ďEarlyĒ Neuter - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-12-2018, 01:03 PM Thread Starter
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ďEarlyĒ Neuter

We always planned to Neuter at 6 months, and to be vigilant about doing it on time because thatís what I was led to believe is healthiest. However, our family schedule is unusual when our puppy will be 6 months old. There is a window of time right before that would be the perfect time to schedule and then everything goes crazy until May. I did some brief reading which suggested doing it slightly early was safe and yesterday I scheduled the procedure for 5 1/2 months.

Today I started reading here more about it and now Iím second guessing. I was hoping to reduce marking and roaming by sticking with the 6 month goal I read about. For practical reasons Iím also hesitant to wait because both of the good referrals I have for private dog sitters in my area only accept neutered male dogs. I know there are many threads about when to neuter and Iíve read a lot of them, along with the article about growth plates many have referenced. But Iím specifically wondering if anyone has regretting ďearlyĒ neutering in their own pet dog, or if they were happy with their decision. Also, if anyone else had any experience with neutering slightly before 6 months in general, I would love to hear.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-12-2018, 01:45 PM
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I have experience with very early neutering, my last Hav Apollo was neutered before coming home at 10 weeks old by his breeder. She was a very reputable breeder and his co-breeder was a vet. He lived to be 13 (lost him to liver cancer), he had no major health issues outside of his liver at the end of life. His joints were fine, he grew very well (the breeder thought he’d be 7-8 pounds since he was the runt). He landed at 13 pounds and he was not at all fat. He always peed like a girl, never had an issue with marking but he humped from 14 weeks on, always stuffed animals though.

I’m about to bring a new pup home and given all that I’ve read I will try to wait until he is at least a year old. My breeder is OK with 8 months.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-12-2018, 04:47 PM
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My boy, because I didn't know any better, was neutered at 7 months. I wouldn't do that again. I am a firm believer now of waiting until the dog is mature for health reasons. Marking is something that needs to be trained. Neutered male dogs and females also mark. In Europe, very few male dogs are neutered at all, and, believe me, they learn that marking in the house is not allowed. Early spay/neuter is a cultural, American thing.

As far as roaming is concerned, I would CERTAINLY hope that anyone purchasing a small companion breed would not leave them unsupervised in a situation where there was the SLIGHTEST chance of "roaming". I have a number of breeder friends with intact dogs and none of them have a problem with "roaming".

That said, I'm not sure there its big a concern about joint problems in toy breeds as there is in larger dogs. So I think the odds are in your favor that there would be no adverse consequences of an early neuter. And there are certainly situations that make early spay/neuter the best decision for a particular dog in a particular family. If access to good day care is dependent on the dog being neutered by a specific age, that would be a pretty compelling reason to consider it.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-13-2018, 11:32 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you for describing these things in context, krandall! It makes so much more sense. When I read about preventing roaming I thought of this little terrier in our old neighborhood who was always ďescapingĒ and wandering around and I thought, whatever they say will prevent that! But we arenít keep-the-dog-in-the-backyard people, and we supervise closely, so what you said puts it into perspective.

I have to admit, Iím really not familiar with marking other than dogs do it, but I sort of assumed it is handled similarly to potty training. Again, though, I read early neutering can minimize marking and thought, who wouldnít want that? Iím not sure Iíd be able to tell the difference between peeing and marking at this point. I think our puppy has marked when he was really worked up about being left alone. Thatís a whole separate issue, but both times it appeared as if he held it just fine for the 30-45 minutes he was alone but peed when we saw me, and it was almost like a spray. It sounds like some dogs do mark less after neutering but itís not at all reliable and I just need to make sure weíve decided as a family how to handle it so weíre consistent (like with everything else). Iím not sure how to handle it when heís upset, I donít want to punish him for it, but hopefully that will resolve itself as we figure out the separation/anxiety. Which is very real. I should probably post separately about that later.

Iíll have to think about it more, but I do feel better about possibly waiting until May - I just didnít want to cause harm by waiting too long. The biggest issue is he canít be left alone at all right now and thatís a long time to wait. Weíre working on it, but Iím pretty sure he has real separation anxiety and I donít think itíll be a quick fix so I do need to be able to leave him with a family style sitter I can trust.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-13-2018, 12:22 PM
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Thank you for describing these things in context, krandall! It makes so much more sense. When I read about preventing roaming I thought of this little terrier in our old neighborhood who was always ďescapingĒ and wandering around and I thought, whatever they say will prevent that! But we arenít keep-the-dog-in-the-backyard people, and we supervise closely, so what you said puts it into perspective.

I have to admit, Iím really not familiar with marking other than dogs do it, but I sort of assumed it is handled similarly to potty training. Again, though, I read early neutering can minimize marking and thought, who wouldnít want that? Iím not sure Iíd be able to tell the difference between peeing and marking at this point. I think our puppy has marked when he was really worked up about being left alone. Thatís a whole separate issue, but both times it appeared as if he held it just fine for the 30-45 minutes he was alone but peed when we saw me, and it was almost like a spray.

It sounds like some dogs do mark less after neutering but itís not at all reliable and I just need to make sure weíve decided as a family how to handle it so weíre consistent (like with everything else). Iím not sure how to handle it when heís upset, I donít want to punish him for it, but hopefully that will resolve itself as we figure out the separation/anxiety. Which is very real. I should probably post separately about that later.
That's DEFINITELY NOT marking! Marking is a way of communicating with other dogs. It says "I was here". We also call it "pee male".

What is happening with your puppy is probably excited peeing due to lack of sphincter control (not uncommon in young dogs of both sexes) It USUALLY goes away on its own, but can definitely be helped by solving underlying anxiety issues, and by training CALM greetings. There is also sometime "submissive peeing", usually also an anxiety thing. But this is less common, and I think the first is probably what's going on with your puppy. It is DEFINITELY NOT marking behavior.

Marking behavior needs to be trained, EXACTLY like potty training. Even though it's pee in both cases, in the dogs' minds, it is NOT the same function/behavior. So even a dog that is COMPLETELY reliable in terms of "potty training" will sometimes start to mark during adolescence, or under certain circumstances.

For instance, a friend of mine visited last summer with her bitch in heat. Panda was COMPLETELY reliable potty trained and 18 months old. The bitch sat on the kitchen floor at one point (leaving no mark that a human could see, but obviously her scent. Panda walked over, right in front of us, sniffed, turned around, squatted and squirted a little pee onto the spot, before I could stop her. THAT was clear marking. We had "words" and she got sent outside. She hasn't done it again, but if she is again around another bitch in heat, I will watch her like a hawk. that's what training is all about.

With boys, it can help to not let them sniff vertical surfaces where other dogs may have marked previously. I was FANATICAL about that with Kodi, because I DIDN'T want a male dog who marked. He was allowed to wander, sniff and mark off leash outdoors, but never in a building. (and be careful in training facilities... There are lots of adolescent dogs who do "drive bus" and their owners don't even notice, so DON'T let your young dog sniff corners of doorways and such in those places, and keep a CLOSE eye on your dog!)

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Iíll have to think about it more, but I do feel better about possibly waiting until May - I just didnít want to cause harm by waiting too long. The biggest issue is he canít be left alone at all right now and thatís a long time to wait. Weíre working on it, but Iím pretty sure he has real separation anxiety and I donít think itíll be a quick fix so I do need to be able to leave him with a family style sitter I can trust.
And that is a really valid thing to think about. If the only way to leave him in an appropriate, non-stressful sitter situation is to neuter him, the anxiety issue, in my mind, would trump the benefits of holding off. Actually, I might do it anyway if my dog needed to be in a day care situation where he was loose with other dogs, of unknown training status during this period. If there are markers in the group, he will CERTAINLY pick it up. It will be a stronger urge in an unneutered dog, and much harder for you to curb, when you are only with him, and able to train it, sometimes, when other times he gets away with it.


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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-13-2018, 01:33 PM Thread Starter
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There are lots of adolescent dogs who do "drive bus" and their owners don't even notice
This is what Iím afraid of! I donít want to be the person who doesnít notice. Iím getting a better understanding of it, though, and I think Iím learning what to watch for.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-13-2018, 05:43 PM
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This is what Iím afraid of! I donít want to be the person who doesnít notice. Iím getting a better understanding of it, though, and I think Iím learning what to watch for.
That was supposed "drive BY's"! LOL! Sorry.

It really isn't hard to see. Boy dogs almost always sniff first, then sidle up to (whatever) then lift a leg.


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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-13-2018, 07:05 PM
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That was supposed "drive BY's"! LOL! Sorry.
Ha! I was confused. "drive bus" ???? All kinds of thoughts were going through my head, none of which made sense. Autocorrect is so bizarre.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-14-2018, 08:03 AM
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Soloman

I put a cartoon on Facebook with a tombstone and RIP and under the caption read, "The inventor of autocorrect died today, may he rest in pieces".

I hated the decision about neutering my boy more than any dog related decisions I have made during my year of dog ownership. I neutered Kosmo at 10 months because I had a female that was undersized living under our roof that I wanted to not spay and also I was intent on getting a show quality female of three months age in the near future. Sooo, I felt I was sacrificing Kosmo for Zoe and Joy, but Soloman like decisions were just part of life. Besides all that, since Kosmo was a Cryptorchid and could never be bred and the undescended testis had to be removed regardless, I would just go on and remove the works.

After his procedure when the vet tech rolled Kosmo out of the back wearing his donut neck gear, he looked up at me, changed position and rolled onto his back and then spread his legs so I could see the incision. The vet tech laughed. I laughed (but wanted to tear up) and I will never ever forget that day (and may indeed at some future point call the image up repeatedly when I am old and grey and rocking in my rocker in the senile room at the nursing home).

I just wanted to offer my encouragement. Also, I wanted to share my experience of neutering a male dog at a young age knowing full well that my boy's circumstances have no relation to your boy's situation.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-14-2018, 09:53 AM Thread Starter
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The funny thing about the correction to ďdrive busĒ is that I just assumed it was some expression I hadnít heard before implying the dog was in the driverís seat and the oblivious owner was just along for the ride!
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