO and PRIOR * TO first-estrus prevents 99% of mammary cancers, greatly reduces URI risks, and eliminates Pyometra as a risk

    pubertal desex was the USA standard since about 1965; if there were so MANY obvious bad-outcomes,
    how is it that shelter-dogs NOW - desexed *before puberty* as juveniles - are not disastrously affected?
    if 6-mos was bad, surely 9-WO is worse? so where are the cases?

    where is the inundating tide of orthopedic injuries in juvie-desexed M-dogs who are now running agility? playing flyball?
    i KNOW dogs who have done this - and retired in old age, and DIED without ever having these catastrophes, years ago.

    i think the whole thing is a myth, based on minor increases in risk, blown-up to monstrous proportions by dog-politics.
    JMO + IME,
    --- terry
     
  14. mufti

    mufti PetForums Junior

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    Thank's Leashed :) Seems there is no reason not to castrate my boy as no one has given a convincing argument for why I should keep him intact till he is 18 MO+ ?

    P.S When I first posted this he still had a few minor teething problems with his house training. Well He has finally learnt to go outside for his wee wee we haven't even had one accident in 3-4 days and im so proud of him :D
     
    #14 mufti, May 24, 2010
    Last edited: May 24, 2010
  15. leashedForLife

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    good boy! :thumbup: the first big leap in comprehension -
    i hope he got a jack-pot for his right-place, right-time performance!

    and very good human! :thumbup: :lol: we all know that monitoring carefully is the key.
    a box of virtual-chocolates and a free movie pass for on-line viewing of classic films! :D

     
  16. mufti

    mufti PetForums Junior

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    lol thank's leashed though I spoke to soon as he did a wee behind the sofa tonight :p still 3-4 days not soiling the house is GREAT work for him and allows a little hicup
     
  17. Dally Banjo

    Dally Banjo PetForums VIP

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    Not sure about Rotties but we were told not before 15 months for Banjo (dalmatian) as can cause urinary probs but that is his breed :rolleyes: how ever at about 18 months he started to be a right grump with other male dogs.
     
  18. leashedForLife

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    oops!! :lol: who was spozed to be minding the puppy? :eek: break out the rolled-newspaper,
    and apply it firmly + repeatedly to the *responsible humans* buttocks :p bad human! very naughty!

    how old is Poopsie now? // EDITED - never mind, just went back to post #1 - actually, at 7-MO he really should have
    the concept, unless monitoring is inadequate or he is waiting too-long between potty-trips, OR he has a physical or medical problem.

    :huh: do any of those sound possible? without triggers - a meal, large drink, active play, wake from sleep, excitement -
    [visitors, meet another dog, thrilling new-toy, ___ ], a 6-MO pup should handle 7 hours daytimes between potty-trips:
    Age in Months + 1 = Max # of hours betw potty-trips without triggers
    he should be able to go for 8-hours at night without needing to void, and with no distress - because he should not have any triggers overnight [meals, etc].

    maybe he has a weak bladder neck, waits too long to signal, ___ ? how often does he go out?
     
    #18 leashedForLife, May 25, 2010
    Last edited: May 25, 2010
  19. rocco33

    rocco33 PetForums VIP

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    I must admit I feel quite undecided on this subject, partly because I switch between two camps. With my working dog hat on, I can say that 99.9% of male working dogs are entire - and have no problems whatsoever. It is not unusual when working to have to pile into the back of a landrover half a dozen or more dogs and people all squashed together. Strange male (which have often been used at stud) and female entire dogs almost sitting on top of each other and never a cross word between them. On the other hand, where I live is a very popular dog owning area and the unneutered dogs are almost always the problem ones and ones I avoid. I suspect it is probably because the working dogs are trained to a higher level and any sort of male posturing would not be acceptable. Pet owners on the other hand, rarely see the early warning signs, or simply accept that it's part of being a dog.
    I used not to be in favour of neutering before maturity, but I have changed my mind now. The hormones do cause changes in behaviour that once learnt, are still there once the hormones are removed if castration is left till later.
     
    #19 rocco33, May 25, 2010
    Last edited: May 25, 2010
  20. leashedForLife

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    unfortunately, very true - on all counts. :eek:
    if pet-owners were really savvy + caught the early-signs of testes-fueled trouble, they could easily re-direct it,
    and avoid many, many problems - instead they miss the beginning, begin to complain when it gets more-serious,
    and generally act when it has become insufferable. :(

    and yes - its very true that once learned, male : male posturing, hard stares, leg-lifting when the dog SEES another M,
    and so forth + so on, are all learned behaviors - once learned, they are very difficult to Un-Learn. :nonod:

    retired-Champions who have been bred can still have a really hard time focusing on say, an agility course
    when there are bitches nearby - even if the Fs are **not!** in estrus, he is distracted. he;s not stoopid - nor is he contrary;
    some owners do not even NOTICE the F-dogs upwind, but the neutered-Ex-Stud does, and his attn slips.
     
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