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I’ve read a lot of posts on here about age to neuter. I had been planning to wait between 9mos and 2 years though my vet felt that with a dog Noodle’s size, 6 months would be fine.

But tonight we officially aged out of puppy playgroup. We went about 20 times and, boy, did Noodle learn a lot during that time. I would love to keep him on this path but they do not take intact dogs after 6 months. There are probably a dozen dog runs around me where, in theory, Noodle could practice being around other dogs but that’s not ideal for an intact male either. And not ideal for neutered dogs either, really.

So... do I neuter earlier than planned to be able to take him to dog school or just have an interruption in group training/playgroup? We will still continue to work at home regardless.

So tricky.
 

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I see the idea of aging dogs out of puppy play group, but not to be able to take Noodle to an obedience class say for a CGC or some other sport sounds bizarre to me. At my club we welcome intact dogs both sexes with the only limit being panties on in season bitches and keeping them home when they are in high season and therefore potentially very attractive to males. That said I sometimes have three intact males (all fairly young) and bitches who might have been starting to come in and never had a problem. Those of us who have the intact males are just super attentive when there are any intact bitches around if their owners say they are expecting their girls to come in. I even was at a seminar in September with about 36 dogs including several intact males (Javelin included) and an in season GSD bitch wearing panties (last year the in season panty wearing girl was a St. Bernard). There were no problems because everyone paid attention to their dogs.


Personally I don't like dog parks no matter what in my area because too many of the people are not attentive to their dogs and let them be bullies, etc.
 

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I think Noodle has been socialized enough for now. You got him in early and kept going. If he is no longer welcome until he is neutered, take him somewhere else. Take him to the park and work him on the long line. Teach him how to greet people (you give him a cue and he sits nicely without jumping up).

If dogs are not allowed in your park, take him for walks around town. This is also part of socializing and teaches him how to find his way home, should he get loose.
 

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The more I read about smaller dogs, the more I think I would neuter on the younger end of the spectrum. So, I would neuter him at 6 mos. and stay in that nice play group. Plus, he won't have any unwanted behaviors (marking, humping, aggression).
 

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Is Noodle a mini? I've been researching this topic like crazy and was under the impression small breeds can be neutered without ill effects at 6 months.
Research is still pretty limited and we don't really know the behavioral effects which I consider to be some of the most important ill effects to avoid. I am personally very concerned with my dog being able to go through a normal mental maturation because it can help them develop adult confidence. At 6.5 months he is in the throws of his hormones right now but he is clearly still maturing mentally. It would be nice if he didn't want to mark, but that is something you can work on with training.

I think playgroups are good, but dogs also need to learn to be around other dogs and not play all the time. Taking group classes is still a good way to have him around other dogs and learning to be more mature and confident. You want to help him develop focus on you, and not just focus on other dogs. Where I live we don't have the same issues with intact dogs not being allowed, but that's a shame it forces you to choose.
 

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I’ve read a lot of posts on here about age to neuter. I had been planning to wait between 9mos and 2 years though my vet felt that with a dog Noodle’s size, 6 months would be fine.

But tonight we officially aged out of puppy playgroup. We went about 20 times and, boy, did Noodle learn a lot during that time. I would love to keep him on this path but they do not take intact dogs after 6 months. There are probably a dozen dog runs around me where, in theory, Noodle could practice being around other dogs but that’s not ideal for an intact male either. And not ideal for neutered dogs either, really.

So... do I neuter earlier than planned to be able to take him to dog school or just have an interruption in group training/playgroup? We will still continue to work at home regardless.

So tricky.

If yu can hold off for another month, there's a webinar coming up that specifically discusses the latest research on the effects of neutering on various different breeds of dogs:

AKC Canine Health Foundation

From the excerpts I've seen, it seems the research is going to indicate that neutering has no negative health effects on small breeds like toy/mini poodle. But I too am holding off on any decisions on my two mini's until the webinar comes out.

Kevin
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I don't have to decide right away. As I understand it, the older dog playgroup is a mix of play and training. I'm not 100% sold on the program for other reasons. I think it would be fantastic for Noodle but, unlike puppy playgroup which was a per session charge, this is a monthly fee. The times don't work out as well for us. And the place is not very conveniently located. BUT... I tried a couple of places and really liked this one for him.

I'm going to try to look at a couple of more training places to see what I think and I'll do more research as well. Thank you for that AKC link!
 
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