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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know Theo, my minipoo is on the brink of teenage hood, or maybe he's already there? He's 8 months old.

Today he lifted his leg to pee mark for the first time. This was outside across the street at his friend's house after he squatted to pee on our lawn.

He got his first two mats, one behind the ear and another near his paw. I just finished cutting him down to 1/2 " so I'm going to cut him down again to 1/4'.

Now I'm wondering when and why do people neuter male dogs? If I do, I'm going to wait till he's older. I want his bone plates grown, for him to be fully grown.
 
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With Misha I was not sure if I would neuter. With any hormonal behavior I first worked on training and allowed him to mature. If he was still a persistent humper or indoor marker despite lots of training and after maturing, I may have opted to neuter in case it helped. It sometimes does.

As it turned out, he was responsive to training and he really did grow out of some of his teenage hormonal feelings. But it was more work.

Going with a vasectomy in lieu of neuter means he has a better muscle tone and I feel it is easier on his joints considering he does agility. He has better rear drive and a nicer gait than neutered dogs. I also feel there are behavioral benefits but it is hard to make direct comparison.

It wasn't 100% smooth sailing. He has had some indoor marking incidents outside of the home. He did hump other male dogs during adolescence. He did get easily offended by young intact males and get a little reactive toward them for a bit right around the 2 age mark. But I was proactive and we worked through it. And he grew up.

I don't think he mourns the inability to breed. Some intact dogs will mope if they meet a bitch in heat. Some will go crazy if they know one is nearby and can't reach her. Misha isn't like that. He is interested in them when he meets them but it's out of sight = out of mind. So I don't have any doubts about his emotional state.

Misha started lifting a leg at 6 months. He started humping other males at 9 months. That generally stopped by a year of age. He wasn't interested in girls until closer to 14 months. They all have their own timelines.

My advice would be to not be overly concerned. Just develop a training plan for any unwanted behavior and remember how unruly and hormonal us humans are as teens!
 

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I would say most people neuter...because most people neuter!

They're are various beliefs about general behavioral benefits, that largely aren't bourne out by the research. There are some health benefits, that are weighed on the other side by health detriments. (I don't think the supposed benefits are worth it personally.) It reduces the urge to mark supposedly, but training can do the same.

I neutered because I rent and most rentals here require it. But if I ever own or settle somewhere that doesn't require it then I never will again barring an urgent medical reason.
 

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I wouldn't rush into it. My childhood boy dogs were not neutered. They weren't aggressive with other dogs, and they didn't pee indoors. They occasionally humped, but I've seen neutered female dogs hump too. The big thing with them is that they would roam if they got the chance to slip away unnoticed. (That's actually how we got one of them; he showed up in the yard of a friend who had a bitch in heat and camped out for three days. She gave him to us when an owner failed to step forward.)

I neutered Pogo and Snarky at 7 or 8 months, because that was the standard age when they were young. Snarky had already started humping, and he continued occasionally humping throughout his life when he thought he could get away with it. Pogo did to a lesser extent as well, but he had better social skills and knew other ways to handle dominance games. Neither seemed to change their behavior much after getting neutered.

I neutered Galen at 14 months. I'm regretting it a bit now, as he seems to have lost a little bit of his spark and sass. My husband, in contrast, is really happy that Galen has calmed down a bit.
 

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I neutered Asta at 1 1/2 years. He has lifted a leg since he was a puppy. After neuter I found him more responsive to training, more focused on me when training and a much improved cuddler. He really started to leave his teenage crazyness behind after the neuter which pleased me so much. No trouble - no marking, no humping.
 

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I chose to keep Sammy intact. He does not mark indoors at all and still squats to potty at almost 3 yrs old. If around other male dogs (rarely), he does lift leg/pees over theirs.

I am happy with my decision to keep him intact. Physically, he is lean, strong and legs/joints are healthy. If I had any problems, I would have considered neutering, but Sammy has never given me any reason to do so.

There is a down side. Other dogs react differently to intact dogs. I have to be more careful when Sammy is around other dogs. I would not neuter him though. There is no reason and there are negative repercussions to neutering.
 

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Tekno is almost 1 year, lifts his leg to urinate and very very rarely marks. I think something that helped is he has a potty spot and I discourage him from peeing anywhere else except that spot so it’s not confusing. Im not neutering him because I don’t have a compelling reason to do so and like any surgery it would be a last resort for me. Honestly people made me so scared of having an intact male (even though Ive known many intact dogs especially in communities of color) and now that I have one, I think the fear is over blown. All his “boy issues” come down to training and thus far using training as a solution has worked well. Not saying that people shouldn’t neuter but I feel like it doesn’t have to be the default, if there’s not a compelling reason to do it.
 
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I have a silly question. Sorry for my ignorance! I had intact males as a child, outdoor dogs. They were so musky. Especially my Rusty dog. Times have changed, and I don’t know the last time I was around an intact male. Do they not smell bad?
 
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We had Bobby neutered at 13 months. I wanted to wait longer but he was starting to mark indoors. He was quite quick so it was hard to catch him in the act to train him not to do it. Also, any place that boards dogs requires it. Neutering put a total stop to the indoor marking. Bobby still loves to lift his leg outdoors though which doesn’t bother us at all. Once he was completely healed he became his normal, happy self.
 

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I have a silly question. Sorry for my ignorance! I had intact males as a child, outdoor dogs. They were so musky. Especially my Rusty dog. Times have changed, and I don’t know the last time I was around an intact male. Do they not smell bad?
I haven't had experience with too many intact males but those I've known haven't smelled more than neutered males. Misha certainly doesn't. He did go through a period during puberty where he produced a lot of smegma but that went away after maybe 6 months. Smegma can be smelly. Neutered males produce it as well but it is increased during adolescence of intact males. So that could be what you are thinking of. I also suspect that outdoor dogs just stink more.
 

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I have a silly question. Sorry for my ignorance! I had intact males as a child, outdoor dogs. They were so musky. Especially my Rusty dog. Times have changed, and I don’t know the last time I was around an intact male. Do they not smell bad?
Hehe, not my precious angel! Lol jk jk, no his urine smells veeeery musky but he doesnt, and he doesn’t pee on himself very often. He is sweaty. I know dogs aren’t supposed to sweat but I swear this dog does, he gets moist when he’s hot lol. Always smells like his shampoo though and corn chips
 
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We had Bobby neutered at 13 months. I wanted to wait longer but he was starting to mark indoors. He was quite quick so it was hard to catch him in the act to train him not to do it. Also, any place that boards dogs requires it. Neutering put a total stop to the indoor marking. Bobby still loves to lift his leg outdoors though which doesn’t bother us at all. Once he was completely healed he became his normal, happy self.
That is a challenge, Tek can’t go to daycares because he’s intact but he can be boarded and do single play with the care takers. Its a little unfair because he plays beautifully with other dogs and I think each dog should be evaluated for play as an individual without over arching rules (sans females in heat).

I will say that when he reached puberty around 7 months old, I put a belly band on 24/7 until I was sure he wasn’t interested in marking indoors. He tried a couple of times and detested peeing on himself so much that he didn’t do it again lol. After a couple weeks he reliably didn’t attempt it again.
 
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Yes, I’m sure that outdoor dogs just smell more in general, but I’m talking about when I would groom him, trim his butt fur, move his scrotum out of the way, my hands would just reek. Maybe he was just an extremely smelly guy.
 
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Evelyn smelled like cookies. Which I think was just a him thing rather than a intact thing. But no, I've never noticed a musky smell from intact dogs in particular or heard of it Might've been a just that dog thing or a that breed thing. He might have had an anal gland leakage issue. Or that might have been hiss cologne.
 
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The little JRT that I fostered was neutered but marked A LOT outside. Once inside too but that was the day we brought him home and I think he was just insecure and wanted to spread his smell to feel better.

He humped a lot too but only his soft dog bed so it wasn't a big issue.

So yeah, don't count on neutering...

The only thing that I feel is a guarantee with neutering is that you don't have to worry about females in heat.
 

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Whiskey(11 months now) started to lift his leg to pee a few weeks back. I trained him to squat pee by casually placing his foot back down and he got it after 3-4 times. Hasn’t tried to pee with his leg up since. Doesn’t mark indoors or hump either. He did go through a phase where he reeked of musky pee/ I dunno what smell but that has seemed to pass.

We have no plans to neuter yet nor in the foreseeable future. It makes it so that he can’t go for day care but we don’t see the benefits outweighing the costs.

Outside, I know he marks by squatting. I know it’s marking because there is no way he has that much pee in him. There’s another intact male dog we bump into that pees on Whiskey’s head after Whiskey squat pees 🤦🏻‍♀️ That owner is correcting his dog for marking but doesn’t seem to be going well. Doesn’t marking help them spread signals for other dogs though?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
So far I haven’t had inappropriate pee marking inside any building and no humping behavior. I am aware that intact males can sometimes be attacked my other dogs. I’ve seen problems at dog competitions so I will be watching for those indications. If I have problems on training, I know I have the wisdom of PF posters to help. If he doesn’t need to be neutered I will leave him intact.

There’s another intact male dog we bump into that pees on Whiskey’s head after Whiskey squat pees 🤦🏻‍♀️ That owner is correcting his dog for marking but doesn’t seem to be going well. Doesn’t marking help them spread signals for other dogs though?
Oh dear. I witnessed a dog pee on Babykins because she was to close. She’s always on a leash so I can control how close she gets when males lift their leg. I’ve never let that happen again. That’s a very unpleasant situation. Are both dogs off leash?

I don’t mind reasonable pee marking in appropriate places, my older girl Babykins pee marks. It’s part of their communication.
 
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Most male dogs lift their leg, neutered or not. It's completely normal. If they don't do it, they tend to splash their front feet more, so it's actually a good thing. My last male spoo was neutered as customary and had all of the behavioral problems usuually associated with intact males. My current male is intact and has none of those problems. They both lift(ed) to pee although the old guy was better at keeping his front feet dry, a problem of poodle geometry. When I fostered rescues of a different breed, they always gave me males since my own dog was a female and all of those boys, whether recently or remotely neutered, lifted.

Neutering males is a bit controversial. It's not clear that neuter status affects behavior that much. Unlike female dogs, it doesn't really change health risks much either. On the other hand, intact guys will lose their minds around a female dog or coyote in heat even when they just smell urine. Prostatitis may become a chronic problem later in life which neutering will resolve. Prostate and testicular cancer are rare in dogs, anyway. They don't seem to be bothered much by the operation. My mom's last two dogs were neutered around 10-11 for recurrent prostatitis and her current dog is an adult rehome from a breeder who disapproves of neutering males which was fine with my mom.
 
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