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My Sammy is 1 1/2 years old and I have not had him neutered. Besides needing to mark EVERYTHING on our walks, we have no difficulty with his intact status. He does not mark indoors, is not dominant in any way and just a really sweet little dog. My dog trainer is very much against neutering. My vet is very pro neutering.

I am thinking that if there are no behavior problems, it is best to keep him intact. But then, I read about all these health issues that may be avoided by neutering. And then, I read about all these health problems that neutering can cause.

How did you decide to neuter or not?
 

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Misha is the same age and also has no problems. I am waiting until he is 2 and then I will either get him neutered or get a vasectomy. Probably the latter unless he develops any latent hormone related issues. I view it as a decision that must be made according to each dog. A couple of Misha's young male friends do have major behavioral problems that may be helped by neutering. One is an obsessive humper of people (and dogs) and the other seems hormonally aggressive toward other young dogs. If they were my dogs I would probably be opting for neuter if training was unable to improve behavior. But Misha has no issues. He does obsessively mark outdoors as well and there are rare instances where he gets a crush on a spayed female and gets humpy. But that's it. I don't want to rock the boat with the hormones.

To me the research does not suggest a strong benefit to neutering in regard to health. If anything I think there tend to be more negative impacts. But it is hard to tell with the lack of complete research studies.
 

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None of my earlier male dogs were neutered. For the most part they were fine canine citizens. They got along with each other. They got along with other dogs. They were no worse about inappropriate marking than neutered dogs.

They did, however, have a tendency to roam. We got one of them because he showed up a friends house. She had a bitch in heat. He showed up out of nowhere and camped out in her yard for three days. She finally called all her friends, "Nobody's reported a lost dog; somebody PLEASE come get this cute little guy so I don’t have to take him to the pound." His buddy was an escape artist. One time he pushed out an attic screen, climbed onto an adjacent roof, and jumped down from there. The attic window was on the third floor; the slope of the roof brought him down to the second story when he jumped. We lost him when he later dug under our fence and got hit by a car. Hormone brain is a bit deficient when it comes to self preservation decisions.

I will get Galen neutered eventually because I won't be able to board him or take him to doggy daycare if I don't. I don’t have immediate plans to do either, but life has a habit of throwing curve balls. I want to keep my options open.
 

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I opted for the vasectomy. Rocky gets along with other dogs, big and small. He doesn't mark indoors (unless he's at a sitter with dogs who mark/pee indoors). Since he's not neutered, I can't take him to a regular kennel or doggy daycare; however, I use boarding and daycare services offered on Rover.com - basically people open up their homes for boarding and doggy daycare.
 

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Last time I had an intact male, he ran away every time there was a bitch in heat. He would be gone for 5-6 days without eating. One day he never came back, he probably fought to death or was killed by a farmer who had enough of him getting his bitch pregnant... This was a long time ago !
 

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I wasn't sold on have my pup neutered (weighing pros and cons) but I absolutely needed a way for him not to be able to mate since I drop him off at (in-home) doggy daycare.
 

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I had Asta neutered at 1&1/2 years old. It has been a great move for him. Calmed him down, no marking, only humps very infrequently. He turned into the dog as a dream. This is only anecdote so it very much is case by case. Just my own experience.
 

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You can also check out the Ovary Sparing Spay and Vasectomy Info Group on Facebook for additional resources. They have a list of research papers as well as educational units covering a wide variety of questions on this topic. I do think that breed and dog individuality have impacts on this decision. Medically, it is probably better for the dog to be intact because hormones impact more than just the reproductive system. However, if his family can't live with him intact then it is better to neuter. A dog needs his family!

It sounds like your dog is doing just fine. If you have a neuter contract with your breeder I would consider a vasectomy. Otherwise, just enjoy him as is. I feel kind of obligated to say that of course he should not be allowed to roam free, but I highly doubt you are doing that.

I am considering an OSS for my mini. I'm just waiting for her first heat to happen so that I have more information on what she is like when her hormones are raging. At eleven months old there is still no sign of impending heat...
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thank you for the link scooterscout99! I will definately check this out!

Sammy is calm, doesn't hump or mark ( except EXTENSIVELY on walks, I'm slow, so i don't mind ) and honestly is the best behaved dog all around. I don't think I would ever board him, there is no spay/neuter contract. And there is zero chance that he would ever be unsupervised to the point that an unexpected litter was to result.

Previously, I had decided I would keep him intact, but EVERY time we go to the vet, neutering is heavily pushed and I almost feel like I'm being shamed for not neutering. However, my research does not support the health benefits of neutering. I know there are a few cancers that are statistically more prevalent in intact dogs, but there seem to be alot more health concerns in neutered dogs.

As of now, I am going to keep him intact. Even though my daughter's intact ( soon to be neutered male ) pup has moved in, and Chief did mark a bit, Sammy knows not to do that indoors. I just don't see the benefit. I wish veterinarians didn't take such a hard stance on this issue.
 

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I would neuter him. My last dog was intact and he was the object of aggression by unaltered dogs, a majority in the states. With Buck, I had a contractual requirement to neuter on my time frame. Unaltered dogs may be prohibited from dog parks and boarding at some places. There is no medical reason to neuter, but my experience with dog aggression with my late, great gentleman Scottish Terrier, made me glad I had a contract.
 

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Mfmst - I so understand the dangers of other dog aggression and worry about it constantly. Neutered dogs can also be agressive toward intact dogs and vice verse.

I am not a fan of dog parks, am always on alert while walking my dog and actually walk him at odd times to avoid running into other dogs. Since gotcha day, I have not left Sammy overnight, and do not think he would do well if that were to happen. Luckily, my vacations/hobbies are all dog friendly, but I am thinking I need to get him used to a close family friend/home environment, so that if I ever had to leave overnight, he would be comfortable.

I really hope your comment: "but my experience with dog aggression with my late, great gentleman Scottish Terrier, made me glad I had a contract." was not the result of tragedy.
 

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Some dogs seem to have targets painted on them, and being intact may influence it. I have only seen this happen once with Misha, where an older male intact labrador took an unhealthy interest in him and got territorial over a water bowl. It does seem to depend on the dog though. Often times I hear it's the neutered dogs that go after intact dogs. I have seen it occasionally. Misha has many dog friends both intact and not, and has largely had no issues. But he is also very good at avoiding conflict and is mostly submissive.
 

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My boy is almost 3 and unaltered. I had intended to have him neutered last summer but my husband had health issues and money was tight. If I did neuter, I want to Gastropexy at the age time so it will be expensive and lots of time to monitor leash rest. He is very good and well behaved even with bitches in heat that come to our obedience classes, so I have not felt pressured to do it.
 

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There is a webinar on this topic sponsored by VetVine and scheduled for October 7th.Web link to register is VetVine - Pet Health Information - AKCCHF - Addressing the Spay / Neuter Conundrum in Dogs
This is the completed study if you're interested. The poodle results portion is about 2/3 of the way to the bottom.

I chose to neuter my boys not long after their 1st birthday. They'd pretty much reached physical maturity, the hormone driven behaviors had mostly subsided, except marking outside which I don't usually find an issue.

We did it so we could travel with them and have them accepted, and if we should have to board them in an emergency. It wasn't for behavior. We've not had any incidents except the two girl dogs who attacked Neo earlier this year. The studies I've looked at tend to suggest that behavior changes after aren't appearing in a vacuum, but had some presence prior.
 
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