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Hi Kay.....I would use the money you are planning to spend on having Baylee neutered on a good trainer.
I have met many young dogs who have been described by their owners as extremely naughty or aggressive.
After having meetings with the dogs and their owners, I usually find that the dog is not nearly as out of control as the owner thinks and with a few one-to-one lessons both dog and owner are back on track and life is better for both.
I believe castration should always be a last resort and even then, please don't think it will bring about instant changes in yours dogs behaivour.
I fogot to add - dogs are far cleverer than many people give them credit for, so much so, they learn very quickly how to use various behaviours because of the rewards and attention they receive when they display them. Rewards come in many forms which is why I suggest you get in touch with a good trainer who will guide you in the right direction and help you to solve problems and build a better relationship with Baylee.
Neutering is unlikely to put a stop to this kind of nipping. There are probably other reasons for this. Not just saying this from a behaviourist point of view, but from a setter owner too.
It really depends on what these behavioural issues are as to whether neutering will work or not. The behaviour will have to have an over production of testosterone as its cause for this to be effective. Many people neuter their dogs when the problem isn't behavioural at all, but are really training issues and then are disappointed. I have a list of questions I give people before deciding whether neutering would be the correct route to help with certain issues. If anyone is uncertain about this and would rather not neuter, I suggest the Suprelorin implant first. This lasts for about 9 months, and suppresses testoterone via the pituitary gland. If at the end of 9 months you have noticed no change in behaviour, then hormones are not the issue. Some vets try to convince people to allow them to inject Tardak into their dogs instead. I would not recommend that at all, as it can have dramatic behavioural changes, but in the wrong direction!
Assuming the problems are hormonal and you do have him neutered. A good species appropriate diet, good omega 3's from a good quality fish (krill is best), and maybe some digestive enzymes along with investing in a coat king should keep the fluff and wool at bay. Weight normally increases around 3 months post neutering and can creep up on you without you noticing. I would reduce food intake by about 1/3 around about that time, as the metabolism does slow down. However, I do know of an IS who has lost weight since neutering as well as looking like a woolly mammoth, so weight gain doesn't always follow.
Hi Kay, please persevere with Baylee i had alot of problems with Murfee as a puppy he's now one and a half. I was so worried that if i'd had a young child in the house i'm not sure that i would have kept him. I noticed when I met up in the park with a couple of dog trainers/walkers that he listened intently and obeyed their every command so i realised at that point that i needed to be alot firmer with him. He knows now that if he growls, bites or grumbles when i'm at home i don't say anything i just leave the room and shut the door leave him for a few minutes. Through the closed door i shout sit in a firm voice and open the door if he's not sitting i close the door again if he is i say good boy. When i'm out if he's naughty, ie he used to be quite happy walking along and would then suddenly lunge at me and bite me. He doesn't do this anymore and what stopped it was shaking the lead at him (heavy leather training lead)it sounds simple but it worked and if he continued i put him on the lead and did some training, sit, heel if he got distracted i flicked the lead and said heel in a firm voice. The tone of your voice makes such a difference. Like you i didn't know that setters could be like this as my previous dog never mouthed or bit me. We got a trainer to come to our home and we realised at that point that it was us that needed to change be firm with him and you'll end up with a wonderful dog like Murfee who now 'spins on a sixpence' when we call him and sits at our feet (no treats anymore). Good luck
Kay please stop medication, forget about neutering your young dog as it will not work, and do not think that all his "particularities" are systematically a behavioural problem - not at that age. My humble suggestion is that your Baylee needs to meet a good trainer, have a lot but really a lot of exercises and learn desirable behaviour by revising every situations that can trigger such a reaction, including his food. It is very difficult to do that ourselves, I couldn't, we are full of good will but please let some "experts" help you. Your Bailee is a very special little man, he will be your beloved pet, no doubt, but for some reason he got the wrong start.