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Hi Lucas,
As long as you are trying out foods and doing your research, try VeRUS. It's the kind of dog food you can feed throughout your dog's life - changing from formula to formula as needed without worrying about long transition times, etc. These people stay on top of nutritional requirements AND they've never had a recall in almost 30 years. There aren't a whole lot of dog foods that can say that! Another plus is that if you have questions, you can email them and ask & they'll answer you very quickly. Go to their webpage (veruspetfoods.com) look around, and fill out the contact form. They'll email you back, find some stuff out about your dog (like concerns you may have), address them and send you free samples. I'm big on the free samples because no matter how many dollar-off coupons a company sends you, you still end up with a bag of food if it doesn't work out well for your dog. VeRUS doesn't send coupons, they send actual food.
I have a 12 y-o Golden and a 7 y-o mutt that have been eating this food for well over a year and they are happy, healthy, enthusiastic consumers of this dog food. While caring for my mom's dog (mutt of undetermined age), I've see her goopy eyes get better and she poops more efficiently (less often but better poops). It's really good food

Also, on the fixed or not subject - ask your vet about possible consequences of NOT neutering. I've had friends whose dogs developed issues. Also, there's always the risk of unwanted puppies. If you aren't going to breed, there's no reason to not neuter.
Actually, there are WAY MORE reasons to NOT fix them, male or female. If the situation will let you, it's really best for there health not to, and leave them intact. Just a few reasons:

a host of different tumers
bone and prostate cancers
cushings disease
dysplasia
UTI
spay incontinance

and Im sure probably more than that, but those are just some health problems with a fixed dog. There are more cons than pros.
 
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Discussion Starter #22
I just wanted to thank you all for the advice and update you.

I decided to slowly switch Luke to Dr. Tim's Glacier Formula which is 32% (89% of which is animal derived) protein 22% fat. I will keep him on that for about 5 months until he is 12 months old then slowly switch him to Momentum (It was Dr. Tim's suggestion that I maybe wait until he is 12 months to switch to momentum). I am hoping this will also help with his UTI's since Dr Tim said Kinesis' PH was around 7. Glacier should lower that since there is significantly more meat. (This is as far as kibble is concerned. As I mentioned in another post I am thinking about introducing some raw as well).

I haven't totally decided about the neutering yet. My (new) vet suggests that I should seriously consider it around 12 months mostly for behavioral issues. He seems to think that intact male dogs hump far too often. Right now I am simply going to keep an eye on him and see if any of the stereotypical intact associated behaviors (excessive humping, roaming, aggression) become problematic. If they never become out of control I may just opt for the vasectomy. Thanks again for the help. I'm sure Luke will be better off for it.
 

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I just wanted to thank you all for the advice and update you.

I decided to slowly switch Luke to Dr. Tim's Glacier Formula which is 32% (89% of which is animal derived) protein 22% fat. I will keep him on that for about 5 months until he is 12 months old then slowly switch him to Momentum (It was Dr. Tim's suggestion that I maybe wait until he is 12 months to switch to momentum). I am hoping this will also help with his UTI's since Dr Tim said Kinesis' PH was around 7. Glacier should lower that since there is significantly more meat. (This is as far as kibble is concerned. As I mentioned in another post I am thinking about introducing some raw as well).

I haven't totally decided about the neutering yet. My (new) vet suggests that I should seriously consider it around 12 months mostly for behavioral issues. He seems to think that intact male dogs hump far too often. Right now I am simply going to keep an eye on him and see if any of the stereotypical intact associated behaviors (excessive humping, roaming, aggression) become problematic. If they never become out of control I may just opt for the vasectomy. Thanks again for the help. I'm sure Luke will be better off for it.
Per the other discussion, I'd still (slowly) work in some supplimentation of red meats (like beef heart or other). The lack of red meats is the biggest downside to Dr Tim's formulas IMO.

On the neutering, I think your vet is dead wrong. Almost all behavioral issues are made worse with neutering. Intact dogs retain a calm and confidence that increases their emotional well-being, where neutering drives up fear and anxiety related behaviors including biting and fear-aggression. This has been shown in veteranary studies. It is also known to experienced dog handlers.

I'd urge you take extreme caution before listening to this vet and putting Luke under his knife. It really isn't in your boys interest to be de-natured.

Best,

Bill
 

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Discussion Starter #24
I'd be interested to read those studies if you could direct me to them. The Vizla study you showed me earlier reported that there was no significant difference in behavioral disorders between intact and neutered dogs. The one exception was fear of storms.

Increased risk of cancer, however, was present no matter the age. Which is something I will definitely keep in mind.
 

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I can tell you I have never ever seen or heard anyone say their dog has BECOME aggressive after neutering. I have read it, but I personally don't believe it. I will say, from personal first hand experience with one of ours we have now, Shadow. We had planned on leaving him intact, but the older he got the more aggressive he became. He was randomly jumping on and fighting all of our other dogs, even females. We had been bitten more than I can even remember separating them. This was happening on average three times a day, then some aggression was starting to be shown towards us at random times. By now he was three years old, and we decided to give him one chance by neutering him to see if it help tone him down. If not we were going to have him euthanized. It took a month to see a change, but ever since he has gotten better and better. It's been almost a year, and he is a different dog. Still has some "growly" moments, but no more unpredictable attacks. Literally, it was a life saver.

If of as many dogs went the other way and became as aggressive after neutering as has been mentioned, there would be a lot of mean dogs out there! Neutering is done every day and this just isn't a common thing.

Now, are there health benefits to leaving them if possible? Absolutely! The benefits outweigh the negatives by far. You can google all the benefits to leaving them, so if you are able, and your dog is manageable I would leave him.
 

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The problem with neutering is that it drives up fear-anxiety, which is the leading factor in bites on humans (not simple "aggression").

Dogs that are agressive towards people are scary, dangerous, and rare. Dogs that seem timid, but then suddenly snap and bite out of fear-anxiety are exceedenly common. These latter are not "agressive" dogs, but they are the most common type of biters.

Bill
 

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Over the years of working around dogs, primarily working for vets I have seen as many intact dogs act that way as I have neutered ones, so I still can't say there is one or the other connected to neutering or not. I've only read it on the internet, no real evidence. Maybe there's a real connection, maybe not. But I'm not convinced of that.
 

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Echoing what I posted earlier (and knew to be true with regards to neutering) an article published this week in Psychology Today by Dr Stanley Coren, a Professor Emeritus in Psychology at the University of British Columbia in highlights says :

Given that one of the accepted behavioral reasons for spaying and neutering is to reduce aggression, the distressing results of these studies is that spayed and neutered dogs actually show considerably more aggression.

Depending upon the specific form of aggression (owner directed, stranger directed etc.) the size of these effects is quite large, varying from a low of around a 20 percent increase to more than double the level of aggression in the neutered dogs...

A different worrisome finding is that there was a roughly 31 percent increase in fearfulness for both sexes.

I must admit that I was astonished and greatly bothered by the direction of these results. Farhoody summarizes her findings saying "Our data showed that the behavior of neutered dogs was significantly different from that of intact dogs in ways that contradict the prevailing view. Among the findings, neutered dogs were more aggressive, fearful, excitable, and less trainable than intact dogs."

Considering the fact that one of the reasons recommended for spaying and neutering dogs is to correct a range of canine behavior problems, Duffy and Serpell's conclusions expose this to be a myth when they say "For most behaviors, spaying/neutering was associated with worse behavior, contrary to conventional wisdom."


The entire article is here: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blo...vior-changes-when-dogs-are-spayed-or-neutered

Bill
 

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I'm still not buying it. That's no different from anything else I have read, it means nothing to me. In 44 years, I have never seen a neutered dog act this way because of neutering. Ever. The only change I have ever seen is in the one we have now. It saved him from being euthanized. Thats my only experience in behavior change, so.....
 

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I'm still not buying it. That's no different from anything else I have read, it means nothing to me. In 44 years, I have never seen a neutered dog act this way because of neutering. Ever. The only change I have ever seen is in the one we have now. It saved him from being euthanized. Thats my only experience in behavior change, so.....
We've had diametrically different experiences—and with over 45 years actively involved in high-level dog training have seen a lot of dogs and the bad results from neutering—but beyond this, the evidence shows in wide-ranging studies.

The scientific research shows neutered dogs are more aggressive, fearful, excitable, and less trainable than intact dogs.

I'd suggest that Kyle (Luke's owner) read the linked Psychology Today article as it incapsulates the information that every experienced dog handler I know understands as the typical (negative) impact on behavior.

I'd accept that it might be reasonable in some instances where an intact dog that is exibiting aggression and is a danger to people or other dogs to try neuthering as a less drastic option than putting a dog down (realizing this step may or may not work), but as a standard course neutering as a way to improve behaviors in typical dogs is a backwards move as neuthering generally exaccerbates bad behaviours on top of having very serious negative health consequences.

Bill
 

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I have no doubt that there has been "scientific research" done, but none of it was done on any of my dogs, or any I have ever known. Do I think it's impossible to happen? No, it probably could but it's not a real common occurrence. All the "research" I need is what I have seen with my own eyes, also over a 40 year period. Agreeing to disagree at this point..
 

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I have no doubt that there has been "scientific research" done, but none of it was done on any of my dogs, or any I have ever known. Do I think it's impossible to happen? No, it probably could but it's not a real common occurrence. All the "research" I need is what I have seen with my own eyes, also over a 40 year period. Agreeing to disagree at this point..
Well Jenny, the two studies cited in The Psychology Today article that concluded there is a significant negative impact on behaviours from neutering looked at 15,984 dogs between them. Those are huge numbers for a study. Saying you haven't seen it on your own dogs with your own eyes just isn't following the scientific method, with due respect.

I've seen many (many) examples of negative behavior consequences myself, and do not know a soul amoung elite dog trog trainers and handlers in my circle who don't understand the negative impacts on behavior that flow from neutering. I could tell story after story.

So we will agree to disagree, but the scientific evidence is one sided in demonstating the harm.

Bill
 

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I just wanted to weigh in on the neutering. I had no intention of getting my male Jack russell neutered until well past his first birthday, if at all. However at around 6mths of age his humping of other dogs and us become uncontrollable, he also peed up peoples legs wherever we went! We were on the ball with him, and tried every training technique we knew of, none of which helped. He also was extremely dominant/aggressive toward other puppies, the cause of which is still unknown to us.

The last straw came when he nearly got his head ripped off by an intact male pit bull when he tried humping him, luckily my dog was on a leash and i managed to pull him away just in the nick of time. He may have grown out of these behaviours, or he may not have, we will never know...

So 6 weeks ago, at 8mths old we booked him in for the snip, I canceled and rebooked that appointment a dozen times because getting him done so early just didn't sit right with me.

The results were:

He stopped humping and peeing on people immediately, he hasn't done it once since getting done. He is good as gold with adult dogs, but still has the same issues with other pups (He pins them down and growls aggressively, no biting). The cause and reason of him doing this is driving us nuts, and i am struggling to get this problem under control.
 

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Before giving your dog any people food, do your research to make sure it's safe. Never feed your dog toxic human items such as: chocolate, onions, grapes, raisins. Bland Diet for Dogs is very good, when an owner sees the sign of vomiting, diarrhea etc.
 
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