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Keeping a dog intact


Sam I Am
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Sam is our first male dog that we have decided to not neuter. He has been a perfect gentleman and has shown no  tendency to hump pillows, mark or mount Rosie. It  started off as our vet  recommending that we wait till he reached adulthood before neutering. I know back in Scotland many years ago, with my great uncle and his sheep dogs, which never were spayed or neutered, they seemed  to live long and healthy lives.  

Some interesting facts... upon doing more research it seems that it is against the law to neuter dogs in Norway and I think some other Scandinavian countries . They  have very strict rules to dogs running at large and after two heavy fines third time you lose ownership of your dog. Also interestingly enough a lot of the negative traditional thoughts on keeping animals intact have been debunked. For me it makes sense...we were all born with body parts for a reason..not only do hormones control sexual behaviour but also a miriad  of other functions. 

One of the up sides of keeping a dog intact is that muscle and bone development is  more developed plus in our Sams case,  a lean muscular body. It’s not for everyone that’s for sure but for now Sam will remain the way he is with all parts still in place. 😋

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Until one has loved an animal, a part of  one's soul remains unawakened.  - Anatole France

Adventures with Sam &Rosie

 

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I kept Nikki intact until he was six years old. He was built like a terrier tank! Super thick thighs and neck, barrel chest and body, and all muscle. He was not a troublesome humper (although he did like dominating visitors). I thought he was behaving himself indoors until I was going to ask his babysitter to watch him again and she said no. She said he had ruined her hardwood floor. I had no clue! Then I noticed spots appearing in every room in my house and I saw him nonchalantly lift a leg on a visitor’s suitcase, and my Christmas tree. I looked for places to board him and only one would take an intact dog, and they would keep him isolated. The vet would have been even worse! Keeping him stuck in a small cage for a week sounded like a nightmare, so we had him fixed.  That immediately fixed the marking problem, and the dominating people thing.

I am very glad that Nikki did have those six years to grow into a terrier Hulk because, when he was attacked by a German Shepherd a few years ago, the shepherd raked both sides of his spine and several other places on his sides.  If he’d been a normal fifteen pound, thin waisted Cairn, he could have sustained serious damage or worse. But because he’s thirty pounds and thick bodied, all he received were bruises and some small cuts (and PTSD and nightmares, but that’s another story).  

I am glad that some places are letting dogs stay in their natural forms and I do think some owners can keep intact dogs easily. Mine never escaped my house or yard, and he was never bred. That’s a decision that belongs to the owners and the vet, and varies with each individual pet, and after my experience, I think I would say yay to letting my dogs mature again, but I don’t think I will wait six years again, if I do decide to have a future pet fixed. 

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We haven’t had any issues with marking and hopefully it will stay that way. I had a chuckle about your Christmas tree being”watered”...Jock (who was neutered) decided that a tree  is a tree , inside or outside , so he promptly lifted his leg on our real Christmas tree. That was the last year we had a real tree.🤭

I agree it’s definitely not for everyone. We don’t do dog park nor do we board our dogs out so no issues there. Sam also is not aggressive as a matter of fact the best socialized guy we have ever owned.

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Until one has loved an animal, a part of  one's soul remains unawakened.  - Anatole France

Adventures with Sam &Rosie

 

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Our Haggis had quite the stylish collection of belly bands :P He was not a humper either and got on well with other males with the exception of his litter brother. He did eventually get a testicular tumor (slow growing) which of course he would not have got had he been neutered … yet an abdominal mass got him at nearly 17 before the tumor did. So on balance, no regrets.

We did neuter Dundee but not until he was well over a year old. 

I agree that with sanity, responsibility, and accountability late or no neutering can be fine for those willing and able to manage the situation. A generalized lack of accountability is probably why the default US stance is neuter early and often.

Having read a few of the studies my personal conclusion was that there are risks and benefits both ways. We lean toward late neutering but I certainly would not want anyone to feel guilty about early neutering if that was the advice they got (what's done is done, why make someone feel bad about it?) and of course we know many responsible breeders, exhibitors, and owners who have intact dogs.

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Guest dog person

I remember decades ago when noone had their pets fixed.   Rarely went to the vet.  Complied with rabies vaccine only when confronted.

Do I want to go back to that?  No way!   

Have you ever seen a female dog go through a false pregnancy?   I have.  Not pretty.     

Have you ever seen a male dog with sticky semen all over his groin, dry humping for hours because he  smells a female dog in heat nearby?  I have.  Not pretty.

Plus, I also had a dog develop testicular cancer at age 11, he then had to be neutered at that time as recommended by the examining vet.   Horrible recovery.

Whatever works.    

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Guest dog person

Exactly.

I am just pointing out, that leaving a dog intact may not always be the best option.   Based on my experience and knowledge.

Also, many apartment and condo policies (if they even allow pets) require proof that the pet is neutered/spayed and up to date on vaccinations.  

PS: That includes elderly housing, some allow pets but have rules and weight restrictions.   Proof of spay/neuter and current vaccinations from a veterinarian are required.   Same for therapy dogs.

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Guest dog person

My cairn, almost 6 years old now was a pediatric neuter due to an inguinal hernia.

Well, I can tell you he is the most aggressive alpha male dog I have ever owned.  Protective and a good watchdog.

He has a beautiful coat, thick shiny hair.    Healthy.   Bones are good, muscular.

Neutering/spaying does not change the personality of the dog.

Discuss with your vet before making a decision.  

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I think we may have had this discussion elsewhere at some time. I remember saying that Angus was neutered early and it did not have any after effects re coat personality etc etc. I had this done primarily because I did not want any accidents which might bring unwanted pups into the world. When we were breeding, our stud dogs could not be let in the house. Once they had bred a female they just had to mark everything everywhere. On the other hand my first dog a spaniel from working lines was never neutered. As dog person says it was rarely done years ago. My spaniel was never a problem and lived to a ripe old age.

I lean towards neutering mainly because there so so many pets and so many people who don't understand how to care responsibly for their dogs whether female or male. That's why so many shelters etc want dogs neutered and spayed as early as possible. I don't think it is primarily because of health reasons. it's because the  shelters and vets deal every day with unwanted pups and the shelters put thousands and thousands to death every year.

Whether a dog is neutered or not it's not always possible to tell how this may affect the health of a particular dog. There's evidence either way. Two or three examples like we have here don't mean very much. 

 

 

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It all boils down to being a responsible owner.  Period. Sam is not a sex starved humping male ...he is a kind  socialized Cairn because I am a responsible owner and he will never impregnate another dog . And yes he may get testicular cancer later on in his life, but then he also may get other diseases and conditions that are more prevalent in neutered dogs. Everyone on this site has their own opinions but in the end we all do what we feel is best for our own dogs. Nobody is correct...nobody is wrong. We all love our animals and that’s just ok by me..whether intact or  neutered. 

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Until one has loved an animal, a part of  one's soul remains unawakened.  - Anatole France

Adventures with Sam &Rosie

 

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Terrier Lover -- As you stated, I do operate on the thought that everyone here at Cairntalk is making the best decisions for their individual dogs, whether I agree with them or not. Sometimes I ask for an opinion, and sometimes I just make a statement...

I know Sam is in caring and confident hands.  And I know he must be quite a handful! That is the fun of cairns...

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Guest dog person

Interesting conversation on this topic going on over here, for those that are interested.    

http://skeptvet.com/Blog/2016/11/evidence-update-neutering-and-cancer-risk-in-dogs/comment-page-1/#comment-122819

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My husband chose to not neuter his Weimaraner, and while I was a bit stunned, I understood his concerns.  It may just be Rupert's personality, but even intact. he is the sweetest, easiest-going Weemie I have ever been around.  I have been surprised that he does none of those anticipated male dog 'things' so often associated with an un-neutered male.  I only saw him raise his fur once, in the presence of my nephew's also un-neutered Boxer -- and in all fairness, it was the Boxer who became aggressive.  Both boys were fine when we put them on two sides of the gate/fence.  

My little fellow, I think I will neuter, but I have not yet decided.  My vet recommends it, after 7 months old, but I thought the trend now was to wait until after a year, to let the dog mature more, physically.  I am still doing some reading on the subject, and trying to glean info from owners here. I do wonder, however, 'why' the one year mark, and not at two, when I thought a dog had become an 'adult.'

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There are no easy answers.     http://skeptvet.com/Blog/?s=neuter

skeptvet says:

As you can see from the article, there is no simple answer to this question, and it requires considering the research evidence and the details of you and your dogs’ individual circumstances. This is the sort of conversation you need to have with your own local vet.

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  • 3 years later...

More Thread Resurrection this afternoon:

 

We have an agreement with our breeder. Neuter our puppy. A deal is a deal. So it's now done, for better or worse.

I will say this, our Fergus has shown a lack of common dog-sense only twice. Once while separated by a cyclone fence, he challenged a Very Large Male Rottlweiler by throwing himself at the fence aggressivley and basically coming 100% unglued. Only time I was unable to recall him and get him leashed without some difficulty. Once contained he still wanted to fight that big boy, who looked at Fergus, thinking "Snack?"

Second time a week ago, we encountered a coyote early in the AM. The coyote was 100 yards off, but Fergus went wild (on his leash) barking, etc. If neutering attenuates some of whatever "that" is, I am glad it's done.  Not that it matters but he came from a litter of 3 and was clearly the Big One, and now is  muscular 20Lbs. He is as sweet as anything with other dogs, and people 99.9% of the time, but does have the potential to get as evidenced by his Rottweiler/Coyote reactions. If neutering helps him focus and has any calming effect, then it can only help with his normal training.

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On 7/17/2022 at 2:19 PM, Moto-Rama said:

More Thread Resurrection this afternoon:

 

We have an agreement with our breeder. Neuter our puppy. A deal is a deal. So it's now done, for better or worse.

I will say this, our Fergus has shown a lack of common dog-sense only twice. Once while separated by a cyclone fence, he challenged a Very Large Male Rottlweiler by throwing himself at the fence aggressivley and basically coming 100% unglued. Only time I was unable to recall him and get him leashed without some difficulty. Once contained he still wanted to fight that big boy, who looked at Fergus, thinking "Snack?"

Second time a week ago, we encountered a coyote early in the AM. The coyote was 100 yards off, but Fergus went wild (on his leash) barking, etc. If neutering attenuates some of whatever "that" is, I am glad it's done.  Not that it matters but he came from a litter of 3 and was clearly the Big One, and now is  muscular 20Lbs. He is as sweet as anything with other dogs, and people 99.9% of the time, but does have the potential to get as evidenced by his Rottweiler/Coyote reactions. If neutering helps him focus and has any calming effect, then it can only help with his normal training.

We have the same deal with our breeder and she wants us to wait until 18 months, so that is what we are doing. How old is Fergus?

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Fergus is just about 10.5 months old now.

He had his procedure on the 14th, about a week ago, now. He also had a slightly herniated umbilicus (navel) repaired. He seems to be doing OK as far as the neutering thing goes, but the umbilicus repair looks  little pink, still. We've been I donmonitoring it for any discharge or bleeding, but it's hard to tell what is should look like at this point. I've taken some photos for the vet who is very busy, so she can evaluate it. She says to just watch it for any signs of infection.

Anyway, he's been in the cone before when he had foxtails surgically removed from 2 paws, and this time he's been better with it. Weirdly, he's been uncharacteristically barky and a little aggressive with other dogs when I have walked him. Usually he's happy to see everyone, people, dogs, but he's been kind of keyed up more than his normal happy go lucky self. I hope that's due to the cone/surgery/ and horminal adjustment, and not a permanent behavior pattern.

There are a lot of opinions on when the best time to neuter is. We just waited till he has his full size, so there won't be orthopedic issues. I've mostly read that 6-8 months is best, but Fergus was still gaining height and weight up to 9.5 months. He topped out at about 19.5-20 lbs and has been stable at that weight for a month or so.

Did your breeder say why 18 months ?

 

 

 

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15 hours ago, Moto-Rama said:

Fergus is just about 10.5 months old now.

He had his procedure on the 14th, about a week ago, now. He also had a slightly herniated umbilicus (navel) repaired. He seems to be doing OK as far as the neutering thing goes, but the umbilicus repair looks  little pink, still. We've been I donmonitoring it for any discharge or bleeding, but it's hard to tell what is should look like at this point. I've taken some photos for the vet who is very busy, so she can evaluate it. She says to just watch it for any signs of infection.

Anyway, he's been in the cone before when he had foxtails surgically removed from 2 paws, and this time he's been better with it. Weirdly, he's been uncharacteristically barky and a little aggressive with other dogs when I have walked him. Usually he's happy to see everyone, people, dogs, but he's been kind of keyed up more than his normal happy go lucky self. I hope that's due to the cone/surgery/ and horminal adjustment, and not a permanent behavior pattern.

There are a lot of opinions on when the best time to neuter is. We just waited till he has his full size, so there won't be orthopedic issues. I've mostly read that 6-8 months is best, but Fergus was still gaining height and weight up to 9.5 months. He topped out at about 19.5-20 lbs and has been stable at that weight for a month or so.

Did your breeder say why 18 months ?

 

 

 

She feels it is better for the dogs to wait. Atticus doesn't have any bad behavior and he doesn't mark in our house, or others, so she said it would be best to wait.

 

My friend, who was a Cairn breeder, sent this article to me yesterday.

 

Article

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  • 2 weeks later...

Toto was neutered at about eight months, and I think for him, it was the right decision.  He had already shown some of the tendencies of the un-neutered male, and given he was going to be very much a 'Mama's boy,' I think it was a good choice for him.  He's still very much a Cairn, but the humping everything stopped, as did lifting the leg to 'mark' in the house.  He, and his Weimaraner brother, have a heyday in the yard however.

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Fergus surgery was uneventful and aside from being a little unhappy about being coned for 2 weeks afterwards, he seems blissfully unaware that he's been altered.

Ive noticed a couple of behavioral changes. He still likes to read and leave a P-Mail on our walks, but is more purposeful about peeing. Instead of saving it to sprinkle on everything, he's actually emptying his bladder, and is more selective if he's leaving messages.

It could be my imagination but he's more focused on the task at hand. I think now he's less likely to be distracted during play or his training with me. I took him off leash in our nearby park yesterday to play with one of his doggie friends and he was 100% on recall. Of course there weren't any squirrels around...:)

 

 

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2 hours ago, Toto-lee Cairn said:

Toto was neutered at about eight months, and I think for him, it was the right decision.  He had already shown some of the tendencies of the un-neutered male, and given he was going to be very much a 'Mama's boy,' I think it was a good choice for him.  He's still very much a Cairn, but the humping everything stopped, as did lifting the leg to 'mark' in the house.  He, and his Weimaraner brother, have a heyday in the yard however.

You made a wise choice, and I think I would have had Atticus neutered early if he presented the same behavior.

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1 minute ago, Moto-Rama said:

Fergus surgery was uneventful and aside from being a little unhappy about being coned for 2 weeks afterwards, he seems blissfully unaware that he's been altered.

Ive noticed a couple of behavioral changes. He still likes to read and leave a P-Mail on our walks, but is more purposeful about peeing. Instead of saving it to sprinkle on everything, he's actually emptying his bladder, and is more selective if he's leaving messages.

It could be my imagination but he's more focused on the task at hand. I think now he's less likely to be distracted during play or his training with me. I took him off leash in our nearby park yesterday to play with one of his doggie friends and he was 100% on recall. Of course there weren't any squirrels around...:)

 

 

Atticus marks a lot of posts on our walks. I'm hoping this will stop after he is neutered. I am teaching him to only pee on posts and not on plants and trees.

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