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The dog that I have right now is neutered, and I understand, more or less, why shelters neuter dogs. However, what I don't understand is why people (private individual, not rescues) spay/neuter their dogs. I am not a breeder, nor will I ever be. However, I would not want to put any of my animals through any medical procedure that's not absolutely necessary for them. I live in an apartment, so my dog is never unattended outside without me, and there is really no chance of him getting out. In the country where I grew up, no one ever neutered/spayed their dogs, and I didn't meet one dog owner (my parents had a lot of friends that also owned dogs) that had an accidental litter.

I also know the issue with unaltered males being more aggressive, but I grew up with an unaltered male dog, and I really do believe that you can still train and socialize them.

So, is what is the main reason why people neuter/spay their pets?
 

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The dog that I have right now is neutered, and I understand, more or less, why shelters neuter dogs. However, what I don't understand is why people (private individual, not rescues) spay/neuter their dogs. I am not a breeder, nor will I ever be. However, I would not want to put any of my animals through any medical procedure that's not absolutely necessary for them. I live in an apartment, so my dog is never unattended outside without me, and there is really no chance of him getting out. In the country where I grew up, no one ever neutered/spayed their dogs, and I didn't meet one dog owner (my parents had a lot of friends that also owned dogs) that had an accidental litter.

I also know the issue with unaltered males being more aggressive, but I grew up with an unaltered male dog, and I really do believe that you can still train and socialize them.

So, is what is the main reason why people neuter/spay their pets?
I believe the #1 priority is for health reasons. They are healthier and have less health issues.
 

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Can you expand a little on that? I really am just curious (my mind is not set one way or the other). How does it make them healthier? Does it go for both males and females?
 

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Can you expand a little on that? I really am just curious (my mind is not set one way or the other). How does it make them healthier? Does it go for both males and females?
Yes, it goes for both males and females. Here's a site on the benefits of spaying/neutering...

SPAY-USA
 

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I guess you've never been around intact males who smell female in heat. They will literally try anything to get to the female, including climbing 9 ft fences, digging into a concrete under the fence until their paws bleed and bolting out of an electric fence. They are just highly unpredictable, are prone to behavioral problems ( male dog agression, humping, destroying the house).

Females are experience something similar to human female pms, vaginal bleeding, the heat lasts 2-4 weeks which is an ample window of opportunity for persistant males mentioned above. Another reason is that unspayed females will often get painful uterine infections, untreated its almost always fatal. Spaying also reduces the risk of a female developing mammary cancer.

I grew up in a small country in eastern europe and you should see the vast ammount of strays that roam the streets, females in heat with 20 males following her and trying to hump her every second until shes so exhausted that she cant walk anymore, puppies born at the dumpsters, freezing or starving to death because mothers dont have enough to eat to feed the babies. Being a 10 year old kid and trying to bottlefeed numerous newbown abandoned puppies and kttens and then trying to find them a home, which is basically impossible, since there are no shelters at all. Its a vicious cycle and looking back it still makes my heart ache, but my focus is on helping to raise funds for the vets to be able to go overseas and offer free or low cost spay/neuter.
 

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why not spay/neuter?

This does not apply to all dogs BUT as a dog groomer I am around dogs all day. Its the unneutered males that pee on everything, and seem to have attitude problems and are all around brats!

Neutered males can be less aggressive, less likely to try to roam, even if your yard is fenced if your un-neutered male smells a female in season he might jump or climb the fence! Neutering makes the mark much less, and of course you do not have to worry about testicular cancer. At the dog park, its the un-neutered males that are fighting! inter-male aggression is common in un-neutered males

Spaying...
well who wants to deal with a heat! the female bleeds and it can get messy! I would never recommend living your dog outside in a fence unattended while she is in heat. males CAN find a way in that fence to get to her. even neutered males CAN tie with her, and tieing can be dangerous. Some females can be down right cranky during their heats too! And of course around and during the heat, no dog park visits! and having a spayed dog eliminates the worry of pyometrea!

So i think the question should be "Why NOT neuter/spay?"
 

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I just want to add that many people don't neuter their males because they think that they won't be as tough and protective...NOT TRUE. A canine will have the same guarding instincts wether he's neutered or not... :smile:
 

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My mother-in-law didn't spay the three dogs that she had when I first got married and all three of them ended up with mammary tumors by the time they were 7 years old. I've never had a female of mine have a mammary tumor, although they have had other forms of cancer since I've spayed them all as pups.

I had one male dog when I was a kid and we lived out in the country. In those days no one neutered male dogs and all dogs ran free. He had very little emotional attachment to us and one night he vanished and we never found him.

I've had two male dogs in the last two years and both have been neutered by 6 months. Both of them have been incredibly attached to their 'mom' and the family. Of course they are Chows who are family dogs anyway, but the males are particularly devoted when they are neutered and Rocky will actually follow me from room to room and lay at my feet wherever I am. I"m not sure anyone could come between him and me without him getting very upset except another family member (good thing for my husband!)

Aside from the devotion issue, I have to go along with neutering them for the marking issues and the running away issues and the other health issues.
 

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My mother-in-law didn't spay the three dogs that she had when I first got married and all three of them ended up with mammary tumors by the time they were 7 years old. I've never had a female of mine have a mammary tumor, although they have had other forms of cancer since I've spayed them all as pups.

I had one male dog when I was a kid and we lived out in the country. In those days no one neutered male dogs and all dogs ran free. He had very little emotional attachment to us and one night he vanished and we never found him.

I've had two male dogs in the last two years and both have been neutered by 6 months. Both of them have been incredibly attached to their 'mom' and the family. Of course they are Chows who are family dogs anyway, but the males are particularly devoted when they are neutered and Rocky will actually follow me from room to room and lay at my feet wherever I am. I"m not sure anyone could come between him and me without him getting very upset except another family member (good thing for my husband!)

Aside from the devotion issue, I have to go along with neutering them for the marking issues and the running away issues and the other health issues.
About 10 years ago, I had a chow/german shepherd dog that ran away when we left to the store. We came back and he was gone. He wasn't neutered and had just turned 1 year old. I was brokenhearted. I looked at every shelter, but I never found him. To this day, I know he jumped the fence to roam and look for a female...
 

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There is only one reason to keep a dog intact....and that is for breeding purposes. If you are not going to breed your dog (for good reasons that is) then there is no reason for them to stay intact.

The pros far outweigh the cons when it comes to spay/neuter.
 

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Do you want to deal with testicular cancer?
Mammary tumors?
uterine cancer?
uterus prolapse?
self-destructive habits from a male to get to a female in heat?
marking? (females do it, too!)
Vaginal bleeding for a month twice a year?
Mood and temperment changes during heat?
False pregnancies?
Roaming?
Fighting the roamers off your female?


The solution is easy: spay and neuter.
 
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So, is what is the main reason why people neuter/spay their pets?
To prevent pet overpopulation. The fact that thousands of animals are euthanized daily should prompt owners to be responsible and spay / neuter their pets.

What does host Drew Carey say at the end of every "Price Is Right" TV Show? He gently reminds folks to spay & neuter their pets.
 

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While this may be a bit controversial, I feel that the main reason to spay and/or neuter is convenience. I believe that people are quite capable of preventing unwanted pregnancies simply by taking the necessary precautions.

Often people are idiots when they have whole dogs. I remember this one woman that brought her golden bitch in heat to the barn where there were two whole stanfordshire dogs. Why she would do that is beyond me other than her just not thinking. When the owner of the dogs found out, he put his dogs away and told her that she should bring the bitch back home.

Proper housing should prevent any surprise escapes, despite what hormones are flowing.

I do fix my dogs. I like the convenience. ;)

Keeping that in mind, I also firmly believe in not fixing a canine until they reach puberty.

Growth plates in any animal don't close until the animal reaches puberty and are triggered to close by an alteration of various hormone levels. This results in the reduction of incidence in several different cancers, particularly bone cancer in large dogs.

Fixing after puberty generally has more to offer large dogs than smaller dogs.

Some reading:
http://www.naiaonline.org/pdfs/LongTermHealthEffectsOfSpayNeuterInDogs.pdf
http://www.tiarablackpoodles.com/neutering.html
 

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I agree with CorgiPaws, the health risks are just not worth it unless you're going to breed your dog. I know one of our members on here has a dog with prostate issues now because their dog never got neutered. I know the chances of the dog getting mammary or testicular cancer is also a lot higher.

Plus, as SuZ said, it is more convenient. If you don't plan on breeding, why keep them intact? It causes more health and behavioral issues, not to mention the possibility of an unintentional pregnancy, thus perpetuating the pet overpopulation problem. Why risk it?
 

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The benefits for spaying and neutering outweigh the risks of not having it done.
Growing up my parents did not have our dogs fixed at all. we had one then gee we had the puppy of our one haha! Well of course my folks watched the female dog when they needed to and low and behold guess what haha~the doggy is having puppies! But heck they watched her & it took only that one time that she got out into the yard just that one time and bingo puppies. Of course I was young at that time and heck I got to keep one puppy so it was a thrill for me! But the other puppies well where did they go to the animal shelter because no one wanted a puppy at that time so that was sad! Gee now I am dating myself here haha! This happened a long time ago! But with the health issues for dogs which everyone knowledgeable on this thread has pointed out here and just for fear of a female getting pregnant and going through the whole ordeal, or the male getting a female pregnant not good if your dog is loose and someone comes looking for you because of your male dog! But I do have to say its also worth your peace of mind having them taken care of health wise and otherwise!
 

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To prevent pet overpopulation. The fact that thousands of animals are euthanized daily should prompt owners to be responsible and spay / neuter their pets.
While I agree that pet overpopulation is a HUGE problem, I'd still say the main reason I do it is for their health.
I know of many unaltered animals that don't contribute to pet overpopulation, so that aspect is controlable, assuming the owner is responsible. (which sadly MANY are not)A good friend of mine had a female shih tzu unfixed, they did not breed her, and were responsible, kept her inside, never off leash, etc. She died at 6 years old (VERY young for the breed) due to a uterus prolapse. It literally started to fall out of her. :frown:
 

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that's sad and gross! I wish I could keep my female dobie unspayed since I hear they're very prone to spay incontinence, but I'd rather have that than mammary cancer or any of the other problems they can get!
 

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Isn't uterine prolapse more common in the smaller, more stylized dogs? That is so sad that such a caring home had to go through that ordeal.

that's sad and gross! I wish I could keep my female dobie unspayed since I hear they're very prone to spay incontinence, but I'd rather have that than mammary cancer or any of the other problems they can get!
Spay incontinence is much less frequent if you spay after the first heat, but you still get the health advantages of a spay. :smile:
 
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I have a ton of people on my doberman forum telling me that they've had their dobergirls spayed at all sorts of ages and they still end up with incontinence but I was thinking of letting her go through her first heat anyway since she'll be a bigger-sized dog, I don't want to ruin her growth by getting her spayed too early.
 

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I have a ton of people on my doberman forum telling me that they've had their dobergirls spayed at all sorts of ages and they still end up with incontinence but I was thinking of letting her go through her first heat anyway since she'll be a bigger-sized dog, I don't want to ruin her growth by getting her spayed too early.

Is this strictly a doberman thing? I've never had any of my female dogs or my relatives female dogs suffer from this and I've never had any clients come into the different vets where I've worked complaining of this. All of my dogs have been spayed at 6 months of age.
 
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