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My partner and i cannot make a decision on whether to have Pepper neutered or not. And want to make a decision once and for all that we can stick to!!!!
Pepper is about 2 and a half, boisterous, friendly, wonderful - my only reasons to think to have him neutered are the following -
1) any health benefits
2) when he is out sniffing, sometimes he comes upon a scent which makes his whole face throb and he drools - doesnt look very pleasant for him, and takes a few minutes before it stops - i figured it must be the scent of a female and driving him crazy!!!!
3) when hes running free, if he comes in contact with a female - we no longer exist so very difficult to get him back - its like he is taken over
thats all really - he is super friendly, but has had a few run ins with a few other entire males......
hi caroline just to say from your post your pepper sounds and behaves like any normal healthy two year old.( in doggy years hes a teenager who wants to be noticed ) and im sure hell settle down.weve never owned dogs just had bitches and my last bitch had to have an historectomy due to pyometra and it affected her coat really bad .the coat went all course and shed bald patches all on one side .
oh caroline, I woudnt do... he looks SO wonderful and so heatlhy and nice coat.. that will change (well, not 100%, but quite likely..).. I think the behaviour will settle done, eventually with a bit of training on the "recall" side? :)
I agree with Silvia.....I would 'step up' the recall training, eventually using a bitch as a distraction.
He should, if he has had plenty of 'recall' work, return to you when called, even if there is a bitch in sight.
Neutering would be my very last option and only if all else failed.
My view has always been if the dog aint not broke, then don't fix it. I have always advised owners that if their male dogs are liable to take off after girls to the point that it becomes a problem, then do consider neutering. Some males produce more testosterone than others. Some males you can put a bitch in season right under their noses and they wont give the girl a second glance, others, like one of mine can be difficult to get away, but you can with insistence, others - well it becomes downright impossible. In fact keeping my male dog entire affects his performance in the agility ring. He is fantastic in training, but at a show, forget it, he is more interested in who is lining up for the ring, not the jumps inside the ring !!!! However, there are things you need to bear in mind, and my personal view is keeping my boy entire is more important to me from a health perspective, considering all my neutered dogs have gone on to develop problems!
De-sexing a dog - there is evidence, and increasing evidence that it can lead to endocrine problems. Hypothyroidism, Addison's Disease, and Cushings for example! Now whether neutering increases the chances of a problem developing because there is already a predisposition there is another matter, because I have known plenty of dogs who haven't been neutered develop these said conditions. However, the evidence available at the moment shows a distinct trend towards neutered dogs being more at risk. If you watch this video:
Karen Becker raises the point that the body will demand testosterone after neutering, and that this will be produced eventually by the adrenal glands. This is not quite the truth. It will be produced by the pituitary gland, possibly even the hypothalamus in what is known as the HPA axis (the link between the hypothalamus, pituitary glands and the adrenal glands). Certainly neutering affects the entire glandular (endocrine) system, it cannot do anything else but. The dogs metabolism slows down, hence the weight gain they experience, and thyroid gland secretions certainly have some role in the quality of the dogs coat, just as it does in human hair.
My advice still is - if you can live with the problems your dog has because of its hormonal levels (as I can with my boy, because his overall health is more important to me than agility), then leave things alone. Likewise, overproduction of hormones can lead to their own problems occuring.
The bog standard vet advice of "you should neuter your dog because it puts them at risk of testicular cancer", is as stupid as a doctor saying to me that I should have my breasts removed because I am at risk of breast cancer. These reasons do not buy the argument.
Like everything else in life, its striking the balance between your dogs health, and your dogs safety. If my male dog was one of those who is impossible to get away from girls, and who starts to roam, crossing roads etc, then I would consider neutering.
There is something else you could consider. There is an implant by the name of Suprelorin which blocks testosterone from the pituitary gland. It is far safer than the Tardak injections offered by the vets, and far more effective. I would never entertain Tardak, having seen the effects this can have on dogs behaviourally, and it certainly hasn't reflected what eventually happened when the dog was neutered. Suprelorin is also not a permanent solution, so if you have it put in, don't like it, then it wears off, usually about 9 months further down the road.
Anyway, hope this is food for thought.
Reuben is 27 months and he is just coming to the end of his second superlorin implant and I will monitor him to see how he behaves . Reuben it seems is quite highly sexed and i had the first implant about 14 months ago as he was running off following a scent and barking all round the fence in the garden (must have been a smell of a bitch in the air). Also I found that I needed something to calm his raging hormones so I could get him to concentrate on any training aspects. I do not want to have him castrated and would hate to see his coat go all woolly etc, so I tried Superlorin and was really pleased with it. I will use it again if necessary as I am scared of him doing runners, especially as i have a dog walker two days a week (whilst I am at Uni all day) and dont want dog walker having a hard time and the worry of Reuben getting lost/run over etc. I am hoping that with continual training, the need for superlorin will not be necessary as Reuben matures. Reuben's recall is brilliant at the moment but not so sure it would be with a bitch in season nearby.
Anyway it is worth looking into and at my vets it cost approx £70 incl vat and I dont think that is too bad to pay for the value of its assistance. Also it gives you some kind of idea of how their behaviour may alter slightly if ever castrated. Some dogs lose confidence when castrated and can cause all sorts of issues, but of course every dog is different.
I myself have pondered on the issue of castration and maybe in the future years if i need to do it rather than constant implants - then I will forfeit the coat effect as living a stress free and enjoyable life with my pet is more important.
lots to think about , good luck
if you don't mind his coat will look awfull, you can do it. But I would start with Suprelorin, that works the same, but ends after 6 months. So you can see how your dog will be after being neutered...if you don't like it, he will be back to normal when the medication is done. If he doesn't run away chasing bitches, why not let him behave like a boy?
I'm investigating Suprelorin http://www.noahcompendium.co.uk/Virbac_Limited/Suprelorin_4_7_mg_im...
but have noticed this on the page I've linked to:- 'The ability of dogs to sire offspring following their return to normal plasma testosterone levels, after the administration of the product, has not been investigated.'
You'd think that would have been one of the first things they'd test in a temporary contraceptive but maybe they're keeping clear of legal comebacks. Does anyone know of dogs siring puppies successfully after the implant?