Home Page Forums Darwin’s Ark de-sexing and behavior

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    dawn miller

    At nearly 18 months old I had my she-pup spayed. There have been studies that correlate some improved health with keeping our dogs intact. One of my biggest reasons to spay her was to keep her more emotionally stable. Her second heat she was like an angsty teenager, and she had to stay home for nearly a month. Now that she is close to her adult size I want to spare her mood fluctuations and missing out on adventures. It will be interesting to see how she does in the next few months. While she is healing she probably wonders why I am not playing with her. I wish I could explain these things to her, but within the next couple of weeks she’ll be out romping around the yard again.

    I’ve not raised a female from pup hood before and trying to decide when to spay left me with much second guessing. Anyone else leave their gals intact past the typical 6 months? Did you notice much of a difference?


    jesse mcclure

    In my experience working alongside people of a wide variety of backgrounds in the dog world, there are few questions that get such variation in the claims made. I’ve heard anecdotal accounts from those who swear neutering has one affect or another (many accounts even claiming opposite effects), or that doing so at certain ages has certain affects, as well as others who quite confidently claim there is no affect on behavior. Sadly, the scientific studies that have tried to address this get just as varied of results.

    To me, personally, this leads to a great deal of doubt that there is any *consistent* effect. I don’t necessarily doubt that some individuals may have some changes, but I doubt there is any meaningful pattern that can be inferred. And as such I’d suggest that concerns about behavior (one way or the other) should not influence ones choice on whether or not, or when, to spay/neuter.

    There is better data, however, on potential impacts on the dog’s long term health. I’ll leave recommendations based on the pet’s health in the hands of the veterinarian, but suggest that the veterinarian’s recommendation on what the best approach for the dogs health should be the deciding factor of when to spay or neuter.

    Don’t get me wrong – I’m all for sharing any experiences anyone has here on this thread. I’d just like to suggest that anyone still deciding on when to spay or neuter their dog perhaps should not be swayed by very limited information about how it *might* affect their behavior when there may be more concrete information on how it *will* impact their health.


    dawn miller

    thanks Jesse,

    Reading “Dr Google” can be quite confusing. So much of what I’ve read is corollary, not proving cause and effect.


    jenette downing

    After losing our beloved Daisy to anesthesia complications during a spaying procedure a few years ago we made the decision not to have our current dogs, (Autumn & Malibu) spayed.

    During the past 3 years we haven’t had any overt difficulties with them, or noticed any undesirable behaviors that we would attribute to not having them spayed. (If anything the hormonal balance I strongly believe helps them be a lot more emotionally well adjusted.)

    As an alternative to spaying/neutering, there’s also tubal ligation and vasectomies to consider, which will safely sterilize your pet without the hormonal and other health issues that come from tradition desexing. (Though I’ve heard it’s difficult to find vets willing to perform the procedures.)


    dawn miller

    Ovary Sparing Spay is also a choice where just the uterus is removed. That makes pyometra much less of an issue. I was considering it until I noticed the moodiness of my gal during her heat.
    Thanks for your response Jenette. I know that on rare occasions anesthesia can cause problems. I always keep that in the back of my mind whenever my dogs have to go under. I hope to keep that down as much as possible.

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