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Sheba is our 9mo-old chocolate pudel, joining our family of Sassi, 12.5yr-old blue SPOO, Sparki,11yr-old white male, 6 birds, 2 cats and 5 fish.. FYI all SPOOS after from totally different blood lines.

Times have changed since our SPOOs were sprayed and neutered. The question at hand: when should we spay Sheba? Before or after her 1st heat? We've seen research and info-mmercials and poodle forum threads: but what does your experience say today especially for SPOOs?
 

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Mia, Christmas in June 2010
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Hello and welcome!

Current thinking is after the bones have set, around 18-24 months in spoos. Most people default to 24 months to ensure full growth. Depending on the dog's lines, this is usually after 2 heat cycles. Here's a recent thread with lots of science. Once you've decided when to spay, you can start thinking about what kind of spay procedure, and we can help you with that as well.
 

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Peggy Sue, Standard Poodle Born May 2019
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Welcome to you and your gang!

We'd initally planned to spay Peggy after her first heat, to give her time to develop more. The shape of her vulva changed dramatically through this process, which cleared up her puppy vaginitis. But her first heat also happened much earlier than we expected (at 8.5 months) so we decided to let her go through one more heat, which she's just finishing now at 15 months.

She will be spayed at 18 months, but I'm nervous after reading so much about possible temperament changes. My hope is that by letting her fully mature, we may alleviate some of these effects.

Her temperament did change dramatically through her first heat, and I wonder if we'd have missed that wonderful transformation if we'd spayed her sooner. An upsetting thought. But also makes me worry we could see a similarly dramatic change after spay.

All this to say.....there's no perfect answer and no perfect time. But I do think letting their bones finish growing is important, especially for a leggy spoo.
 
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