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Old 01-21-2015, 06:31 PM
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Default Neutering - behavior effects?

Abrams will be 2 years old in April, and I'm highly considering getting him neutered shortly thereafter (if not sooner). Obviously, neutering is very...irreversible and I want to make sure I'm making the most informed decision possible.

I've read most of the literature available and even some behind the scenes discussions on the Veterinary Information Network, and I am comfortable with health-related issues neutering him around 24 months. But that isn't really where I'm hesitating. I'm more curious about how neutering him will affect his behavior.

In some of my research, I feel like I read somewhere that neutering can exacerbate fearful behavior? My childhood dog and my Grandmother's yorkie were both neutered around 3 years of age. I didn't notice anything adverse because of the neuters - my lab calmed down a LOT (he had a hard time focusing and kept mounting my younger siblings) and Cooper stopped marking in the house. They didn't develop any weird personality quirks or fears.

While Abrams isn't fearful, he's always been a bit dramatic about certain things. I never really noticed any change in this as he's matured other than him gaining confidence to investigate what he's being dramatic about (as a wee pup he'd startle, run away from what startled him, and then investigate once he had backup [me ha]...now he'll jump to alert and confidently investigate without the initial flight response), and I don't want neutering him to cause him to revert, if that makes sense.

I AM hoping that neutering him will help him stop being such a butt. He's become progressively more annoying with Cynder (and other dogs - crap, even Histamine) by sniffing, chittering, drooling, and zoning out while doing all of the above. It's starting to drive me batty. He redirects well, but it's the fact that I *have* to redirect him so much that irritates me. He's even started to break a retrieve when Cynder pees and he feels the need to smell/drool/chitter mark it, and he blocks out *everything* when we play fetch.

I'm leaning towards getting him altered...just want to make the right decision!

So....thoughts? Personal experiences? Opinions? Any studies done on the issue?
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Old 01-21-2015, 06:40 PM
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I had Gusto done around 11 months, or maybe a week before. I'd planned to wait until he was at least a year, but was pretty much done mentally with the drooling and chattering all over the training room floor during class. And the glazed over eyes.

Neutering him eliminated it pretty quickly. I know there are studies that it takes x amount of time to clear the system of the hormones, but it must start decreasing them, because by the time two weeks had passed and he was back in class, the behavior was pretty much gone with no further effort on my part. He still chatters every once in a great while, but only when he's completely 'free' and not being asked to do anything. I have not had him check out from working to start the behavior a single time that I can recall.

I didn't notice any other behavioral or physical changes in him.
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Old 01-21-2015, 06:57 PM
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Beau definitely decreased his marking and humping behaviors when he was neutered as well as his insistence on being obnoxious around the girl dogs. He also gained coat and weight like crazy.
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Old 01-22-2015, 08:19 AM
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I have had several male dogs over the years. All were neutered, except the one I have now, an English Shepherd. All seemed to "calm" down after the operation. I have talked with dog owners who say it did not make any difference in their behavior. Maybe the age does have a lot to do with it.
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Old 01-22-2015, 09:37 AM
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Snoop was beginning to change from what I believe were hormonal development at about 6 months of age. He began to regularly leave the yard when let outside and he also become more vigilant. Small changes but clearly something new. After he was altered, the roaming stopped but he seems to have stayed vigilant. He did gain 2 lbs. It would be hard to complain about any change in his behavior. He is less fearful if anything. Socialization is probably a bigger influence here.

We were convinced it was a good thing to do after that so we went ahead and fixed the girl at 6 months even without noticing any changes. She is 1 year old now and has not put on any weight. She is less fearful but that may be due to us working on it. So far, so good.

She still tries to hump him and he still tries to hump her, but they usually prefer to go at it right after a bath for some reason.

After 2 years your dog may have learned some things but it is never too late.
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Old 01-22-2015, 09:50 AM
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Well, Payton is not neutered so I can't answer for him obviously. He did go through a fear stage that sounds like Abrams, I called it "over-noticing" because he would be like "THERE'S A THING IT IS DIFFERENT MUST BARK AT IT NO NO NO DIFFERENT NO NO NO." Then, like Abrams, it shifted to being more like "THERE'S A THING IT IS DIFFERENT oh it's just a thing."
I would not be afraid to neuter him.

Auggie, OTOH, was neutered at 8 months. I didn't notice any changes in his personality or temperament. He didn't gain weight. And he is the "problem" humper in the family even without testicles. Payton? Nope. Auggie? Yes. He is constantly being shouted at by my dad because he tries to hump Georgie when they play. But Auggie was also a humper when he was a small puppy, and Payton never really went through a HUMP ALL THE TOYS HUMP MY BED HUMPY HUMP HUMP stage, so I kind of think that's just a difference in personality and play styles... Auggie is just a humper. =P



FWIW my holistic vet doesn't buy into the whole altering might make your dog a freak thing. We had a lot of long discussions about a variety of subjects in regards to altering before Georgie was spayed, and it's not something she has seen any convincing literature on to this point.
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Old 01-22-2015, 09:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beanie View Post
FWIW my holistic vet doesn't buy into the whole altering might make your dog a freak thing. We had a lot of long discussions about a variety of subjects in regards to altering before Georgie was spayed, and it's not something she has seen any convincing literature on to this point.
Yea, I'm not convinced that altering will have super obvious effects on behavior either way. I do think that it could push a dog on the edge of fear/reactivity into that, but not create a predisposition that wasn't already there. Of course I think it also goes the other way, too: other than very hormone related behaviors, I wouldn't expect it to change much to the positive, either.
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Old 01-22-2015, 10:28 AM
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Following this as Fred's testicles are gross.
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Old 01-22-2015, 10:34 AM
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Awesome, thanks guys!

I think I am going to get him neutered. As I said, I'm not concerned about any health implications at this point, I just wanted to make sure it wasn't going to drastically affect anything that I'm not and it sounds like it won't. I'm not worried about weight gain/etc. If anything I'll be happy I can stop feeding him so freaking much to keep him at the weight I like. LOL

Now I just have to figure out when and where. I soooooo wish I was able to just take him up with me to Indiana and have him done at my old vet, but I can't - not planning a trip up there anytime soon and after our last trip with the dogs I think Michael and I have decided we're just leaving them at home from here on out. Where I work is so f-ing expensive it is unreal (like, $600+ expensive), but then I'd KNOW he'd be treated right, I could be there with him if I chose (I'd likely get a catheter in him and then run away LOL), and I could drop him off/pick him up on my terms. So that may be worth it. I'm going to call the vet clinic close to my house that I was offered a job at, too, to see what their prices are. Although that may be awkward. "Why, yes, I declined a position here in favor of this other clinic, but would you please neuter my dog because the other clinic is too freaking gosh darn expensive?" LOL
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Old 01-22-2015, 10:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dizzy View Post
Following this as Fred's testicles are gross.
Abrams has cute little (well, moderate sized) fuzzy testicles. They're really not even that noticeable. An older coworker of mine gave him the nickname Fluffernutter. It fits him so well, for various reasons. LOL
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