Since we decided on a male puppy, my wife and I have this discussion from time to time, I am reluctant to neuter Muddy, but, it seems I am the only one feeling this way. Over the past couple, three days or so, Muddy has shown a strong urge to show his dominance, if you cross your legs, he immediately tries to mount, and Saturday, my wife brought him to a friends house to let him play with their dog, and he tried a couple of times to mount her. Now, Muddy is all of 11 weeks old, so my question is if he is neutered, will this diminish his drive to show dominance? And what age is considered the best time to neuter? I read 6 months, 8 months, and the breeder we got Muddy from said 2 yrs. Are they all correct?
They are all correct times to neuter. If he's showing this much dominance now, it's going only get worse as he ages. But neutering really won't curtail it...your diligence and PROPER training will. You should neuter Muddy, because it's the right and responsible thing to do. A dog should not remain intact if it's not going to be bred and only the best dogs with all clearances, titles, and proper structure and temperament should be bred...which excludes about 85% of the Labrador population.
So, get training Muddy. Redirect when he humps and become his pack leader. DOn't allow him to get away with behavior that is inappropriate. Then neuter him around 12 months.
Dani, Rider & Rookie
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Orthopedic wise, I think the later the better. It doesn't make a huge difference, but I know Jes's orthopedic vet has mentioned this several times. Talk to your vet, talk to your breeder, and make your decision. As much as people like to make this issue a clear-cut/absolute issue, it's not. There are pros and cons and you just have to weigh them. Personally, I'd err on the side of later neutering. You're starting to see even those who advocated early neutering starting to reconsider.
Dani, I appreciate your straight forward response. Just so I understand correctly, neutering will not affect his dominance drive. As we have no intentions of breeding Muddy, neutering is going to have to be addressed. As far as training, we both treat him the same, correct him in the same manner, and correct him immediately when he tries to mount one of us.
Nick, I appreciate your opinions on this, as well, thanks
Last edited by cycler; 01-20-2010 at 11:31 AM.
Yes, this is a training issue for him. He is 11 weeks old, and trying to see what he can get away with.
I agree 100% with Dani.
'Don't grow up too quickly, lest you forget how much you love the beach.'
~ Michelle Held
Rhys, Ruby and Nola
Agree its a training issue.
As long as you can be responsible with an intact male than waiting to neuter is best so his growth plates close first. Have your breeder explain it to you in more detail. Your vet will most likely not agree with the breeder as most vets are taught in vet school to spay/neuter at around 6 months of age.
You also need to check and see if the 2 year neuter is in your contract with breeder.
♣ Laura ♣
thank you, Labby, that is a very informative article.
I have heard both sides and currently have a dog that was neutered at 9 months and the other dog is still intact at 4yrs. Neutering will dimish the urge for your dog to find a mate, and my intact male does have some dog reactiveness that I think is because of his desire to mate but overall I can't say if one dog is better behaved. My neutered dog marks everything and it drives me crazy, so his marking behavior was not influence with neutering.
But as Dani said if your dog is just going to be a pet you will want to neuter him eventually, I think 18 months was the age to wait for your dog to mature but personally if I know I am going to neuter I like to have it done early, just to have it done, same with a spay.
"Every boy should have two things: a dog, and a mother willing to let him have one"
I would say don't neuter before his bones are done growing. The dominance issues can (and should IMHO) be dealt with consistent training.