Oh, nuts.

Helo  is now 9.5 months old, and he is not neutered.

I don’t know why not removing organs from my dog is so controversial, nor why testicles are so offensive in the first place, but for some people this is a Really Big Deal.

 

After all, Responsible Dog Owners neuter their dogs at six months old.

 

 

And that has been so in the veterinary world for quite awhile, though I’ve not been able to track down exactly why that was the age decided upon. If anybody knows, please share!

Studies have been coming out over the past decade or so saying that, oops, all of our long-held beliefs about spaying and neutering pets for their health might not be that accurate after all. This article from the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association has a lot of really good information about both the benefits and the risks of spaying and neutering.

There are fair points on both sides.

And then there are the Dog People on the internet who practically crucify folks for choosing to alter their dogs at 6 months as recommended by their vets. Clearly they’re going to cause their dogs to blow out their knees and die of cancer in short order.

Now there have been a few studies about spay/neuter and behavior, and their findings are not what most people have expected. There is evidence that spaying and neutering can increase fear, and, more shockingly, can increase aggression in dogs. Unpossible!

I don’t understand why people need to get so up in arms about what other people choose to do with their dogs. I am waiting to alter Helo until he is fully grown and physically mature, primarily out of orthopedic concerns. He had funny crooked front legs as a pup, and knee problems  are a common problem with pit bulls.

He’s not been offensively male in his behavior- he doesn’t hump at home (he will sometimes target a dog at daycare, and in that case, he can just go inside and sit in a crate) and he doesn’t mark inside. His horrible obnoxious behavior is a result of personality and my laziness– neutering him isn’t going to improve any of it.

I don’t have an intact bitch, and the chances of him having a tryst with one when he lives in the house and goes out on a leash are very small. I am confident he’s not going to be making any puppies.

 

If my lifestyle were different, then maybe my choices would be different.

And if I chose to neuter before maturity, I would probably be told that I am lazy and just neutering for convenience. Ok. What’s wrong with my dog being more convenient? The number one reason I own dogs is because they make my life more enjoyable.

But I strongly believe that folks need to be given the information available and then be allowed to make the best decision for their own dog, and not be shamed for it.

Just as every dog is different, so is everyone’s situation. Just let people make the best choices they can for their own dogs.

6 thoughts on “Oh, nuts.”

  1. Pretty much the same. But I do wish Earl could go to daycare because I think he would love it. But he can’t because of his balls.

    1. Which is exasperating. If the dog has behavior issues, he has behavior issues and shouldn’t be there. If not, what’s the problem?

  2. I waited for Ptera to have her first heat cycle, and debated waiting longer. But then we had a tournament that I wanted to go to and it would be six months from her first heat, and I didn’t want to miss tournaments, that one, or in the future. So she was spayed at a year and three months old.

    Koira was spayed at 6 months, as recommended by her vet.

    Flight, I got already neutered. He was neutered at 8 months, which is fine. He is pretty leggy, which I don’t love, and which may or may not have anything to do with him being neutered before being physically mature.

    I have a little bit of each, except a fully adult intact dog, though I had one for a little while with Ptera. So far, so good.

  3. We got our Lhasa apso Chopin, as an unaltered male at about 2 years old, and that is how he remained for several years. We eventually had him neutered after we noticed a growth on one of his testicles and the vet recommended neutering in case it was cancerous. I never noticed any behavioural differences between intact and neutered states.

  4. Amen!!! Responsible owners do what they feel is best for their individual dogs based on their research and feelings. As long as he’s not making unwanted puppies, it is your decision and your decision only if/when he gets snipped.

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