Booked 'THE' Appointment - Page 3 - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #21 of 67 (permalink) Old 01-03-2018, 02:09 PM
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Did you say certified wolf biologist? That's cool! What does it take to earn a certification in wolf biology? As you know, I grew up not terribly far from the IWC. I always thought wolves were so cool when I was a kid.
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post #22 of 67 (permalink) Old 01-03-2018, 02:16 PM
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Oh my goodness. Okay, I hold a degree in animal biology and have spent years studying large canine anatomy and surgical reconstruction (I'm a certified wolf biologist and worked at the IWC and also worked alongside zoo veternarians.)

2 years is an average. I'm not trying to be wholly and utterly precise. Research and data is different depending on your source. 2 years is an average and good estimate and is often cited by people in the field in order to be safe.
Certified wolf biologist - Is that a new program by TWS?

Seriously curious if you could provide peer reviewed and cited research, or any veterinary text books that cite 24 months of age as to when the growth plates close... Most of the studies and medical resources I have read in regards to domestic dogs indicate closed growth plates at a younger age. If there is new research on this I have missed, I would like to be informed.

There are other reasons I would choose to keep a dog intact past growth plate closure but now you have me curious.
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post #23 of 67 (permalink) Old 01-03-2018, 02:23 PM
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Did you say certified wolf biologist? That's cool! What does it take to earn a certification in wolf biology? As you know, I grew up not terribly far from the IWC. I always thought wolves were so cool when I was a kid.
LOL! I literally just changed it to "trained," because there isn't really any formal certification process. It's more field study and getting your hands dirty. I usually say certified or trained in order to add merit to the fact that I actually worked in the field and didn't just take some science classes. I hold Zoology and Animal Biology degrees specializing in large carnivores, anatomy and chordate morphology. Wolf biology, though, is really something you specialize in through work. I was at the IWC when Nyssa, Grizzer and Maya came on board and also worked with Shadow and Malik. My 9 year old GSD is actually named after MacKenzie, because she died right before I got my Mac and she was my favorite.

Most of my hands on work was through tracking and field work with an organization that spanned northern MN and ND and partnered with the DNR regarding cattle preservation. I also worked at the Wahpeton zoo for a bit. I've since changed careers, so don't refer to the work too much since it's been many years, but I loved it and miss it.

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post #24 of 67 (permalink) Old 01-03-2018, 02:25 PM
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LOL! I literally just changed it to "trained," because there isn't really any formal certification process. It's more field study and getting your hands dirty. I usually say certified or trained in order to add merit to the fact that I actually worked in the field and didn't just take some science classes. I hold Zoology and Animal Biology degrees specializing in large carnivores, anatomy and chordate morphology. Wolf biology, though, is really something you specialize in through work. I was at the IWC when Nyssa, Grizzer and Maya came on board and also worked with Shadow and Malik. My 9 year old GSD is actually named after MacKenzie, because she died right before I got my Mac and she was my favorite.

Most of my hands on work was through tracking and field work with an organization that spanned northern MN and ND and partnered with the DNR regarding cattle preservation. I also worked at the Wahpeton zoo for a bit. I've since changed careers, so don't refer to the work too much since it's been many years, but I loved it and miss it.
Thanks for elaborating. So it sounds like you have field experience in wolf biology. That's really cool you were able to work at the IWC. Is that a career you see yourself going back to someday? (And I'll stop hijacking now.)
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post #25 of 67 (permalink) Old 01-03-2018, 03:15 PM
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Certified wolf biologist - Is that a new program by TWS?

Seriously curious if you could provide peer reviewed and cited research, or any veterinary text books that cite 24 months of age as to when the growth plates close... Most of the studies and medical resources I have read in regards to domestic dogs indicate closed growth plates at a younger age. If there is new research on this I have missed, I would like to be informed.

There are other reasons I would choose to keep a dog intact past growth plate closure but now you have me curious.
Regarding studies, I don't have any at my finger tips on growth plates and never claimed I did. What I do have is experience garnered from work I did alongside veterinarians. Medical science is not exact, and we are literally arguing numbers within the margin of error here. I've seen growth plates close on large breed dogs at 9 months, and I've seen them close at 26 months. Again, the 2 year recommendation is there to be a safety net because by then, hopefully everything has closed and you're good to go.

My whole point in everything I have said is wait until the growth plates have closed before you fix your dog. Those are the studies I've read and referred to.

If you can confirm they've closed via x-ray, great. If not, what's the big rush to neuter at 19 months as opposed to 24? Why not wait and give it some time just to be sure?

Again, we are literally debating over a number of months, which is ridiculous. I have my years of work and what I was told by specialists who performed surgery on large canines every week (unlike most vets who work on small and large breed dogs of many different breeds and mixes). There isn't specific research out there on every specific topic and question, and sometimes you just go with experience and the tried and true advice that's worked, and that's what I do.

At the end of the day, the reason behind the advice you're giving and I am giving gets at the same thing, wait until the growth plates close. I'd also argue that even after the plates close, you may still want to keep the dog intact until they're done filling out. I'd like to see research that says those hormones aren't needed for that process, which is another reason why I say at least wait until 2 years.


@WateryTart, probably not. I live in Texas now, and opportunities in that field just aren't nearly as plentiful. If anything, I'd actually like to start my own GSD kennel in several years and go that route.
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post #26 of 67 (permalink) Old 01-03-2018, 03:23 PM
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@WateryTart, probably not. I live in Texas now, and opportunities in that field just aren't nearly as plentiful. If anything, I'd actually like to start my own GSD kennel in several years and go that route.
Yeah i guess that's true, you'd have to move back to this area of the country, and if you've put down roots in Texas, it makes sense to stay.

For your kennel, would you be in WGSLs?
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post #27 of 67 (permalink) Old 01-03-2018, 03:33 PM
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Yeah i guess that's true, you'd have to move back to this area of the country, and if you've put down roots in Texas, it makes sense to stay.

For your kennel, would you be in WGSLs?
Definitely, they are my passion, but true working WGSL dogs. I'd like to build up a bloodline of solid tracking and detection dogs and also focus in on breeding a WGSL dog with high drive and nerve. There is a lot that I like about WGSLs, but there's definitely room for improvement.
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post #28 of 67 (permalink) Old 01-04-2018, 04:53 PM
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My contract with the breeder required me NOT to spay her until she was minimum 14 months of age or I'd void my health guarantee.

But either way, timing of spay/neuter should involve the family, the breeder if applicable, and the vet. Not everyone is capable of managing an intact dog. Think of a typical busy young family with multiple kids under let's say age 10 or 12, and possibly multiple dogs. The probability for an accident shoots way up relative to, say, a pair of DINKs (like myself and my husband with one dog).
That is why I said those who can manage them.
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post #29 of 67 (permalink) Old 01-05-2018, 01:43 AM
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I'm anti-alter.

It increases the risk of hemangiosarcoma, osteosarcoma, AND prostate cancer.

That we know of.

Anesthesia problems can cause seizures and death, maybe other stuff.

Hormones are part of the package, and are for more than reproduction. Lack of same can make and earlier onset of aging, and decrease longevity.

Most of the issues of keeping an intact dog are behaviors that are easily trained -- training or containment problems. A dog need not have testicles to get himself run over in the road or shot by a hunter or farmer.

Ah well, yep it is up to the owner whether to alter their pet or not.

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post #30 of 67 (permalink) Old 01-05-2018, 08:32 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you everyone for their comments I have found it very interesting to learn so much.

I do understand there is a lot for an against to snip or not to snip and I think its great there is a lot more knowledge now.
I would also love to keep every dog entire and I agree to do it for the reason of just not wanting to breed is unnecessary.

There are a few reasons we have decided to get Nero done, but the main reason is because Nero has a fascination with all dog, male or female, aggressive or submissive.
He has been in training for over a year, he has improved and calmed a little but as soon as he sees another dog no matter how far away nothing else matters to him.

My trainer is amazing and she does not take any op or medication or treatment by the vet lightly.
I trust her opinion a lot and she has even suggested to me that now might the time to see if it improves this problem.

I am very aware this might not make any change but I do believe this is the right thing for him.

However the waiting till he is 24 months is very interesting.
I understand that growth plates have a better chance of being closed but will 4 months make that much of a difference?
What are the other benefits of waiting till 24 months.
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