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Hello,

I'm struggling with the decision when to neuter my miniature poodle. My vet says 4-6 months with the argument that with smaller dogs it's not the same decision as large dogs who need the hormones for their larger bone structure. He said Tango (my mini) would be about 10% smaller by having the procedure done earlier, but the advantages outweigh waiting. He said said it was better to do it before puberty which would be 7-9 months because of the aggressive behavior that comes with puberty. He also said the recovering is much quicker the younger they are, 1 day (if we do it during 4-6 months) compared to a whole week of wearing a cone if we wait until 10-12 months. He said it was less traumatic for him at a younger age as well. That we really aren't gaining much by waiting until 10-12 months.

The breeder suggests waiting for 10-12 months for him to be fully gown.

Tango will be 4 months old April 7.

Local experts are split, some say go with the breeder's recommendation and others say go with the vet's.

I thought I'd put it out here on this forum to get some other opinions.

Thanks in advance.
Kim
 

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I'd go with the breeder's suggestion. The recovery time is the same (cone for 10-14 days--they get used to it within a day), and trust me on that because I've had many foster dogs in my care as well as my own. I think it's less harmful to do early neuter on a small dog vs. a large dog, but I'd err on the conservative side and wait it out, unless your dog becomes aggressive, or needs to be boarded and they require neutering.
 

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I would wait till between 18 months and 2 years old personally, regardless of it it's a big dog or small dog. I think the hormones are important for development. My poodles were almost 3 when I neutered them. I wasn't going to do it at all but being the same age, having a little competition, they were marking just a little too much inside. I asked my breeder what he thought about that and he said neutering would help with that problem, almost for certain. Not every dog has this issue. I almost think having two pups the same age had something to do with it. lol. Never had an aggression problem or anything else. But I wasn't about to neuter them before they were totally developed. As a result, they're nice and filled out, muscular and their bones are dense. So I'd recommend waiting until your dog is at the youngest...18 months.

Cute picture btw. Is that Gumbo? He's adorbs.
 

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Based on what I have heard/read, I'd wait until he is 12 -18 months (or older).

If you'd like to do some reading/listening, here are some good resources:

Spaying and neutering Dr. Karen Becker

Summary of pros and cons of spay/neuter
Long-Term Health Risks and Benefits Associated with Spay / Neuter in Dogs

Benefits and Risks of Neutering–An Evidence-Based Approach
Benefits and Risks of Neutering–An Evidence-Based Approach | The SkeptVet

Early spay/neuter and joint disease
Spay Neuter And Joint Disease
 

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I too think you should wait! I think the benefits of the hormones on a dog's bone growth and muscle mass would be a deciding factor for me!
 

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I would wait until my dog was older.

"Behavioral issues" associated with not neutering are often just training issues (or lack thereof) that are blamed on not neutering. There are very many dogs that are perfectly well-behaved and intact. And there are plenty of neutered males that are complete nightmares.

Also, I don't know what the "risks" are that your vet is talking about--but for males there really isn't risk in waiting till the dog is older. Reproductive problems that your vet might be considering as risks don't typically occur until dogs are much older (relatively speaking) and the chances of your dog developing such problems even in the first two years are infinitesimal.

I've had to go toe-to-toe with a vet or two in the past who have tried to "scare" me into doing things I didn't believe were right for my dogs and cats--both with vaccines, neutering/spaying, and other procedures. Some vets are indoctrinated at school that all pets must be neutered/spayed in the early stages of life and vaccinated to high heaven (just some examples). So, as pet owners, we must educate ourselves and look out for the best interests of our pets.
 

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Barney got neutered at 6 month. I'm glad I did it when he was young. It eliminated his urge to mark. He will turn 10 next year. Besides having lumps and bumps, he is very healthy. There are so many or pros versus cons.


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You know I had one dog that was neutered when he was 3 months and another at 6 months and they both still mark. They mark outside and they mark at other peoples houses. (But not at home.) Neutering early will not solve any marking issues. I honestly don't know what the best age is, it depends on who you ask.

I like Dr. Becker but she is extreme in her beliefs' and I have come to realize that I am more interested in finding experts who are somewhere in the middle and can discuss the pros can cons of both sides of whatever it is I am looking into for my dogs. Unfortunately, there aren't a lot of those.

One study says it makes a huge difference as far as ACL tears, another that it makes a difference in certain cancers, another that it only effects one sex or the other.... Oh and then there are the people who says that it doesn't effect small dogs the same way!! OMG! Too many opinions and not enough facts!! Personally I would discuss the options with my vet but then again I have a very open minded vet who is both holistic and traditional and can weigh the benefits vs drawbacks of both.

I don't know what is better but I wish you the best of luck in your decision.
 
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