So, our breeder told us to try to hold off on neutering Cody (4 months old) until he's a year so that he develops the "look" of a male lab (broad chest, etc.). Our vet, who I think is very good, says to neuter Cody at 6 - 7 months before "bad habits" start to develop. She says once these bad habits develop its hard to undo them simply by neutering. She also says that neutering doesn't have any effect on the "look" of an adult lab.
I'm totally confused by these contradictory messages. I know everyone here has a ton of experience with labs - what are your opinions? Neuter at 6 months? Or, wait and neuter at 1 year?
I thought the thread started by Lindsey contained some great information on this so I decided to do like they are doing with Ender..take it on a month by month basis and shoot for 14 mos. You can always have them neutered if you think they are behaving in such a way that the surgery is necessary. If you have them neutered at 6 mos, well, um, you can't unneuter them... :-[
If you have them neutered at 6 mos, well, um, you can't unneuter them... :-[
Oh and I should say... after thinking about it more... I think that being a consistent trainer and enforcing yourself as the leader of the pack would be more of a factor in your dog's temperment than whether he is neutered or not.
Of course, if you choose to wait, it is paramount that you be ever vigilant about keeping him leashed and in control. Like Dani mentioned seeing a bitch who was IN HEAT at the dog park... you have to be uber-responsible because there are owners out there who can't be bothered to do the bare minimum (like keep their female in heat behind locked doors)
I am in agreement with the wait philosophy. I just spoke with a very good breeder last week about a new pup, one of the things she mentioned to me was about neutering. Her opinion is to wait until the pup looks like you want him to. Chest filled out(she also mentioned lifting his leg to pee, but I always thought that was a learned behavior...what do I know?)Anyway, she said if you are responsible enough to watch your dog in a fenced in yard, or control on a leash, you should be fine waiting to neuter.
I agree with taking it on a month by month basis. Why worry about bad behavior that may never happen? I personally love the look of the bigger chest and shorter legs, etc, but if behavior became a problem, for some reason, I'd get him neutered earlier.
Thanks to everyone and to Ender's Mom for leading me to the other post on this exact topic! I also think that I'm inclined to wait month to month and see what happens. Especially after reading the study about HD. But, it's alwasy great to get other people's opinions on both side of the issue.
One more question, though. If we wait does this mean I can't ever let Cody off-leash at the dog park? We live in Boston and the dog park is a major source of Cody's exercise space. However, we are lucky in that our day-care allows non-neutered dogs up to 1 year on a case-by-case basis and as long as there is no bad behavior - so we're good there. We could avoid the dog park until he's a year but it would be a big adjustment...Thoughts?
I would. Avoid the dog park that is. Unless of course you know everyone there and there are no un-spayed bitches there in heat etc. But if you don't know everyone, there is no telling when some irresponsible person is going to bring their female dog in the dog park who is in heat... after all, sometimes even vigilant owners may miss the "signs" if their female keeps herself pretty clean. Also, a mere moment of "activity" can cause a litter and you know you don't want that!
That is AWESOME about the doggy day care... I wish ours would allow it.