I have read that I should wait until 12-18 months to neuter my boy, but is it necessary? My family dog from when I was young, was neutered at six months and never had any problems, and developed normally. Gunner is just about 9 months now, and he's 75lbs. The only reason I'm thinking of doing it right now is because I work part-time at a doggie day care and when I'm at work so is my boyfriend and Gunner gets to sit in the back yard or in his crate all alone for six or seven hours a day. The day care does not accept non-neutered dogs. If we neutered him now I wouldn't have to worry about him at home and he would be able to come along with me to work every day. My boyfriend thinks neutering him will cause him to look feminine and not develop fully and thinks he will get lazy and change his personality and attitude completely, which I know isn't really correct. He wants to wait until a year and a half or not neuter him at all. (Cause of lots of fights.) He is uneducated and stubborn. He has been getting a little aggressive with other male dogs that he comes in contact with. Would this be a completely wrong decision to neuter him now?
-Kelsey & Gunner
Research indicates that if you neuter young, before the growth plates have fully developed, it encourages bone growth - longer legs which makes them more prone to ortho defects such as ruptured ligaments etc. I may not have the exact description right but you get the idea.
When to Neuter a Dog
You will also find many sites that recommend 5-7 months but personally I would wait until 18 months and would even consider leaving them intact. My first dog was intact until 11 years old and was only castrated on vet's advice.
If you have an aggression problem then this may decide it for you anyway. My eldest -Jasper, was castrated at 18 months, but only because he was attacking my older dog at the time. It solved the problem almost instantly.
Last edited by Samson; 09-05-2012 at 05:44 AM.
While I personally would wait to neuter any of my males until I had to, I do realize that some families do have a need that requires them to be fixed sooner. Your example of doggy day care. While there are studies showing links between ortho issues and fixing dogs earlier, they have been doing it at 6 months for years, and not all dogs have problems. At a certain point the growth plates do close and at that point you can nueter. Sometimes they say if your pup has lost the knobby wrists, that means they are fully grown. Given your circumstance, I would probably get him done in the next month or so and be done with it.
Here's another good article: Canine Sports Productions: Early Spay-Neuter Considerations for the Canine Athlete
Abbey was spayed at 6 months as that was the requirement from the shelter I adopted her from. Kolby was neutered as an adult by the rescue I adopted him from. Neither of them have had any orthopedic issues, but from what I have learned from others in the Labrador community, I will wait until the dog is full grown to spay/neuter between 12-18 months.
Can you wait just another 3 months? I would like to see you get to 12 months if at all possible, your vet should able to tell if his growth plates are closed.
Java was spayed at 6 months and went on to tear both ACLs and be diagnosed with ED, DJD & OCD...all at 13 months old.
When we got Moka (Java's full sister from a different litter) we decided to wait to spay her until she was 18 months old.
Moka is orthopedically *perfect*.
Are Java's ortho issues a result of her spay at 6 months? Possibly.
Her ortho surgeon told me that her ligaments did not appear to be fully matured when he opened her knees up to repair them.
I will never spay/neuter early again.
I will wait until they reach full maturation at 12-18 months.
BUT-it's a personal decision.
You have to do what you feel is best for your family and your pup.
Its not that I want to do it, it's just that no one else watches him during the day. I'm trying to be responsible and not leave him home alone all day, every day. He hates it. I'm the one who does everything for him. It's a hassle to walk him sometimes because if there is another unaltered dog, he instantly goes crazy trying to attack it. I'm worried about being at the dog park by myself too because he picks fights with other dominant dogs, much bigger than him.
-Kelsey & Gunner