|Barked: Sun Oct 7, '12 2:26pm PST |
|Where to begin...? Well, when I first got Nix I planned to keep him intact for somewhere between 16 months and 2 years, and then neuter him, but the more I read the more it sounded like it's just all-around better health-wise to leave males intact forever, unless it becomes medically necessary to neuter, like signs of testicular cancer or something... So I dropped the idea of ever neutering him unless it became necessary. I didn't worry about it.
Fast-forward to a month ago when I found out Nix's breeder had to have one of her retired spayed females put to sleep because of mammary cancer (which appeared AFTER she was spayed, for the record...) I know this female was related to Nix, though I don't know exactly how. An aunt, if I'm not mistaken...
So it got me thinking... even though Nix is a male, the fact that any type of cancer at all has shown itself in these lines would be good enough reason to have him neutered. He is by now old enough for it not to affect his growth anyways.
Plus in his most hormonal stage there are certain behaviors that I'm finding pretty irritating... mostly it's his need to taste every single dog's urine spots. Female or male. It doesn't matter. He likes to taste every dog's urine. I don't necessarily mind that he has to mark over it, but when he starts foaming at the mouth and smacking his lips it drives me nuts. ...Is that a silly thing to get annoyed by? I just find it incredibly gross.
Plus I am noticing he's becoming more of a blockhead than he was before. It's gotta be the teenage naughties, I know, but the spike in testosterone probably isn't helping with that.
What concerns me the most is that... well, Nix is VERY good at "talking" with other dogs. By that I mean he's very respectful of the signals that they give off. If another dog wants him to leave them alone, he will. OTOH, he's also starting to be less tolerant of other dogs' rude behavior. If another dog acts up, he will give them a warning--he'll growl while standing his ground. If he was speaking English he would probably be saying "You're acting rude. Stop it now." because I watch the other dogs as well, and literally he only gets like that when the other dog is being an idiot. But he's never taken it any further than a warning... until today.
We met up with a friend and her 3 pugs, and they started harassing Nix.. and he started warning them, and that's when my friend's puggle (who has some issues with strange dogs) started barking. Nix started growling louder, and then it escalated and Nix LUNGED at him! I caught him by the collar before they made any contact, thank god! Nix didn't make any other effort to get at the barker, but he did keep a wary eye on him and he kept growling the same "You are extremely rude and you need to be taught a lesson!" way of growling. My friend and I parted ways after apologizing to each other, but it got me thinking even more about his neuter.
There are things that are gnawing at my mind like.. what if I do it, and he ends up becoming extremely aggressive? The most aggressive dogs we've met are always neutered/spayed ones. Intact males don't hold a candle, which is ironic because you always hear it's the opposite! His low tolerance for rude behavior concerns me enough, but what if he became intolerant of ALL dogs after a neuter?
Also, what if it totally changes him in other areas? What if he becomes lazy and ignores me?
What kind of health effects could it cause going from super high teenage testosterone levels, to super low? These are all things I want to know, but don't feel like I can talk to a vet about, because all vets would say is "oh, it will only change him for the better! There are absolutely no health risks at all in neutering. Blah, blah, blah."
So again I'm turning to dogster for help in the decision. Ultimately the choice whether to leave him intact or go ahead with the neuter will be my own, but I feel like I really need some moral support right now.
Edited by author Sun Oct 7, '12 2:35pm PST
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