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Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone else seen this article:

http://vipoodle.org/wp-content/themes/vip/pdf/research/HartUCDavisPoodles+Report+7-15-16.pdf

This is the first study I've seen on neutering specifically on Poodles. I don't see any attribution or other sources attached to it, so I'm trying to find out how trustworthy the source is. If it's legit, it seems to indicate that there is no negative health impact to neutering a male mini poodle (meaning no increased likelihood of various cancers/bone problems). If so, this may make me re-think my decision to keep my two boys (age 18 months and 5 yrs) intact.

Any thoughts? Tks!

Kevin
 

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I think it's awesome to see some poodle specific data. I hope it will be possible to view the full findings. Great news for miniature poodles. I do think I still have plenty of questions that weren't addressed here. The behavioral effects of spay and neuter at different ages are of particular interest to me. Also incidence of renal disease which tends to be a big concern.

Since I want to do agility with Misha, I am very cautious and I'll probably evaluate the pros and cons after 1 year (and again at 2 if he's still intact).
 

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Very interesting study, especially to see the poodle data. Thanks for pointing me to the article.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
That was a great little article, Kevin! Thank you for posting. What are your own pros/cons for keeping the boys in tact?
My decision not to neuter so far is based on health. Before this breed-specific study came out, it seemed the potential negative health effects of neutering male dogs (not taking breed into account) outweigh the potential positive effects, even in the case of adult neutering. Given this, if my boys don't have significant behavioral issues attributable to being intact, there doesn't seem to be a reason to neuter.

But, if it can be demonstrated that neutering small male dogs like miniature poodles has no negative impact on health and longevity (except the inherent risk of surgery itself), then I may be willing to consider neutering. While my boys don't have behavioral issues, there are minor annoyances - for example, they wonder when outside more so than my neutered Sheltie from before, and one of them, Vontae, gets obsessive with certain females, even when they're spayed. We're also thinking of spending about 2 months/year in the US starting next year (we live in Taiwan), and given how many people in the US automatically give you the dirty look when they realize your dogs are intact, and given how many US dog parks don't even allow intact males, it may be more convenient to just snip them.

Anecdotally, what has everyone experienced in terms of potential neutering effects on miniature and toy poodles?

Kevin
 

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I'm copying this from some previous posts. This isn't breed-specific.

"Regarding neutering, the science now seems to lean to leaving a male intact, with some exceptions."

A link to a very long article below from a previous post on this subject:

http://skeptvet.com/Blog/2013/04/benefits-and-risks-of-neutering-an-evidence-based-approach/

and this is the link to an even longer paper by the same author:

http://skeptvet.com/Blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Benefiits-Risks-of-Neutering-in-Dogs-and-Cats.pdf

Excerpted from the conclusion:

"In male dogs, the individual benefits of castration are not clearly greater than the risks. In the absence of established problems with aggression, roaming, or prostate disease, it does not appear that neutering has predictable health benefits for individual dogs. And while the potential of increased cancer risk appears less significant for males than females, other breed-specific risks, such as that of cruciate ligament disease, are likely greater in neutered males. The population benefits, of course, argue in favor of routine neutering of male dogs. However, in terms of individual health, a strong case can be made for not
routinely neutering male dogs."

Mine are mini's. We decided to neuter just after 1yr, when they'd pretty much reached physical maturity. The loss of those hormones too soon can adversely affect many body systems, some sooner, some later. In the research I've done online, it seems to me that the loss of the hormones, especially too young, might be the catalyst for a lot of the problems. If neutering is a possibility, or even if required by contract, etc, waiting til physical maturity is reached (age varies) gives your pup the best chances."

and this one which in one part touches on the evidence suggesting that neutered dogs still live longer, although there seem to be undeniable advantages in most cases to delay or simply not neuter at all.

https://www.patriciamcconnell.com/theotherendoftheleash/the-plot-thickens-spay-neuter-effects-the-health-of-our-dogs

Your first link notes that the testing was done at UC Davis, so I'd call that a trustworthy source :).

The science is leaning to keeping the males intact at least til after reaching physical maturity. I chose to neuter my two because they will travel with us and if we can't take them, they'll need to be boarded.
 
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Thanks for posting that article. It's always good to see what the latest studies show. I mean...you have to go by some study so why not believe the latest? Right?:alberteinstein: They're always changing their minds and contradicting previous studies, so I figure I'll just go by the latest.

That said, my two toy poodles, the same age were intact until they were over 2 yrs old. Matisse was showing conformation so he had to be intact. Plus, the big deal to me was that they keep those hormones to help with the bone development. So my poodles are pretty stout in the bones, even my little pip-squeak, Maurice. The reason I decided to neuter was, although they were house broken, they would mark here and there. That was in my previous house. Having the two of them competing a little bit I suppose, made it very difficult to get a handle on. So I decided to go with my breeder's advice and neuter them. He said it should and usually does help with the marking. And holy smokes. It did...immediately.

So, if you find that the pros to neutering out-weigh the cons, I don't see why not. As far as what other people think or the looks they give you, don't let that influence your decision at all. "Those who mind don't matter. Those who matter don't mind."
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Thanks for posting that article. It's always good to see what the latest studies show. I mean...you have to go by some study so why not believe the latest? Right?:alberteinstein: They're always changing their minds and contradicting previous studies, so I figure I'll just go by the latest.

That said, my two toy poodles, the same age were intact until they were over 2 yrs old. Matisse was showing conformation so he had to be intact. Plus, the big deal to me was that they keep those hormones to help with the bone development. So my poodles are pretty stout in the bones, even my little pip-squeak, Maurice. The reason I decided to neuter was, although they were house broken, they would mark here and there. That was in my previous house. Having the two of them competing a little bit I suppose, made it very difficult to get a handle on. So I decided to go with my breeder's advice and neuter them. He said it should and usually does help with the marking. And holy smokes. It did...immediately.

So, if you find that the pros to neutering out-weigh the cons, I don't see why not. As far as what other people think or the looks they give you, don't let that influence your decision at all. "Those who mind don't matter. Those who matter don't mind."
Glad to hear that! Thanks so much for sharing. Aside from the marking, were there other changes (positive or negative) to them after neutering - e.g. personality-wise or activity level-wise?

Kevin
 

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My dog park definitely shuns people who don't neuter! The dogs are targets of aggression by other dogs, and they often hump and bother other dogs. So, I think this is a very valid concern of a dog park goer.
Yup I agree, and this is why our future plan to spend a few months out of the year in the US is making me think about this. In Taiwan, intact dogs are much more widely accepted, not to mention there are more non-dog park options for offleash playing/swimming.

Kevin
 

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Thank you for finding and posting this study. I'm also looking forward to the more extensive report.

Regarding my boys behavior, after they started maturing, the humping and inside marking was increasing. This behavior was a part of our decision to neuter but I was determined to hold out til I felt they had completed their growth.

We got them scheduled to do the surgery a few weeks after their one year birthday. Not long before the surgery, I realized that I hadn't had to tell Remo to get off his brother, or anyone else, for weeks, maybe even a couple of months. The inside marking seemed to have stopped too. I don't know if the neuter just put the pin in it or if it factored in at all.

For the rest of their behavior, I'd say there was no change at all. They're always going to be Boys with a capital B :).
 
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Taiwan looks and sounds amazing!
As with the US, it's often a country of extremes. You've got passionate dog lovers on one hand; on the other hand, there are people who hate dogs (and all other animals) so much that they would lay out rat poison in various fields to kill dogs.

Kevin
 

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Glad to hear that! Thanks so much for sharing. Aside from the marking, were there other changes (positive or negative) to them after neutering - e.g. personality-wise or activity level-wise?

Kevin
Nope...no differences. And that bit about getting fat on account of neutering or spaying is a myth. If they are getting too fat, we just cut back on their feed.

Anyhow, if you want to go to dog parks and there are intact females, I can see why there might be a problem with intact males. Or, as MF describes, if they are targets for aggression by other dogs....But if your dogs are intact but well behaved, if someone bitches about it at the dog park, but it's not a rule, then you could ask them what their reasoning is to object to your lovely, intact dogs. This is pretty much a U.S. misguided prejudice and belief that all dogs need to be sterilized as puppies. They don't act like this in Europe. They don't have this mentality about automatically assuming that it's necessary to sterilize ALL dogs, regardless of their owners' ability to be responsible. If a dog is aggressive, whether or not he or the other dog neutered or intact, he shouldn't be in a dog park. So, I personally, wouldn't neuter a dog just so you please people in dog parks. If you're going to be turned away because their rules say you can't have an intact dog, well..there must be other places to take your dog for fun, right? I've seen your awesome photos. But if it's really important that you go to dog parks, well then, you might find it better for you to neuter like the rest of the crowd.

Anyhow, I neutered my two boys because of the marking in the house that I just couldn't deal with anymore, especially when I was planning to move into a beautiful new house. So other than that, there is no difference in their behavior or activity level. Of course, they were already over 2 when they got snipped. (I forget now...maybe 2-1/2 yrs old.) But I've had other dogs in the past who were neutered as much younger dogs and they were just fine. So whatever you think is best for your circumstance will be fine, no doubt.
 
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MF is more experienced with dog parks than I am and she's probably right about the neutering so that everyone gets along better. I just HATE bowing down :adore: or going along with the crowd for reasons that are theirs. I never had dogs attacking my dogs when they were intact. Of course, I didn't go too much to dog parks. Personally, I'm not a fan. I took mine to the local one in my new town, thinking I'd give it a try... and everything was fine for several visits and then the last time a Dachshund attacked Matisse before we even got through the 2nd gate. I was PISSED! The owner blamed us! I reported him, as did another patron for a different issue. Anyhow, Matisse is neutered so that had nothing to do with it. It was an aggressive little s*** and an irresponsible owner. I'm glad I live in an area where there are lots of other awesome places to take my dogs. And they're not that into other dogs anyhow...a little bit at times, small diet of them. Mostly they like hoooomans.
 

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I’m leaning toward neutering when my co-own contract ends (had been thinking about the vasectomy option). One of my agility group members saw a marked reduction in sniffing from her dog in the performance ring once her (non-poodle) co-own was neutered. Unwanted sniffing is a real challenge.

Marking isn’t a problem for me, however, my boy is interested in ALL of the girls, even the spayed ones. It’s a nuisance for my beagle-X who is half his size. I don’t count on any unwanted behavior going away. It’s nice to hear that health won’t be compromised and there’s a possibility of losing the undesirable behaviors.
 

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I’m leaning toward neutering when my co-own contract ends (had been thinking about the vasectomy option). One of my agility group members saw a marked reduction in sniffing from her dog in the performance ring once her (non-poodle) co-own was neutered. Unwanted sniffing is a real challenge.

Marking isn’t a problem for me, however, my boy is interested in ALL of the girls, even the spayed ones. It’s a nuisance for my beagle-X who is half his size. I don’t count on any unwanted behavior going away. It’s nice to hear that health won’t be compromised and there’s a possibility of losing the undesirable behaviors.
My boys still hump their girlfriend. But even neutered dogs do that. These boys still mark a lot outside. Matisse especially. (like I said, they were neutered late...well into adult hood.)They love to sniff, pee, sniff, pee a lot and hump...boys will be boys, right? So really the only behavior that I appreciated was the indoor marking. They can do what they like outside on their walks. I let them enjoy themselves when it's "their" walk. haha.

So no guarantees about all the behaviors that go along with hormones. But it might help with some things. I knew there wasn't a guarantee but my breeder with so much experience with this stuff said, "it should help." So I took the chance, having always neutered my dogs in the past and earlier without problems other than overly lanky/tallish dogs when done as puppies with some. Not all. Some of the behaviors based on hormones are well seated if neutered as adults. And aren't dependent on hormones anymore...but almost habit wired in. All I know is my boys stopped marking in the house almost immediately. That's all I cared about. But they still do other things...they think they're really stud muffins sometimes. lol. You should see 4.5 lb Maurice mark with his back feet. Well, both of them do this. They do this for many seconds...where they scrape their hind feet on the ground and kick back, first the left, then the right, holding their heads high. That thing. You know what I'm talking about? It's excessive but amusing to watch. lol.
 
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I’m interested in seeing the full report. The data are not significant in some areas, yet reported in a way that implies cause and effect. I’d like to see a bit more before coming to any conclusions.

It is intriguing that they separated out the breeds, and I’m glad there is breed specific data now.

I’m struggling with when to spay Gracie. The breeder recommended after the first heat, and my vet concurs. She is nine months now and no signs yet. Part of me wants to just get it over with so I can stop worrying about when she is going to come into heat! But then I think maybe it’s best to leave her intact, as the evidence is conflicting, and still somewhat sparse.

The only older intact dog I had was a golden retriever, who came to live with us at age 5- he was a male and was still intact. He did not mark in the house. The only issue we had with him is that he was an escape artist and had horrible recall that I never did fix. But this was a long time ago, the kids were young, and I was busy. I could have spent more time on that. I had him neutered at age 5, didn’t change the wandering....didn’t seem to change much at all actually. He was a great family pet overall.
 
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