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I know that most of you are advocates on waiting but our guy is getting bad with trying to hump, particularly my teen daughter. He went nuts last night and I think it was because of the fur around the hood of her new winter coat. He's just about 8 months old and my plan was to wait. Is there any harm in doing it early? What age are they considered fully grown? I don't want to jeopardize his health and boyish looks.

Thanks for any advice.
 

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If you can, I would strongly suggest waiting a bit longer. Tucker will be 18 months in February, which is when we plan on neutering him. Over the past few months, Tucker's head has really developed more than I ever thought it would and his chest has gotten much broader, so I am glad that we have waited. We also plan on waiting that long with our new pup. We want to be absolutely confident that both of our boys are completely developed and physically mature before they have the procedure done.

Also, humping isn't always sexual. It's usually more of a playful/dominance behavior and neutering isn't guaranteed to stop that. Some females even hump.
 

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Susan
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Show him this post. Jamie was humping everything in sight so when we were at the vet I discussed getting him neutered. I swear Jamie overheard us because he hasn't humped anything since! ;)

Unfortunately for him he is almost 18 months and is getting neutered on Friday anyway.
 

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There's nothing wrong with neutering at 8 months. Waiting longer is a currently a fad that may turn out to be a good idea but hasn't been proven yet in the veterinary literature.

However, neutering won't necessarily stop a humper. It's frequently not sexual.
 

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Nancy
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Neutering doesn't necessarily stop humping.

The worst humper I ever had was a female Golden :)
This is what I was going to say. Our friend's daughter has a spayed female golden that is terrible about humping other dogs.

Humping is not a sexual behavior, it can be playing, especially in puppies and a dominance issue in adult dogs.
 

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I'm having the "marking" issue with Scout in the house, and he is 7+ months. My entire house is marked by him and Noah looks at me like I can't believe he gets away with it and Scout looks at me likt "what." I have him scheduled to get fixed End of January. I have a month+ to move it, and I know others have said wait...and others have it done. My vet prefers over 6 months but has never said anything about older. We had Noah done at 6+ months and now I think I made his head girly...based on some advice...Scout already has a boxy head in comparison. Am I really ruining him if I get it at around 8+???
 

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I'm having the "marking" issue with Scout in the house, and he is 7+ months. My entire house is marked by him and Noah looks at me like I can't believe he gets away with it and Scout looks at me likt "what." I have him scheduled to get fixed End of January. I have a month+ to move it, and I know others have said wait...and others have it done. My vet prefers over 6 months but has never said anything about older. We had Noah done at 6+ months and now I think I made his head girly...based on some advice...Scout already has a boxy head in comparison. Am I really ruining him if I get it at around 8+???
No, you're not ruining him, but marking is a behavior issue that you can deal with that way if you want, rather than trying to alter his hormones.

I personally feel that the "blocky" thing is anecdotal. There are plenty of masculine-looking dogs who were neutered around six months.
 

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No, you're not ruining him, but marking is a behavior issue that you can deal with that way if you want, rather than trying to alter his hormones.

I personally feel that the "blocky" thing is anecdotal. There are plenty of masculine-looking dogs who were neutered around six months.
I plan on getting him neutered...
Do you know of any ways to stop the marking in the house. He will do it if he is out of sight for a minute.
 

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There's nothing wrong with neutering at 8 months. Waiting longer is a currently a fad that may turn out to be a good idea but hasn't been proven yet in the veterinary literature.
Not true. There are studies supporting waiting until sexual maturity before nutering or spaying. They can be found in the veterinary journal of medicine & other studies. One study shows shorter males (waitng to neuter until maturity) have a significant increase in life expectancy.
Also decrease in osteosarcoma in males neutered after sexual maturity.
Male dogs neutered before age one have an 80% increase in hypothyroidism.
Increase in hip dysplagia in both male or female done before sexual maturity.
 

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I plan on getting him neutered...
Do you know of any ways to stop the marking in the house. He will do it if he is out of sight for a minute.
The way I'd take care of it is to treat him like a puppy for the time being. Clean all the stains super carefully with an enzymatic cleaner and confine him when you can't keep him in the room with you. You need to catch him a few times and prevent him from succeeding.

We thought Comet was doing this about a year ago, and we got a ton of great suggestions. As it turns out, he was licking stuff and drooling on it, not peeing, but the suggestions seemed really apt.
 

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Not true. There are studies supporting waiting until sexual maturity before nutering or spaying. They can be found in the veterinary journal of medicine & other studies. One study shows shorter males (waitng to neuter until maturity) have a significant increase in life expectancy.
Also decrease in osteosarcoma in males neutered after sexual maturity.
Male dogs neutered before age one have an 80% increase in hypothyroidism.
Increase in hip dysplagia in both male or female done before sexual maturity.
I've read every single one of those studies that's been posted to this forum and others. The osteosarcoma study was based on a couple of dozen Rottweilers neutered before one year vs. later. It does not tell us what age or if waiting until 2 provides any significant effect. Even the authors of the study didn't believe it showed that delayed neutering provided protection against osteosarcoma; their work was to look at intact dogs vs. neutered dogs, not the age of neutering. If there's been another study that's more comprehensive since then, please post it.

The vast majority of veterinary literature actually confirms the opposite of what you're saying. Altered dogs, both male and female, actually live longer than intact dogs. In females, it's a no brainer, because of the risk of pyometra and mammary tumors. In males, there seems to be a fairly even tradeoff between diseases that are increased in intact dogs and those that are decreased. One study that finds that intact males live longer does not controvert years and years of studies that show the opposite. You absolutely cannot base medical decisions on a mere handful of studies. Please post the study, though. I'm curious.

I'd like to see studies on your hypothyroidism claims. It would make sense that gonadal hormones would affect thyroid function, but I haven't seen the medical literature.

I'm much more skeptical of your claim about HD. Neutering at 6 months vs. 18 months can have a small effect on long bone growth, but it's proportional, so it shouldn't cause joint malformation. Please post some evidence.

The reason most vets haven't changed away from the traditional neutering age of six months is that the literature has not shown in a definitive way that it helps dogs to live longer overall. They understand the difference between a handful of promising studies and a real preponderance of evidence. The majority of the evidence still confirms that altered dogs live longer than intact dogs.

There's also, so far as I know, no such publication as "the veterinary journal of medicine," so I'm curious as to where your studies are coming from.
 

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I was told that once your pup starts to lift his leg to pee that they've "matured" and it's ok to neuter. Cooper started doing this a couple weeks ago but not EVERY time he goes. It started out that he would do it only when on walks which we knew was just to mark where another dog had been but he is now doing it in the back yard of his own territory and not up against anything....just the middle of the yard. Has anyone heard of this being true?
 

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By no means does lifting his leg dictate a dog has matured or reached maturity. My last male to come through here was lifting his leg at 4 months of age. Hardly anywhere near a mature age.

I agree there are quite a substantial amount of studies out there on effects of neutering at different ages. The approach I prefer to take is the common sense approach. Are hormones important in development? Would something(or someone) void of hormones develop in the same matter as something without them? Personally I believe in waiting and also being a responsible owner. If there are issues with humping or marking, I stongly believe this is a training issue.

As said above the worst humpers I have seen were fixed at 6 months and a female shelter dog at 3 months...... hmmmmmm
 

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Here are several. The study I referred to on slow growth was not on Rottweilers, but on over 1400 Golden Retrievers.I am sure studies will continue all the time. For now, this is what I base my decision to wait on both my male & female Goldens until at least a year. My breeder now has it in her contract that spaying before age one will void the health guarantee contract.

I also didn't say non spayed dogs live longer, I agree it is the opposite. What I said was dogs who were spayed later had the advantage & it was related to slow growth. Spaying before maturity encourages taller dogs, taller dogs (especially males had a significantly shorter life span. Average of 2 plus years)

You are free to base your decisions on what you research, but please do not call supported research a FAD.


BJSALZ,
Sorry to hijack your thread. I hope what ever decision you make works best for you & your family. I am sure it is frustrating & probably bothers your girl. Our very young puppy was trying to hump our other older puppy, but this wonderful board explined that often it is more of a dominance behavior as opposed to a sexual behavior. For us removing him away from her & firmly saying no has helped. I know someone else was having trouble with one and his pillow. So you are not alone.



*Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
December 1, 2007, Vol. 231, No. 11, Pages 1688-1691
doi: 10.2460/javma.231.11.1688


*Understanding Canine Cancer UC Davis School of Vet Medicine
http://www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/CCAH/documents/newsletter_2008_

*. Long-term Health Risks and Benefits Associated with Spay/Neuter in Dogs. Laura J Sanborn, MS., 2007

*Salmeri KR, Bloomberg MS, Scruggs SL, Shille V.. Gonadectomy in immature dogs: effects on skeletal, physical, and behavioral development. JAVMA 1991;198:1193-1203

*Howe LM, Slater MR, Boothe HW, Hobson HP, Holcom JL, Spann AC. Long-term outcome of gonadectomy performed at an early age or traditional age in dogs. J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2001 Jan 15;218(2):217-21.
 

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Getting Moose neutered didn't help his humping at all. However it did stop any marking. He squats like a girl to pee and goes all at once, makes walks and potty time so much easier. He definitely still has humping attacks, mostly small children and small dogs. I just call him the dominator, since he's showing his dominance. Lindsay hates it, I laugh.
 

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Here are several. The study I referred to on slow growth was not on Rottweilers, but on over 1400 Golden Retrievers.I am sure studies will continue all the time. For now, this is what I base my decision to wait on both my male & female Goldens until at least a year. My breeder now has it in her contract that spaying before age one will void the health guarantee contract.

I also didn't say non spayed dogs live longer, I agree it is the opposite. What I said was dogs who were spayed later had the advantage & it was related to slow growth. Spaying before maturity encourages taller dogs, taller dogs (especially males had a significantly shorter life span. Average of 2 plus years)

You are free to base your decisions on what you research, but please do not call supported research a FAD.
From the link you posted: "For example, several recent studies have suggested a possibly improved overall cancer risk profile for dogs of both sexes that have been permitted to mature with their natural hormones. Some of this is still under investigation, and the associations may or may not be supported by future studies."

I cannot find, in anything you linked, support for your claims that male dogs neutered later have an "average of 2 plus years" of longer life. Please link this information. Could you also be more specific about which study covered 1400 Golden Retrievers and proved that slow growth due to later neutering decreased the chances of osteosarcoma? None of the articles you mentioned appear to cover that many dogs.

Laura Sanborn's paper is often cited by those who advocate for delayed neutering, but it's probably important to point out that she's not a vet nor a PhD level researcher.

Here's a rebuttal paper by a DVM. It talks about many of the claims you're making here.

I'll say again that I personally have been waiting until at least 18 months with my males because I don't see a substantial downside and these studies do raise important questions. It is, however, hardly a settled issue in the veterinary community. I call it a fad because it seems to have become dogma among wealthier people with purebreds who ascribe to this emerging research, but most vets are still taking it with a grain of salt. There simply hasn't been enough work done to prove that waiting until 18 months provides significant health protection.
 

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Susan
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My breeder said that same thing about being OK to neuter once they start lifting their leg. However the breeder's contract said to get them neutered between 12 and 13 months. Since I read here that it is better to wait and I wasn't having any problems I waited. He is almost 17 months now and still rarely lifts his leg. He has a nice big head and is not tall. I am having him neutered on Friday.
 

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I am totally confused after reading this thread and don't know when to have Samara neutered. She is 4 months old right now. To add a complication to this decision we are temporarily living in Ecuador(1-2 years). I have been told that the vet's here are fine but I am still worried.
 

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There's Waiting longer is a currently a fad
That entirely depends on where you come from. In this country I would consider the opposite to be true and here it seems a new 'fad' to neuter at 6 months (not all vets are advocates of this, mine certainly isn't) but of course it is also profitable for the vet to get 'em in young and make sure they're done and I am yet to be convinced it is to benefit the dog's health.
 
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