• Spay/Neuter

    Posted by Beth on January 11, 2021 at 9:01 PM

    Our 13 month old, intact, male German Shepherd has just started getting distracted, stubborn and a little defiant. At our trainer’s the other day he was sniffing and licking at the females. He has an appointment for neutering on January 28th and the trainer says that yes, that is probably a good idea. What I am worried about is that people always say that a dog will be essentially “frozen” at the stage they are in when they are neutered. I want him back the way he was a couple of weeks ago when he wasn’t stubborn. Do I have a hope of this new behaviour pattern fading away with neutering?(pic from his first birthday last month)

    Patty replied 3 years, 2 months ago 11 Members · 15 Replies
  • 15 Replies
  • Magda

    January 12, 2021 at 6:54 AM

    It’s only my opinion but I would keep him intact and train out the undesired behaviour.

    He is starting to become an adolescent dog and he will be more “stubborn” neutered or not and it’s something you will have to work through. Puppies start to become independent at that age, they like to explore and realise that there are other things which are rewarding apart from you. Make sure you are still the most interesting and rewarding thing in their world. Have a lot of structure, give a reward and consequence for his actions.

  • Alin

    January 12, 2021 at 6:55 AM

    The general rule of thumb that I’ve come across when neutering is to wait until the dog fully matures. Whether that’s 1.5 or 2 years old, that’s is up to the dog.

    The main reason for that is so the dog can fully develop their body before removing their hormones – which help them grow and “complete”.

    Again this is all just stuff I’ve picked up and from me asking Robert on my own and searching the internet when I was researching the topic. I have a GSD who is 1.5 years old now (not neutered), and while he did start becoming more distracted and stubborn like your dog has, it just meant I had to be a bit more disciplined and not let him get away with his new bad behaviors. He is at the point now where I feel his concentration has never been better.

    That’s natural – even when having a teenage son (God help me, my oldest son is 14). They will get a little more defiant as they grow into maturity but once it settles down you should be good.

    But everyone’s situation is different and you are past the point of a year where Robert says that’s the bare minimum if you need to do it.

    For me personally – I plan on keeping Enzo intact his whole life unless any unforeseen health issues come up and require it. But I live a life where I am around my dog nearly the whole day – I do not let him out on his own and he is always by my side.

    Edit to my reply – Here is a video I found early on that helped me also reach my conclusion along with conversations I’ve had with Robert. I took my dog to his first vet appointment when I got him at 8 weeks and already they wanted to set him up for a neuter appointment when he was going to turn 6 months. I was floored they offered it so young.

    • Beth

      January 12, 2021 at 7:48 AM

      Yeah, I have done some research as well and am still going back and forth in my head.

      My vet wanted to neuter him when he was 7 months old, even sent me emails as to why. I continued to research and found out about waiting until the growth plates are closed. He hasn’t gotten any taller for a couple of months, so I was thinking it is probably safe now.

      The new attitude is something we are going to have to work through for sure. There is no magic pill for that, but I am hoping that the neutering doesn’t make it impossible to get the old Gibson back.

      My goal is to be able to take him out to the farm to live after we build our new home (48 acres) and I want him to be able to go out hunting, like our dogs did there when I was a child. I don’t want him to be out getting the neighbour dogs pregnant though.

  • d970813hotmail-com

    January 13, 2021 at 1:54 PM

    I echo Alin’s post – we had Blue spayed before she was 1 year old; I regret giving in to what the vet recommended, should have waited until she was older. First, it’s been very traumatic for her, tough to recover. She’s 5 year old now, a lot less friendly towards other dogs that in her early days and had few health issues too along the way which could be related to having her spayed so early. If I had to do it all over again, I would not do it at all.

    • Alin

      January 13, 2021 at 2:37 PM

      There’s nothing we can do to take back the things we didn’t know at a point in time. We make the best of it and make sure our dogs are living the best life they can. Then when we get blessed with another dog down the line, we learn from our previous experiences.

      Such is life.

      P.S. Go to your profile page and update your nickname and username so it doesn’t default to your email instead. Hoping to try and figure out a way to make members more aware of this.

  • RayG

    January 13, 2021 at 4:45 PM

    I have a 12 month old rottie, intact we have been socializing since he was 12 weeks. Gunner is great with people and other dogs. 112lbs. My trainer says the same wait til 1.5-2 years.

  • Bogdan

    January 15, 2021 at 6:28 AM

    Just a story with personal experience. My moms dog was adopted from a shelter when he was 8mo. He’s a beagle mix, and the sweetest dog there is. However, as every dog that leaves the shelter has to be neutered there wasn’t a choice to neuter him or not. In this picture he is 6 years old and he still looks like a pup, he never matured into his body and has a ton of health issues.

    You wouldn’t neuter/spade your teenage kid for being a knuckle head. Buckle up and stay disciplined. Like Alin said be the most interesting and rewarding person in your dogs life. Good gets abundant reward and bad gets corrected.

    If you still desire to proceed than please just wait till he fully matures.

  • Bogdan

    January 15, 2021 at 6:36 AM
  • Christie

    January 16, 2021 at 4:13 AM

    I agree with Alin. And I would really cancel this appointment if you want to have a healthy dog. I had German Shepherd which I neutered in his 8 year. He was stubborn as character and dog reactive. Neutering did nothing to his behaviour, but only made it worse. He became some people reactive, he started eating my parquet floor and my books, he became obsessed with food, he started guarding the sofa. I did it because the vet recommended that after age of 8 it would be good for his health and prostate.
    I will never ever neuter a dog if there is no serious medical problem and it is really necessary because of health reasons.
    The behaviour you see now and describe is his teenage hormones. My Malinois boy was such a pain in the ass at his teenage time, but he is the best dog ever now. I worked, I trained, I read, watch and consult with trainers. It took few months but it was so much worth it. Best thing I did – I learnt how to play with him and how to bond.
    You should be consistent and have patience and work with him more, work on focus and obedience. And not only work – but make the play time the most important time of the day. Teach him to play with you and be the most exiting and interesting thing for him. Play as partners and do not show competition or conflict in the game. Work on your bond. Sit and lay with him on the ground/floor, spend time together.
    I also want to share this video by Dr. Karen Becker, please watch it and please cancel the appointment.

    • Beth

      January 16, 2021 at 11:07 AM

      Yes, this is the video that really has me torn up. It has been difficult with covid to have a proper discussion with the vet. She is not allowing anyone in but the animals. I want to ask her about vasectomy option instead of traditional neutering.

  • Holly

    January 16, 2021 at 3:27 PM

    I’m echoing what many have said. I never neutered any of my dogs, and with patience and consistent training, never had an issue. I would only neuter for a medical issue such as an undescended testicle. From about 6 months to 18/24 months most pups (varies per size) are going through adolescence, and can become Dogzilla for a time. That may be contributing to your pup’s behavior.

    This article links to the research the trainer in the the video Alin posted. (And also the ongoing C-BARQ study, which is interesting to take for your dog.) There is one study that found that dogs with chronic marking issues had a 66% decrease in marking. But that was the only benefit.

  • Josh

    January 17, 2021 at 4:32 AM

    The stubbornness is not likely to resolve just with neutering. You’re going to be doubling-down on training either way at this age because of adolescence. I just think there are too many downsides to neutering and no upsides that training can’t fix (well I guess there’s no possibility of testicular cancer?). I’ve heard too many stories and read too many studies of cancers and behaviors linked to neutering that I could never bring myself to do it. I also don’t vaccinate him other than what he needs for my area and lifestyle. He’s also not on flea and tick or heartworm. My area doesn’t have a lot of mosquitos, rabies or lyme disease, so I don’t give him those things. Also, consider that vets need to make money to stay in business, so trust your vet, but also research.

    • Patty

      January 25, 2021 at 7:33 PM

      I’m with you Josh. Your wrott is soooo cute. I had one back in the 90’s and he died of cancer growths. That was such a tough time. Sam was his name and he was trained with a K9 team, so he though he was bad a$$. I know feed my pup a raw organic diet and make all his treats. I also don’t use flea medicine, and the vet continues to push it.

  • Joanna

    January 18, 2021 at 12:23 PM

    I have a 11 month old female Mal and our vet said that German Shepherd, Belgian Shepherd shouldn’t be spayed/neutered until 24 months old, there was some new research released recently that shows that if you do it after they mature they have less joint problems and are healthier. It is not easy… our Blue had her first heat few months ago and now she is acting like a totally different dog, she is more reactive, hyper and protective.

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