German Shepherds Forum banner

21 - 39 of 39 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
224 Posts
I found myself in a similar situation with my dog. He loves other dogs, so when I boarded him as a puppy I felt better knowing he could play with other dogs. But everybody's got that restriction about neutering your dogs and I didn't want to take the risk that neutering could cause health problems later on, so no more daycare.

I've always heard that intact males are such a problem, but he's my first male dog and (similar to Pawsed's reply) I've had none of those stereotypical problems we've all heard about. If you were going to neuter, I think the general advice is not to do so before they're done growing. My contract with my breeder won't guarantee hips/elbows if he had been neutered before the age of two.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,153 Posts
A vasectomy makes the dog infertile but retains the hormones. It can be a compromise. Don't always trust the vet's uneducated opinions either. Often they tell you that the males will fight, wander and the only thing they are after is breeding. Male dogs need training and supervision like any other dog. They are normal dogs! My males have never caused any problems.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
427 Posts
My opinion, for what it's worth - you should NOT neuter your male dog until he is at least 18 months. 2 years would be better. You should not spay your female dog until after first heat or she's a year old, whichever comes later. But, honestly, I would not neuter or spay my dogs unless I had to for a medical reason.

If the concern is socialization - you can arrange doggy play dates with others who have well behaved dogs that yours will enjoy playing with. It takes more work, of course, but it's possible.

In my case, I have an intact male dog that is a little over a year. I found a doggy day care that will allow him to participate even though he is not neutered. The owner of the doggy day care is a fan of German shepherds and has several of her own. So that helps. I take him one day a week but the rest of the time I am interacting with my dog and exercising with him.

Also, I do sometimes take my dog to the dog park. One thing I found - the time and day I take him makes a difference. Early in the morning on a weekday, it's fine because there are just the "regulars" who watch their dogs and are focused on them. On the weekends, you get people with badly behaved dogs, lots of children, etc., and it's a chaotic mess.

You can also take him to group obedience and other classes, which allows your dog to "socialize" in a different way - he has to learn to pay attention to you despite the distraction of other dogs. So that's a good lesson for him to learn.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
9,001 Posts
One of my males was altered at 10 months, the other at 8 months as they were both rescues. I’d likely not neuter if i purchased a puppy from a breeder (but i’m also more likely to buy a female so i don’t think about too in depth). Neither of my males have had any health issues linked to early neuter (my older one had no health issues at all), but both had underdeveloped secondary sex characteristics. My desire to rescue was greater than my desire for a broad chest or head.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
144 Posts
Discussion Starter · #25 ·
I found myself in a similar situation with my dog. He loves other dogs, so when I boarded him as a puppy I felt better knowing he could play with other dogs. But everybody's got that restriction about neutering your dogs and I didn't want to take the risk that neutering could cause health problems later on, so no more daycare.

I've always heard that intact males are such a problem, but he's my first male dog and (similar to Pawsed's reply) I've had none of those stereotypical problems we've all heard about. If you were going to neuter, I think the general advice is not to do so before they're done growing. My contract with my breeder won't guarantee hips/elbows if he had been neutered before the age of two.
thanks that was a helpful response and glad to hear we aren’t alone
A vasectomy makes the dog infertile but retains the hormones. It can be a compromise. Don't always trust the vet's uneducated opinions either. Often they tell you that the males will fight, wander and the only thing they are after is breeding. Male dogs need training and supervision like any other dog. They are normal dogs! My males have never caused any problems.
i have heard of this reading some other posts. Does anybody have any experience with this? It may be enough to declare him “sterilized” and therefore unable to breed and so we can have our papers and not deal with the neutering restrictions of daycare and etc.


My opinion, for what it's worth - you should NOT neuter your male dog until he is at least 18 months. 2 years would be better. You should not spay your female dog until after first heat or she's a year old, whichever comes later. But, honestly, I would not neuter or spay my dogs unless I had to for a medical reason.

If the concern is socialization - you can arrange doggy play dates with others who have well behaved dogs that yours will enjoy playing with. It takes more work, of course, but it's possible.

In my case, I have an intact male dog that is a little over a year. I found a doggy day care that will allow him to participate even though he is not neutered. The owner of the doggy day care is a fan of German shepherds and has several of her own. So that helps. I take him one day a week but the rest of the time I am interacting with my dog and exercising with him.

Also, I do sometimes take my dog to the dog park. One thing I found - the time and day I take him makes a difference. Early in the morning on a weekday, it's fine because there are just the "regulars" who watch their dogs and are focused on them. On the weekends, you get people with badly behaved dogs, lots of children, etc., and it's a chaotic mess.

You can also take him to group obedience and other classes, which allows your dog to "socialize" in a different way - he has to learn to pay attention to you despite the distraction of other dogs. So that's a good lesson for him to learn.
We have decided to not go to the local dog park we have in the nearby town. There were 2 very aggressive dogs that tried to attack ours. The first dog the owner eventually left. After the owner left another woman came up to us and said that it was OUR fault the other dog was aggressive and said it was because Chewie is not neutered and the other dog is a “regular” there and doesn’t have issues so the only explanation is that my dog was not neutered. She also told me it was “mandatory” that our dog be neutered to be at the dog park. Which was in fact not true because he was 5 months at the time and the rules at the dog park are dogs older than 6 months must be neutered. The whole situation left a very bad taste in my mouth and I’ve decided we will never go back. The irony was my friend who is a regular at the dog park said that dog is always an aggressive.

we have some friends with dogs so we go on hikes with them or outings with them. It’s winter here now so it’s a little more difficult to do that so we have been using the doggy daycare. We would love to enroll in classes with a local trainer who is known for her work with GSDs but unfortunately this pandemic has been creating difficulties with that as well but we are going to be enrolling when we can.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
9,001 Posts
i have heard of this reading some other posts. Does anybody have any experience with this? It may be enough to declare him “sterilized” and therefore unable to breed and so we can have our papers and not deal with the neutering restrictions of daycare and etc.
this will likely satisfy the breeders requirements, but probably not the daycare as for all intent and purpose he’d still be an intact male, just unable to breed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,153 Posts
this will likely satisfy the breeders requirements, but probably not the daycare as for all intent and purpose he’d still be an intact male, just unable to breed.
Breed is defined as siring pups, not the act of mating (as in intercourse). What would that make a 'breeder' ;) by the way? With a vasectomy he can mate but not sire pups. Mate is not the same as breed IMO.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
750 Posts
All my guys have been shelter dogs, therefore, they have all been neutered. Accidents happen, that also needs to be considered. But given a choice I would not let some daycare owner make it for me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,910 Posts
I don't think there are any stereotypical behaviors of an intact male. It depends on the individual dog. There is no need to neuter a healthy dog.

There really are though. They really can be an issue in daycare type setting or not. I absolutely understand why daycares require them to be neutered over 6 mos. It's a balancing act to bring an intact male into a playgroup but it can be done very carefully. We do it. I don't require neuter for daycare or boarding but I'm also honest with people about how it effects their dog's behavior. It is a spectrum in my experience-- with intact boys--- how much they act out those behaviors. And it's absolutely the testosterone because I've seen it just fade away once their are neutered.

I have one male neutered as an adult for a recent adoption who is still pretty intolerant of other intact males. I had 2 who had been coming to me since puppies who had to be removed from social time due to their intact behaviors. Both of them have since been neutered and both have been succesfully reintegrated into playgroups.

And lastly my 5 y/o is not neutered and he still regularly interacts with all sorts of dogs. It works for him because he likes dogs, he has good social skills, I know the dogs he will meet really well. He is intolerant of other intact males- I never mix those. He is mostly very tolerant of neutered males-- many he really enjoys and a few he likes much less but will tolerate. I'm good an predicting who he will like and he is quite reliable at telling me upon meeting a dog if it is cool with him or not.

For the majority of daycares that just put all their dogs out in a big group-- I can totally understand why everyone has to be speutered.

It does depend a lot on the dog-- skulky, side eye growlers who also have balls tend to be the absolute worst...they are insecure AND have testosterone and it's a terrible combo. I've had other dogs who are confident, communicate well, and are intact who socialize MUCH better. I can think of two big intact males I've had who were socially confident, appropriate, mellow-ish dogs who were able to socialize with other dogs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
427 Posts
This pandemic is making it harder to socialize dogs in general. I totally understand, my boy is just a little over a year, and while I have found a doggy day care and a couple of people happy to do doggy play dates, the issue I'm facing - he's not used to having guests come over. So I have been trying to come up with safe ways to make that happen... it's frustrating.

Hopefully the pandemic will ease up in the next few months. Until then, continue the play dates. I am really bummed that you had that horrible experience at the dog park. IMHO, it is ALWAYS the fault of the aggressive dog, no excuses. While absolutely females in heat should NOT be brought to a dog park, aside from that, I don't think it should make a difference if the dog is spayed or neutered. The issue is the aggressive behavior. JMHO
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
169 Posts
I neutered my male at 12 months, 2 weeks exactly. 12 months was the absolute minimum I ever thought about. My plan was to not neuter at all or wait until 6+.

Though, a bad year with my livestock I had to take a job. The job required us(Well, me but I couldn't find anyone to care for him that long) to move onsite and work the sheep for a couple months. They had 20+ adult dogs on the property. I know at least 10 were female. 9 were intact. 5 were working in the field with us(LGD's) and the others were herding dogs or just a "farm dog" who kinda just roamed. I didn't know their heat cycles. We were working there from Early Sept until late November. Onsite almost the entire time. I just couldn't guarantee he wouldn't get the chance to breed one of them(or get in a fight with another male trying to do so). I didn't want to be responsible for a litter of mixed puppies. I gave in and had him neutered.

Let me tell you. I hate I had it done. He was a confident dog. After the neuter he got very nervous. His SA got worse. DA got worse. And he also began barking at people and pretty much every sound he hears outside of the house. He began having accidents(Only when something "scary was happening) inside the house, stores, car, etc. Never happened prior to neuter. The funny thing, he is actually wandering now! Never wandered as a puppy. That started after the neuter he began wandering further than he normally does(Still not far, but for a dog who never used to go 50ft away from me, he now sometimes will go 300ft+ and out of sight) I have kept him on the very lean side(Only 64.1Lbs as of today at 18mo) so I don't stress his joints too much. I will add weight on slowly starting in another few months. Still worry about his joints sometimes. His ball drive also went down some which was one of his better rewards. He still has it but not as much intensity.

Anyway, that's my experience with it. If I was given the option to take it back I would in a heartbeat. It is your choice of course, but I would wait. Either don't do it at all or wait until 2+. Find another daycare or individual dog sitter who can come to your house.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
427 Posts
I neutered my male at 12 months, 2 weeks exactly. 12 months was the absolute minimum I ever thought about. My plan was to not neuter at all or wait until 6+.

Though, a bad year with my livestock I had to take a job. The job required us(Well, me but I couldn't find anyone to care for him that long) to move onsite and work the sheep for a couple months. They had 20+ adult dogs on the property. I know at least 10 were female. 9 were intact. 5 were working in the field with us(LGD's) and the others were herding dogs or just a "farm dog" who kinda just roamed. I didn't know their heat cycles. We were working there from Early Sept until late November. Onsite almost the entire time. I just couldn't guarantee he wouldn't get the chance to breed one of them(or get in a fight with another male trying to do so). I didn't want to be responsible for a litter of mixed puppies. I gave in and had him neutered.

Let me tell you. I hate I had it done. He was a confident dog. After the neuter he got very nervous. His SA got worse. DA got worse. And he also began barking at people and pretty much every sound he hears outside of the house. He began having accidents(Only when something "scary was happening) inside the house, stores, car, etc. Never happened prior to neuter. The funny thing, he is actually wandering now! Never wandered as a puppy. That started after the neuter he began wandering further than he normally does(Still not far, but for a dog who never used to go 50ft away from me, he now sometimes will go 300ft+ and out of sight) I have kept him on the very lean side(Only 64.1Lbs as of today at 18mo) so I don't stress his joints too much. I will add weight on slowly starting in another few months. Still worry about his joints sometimes. His ball drive also went down some which was one of his better rewards. He still has it but not as much intensity.

Anyway, that's my experience with it. If I was given the option to take it back I would in a heartbeat. It is your choice of course, but I would wait. Either don't do it at all or wait until 2+. Find another daycare or individual dog sitter who can come to your house.
I am so sorry you had to do this to your dog. I hope he eventually recovers his confidence.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
169 Posts
I am so sorry you had to do this to your dog. I hope he eventually recovers his confidence.
He is still the same dog with me. Didn't change at all, still a goofy little brat. Just in terms of how he acts towards other people, dogs, sounds, and places. Maybe it was going to happen anyway, but the fact that it only started happening 2 weeks after the neuter makes me think it's related. Not the first time I have heard of a neuter causing these types issues unfortunately. Not saying it will happen with every neuter, just my experience. I do think majority of the average pet owners should speuter, just because they can't be trusted to prevent litters or get into thinking they want "just one puppy". I wouldn't have done it if I didn't have to take the job and couldn't be absolutely sure he wouldn't cause a litter.

He is gaining some more confidence, but I don't think it will ever be exactly like before. We are working on it though!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
357 Posts
My breeder insisted that I didn't neuter my pup unless there was a medical problem. The contract specified not before 18 months. Like many, I really don't believe the mythology of the procedure fixing anything, but it can cause some problems.
I can share that of 8 dogs, my most stable, confident dog was an unneutered male retriever. My GSD Max is right there so far at a year and a half.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
300 Posts
Limted AKC registration contract means no breeding and any produced pups cannot be registered. Obviously, for pet homes (vs breeding intentions) so most people get the dog neutered/spayed. Wrigley's 1 testicle did not fully drop till 12 weeks so he fell under this. In his contract it has no earlier than 2 years which I always thought was the case with responsible breeders of many large/giant breeds so all dogs fill out in the chest or head and aren't "leggy." All of mine, unless they came from rescue were altered around 2 years, with Storm closer to 3 because her breed is slow growth. We also have hip x-rays at certain ages for Wrigley in the agreement so the breeder and the stud's breeder can track hips in their lines/breedings but these are also 2 ladies/working line breeders in their late 20's building their breeding programs/reputations for the long term.

If you don't like the breeders terms and stipulations keep looking. But if you have signed the contract, stick to it or give the dog back.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
I would not fix due to some childcare necessity however put his wellbeing first all things being equal. You and your canine would profit by doing things together that are fulfilling, that construct your relationship, his submission, and destroy him .It relies upon the individual canine. There is no compelling reason to fix a solid canine. As far as I might be concerned, those cliché practices you are stressed over are preparing issues, not chemical issues.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
144 Posts
Discussion Starter · #37 ·
Spoke to our breeder and they are recommending no younger than 18 months and have sent us the AKC limited registration paperwork. We just need to work on making sure he can have social interactions with other dogs, so will speak to the daycare that this is our breeder and vet recommendation and see if they can be flexible with us. I've heard of some daycares and such being flexible on a case by case circumstance. He still acts like a normal pup and no aggression at all, doesn't even lift his leg to pee, no humping, etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
427 Posts
Spoke to our breeder and they are recommending no younger than 18 months and have sent us the AKC limited registration paperwork. We just need to work on making sure he can have social interactions with other dogs, so will speak to the daycare that this is our breeder and vet recommendation and see if they can be flexible with us. I've heard of some daycares and such being flexible on a case by case circumstance. He still acts like a normal pup and no aggression at all, doesn't even lift his leg to pee, no humping, etc.
I think daycares having arbitrary rules... it's ridiculous. If your dog has no issues with aggression or humping, then there is no reason to neuter, IMHO.

My dog is intact, he is 14 months. At about 10 months he started having some issues but I have been consistently correcting him and for the most part it is no longer an issue. I can understand why a doggy daycare would not want to do this work, however. But in your case there is no behavioral issue.

Hopefully if you bring in the recommendation from your vet, they might work with you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
537 Posts
After the owner left another woman came up to us and said that it was OUR fault the other dog was aggressive and said it was because Chewie is not neutered and the other dog is a “regular” there and doesn’t have issues so the only explanation is that my dog was not neutered.
I had similar experiences with Jupiter. We stopped going to the dog park around 9 months.

Anecdotally, I've noticed that many dogs don't like Jupiter and bark/growl/lunge at him on walks, even though he's not obviously aggressive toward them (he does tend to stare and have a stiff posture if uncorrected, though).

He also has had some issues with marking inside stores, having done it in two pet stores now.

Besides that, at 2+ years, he's a good boy, a "normal dog," you might say.
 
21 - 39 of 39 Posts
Top