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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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Hi Vanessa

Setters are very easily distracted and have cloth ears when it comes to listening to mum as life is far to exciting !!

It's not that they mean to disappear over the horizon and leave you behind they just can't help it.  Mine was really great at recall until she got to about 7 months and it went right out of the window.

I got a collar that beeped which use to snap her out of her trance and fascination of anything that flew. As tried all the usual methods known to man believe me, dog training was great for her as it taught her how to focus.

As for castration of your boy I agree with the other comments he's still very young. His coat will blow and go fluffy, dull and orange. They are not like some male dogs where they behavior as cause for concern if with other male dogs and even females it's just not in their nature.

Hawk is my first male dog that I have left intact.  You can not tell he is intact he acts just the same as every male I have had who was castrated.  Recommend really working on recall, if he loves treats, I would give him a treat every time you say his name, he will learn to want to come to you and all you have to do is say his name. At least it works for Hawk and Cara

Glad you raised this as we've been feeling some pressure recently to have our 15 month old castrated, not by vets but by dog day care places where their policy is to exclude entire males over 1 year old. Though i can appreciate the thinking behind this I'm dead set against castration to simply fit in with a policy, especially when there's no actual problem with our dog! I'm also hearing from other dog owners about the 'dangers' of not having a male castrated and leaving him susceptible to testicular cancer. Not Setter owners. I'm encouraged by all the Don't Do It (unless essential) messages!

So glad to hear Jane! This is just as we have discussed in the past, there is no need for castration unless for medical reasons, but your vet will tell you other wise.

Hi Vanessa

Merlin had a retained testicle and the 1st  vet recomended castration. We found another who agreed to remove the retained one only but not until he was 18 months when he had stopped growing, hes now 5 happy healghy and with a lovely coat. Bit headstrong around in season bitches as others have said. You must have the retained one removed as in most cases they will become cancerous, and because they are inside its often too late once discovered, same with humans. If you are really lucky some vets will descend them at around 8 months, but it depends where it is retained, some are up by the kidneys so cannot be done, others in inguinal canal can be easily descended

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