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We have a (nearly) 6 month red setter puppy who we have booked in at the vets next month to be castrated.  I am having conflicting feelings on this and any thoughts or advice would be appreciated in helping us to come to a decision.  One school of thought that I have found on the internet is that 6-months is too young and you have a perpetual puppy....and the other school of thought is that 6-months is ideal.  Riley is showing very little inclination to hump other dogs at this stage, his behaviour is relatively consistent - although he is very easily distracted and we are struggling a little with him not responding to his recalls when out on walks.  I am tempted to wait a little longer - any thoughts...? xxx

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Many years ago I kept Akitas and I had my boy castrated...(he wasn't of show quality and I had four bitches....) it doesn't affect Akita coats adversely...in fact it made him look much better...he had a thicker coat...

You will be advised by your vet that it will 'stop them wanting to mate bitches' well I can tell you.....it does not...

My boy used to mate the bitches whenever they were ready...(of cause there was no puppies) but it proved to me that this castration just doesn't have the affect that the vets will tell you...(I have to say he was a very happy boy...having his way with 'his girls' when he was able, and no puppies to look after, happy boy)

It also didn't change his temperament. Akitas are not the most placid of breed, and his friendly disposition towards people never changed...also his aggression towards other animals didn't change either...so please don't do it...unless he needs it on medical grounds..like Howard said Prostate Cancer/Problems etc...

Hi, I agree with the others and that is don't do it. He is too young and castration will make no difference to his recall etc. It took me a long time to get my 3 yr old's recall spot on and that was with a whistle, long line and consistency.
I just had my dog castrated and that was a last resort purely as he made himself ill and very unhappy but believe he was extremely highly sexed. I am expecting a coat change and wil have to work hard to keep him in good condition. But also I would like to add that it was my personal decision and not pressure from anyone else of what not or what to do. I did what was best for my dog but wish I didn't have to castrate him either.
Good luck with him

Yes, I too have had dogs neutered in the past for the same reason Louise.   His recall did improve, because he was hormonal to the extent that he would go walk abouts trying to find the local girly who was letting out such wonderful perfume, and that was obviously no good for his own safety. I stick to the view of "if it aint broke, don't try and fix it".  Some dogs do overproduce various hormones, and he was indeed one of those.

Yes indeed Fran, I agree with the hormone and recall thing as Reuben was older, as when he went through the really hormonal stage a while back, his recall went to virtually nothing as he was too busy frantically sniffing for girls. He was frantic even on the lead, it was so sad to watch. I had the superlorin implant done again to see what would happen and this definitely made a difference and I decided to castrate whilst implant nearing the end of its life, so the hormones did not build up again as felt this was better for Reuben . He lost so much weight and was almost frenzied/neurotic, howling, drooling and all sorts at his worst and even our cat wasn't safe around him!

Thanks to you all for your thoughts and feedback, after much research we are giving this further thought and have cancelled the appointment for now!!  Riley does have a retained testicle which we may need to do something about and we have always been advised (with other dogs) to have them 'done' asap, especially if not breeding from them - but it sounds as though the same doesn't always apply to different breeds.  It is reassuring to hear that setters tend not to be over-sexed and I am hopeful that my gorgeous boy will continue to be as good-natured and loving as he is.  Once again, thanks for the time you have taken to respond to my query. xxx

I've had three male setters i haven't had any of them done and none of them have ever shown intrest in the girls, they have all been lovely boys (",)

Unless there is a pressing health reason, why would you want to castrate an Irish Setter? And if there is a health reason, better not to do it until the dog is fully grown. One of the glories of the breed is the beautiful coat and colour, why ruin it by castrating the dog. Neutering dogs and bitches unnecessarily is promoted  by some vets (but not all)  because it is an easy way to make boney

Vanessa, just going back to what you said about Riley having a retained testicle. At six months old there's still time for the retained one to drop, but even if you have to deal with that, you need only have the retained one removed. The other one can, and in my opinion, should, be left alone. This way he'll have all the hormones needed for the normal maturity process, and to ensure his coat turns out just the way it should.


Dawn R.

I agree with Dawn. I've had two boys with retained testicles. We left them intact until there was a clinical necessity to have something done.

Rumor had a torsion of the retained testicle after about 6 years and that was taken away, but the other one left.

Then Kiefer was left totally intact until eventually after several prostate flare ups, he was fully castrated. The coat is controllable ...JUST!! but the main problem is that our youngster will not leave him alone...obviously doesn't consider him to be all male! However that's not a problem as Kiefer spends most of his time with our sole surviving (and probably last) bitch.

Go with the flow and hopefully Riley will be fine.

If you do I would wait until a dog is over 2 as the grown plates do not close until then. If done sooner you have a really tall leggy dog. 

Really great to read everyone having the same attitude and opinion saying castration isn't necessary and rarely beneficial. Even when a dog is aggresive or over sexed there is no guarantee that castration will sort the problem.

And yes most vets recommend castration when the one testicle hasn't decended but they rarely remove the undescended testicle which defeats the original objective of preventative cancer care!

And yes most vets recommend castration when the one testicle hasn't decended but they rarely remove the undescended testicle which defeats the original objective of preventative cancer care!>>


At my vet's they always remove the undescended testicle as that is the one that is more likely to cause problems.Of course,it is a lot more expensive that ordinary castration.




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