Neutering: 12, 18 or 24 months?

AmandaNola

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#1
I want to start this off by saying I'm not looking to start an argument. :) I'm just looking for advice, since all the info I've read is making my head spin and I could use some input.

Pike (currently 13 weeks) will be neutered. I don't want to deal with an intact dog long term, BUT I don't want the health concerns with early altering. He's a Miniature American Shepherd, so not a huge breed. Would you alter at 12, 18 or 24 months? 24 is the absolute max I'm willing to have him intact. As of right now, I'm leaning toward 18 months.
 
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#2
24 months.

If you're set on neutering I would give him as long as possible to mature not just in body but mentally also. And I will say, even though they are typically done 'growing' around a 12-18 months I do see a lot of filling out even after that.
 

Romy

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#3
Smaller breeds mature faster, and you can get away with neutering younger without causing orthopedic problems like the giant breeds. Strider, my borzoi, didn't finish growing until he was 4 years old. He put on an extra inch in height between 3 and 4 years, along with his ribs dropping/springing, etc.
 

Beanie

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#4
For males, you don't have the PITA of a season like in a female. So 24 months. I agree with what Linds has to say. He'll probably be done growing, but that doesn't mean he's done maturing, if that makes sense.
 

*blackrose

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#5
Honestly, I'd just let him go for as long as you are comfortable. I'm planning on neutering Abrams at some point and I originally said anytime after a year. He's 13 months now, and I am having no issues with any "boy dog" things besides teeth chattering. I am in no hurry to have him altered and likely will wait until...well, I don't know. Whenever. Likely not past 3 years, but at this point I'm in no rush.
 

BostonBanker

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#6
I originally said I'd do 12 months with Gusto, and wound up doing him right before 11 months because I didn't like the behavioral changes I was seeing.

And I will say, he has filled out a TON in the last six months (he's just about 3 now) despite not having his testicles.

At least for me, it was easy to get an appointment pretty quickly once I decided I wanted it done, so it isn't really anything you have to decide right now and stick with. You can play it by ear a bit, knowing you want to wait longer if you can, but being able to do it earlier if conditions warrant for you.
 
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#7
Gimmick is 13 months and I've seen a huge difference over the past few weeks. He looks much more masculine now.

Id wait until at least 2
 

Oko

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#8
If you don't want the health problems of a young neuter, 18 months old seems perfectly generous if you'd rather not have an intact dog. FWIW, I wouldn't neuter a male dog if I did have one, but different people have different comfort levels, wants, and needs and that's totally fine too.
 

Fran101

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#9
I waited about 15 months.

I wanted to wait longer than 12, for him to physically mature.

and I decided to do it around 15 because dogs in the city were reacting HORRIBLY to him, like even just walking by the park dogs would charge him and he was starting to get some reactivity problems.

In the end neutering was the right choice...I would've done it earlier (at 12) if I would've know how badly other dogs deal with it.

So my vote goes for 12.
 

AmandaNola

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#10
I really don't like intact males. IMO they have a stronger smell, the teeth chattering is horrid, the salivating over females in heat (my neighbor has 3-5 coonhound girls so there's almost always a bitch in heat), plus I just don't want the extra stress. Not to mention I'll be moving in a couple of years, and the complex requires all animals to be altered.
 

Fran101

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#11
I really don't like intact males. IMO they have a stronger smell, the teeth chattering is horrid, the salivating over females in heat (my neighbor has 3-5 coonhound girls so there's almost always a bitch in heat), plus I just don't want the extra stress. Not to mention I'll be moving in a couple of years, and the complex requires all animals to be altered.
If it helps I never dealt with any of that... the smell (I haven't noticed a difference..), the teeth chattering, the salivating (although I don't think we know in intact females)
The only issue for me really was small behavioral things (I'm gonna pee over here...and here...and here...) and OTHER dogs taking offense to his balls.

I certainly wouldn't own an intact male but waiting for a year was pretty painless...it was only after that that it got annoying.
 

Toller_08

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#12
I think some males are worse than others. I was going to wait until 24 months or more to neuter Ripley. But he was gross and obsessive over sniffing and licking my girls or anywhere they sat, nevermind peed, and I got tired of telling him to knock it off and go away all the time. The constant "my mind is gone" teeth chattering look, salivating, happy air humping was too much for me and so at 18-19months, off he went to be neutered. These weren't training issues, and he was fully capable of being a good boy, but these hormonal behaviours were beyond irritating for me and I felt like I sounded like a broken record constantly managing him. I had no reason to keep him intact, so for my sanity and his, away they went. And yes, he was a huge target for other dogs too, which was also unpleasant.
 

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#13
I say wait as long as possible but you don't really have to decide now. Just play it by ear if he gets annoying you can probably have it done within 2 weeks.
 
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#14
I wouldn't go in it assuming your dog will be like that, males vary and while they do seem to go through a hormone surge during adolescence it levels out for many.

I know Traveler never humps, rarely teeth chatters and only really does it with Didgie's pee when she's in heat and pretty much is perfectly behaved in regards to "typical" male behaviors that get associated with intact dogs.

My only issue is other MALE dogs reactions to him, like Fran mentioned with Merlin. He was a big target for them. That being said, bitchy females who hate all other dogs LOVE him.

Fergus is going through that hormone surge right now and Didgie is coming into heat so it's a bad mix. All that being said, he's only tried to hump a few times and he does a lot of sniffing of her pee. But again, that's with an in heat female in his face all the time.

Some dogs are bad, no doubt about it! But I wouldn't go in with a preset notion about what intact dogs are like.

But regardless, I wouldn't really worry about going in with a set date for castration set in your mind. Play it by ear, like Boston said. If he's awful and you can't stand him move your timetable up, if it's no big deal and nothing is bothering you let him be until you feel it's time.
 

Torch

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#15
I wouldn't go in it assuming your dog will be like that, males vary and while they do seem to go through a hormone surge during adolescence it levels out for many.

I know Traveler never humps, rarely teeth chatters and only really does it with Didgie's pee when she's in heat and pretty much is perfectly behaved in regards to "typical" male behaviors that get associated with intact dogs.

My only issue is other MALE dogs reactions to him, like Fran mentioned with Merlin. He was a big target for them. That being said, bitchy females who hate all other dogs LOVE him.

Fergus is going through that hormone surge right now and Didgie is coming into heat so it's a bad mix. All that being said, he's only tried to hump a few times and he does a lot of sniffing of her pee. But again, that's with an in heat female in his face all the time.

Some dogs are bad, no doubt about it! But I wouldn't go in with a preset notion about what intact dogs are like.

But regardless, I wouldn't really worry about going in with a set date for castration set in your mind. Play it by ear, like Boston said. If he's awful and you can't stand him move your timetable up, if it's no big deal and nothing is bothering you let him be until you feel it's time.
We have the same issues with other males, but honestly Rhys would probably be reactive anyway so I just deal with it. I would wait as long as possible if he were mine.
 

Grab

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#16
We are waiting until at least 18 months. Closer to 24 months if possible. He's under a sterilization contract, though, so it depends on that. However, we're also going to do zinc neutering, so he will maintain some hormonal benefit.

For what it's worth, he doesn't teeth chatter/obsessively sniff/taste pee, etc and he in general is not humpy. After Goose had a bath he decided maybe she smelled pretty and gave it a half-assed go, but a simple 'knock it off' put a stop to that and it was business as usual after that.
 
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#17
We have the same issues with other males, but honestly Rhys would probably be reactive anyway so I just deal with it. I would wait as long as possible if he were mine.
It's annoying but easily manageable for me for the most part. Most of them seem just fascinated by him and not so much aggressive, just up in his business. But it is definitely noticeable.
 

Torch

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#18
It's annoying but easily manageable for me for the most part. Most of them seem just fascinated by him and not so much aggressive, just up in his business. But it is definitely noticeable.
Wish I could say the same. Rhys is pretty hot and DA. So I really can't even say that him being intact has anything to do with it. But with sexual maturity happening and the typical attitude of most dogs to intact males, I can't rule that out either. Lol I'm just rambling.
 

Shai

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#19
As BostonBanker said, it's pretty easy to set up a neutering appointment so I'd wait til 12 months and see where things stand. If all is good, hold off and give those hormones more time to physically mature him.

On the other hand, if something has come up and you decide to get him neutered, you can probably do so within a few weeks of that decision whenever you make it.

Like many others here, I prefer to wait til at least 24 months. But you need to do what's right for your dog and your situation.
 
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#20
Wish I could say the same. Rhys is pretty hot and DA. So I really can't even say that him being intact has anything to do with it. But with sexual maturity happening and the typical attitude of most dogs to intact males, I can't rule that out either. Lol I'm just rambling.
I sometimes wonder if in other countries where intact dogs are more the norm if they have the same issues or if it's because intact male dogs are pretty rare around here that the smell is just so odd and different they don't know how to react.

Ramble away! I can't see it being fun with a breed prone to DA at all.
 

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