|Barked: Tue Oct 30, '07 4:10pm PST |
|Gio was neutered at 6 months, Romeo at 9 months.
I believe that if you do not plan on breeding or showing your dog, neutering/spaying earlier (6 months or older) is a better choice than leaving it later. Leaving a dog intact, whether male or female, allows for the development of less than pleasant habits. There are many behaviours that arise due to sex hormone production that, later in life, become more of a habit than a physiological compulsion. For example, a male dog left intact will begin seeking out females in heat ... this could mean digging or jumping to escape the yard, randomly deciding to go off exploring instead of listening to your commands, etc. If the dog is then neutered at a few years of age, those escape or seeking behaviours are more of a habit, so neutering will not necessarily stop them. The neutered dog may still have a desire to dig or jump or escape just because he has been doing it for years. Same goes with marking, dominance behaviour, and mate seeking.
Though of course there is a major training aspect associated with controlling those behaviours, but the need for that training is lessened when the hormone drivers are taken out of the mix before the bad behaviours are given a chance to develop.
There may also be health benefits to spaying and neutering, though the jury is still out on exactly what that entails. Some people will tell you risk of cancer increases with s/n, others will say it decreases. The trouble is that it is very difficult to control a scientific study on these sorts of situations that will account for all the variables associated with cancer development.
My personal opinion ... spay or neuter. Any time after 6 months is fine, though I prefer earlier instead of later to bring a halt to those bad behaviours before they start.
As for recovery time ... you will be told to keep the pup quiet for a while as the incision spot heals. That will be very difficult to do! Usually, the dog will be sore for a day or two, and then be right back to their normal puppy-self, jumping, bouncing and running. Crate the pup when you cannot supervise, don't let them run up or down stairs, or jump onto furniture. And keep an eye on the incision spot. Watch it for any redness or odd swelling.
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