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I have a 12 week old male GSD and the original plan was to neuter him at the age of 6 months.

However, after doing some further research I've heard that early neutering will result in a more lanky, less defined dog with no secondary sex traits. I've also read that neutering as a whole decreases their drive and willingness to work.

Should I wait until 2 years for him to fill out? Should I neuter at all? I have no plans to breed him and he is an inside dog so roaming is not an issue. Will later neutering encourage unwanted behaviors such as excessive marking, humping, urine licking etc?

Thank you!~ :)
 

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I never thought that I would own an un-neutered male - I was of the belief that intact males became uncontrollable. That is until I started with an IPO club, and I was amazed at how well behaved, well trained, responsive and sweet and friendly the dogs were, none of them neutered. It really opened my eyes that a lot of the behaviours we attribute to a dog being intact are really just management and training issues.

So here I am with a 7 year old, still intact, and the best, easiest, more obedient dog I ever had! Who would have thunk it?

Not letting the dog roam is just an issue of responsible ownership; roaming has nothing to do with being neutered or not, and you have that area covered. Humping and marking are training issues. I don't know about Urine liking - Gryffon is a urine licker - dogs do this to take in more scent. I know some people don't allow their dogs to lick urine to prevent illness, so that would come down to training, supervision, and management. Since you won't be letting your dog roam around unsupervised, it should be manageable. And not all dogs lick urine, so it may not be an issue at all.
 

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I never thought that I would own an un-neutered male - I was of the belief that intact males became uncontrollable. That is until I started with an IPO club, and I was amazed at how well behaved, well trained, responsive and sweet and friendly the dogs were, none of them neutered. It really opened my eyes that a lot of the behaviours we attribute to a dog being intact are really just management and training issues.

So here I am with a 7 year old, still intact, and the best, easiest, more obedient dog I ever had! Who would have thunk it?

Not letting the dog roam is just an issue of responsible ownership; roaming has nothing to do with being neutered or not, and you have that area covered. Humping and marking are training issues. I don't know about Urine liking - Gryffon is a urine licker - dogs do this to take in more scent. I know some people don't allow their dogs to lick urine to prevent illness, so that would come down to training, supervision, and management. Since you won't be letting your dog roam around unsupervised, it should be manageable. And not all dogs lick urine, so it may not be an issue at all.
My dog has a narcotics detection background from his maternal grandfather. He routinely licks urine. I am in a high lepto area, so I make sure he gets a lepto shot in the summer. The worst time of year for lepto is in the fall.
 

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I choose to keep my dogs intact. Primarily because of the lower cancer and injury risks associated with keeping the endocrine system fully functional. Not to mention the decreased risk of anxiety based behavioral problems and age related cognitive impairment.

I will concede that testosterone may increase the likelihood of undesirable behaviors, however I have never found it to be all that difficult to train or manage said behaviors.

Overall I actually find intact males the easiest to train. I like working with highly motivated driven dogs. My intact boys have tended to engage with me better, they don't shut down when frustrated, and have been the easiest to move from food rewards to toy and play based rewards.

They just fit my style best, but each to their own in that regard.
 

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I have a 12 week old male GSD and the original plan was to neuter him at the age of 6 months.

However, after doing some further research I've heard that early neutering will result in a more lanky, less defined dog with no secondary sex traits. I've also read that neutering as a whole decreases their drive and willingness to work.

Should I wait until 2 years for him to fill out? Should I neuter at all? I have no plans to breed him and he is an inside dog so roaming is not an issue. Will later neutering encourage unwanted behaviors such as excessive marking, humping, urine licking etc?

Thank you!~ :)
I have met many owners throughout the years who have never neutered their dog, and they had no issues, none of the aggression issues people claim if the dog is unfixed or any of that, none of them humping things either.. Only one of the dogs had an issue because he was left unfixed, and that was, when you took him on a walk, he'd mark every pole, and or, bench, anything, literally, over and over, fixing him didn't fix that issue either. I do admit though, some did say their dog would hump things, but this was when they were puppies around 10 weeks, and that was twice, getting up and walking away completely stopped the behavior.

I think it honestly comes down to how responsible the owner is, if you know your dog inside out, and he's not 'uncontrollable' or any of that, than why fix your dog? You're killing prey drive and increasing other risks really, so where do you benefit? Plus if you know your dog inside out, and are responsible, than you are perfectly capable of having an intact male.

The only issue with having an intact male is, people who are irresponsible with their dogs, the type that brings their dog to a dog park literally every single day, and watch their dog attack yours, are the one's you need to watch out for, because they'll instantly ask you; "Is he fixed....?" If you answer; "No, he's not..." Than, that person's excuse is; "Oh, Lassie over here isn't good with unfixed males."

Other than that, I say leave it alone, never fix a pup at 6 months, ever, go through at least 1 - 2 years before when the dog is mature, if you are having so much difficulty with your dog, than I recommend getting your dog fixed. But, I think it's safe to say, owning an intact male is completely fine (in my opinion that is.)

It's funny because people gasp at the thought of a dog being unfixed, yet, cat owners suffer worse issues, my friend has a female cat and she constantly screams (she's not fixed.) Makes you happy that you're a dog owner :)

Anyways, just an opinion of mine, I say wait it out, never do anything like that when they're young because the negatives show up later rather than positives, plus, at 2 years old you'll know if your dogs prey drive is too much for you, you'll know if he has anything that will be improved IF you get him fixed, etc. You'll know your dog inside and out than, therefore you'll make the right decision rather than fixing a 6 month old and regretting it.
 

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I would definitely wait until he is done growing, around 2 years. All of the reading I've done says it's so much better for their health. As much as I would want to keep my dog intact forever, I will eventually get him neutered (or maybe sterilized) after 2 years. While I make sure he doesn't roam, other dogs in my neighborhood do, and I worry that if an in-heat female roams near my house, he will get out of the yard (he is a very determined boy when he wants to be) and I don't want to lose him or contribute to the dog population. I also think he is less likely to be stolen for breeding if he is neutered.
 

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I have met many owners throughout the years who have never neutered their dog, and they had no issues, none of the aggression issues people claim if the dog is unfixed or any of that, none of them humping things either.. Only one of the dogs had an issue because he was left unfixed, and that was, when you took him on a walk, he'd mark every pole, and or, bench, anything, literally, over and over, fixing him didn't fix that issue either. I do admit though, some did say their dog would hump things, but this was when they were puppies around 10 weeks, and that was twice, getting up and walking away completely stopped the behavior.

I think it honestly comes down to how responsible the owner is, if you know your dog inside out, and he's not 'uncontrollable' or any of that, than why fix your dog? You're killing prey drive and increasing other risks really, so where do you benefit? Plus if you know your dog inside out, and are responsible, than you are perfectly capable of having an intact male.

The only issue with having an intact male is, people who are irresponsible with their dogs, the type that brings their dog to a dog park literally every single day, and watch their dog attack yours, are the one's you need to watch out for, because they'll instantly ask you; "Is he fixed....?" If you answer; "No, he's not..." Than, that person's excuse is; "Oh, Lassie over here isn't good with unfixed males."

Other than that, I say leave it alone, never fix a pup at 6 months, ever, go through at least 1 - 2 years before when the dog is mature, if you are having so much difficulty with your dog, than I recommend getting your dog fixed. But, I think it's safe to say, owning an intact male is completely fine (in my opinion that is.)

It's funny because people gasp at the thought of a dog being unfixed, yet, cat owners suffer worse issues, my friend has a female cat and she constantly screams (she's not fixed.) Makes you happy that you're a dog owner :)

Anyways, just an opinion of mine, I say wait it out, never do anything like that when they're young because the negatives show up later rather than positives, plus, at 2 years old you'll know if your dogs prey drive is too much for you, you'll know if he has anything that will be improved IF you get him fixed, etc. You'll know your dog inside and out than, therefore you'll make the right decision rather than fixing a 6 month old and regretting it.
What about prostate problems in intact senior males? I've seen that, which is awful and completely avoidable. The poor dog then has to be neutered when he's in poor condition for surgery.
 

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Many prostate issues can be caught early if you keep a close eye on the dog and his condition. Many times, antibiotics is enough to fix the issue. Then if you decide to neuter, you have little to worry about future issues.
However, the dangers of it are outweighed, in my opinion, to keeping a dog intact for as long as possible. Also, if prostate issues or testicular cancer are concerns, simply waiting until the dog is around 2 years old still gives you the same low risks of either (zero, in the case of testicular issues)
 

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All in all there's a list of pros and cons on both sides. In my opinion, the list for pros on not neutering outweighed the list for neutering.
Sadly a lot of vets don't talk about both sides. They prefer to neuter at 6 mos old and call it a day.
To me responsible pet ownership is being an involved owner. Not altering a dog.
 

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All in all there's a list of pros and cons on both sides. In my opinion, the list for pros on not neutering outweighed the list for neutering.
Sadly a lot of vets don't talk about both sides. They prefer to neuter at 6 mos old and call it a day.
To me responsible pet ownership is being an involved owner. Not altering a dog.
Part of the reason vets are like this is simple PR. They have bought into the lie that to be a responsible owner means to have your dog altered.
Another reason is that they see many many clients who, while perfectly willing to come in for the basic puppy shots and such, won't come back the next year to have a dog neutered. It's a "get them done while the client is already in the office or it won't get done at all"
In the end, they tend to cater to the lowest common denominator. Others simply aren't versed on the latest research showing the dangers of early spay/neuter
 

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What about prostate problems in intact senior males? I've seen that, which is awful and completely avoidable. The poor dog then has to be neutered when he's in poor condition for surgery.
I have never seen a neutered dog personally with prostrate problems(and I worked at a vet for years). They were all intact and all neutered to help with prostrate issue. 95% did not make it. Average age betwern 8-10, most larger breeds. So I see these studies and statistics and they come no where near close to what I have witnessed or continue to witness. The numbers are way off. My guess that it's not reported?

I choose to spay/neuter mine. I do agree that waiting until they are done growing as the best option. I did wait with my last one. He was definitely more dog aggressive before he was fixed, I noticed a big difference after he was fixed. He is actually more focused and more playful then before. It took that aggressive edge away. He still has an edge about him, but it's way better, manageable. He didn't suffer any kind of depression and he actually seems happier. My dogs have heavy training, so training is not an issue IMO. In our case, the hormones played a role. I'm very happy with him the way he is.
 

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dropping this in from the Dry Skin thread http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/general-puppy-stuff/661761-dry-skin-2.html

"neutering before ALL the growth has finished creates so many problems including disproportionate limb length

Early Spay Neuter: 3 Reasons To Reconsider

everyone should read this -- if you need incentive to open the link consider "A team of researchers led by Dr. Benjamin L. Hart at the University of California, Davis has completed the most detailed study performed to date "

continue reading here
AKC Canine Health Foundation

Health Issues Linked to Spaying and Neutering Dogs
 

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What about prostate problems in intact senior males? I've seen that, which is awful and completely avoidable. The poor dog then has to be neutered when he's in poor condition for surgery.
Which prostate issues are you referring to? BPH? Cysts? Abcesses? Bacterial Infection? Prostate Cancer?

Prostate cancer is not preventable by neutering.

As for the rest...

If you keep your eye out for the benign prostatic hyperplasia - you can easily avoid the rest.

BPH is a normal part of male aging - almost all intact males will have some enlargement of the prostate. The degree of which caries considerably amongst individuals. For those on the larger end of the spectrum - enlargement of the prostate is what makes the dog more susceptible to the other more serious prostate issues. However it is still pretty rare for the prostate to enlarge so much as to cause problems. Most males do not experience issues or discomfort from it. I would speak to my breeder and ask about the prostate health of the males in their lines.

BPH responds well to dietary support. Supplementing with saw palmetto, DIM and stinging nettle is wonderful for prostate health. Avoiding feeding foods high in tryamines and estrogenic foods and keep the prostate at a healthy size. Antioxidants help too. Lycopene reduces blood levels of antigen, which is linked with prostate enlargement.

Did the dogs you see with the prostate issues actually have their prostates checked regularly by their vet? I am talking about an actual physical examination of the prostate every year. Most vets do not do it unless they see a good amount of intact males in their practice already.

A good vet experienced with intact male dogs will track prostate health and size. They can usually tell who is going to have issues warranting a neuter well before the dog's golden years.

There are some health benefits to neutering. Prostate issues are one of them. However there are a lot more health benefits to staying intact. Personally I would rather deal with prostate issues and testicular cancer instead of hemangiosarcoma, lymphoma, bone cancer, obesity, CCL tears and vaccination reactions.
 

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dropping this in from the Dry Skin thread http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/general-puppy-stuff/661761-dry-skin-2.html

"neutering before ALL the growth has finished creates so many problems including disproportionate limb length

Early Spay Neuter: 3 Reasons To Reconsider

everyone should read this -- if you need incentive to open the link consider "A team of researchers led by Dr. Benjamin L. Hart at the University of California, Davis has completed the most detailed study performed to date "

continue reading here
AKC Canine Health Foundation

Health Issues Linked to Spaying and Neutering Dogs

Jupiter is 5 1/2 months old. My wife has been asking when we were getting him "fixed". I told her he was perfect how he was and didnt need fixed. haha anyways, when would you suggest i do this?
 

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I love the looks and intensity of the intact males. Much of that gets lost after neutering. I had a pit mix neutered at 10 months (before I knew better) and he looked less masculine as a three year old than just before his neutering when I compare pictures.
 

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Thank you all for your input! I think for now the plan is to neuter him at the very earliest 2 years of age, maybe not even at all. He's a wonderful, obedient boy at 4 months old so far, so if it ain't break don't fix it, I suppose. :)
 
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