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Thread: To neuter or not to neuter... that is the question.

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    Newbie MichelleandZach's Avatar
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    Default To neuter or not to neuter... that is the question.

    So we are debating as to whether or not we are going to neuter Roman. He is now 5 months old and weighs 38lbs. When talking to our breeder she suggested waiting until he was a little older or 9-12 months. She said that waiting will help him grow and fill out more. She was all for neutering though. She said "There's two types of bulldogs: show dogs/breeders and family pets. It's easy to have one or the other but it can be difficult to have both." I don't know if I agree with that statement only because I haven't been around too many other bulldogs.

    We mentioned all this to our Vet and she said we should do it sooner or around 6 months. Her reasoning was that he might learn bad habits (humping, etc) plus she said that he should maintain more of his puppy personality. She agreed with the breeders sentiments about breeding dogs and family pets.

    But tonight we went to our Vets' Halloween party and met a couple who has an 18 month old bulldog who is not neutered. And he was awesome! He was very well behaved and was great around all the other dogs. We talked to them and they were saying they opted not to neuter him because they had a friend who had a bulldog and he had his dog neutered and it completely changed his personality. He wasn't as playful and became more of a loner afterwards. We obviously don't want that to happen.

    So now we're completely unsure as to what we want to do. There are pros & cons to both. We don't want him humping stuff or knocking up some random dog (not like he would... we watch him like a hawk) but we don't want his personality to change either. He is already a really good dog. He's about 90% potty trained and loves everybody. Thoughts???

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    "Slug Assassin" and PBS Gardening Dweeb Vicaroo1000's Avatar
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    Default Re: To neuter or not to neuter... that is the question.

    I think your friend is nuts. Pun intended.

    Neutering does NOT change a dog's personality - other than to improve their quality of life. Since he is a pet and not a stud dog, neutering removes one physical and psychological frustration that your poor boy won't ever have to deal with. Testicular cancers and a variety of "nutty illnesses" are also avoided with neutering. Yes, another pun intended. hahahahaha I'm funny this morning.

    Just my opinion and that of every sane dog behaviorist in the world.

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    Drool Catcher Suzy2's Avatar
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    Default Re: To neuter or not to neuter... that is the question.

    I don't believe in neutering a male bulldog before 18 months of age, unless it's for medical reasons. Males don't mature before this age, the head and the shoulders being the last to grow. All males go through the unruly teenager stage from about 9/10 months, as the testosterone kicks in. Neutering alters the hormonal chemistry and you could end up with an unruly teenager for life. Humping is more a sign of dominance, trying to become top dog over his human keeper, and very rarely as sexual traits. It's just a case of showing him, you and your family are top dogs and he is last. Yes he will test you, but you need to be firm and assertive with him. Once he gets to 18/24 months he will naturally calm down through maturity.
    x Susan x

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    Default Re: To neuter or not to neuter... that is the question.

    I've posted this before but thought it was an excellent article. Simple, yet informative.

    Oh, and my Punkin was neutered at around 8 months. He's 4yo and still quite a humper. Stig, on the other hand, is not neutered, 1.5yo and never humps. Unless he sees a female he fancies, then watch out! lol. He still acts like a puppy but obedient, mostly.

    After doing some research, my bf and I decided to wait a little while for Stig. But we have 2 males. If we were to get a female, then most likely he would've been neutered by now.

    G'luck with your decision. I know it's not an easy one.

    Here's the article:

    http://www.thestar.com/living/articl...pay-and-neuter


    Van Veen: The pros and cons of spay and neuter

    Q: I have a Morkie that is six months old. The veterinarian says he should be neutered. But there seems to be other schools of thought about this. How does altering too soon or too late affect the dog? I am not sure if I should have him fixed now or wait until he is a year old.

    A: Ask rescue workers who face the constant influx of unwanted litters and they will quickly point to the massive pet overpopulation problem.

    These people have a very valid reason for suggesting owners alter pets before the first heat cycle. Some agencies go as far as fixing animals at eight weeks of age.

    There are others who see no harm in waiting, believing it's really the personal choice of the pet owner.
    And dog breeders for obvious reasons want to make the choice themselves.

    These different opinions are what make the decision difficult. That's what happens when there are too many variables to consider. Researchers are investigating all of them, which leds to more questions that need to be answered.
    Most families really just want to know what is best for their dog? As with most heated topics the answer is, it depends.
    There are risks with both choices. Surgery carries the risk of complications. Severe reactions to anesthetic rarely happen, but it is a possibility. Other problems may include infections and spay incontinence. Dogs with underlying medical conditions such as heart murmurs might not tolerate surgery well.

    Cancer risk is another consideration. Female dogs can avoid or reduce the risk of certain types of cancer if they are spayed early in life. Mammary — or breast cancer — is one such example. Male dogs can for the most part avoid testicular cancer if they are neutered.

    But there are also disadvantages. Altered animals may have higher risk rates for bone and heart cancer. At least one study shows that male dogs face increased risk the earlier they are altered.

    Many of these health problems have a breed component. Some breeds have a genetic predisposition to certain diseases. When altering reduces those health issues, it's a positive benefit. But when it increases the risk even further, owners need to know.
    Don't expect that surgery will magically cure an existing behaviour problem. There is no consensus among research studies. You can find a study to back up nearly any position.

    One study indicates that intact male dogs are responsible for most attacks. Another shows it is neutered males that are responsible for the most bites. Read a bit further and you'll find a study that says altering can increase aggression in females.
    This much conflict usually means other factors are coming into play. Factors such as socialization, anxiety or abuse are more likely to blame.

    If you want a friendly and obedient pet, then use strategies such as training and behaviour modification.
    There is one notable exception. Intact animals go into heat and start searching for mates. They start wandering. They dig under fences and roam.


    Intact dogs are known to get into fights over prospective mates. Spaying and neutering before sexual maturation removes the motivation for these types of problems.

    In the end, each person is bound to make their own decision.

    Those decisions should incorporate the dog's health, sex and breed.
    Whatever decision you make, do it in conjunction with your pet's veterinarian.

    If you have valid reasons for postponing surgery, remember you are responsible for your pet. Don't contribute to pet overpopulation.
    Last edited by savemejeebus; 11-01-2011 at 08:51 AM.
    "I am normally not a praying man, but if you really are up there, please save me Superman!'' - Homer J. Simpson

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    Default Re: To neuter or not to neuter... that is the question.

    If for nothing else..you should neuter to protect the health of your dog. The danger of cancer increases dramatically. If you aren't going to breed him..I see no advantage. That story from your friends is a yarn and a half! We have neutered many male dogs of all breeds and may I say..there NEVER was a change of personality..EVER! The myths that surround this are pretty remarkable. I've also heard the "they fill out more" if neutered later..also proven many times over NOT to be a fact. We have many members here who are examples of this. I find it almost impossible to believe a Bulldog could become "A Loner".. no way..they love their peeps too much. A responsible owner..neuters.

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    Bulldog Vet in Training anatess's Avatar
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    Default Re: To neuter or not to neuter... that is the question.

    Excellent article, @savemejeebus!

    Yes, it is all up to you about spaying/neutering. If you don't get it done, you need more vigilance as a responsible pet keeper.

    A dog's personality is a dog's personality unique to himself even within the same breed - neuter or not. To say that "my dog is playful and well behaved because he is neutered" is a fallacy. More than likely, he is well behaved because he was socialized well and the dog just has a playful personality. No two bulldogs are exactly alike. You could get a playful, puppy-ish bulldog and a dominant, aggressive bulldog even in the same litter.

    I got Bullied and loving it!
    Bella "Bullie" Rose, adopted on July 24, 2011

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    Default Re: To neuter or not to neuter... that is the question.

    I personally say neyter. From my own personal experience with Cutty I wish I had known and neutered him earlier. We got him at 9 months and the breeder was keeping him to show but then decided she couldnt take on another for showing at the time so we took him. He was in tact and so I thought nothing of it. He was the sweetest thing ever. We picked him up all the time, hubby came home and picked him up for loving and he ate it up. Somewhere after a year he started getting growly. At first it wasnt so bad but then he started getting to the point of actually scaring me, seriously. We had read all about nilf and how to handle him and probably somebody else could have managed him better but for us he got very bad. I talked to the breeder and decided to neuter to try and curb the behavior. I have to say almost the second he was neutered, his attitude changed. I know most dogs may not have this problem but for me the fact that we did and the change in him still makes me sad. He is 99% back but still get grumbly. Not scary anymore but he thinks he is. I can shut him down in a second or put him in a time out but his personality did change forever. He no longer wants to be picked up without a huge fight. Even when he knows he needs it, he will wait to be picked up to be lifted into the truck but still grumble. Not scary tho mind you. I just see that he isnt the puppy we had and that makes me sad. Had I known before hand that this could happen I would have fixed him right away. I wasnt planning on having babies or anything so there was no point. Also as far as the filling out, I have heard this over and over but I do not believe it. I do think their build is genetics for the most part. Cutty is a very stout bully, wide barreled chest, large head etc even having been fixed after a year. I know there are a TON of perfect in tact bullies out there but after seeing the change in my boy I personally strongly advise neutering. I do think it changes their personality a lot. As for humping I do not know, Cutty doesnt do this except for when he is overly excited playing with a lot of kids like at a party or something. He loves them so much he gets carried away. lol.

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    Wrinkle Wiper ILuvHudson's Avatar
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    Default Re: To neuter or not to neuter... that is the question.

    Here's my opinion on the matter...sorry if I repeat what anyone says. With Hudson, we had a similar situation. We weren't sure what we wanted to do, so we asked the vet if there would be any harm in waiting. They said no. Hudson is 16 months old and not neutered, and he is very well-behaved. As I'm sure you have done yourself, we work with him constantly to ensure that he is listening to our commands more than his instinct. He's also just not really a humper. He's done it...and he's done our couch! - but for the most part it's not an issue.On the flip side, the 14 month old we took into rescue wasn't neutered, and he was a terror. You could see that his brain was so fixated on the smells around him that he couldn't concentrate. This was alieviated after he got fixed. BUT he didn't have any discipline before coming to us, so it made it really hard to control him once nature kicked in.In my opinion, it comes down to having a well-balanced dog and being aware of his needs. If he's behaving himself, listening, and seems to be happy, he can stay in tact until you feel he's grown. However, I do urge you if you don't plan to show/breed to have him fixed when he's fully grown. It helps decrease some health risks, mainly testicular cancer.I hope you find the right answer and feel comfortable and happy with it! I know it's tough to decide sometimes!

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    Bulldog Vet in Training Become a 4 Paw Member
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    Default Re: To neuter or not to neuter... that is the question.

    Ok heres my two cents: not that its worth it lol. Mojo was neutered before we got him from the breeder (his testicles hadnt descended and the vet automatically did it) Lola is almost 11 months old and hasnt been neutered yet. Mojo is pretty calm and Lola is neurotic. I have to spray bottle her constantly. I am fixing her soon.

    And since I volunteer for the rescue and see the heartbreaking cases that are coming in, I have to say Neuter and Spay. Better for the dog and for cutting down on future litters in shelters, abused or abandoned.

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    Default Re: To neuter or not to neuter... that is the question.

    My opinion: NEUTER ASAP

    I, personally, highly doubt it will change his current personality in any way but neutering will definitely help curb any future issues such as marking, humping, aggression, dominance issues, etc. My Samson has issues with other male dogs and one reason I believe he is that way is because I waited until he was 1.5 yrs old to neuter him. I also don't buy into the idea that neutering will stunt ANY type of growth. I am ALL for spaying and neutering!!!!! Any dog I ever get in the future will be spayed or neutered before they turn 6 months.

    "Looking at a bulldog is said to cure the worse of the blues, living with one, serves to prevent them!" -Author unknown

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    Potty Trainer pdac1975's Avatar
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    Default Re: To neuter or not to neuter... that is the question.

    I always hear people saying they want to wait to neuter until the dog fills out. I just don't buy it. I think there is a dog on here (Vegas maybe?) who was neutered very young and he has the biggest head I've ever seen (at least it looks that way in the picture). We neutered Wally at 4.5 months and never noticed any sort of change in personality and now at 11 months he's a perfectly healthy, extremely loyal and lovable 52lb dog. Also, most day cares will not take an intact puppy over 6 months old.

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    Default Re: To neuter or not to neuter... that is the question.

    Quote Originally Posted by pdac1975 View Post
    I always hear people saying they want to wait to neuter until the dog fills out. I just don't buy it. I think there is a dog on here (Vegas maybe?) who was neutered very young and he has the biggest head I've ever seen (at least it looks that way in the picture). We neutered Wally at 4.5 months and never noticed any sort of change in personality and now at 11 months he's a perfectly healthy, extremely loyal and lovable 52lb dog. Also, most day cares will not take an intact puppy over 6 months old.
    .. It's @KMARINO. And Vegas! He is one of many examples! So nice to see you! How is Wally? Beautiful as always!

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