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I’ve read all about the benefits of waiting to neuter - but now that I’ve got my 6mo old pup I’m wondering about neutering.

  • He’s been attacked by 2 dogs now. Quick sniff and the dog turned hostile.
  • The daycare wants us to neuter for this reason at 7mos
  • Pressure from the vet
  • Very worried that the attacks from other dogs will continue
Cons
  • My breeder wants us to wait until 2yrs
  • I love that big beautiful stocky look
  • I worry about joint issues.

What is everyone else’s advice and experiences?

thanks!
 

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I too have found that keeping my boy intact has attracted unwanted attention from neutered male dogs. They very quickly turn hostile towards him. This started around 5 months old and at this point I stopped letting him interact with unfamiliar dogs. He is now almost 11 months old and hasn't had an issue, but I still refuse to put him in a situation where another dog could start something.

In your case: your dog is not the one causing problems. If he is getting attacked the other dogs that are initiating fighting should be asked to leave. I will never understand sending the friendly dog away. My other recommendation would be to just tell your vet you're comfortable waiting and responsible enough to not let him roam or get a dog pregnant.

Outside of prostate issues and testicular cancer, I really don't see many reasons to neuter a male. Yes they mark, which can be quite annoying if they're frivolous about it. But if you live in a house with a yard and aren't around intact bitches in heat, I really don't see a problem with keeping them intact until 2, 3, 4, etc.

In my experience with neutering my own dogs: we've done two males. One was done at 6 months and one at 3 months. 6 month dog was a very friendly, happy dog that developed anxiety after the neutering that may or may not be related to the neutering, as he doesn't come from a pedigree of well bred dogs, temperament wise. The other was never a good, well adjusted dog, so the neuter didn't change much. He reminds me a little bit of a coyote because his legs are a little long, but he's still quite territorial, aggressive, unfriendly towards other dogs and needs to be separated when our bitches go into heat because he will try to mount and tie them. Have not experienced joint issues with either.

Ultimately, it is your decision and what works best for you and your family :)
 

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Puddles
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I can't help with the daycare dilemma other than finding a different daycare that can offer a more personal approach to exercise or provide more exercise on your own. As a daycare/boarding owner it was always critical to put the pups with compatible companions and never had any issues. I have had behaviors (lots of interest & peeing) when a female was in season but never issues between males. Personally I seldom neuter my male dogs.
I agree with the breeder, pups need those hormones to grow properly. Early neutors cause the growth plates to continue growing giving your boy a taller, leggy appearance.

Remember the vet makes money on the procedure and it's easier & cheaper to do when they are young :) But in all fairness to the vet, he sees thousands of unwanted puppies and most use this as a birth control method. If you are a responsible dog owner, this isn't a factor.
 

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Kate
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  • He’s been attacked by 2 dogs now. Quick sniff and the dog turned hostile.
  • The daycare wants us to neuter for this reason at 7mos
  • Pressure from the vet
  • Very worried that the attacks from other dogs will continue
What if you neuter the dog and he's still attacked - or worse, he's now getting into full out fights at the daycare? :unsure: Would you then (after damage has already been done) decide that using a daycare where there is little control or monitoring to stop dog attacks is not best for your young dog?

My take fwiw is that keeping dogs intact requires responsible ownership.

You have to tell vets to shut up and back off... until whatever point when they realize there is a difference between an intact rottweiler (as example) and an intact golden retriever. One of the quips you might try if you feel irritated enough is asking a vet if they will give you a 100% warranty against aggression, wandering/stay behaviors, or cancer if you neuter your puppy - since they claim neutering prevents all of the above. :)

More serious - if you own a dog, it is your responsibility to not put that dog in situations where he can get attacked by somebody else's crappy dog. Turning a dog loose at a dog park or dropping your dog off at daycare while knowing the dog will be turned loose with other dogs - you have to realize and understand that both come at a risk.

I have 3 intact goldens and they are sweeties together. There is no aggression strictly related to dogs being kept intact.

There may be aggression issues related to neutering dogs <= My personal take though is when people neuter dogs to fix a training/socialization issue, you know they are not training their dogs.
 

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Your dog's health and structure is going to make the payment for neutering so early.
The dogs who are being aggressive need to be asked to leave, not a puppy who is just a puppy.
Unfortunately that's going to be on you to be sure he isn't put in a bad situation..

There are hundreds/thousands of intact dogs at dog shows and fights are quite rare. It's not a given for having testicles to be badly behaved.
 

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I’ve read all about the benefits of waiting to neuter - but now that I’ve got my 6mo old pup I’m wondering about neutering.

  • He’s been attacked by 2 dogs now. Quick sniff and the dog turned hostile.
  • The daycare wants us to neuter for this reason at 7mos
  • Pressure from the vet
  • Very worried that the attacks from other dogs will continue
Cons
  • My breeder wants us to wait until 2yrs
  • I love that big beautiful stocky look
  • I worry about joint issues.
What is everyone else’s advice and experiences?

thanks!
Ask the daycare why they are not correcting the dogs that attacked him, and why the owners are allowed to bring them back if they have attacked other dogs in the day care? They are at fault, not your puppy. Shame on them.

Rather than neutering him early just because a day care said you have to, find a dog walker to come take him out for a walk once or twice a day. That way you can wait to neuter him until his growth plates have closed, and make the decision on when to neuter for yourself instead of outside influences pressuring you to do it early. Make the decision based on what's best for your dog, not what's convenient for someone else.
 

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FWIW the OP did not specifically state that her dog had been attacked at daycare. Only that he had been attacked AND that the daycare wanted him neutered. I know of several owners whose intact males have been attacked by neutered dogs while, say, on the beach or on a walk, which is a hard thing to manage if the dogs are off leash, unless the owner wants to never allow her dog off-leash freedom and/or never take her dog anywhere he might run into other dogs.

I also know that most of my local daycares do not allow intact males (Including the daycare I use, which is run by Golden Retriever breeders - my dog can come for the day but he's only allow to interact with my female). I agree that, in theory, the daycare should not allow dogs who attack other dogs to attend daycare, or do a blanket ban on intact males without taking into account whether the dog himself is aggressive... but the reality is, unfair as it may be, if you want your intact male to go to daycare, finding one that will take him might be challenging.

All that said... I agree that I would choose a few years of management to try to at least get my male to maturity before I consider neutering, even if that meant curtailing his freedom or not bringing him to daycare during that time.
 

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I’ve read all about the benefits of waiting to neuter - but now that I’ve got my 6mo old pup I’m wondering about neutering.

  • He’s been attacked by 2 dogs now. Quick sniff and the dog turned hostile.
  • The daycare wants us to neuter for this reason at 7mos
  • Pressure from the vet
  • Very worried that the attacks from other dogs will continue
Cons
  • My breeder wants us to wait until 2yrs
  • I love that big beautiful stocky look
  • I worry about joint issues.
What is everyone else’s advice and experiences?

thanks!
I'm waiting. Having one who died way too soon from cancer, I have all the will, patience, and wait in me possible. He also had elbow dysplasia and I'd like to avoid joint issues if possible. There's no way to 100% make sure, but I'm going to do everything I can to reduce risk. Vet pressure would bother me zero. I'd get a new vet if he or she persists. I'd feel the same way about a daycare.

If attacks are an issue, do your best to keep him away from other dogs and carry pepper spray. It sounds like behavioral issues of the attacking dog(s).
 

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Kate
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which is a hard thing to manage if the dogs are off leash, unless the owner wants to never allow her dog off-leash freedom and/or never take her dog anywhere he might run into other dogs.
The answer to this is DO NOT LET YOUR DOG OFF LEASH if there are other dogs OR PEOPLE around.

If people just used this small bit of common sense, we would not be restricted as dog owners as we are in public.
 

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IMO/Experience...if some vetS see any uncertainty on decisions they’ll push and sell everything in the office to you for your dog. Some are used to people not reading studies or just wanting to get stuff done. If you feel strongly about something...tell the vet tech no since they’re usually the first one to bring it up.

I had a super pushy one tell me with my almost 2 yo at the first puppy visit, “Well the vet will want to talk to you about not spaying prior to 6 months.” And my reply, “She can talk all she wants but I’m not changing my mind.” Vet didn’t even bring it up in the visit.
 

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Ultimately, it's your decision. Not the daycare, or the vet. You made a promise to wait until he's 2. I agree that if you are worried about him being in a crate too long, hire a dog walker. Don't take him where there are dogs attacking him.

I have fired two different vets for their spay/neuter pushiness. I had one vet bring up saying my girl 3 times in one appointment. She was 3 months old. They refused to microchip an intact dog. Second vet thought I should neuter my boy because he had a hot spot that got out of control very quickly. He was 2 but I don't plan to neuter him. The vet I use now is understanding. They mention it around 6 months. They see the goldens I have aren't the average BYB dogs. Instead of admonishing me over it, they will go over all the health screenings that need done and the costs of the screenings before a dog can be responsibly bred. I don't mind that AT ALL!
 

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So this is only sort of related to the OP, but.
I had Tito at a big university hospital for a cardiology workup recently (all is perfect, that's another LONG story). As part of the cardio workup they ultrasounded his abdomen, fine. But they also ultrasounded his testicles. Huh?? Not sure what, if anything, that would have to do with his heart???
In any case, they said that they found a couple of very small nodules in his testicles, which are "possibly neoplasia". They highly recommended I have him neutered and send the testicles out for histopathy. Also commented that his prostate is mildly enlarged.
Both my regular vet and I were floored.
The University people seemed WAY more interested in his testicles than his heart. They mentioned neutering him several times, both to me and to my vet. The next time,when I spoke to them to get further test results, it was again mentioned that "his heart is absolutely fine for the anesthesia when you have him neutered."
Huh??
The dog is 13-1/3. My regular vet does a complete physical exam at least 3 times a year, including carefully palpating the testicles and doing a complete rectal exam. He said that whatever they are seeing on ultrasound is obviously much too small to be felt on palpation, as he'd just done it less than 3 weeks prior. Also said that his prostate is perfectly fine for an intact dog his age.
I couldn't believe how hard they were pushing me to have the dog neutered. At his age? My regular vet says that even if it is testicular cancer, the dog is over 13. The risks of neutering him would far exceed any benefits. He said if Tito has testicular cancer, it's something he'll die with, not from.
We did agree to recheck by ultrasound in 5-6 months. But sheesh.
 
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Our intact Golden, Crispin, is 7. He has no arthritis. He was recently examined by a neurologist and orthopedist (and he's fine--I got paranoid because of our last dog's issues); his report made a point of stating that "the dog is very well-muscled."

No orthopedic (or neurological) problems. He's got a gorgeous bone structure, nice large head (he's an English Golden, so that is natural), and no arthritis!

Our last dog, neutered at 7 mos., had arthritis by age 6, and in old age (11) developed a neuromuscular disease. In fighting that disease, it didn't help him that he also had orthopedic problems from that arthritis (swim therapy was great for him, and we loved that dog very much and still miss him--but my point is that I vowed not to neuter our next dog).

I had to push back hard against vets, vet techs, doggie daycare, and dog park moms from the time Crispin was a puppy. We also had to protect our dog from that 1-2 percent of neutered males who are aggressive toward intact dogs; we also avoid the more aggressive breeds if they are also intact (e.g. pit bulls, dobermans, etc.).

I would not leave my puppy in a daycare that allows him to be attacked and then asks me to "correct" the "problem" by neutering a puppy whose growth plates have not closed.

The problem of being attacked by neutered males has seemed to get less pronounced as my dog has aged. Maybe there is just more testosterone floating around with a young dog! But we're still careful.

We've had the best luck with sending him to playgroups of about five dogs, carefully supervised by the playgroup leader, who also picks him up and drops him off. The groups tend to be stable, and there have been few problems.

In this culture, it is frankly difficult to maintain your dog as intact; you get all kinds of pushback. But as long as you are a responsible owner, preventing your dog from getting into situations where he can either be attacked or randomly breed, you are doing your dog a favor by not castrating him, especially before his growth plates close at about 2 years old.
 

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I can't help with the daycare dilemma other than finding a different daycare that can offer a more personal approach ...
I completely understand your dilemma. When I got my older male Golden 5-1/2 years ago, the info re the link between sex hormones and bone development were just making it to public recognition. I was very fortunate to find a daycare that negotiated with me. All the females at the facility were spayed at 6 months. Based on the folder of substantiating info I carried with me at all times, they agreed to let him remain intact and come to the daycare until his behavior dictated otherwise. He lasted until he was 18 months old, whereupon he became a bit aggressive toward a couple of dogs. He was neutered at 20 months, so was able to have that blockier build, not leggy. I also have a younger male, currently 19 months old, intact, same daycare arrangement. I will hold out to 24 months if I can. Good luck; don't give up. There are places that listen, but I made it clear that if his behavior became untenable, I would remove him, no arguing. Photo so that you can see how Kerry (the red one) looks now. Ripley (blonde) is the younger one.
 

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