How young is too young to spay & neuter?

Discussion in 'Dogs - General Dog Chat' started by JustaLilBitaLuck, Aug 25, 2012.

  1. ihartgonzo

    ihartgonzo and Fozzie B!

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    "By using large a sample of dogs than any used previously to examine behavior in dogs, we found significant correlations between neutering dogs and increases in aggression, fear and anxiety, and excitability, regardless of the age at which the dog was neutered.

    There were also significant correlations between neutering and decreases in trainability and responsiveness to cues. The other three behavioral categories examined (miscellaneous behavior problems, attachment and attention-seeking behavior, and separation-related behavior) showed some association with neutering, but these differed more substantially depending on the age at which the dog was neutered.

    The overall trend seen in all these behavioral data was that the earlier the dog was neutered, the more negative the effect on the behavior. A difference in bone length was found between neutered and intact dogs, suggesting that neutering has an effect on bone growth, which may be related to other orthopedic effects documented in the literature. "

    I found this information in several different veterinary journals, VERY interesting! I noticed that, working at the pet hotel and meeting thousands of dogs, I almost never saw a DA intact dog of either gender. I would say 99% of aggressive dogs were altered. Now, that could be the result of owners trying to remedy behavioral issues by altering their dogs. However I would think that at least a few of the intact dogs that came in would be aggressive. I can only recall one. The rest were great with other dogs and tended to be much more playful. Intact males couldn't play with "group" dogs, who were approved breeds & altered. So we had lots of intact male play groups, and never encountered a fight between them!

    Yes, by like leggy, I mean disproportionate. I wish I still worked at the pet hotel, I could get some awesome picture examples! Lots of Labs who were obviously altered very young.
     
  2. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    Why would people take DA dogs, no matter their sex status, to a doggy daycare? I wonder if that skews a view? I get dogs brought to my work to fix behavioral issues so my view is also skewed and my internal stats wont likely match those of a traditional Daycare/dog park.

    Lack of biddability and learnability makes me laugh, honestly. But hey, maybe that is what they found.

    Arnold is by far the fastest study in my house, poor ol' neutered dog.

    Backup is dog intolerant, directly correlating to testing and having his ass handed to him by Arnold twice.

    I always wonder about the environmental effects, I lean towards nurture though for some of that stuff even though I believe in a pretty even balance attributing behaviors.
     
  3. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    Ahhh nm you said pet hotel not doggy daycare, my apologies.
     
  4. stardogs

    stardogs Behavior Nerd

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    I really wish I still had journal access like I did in college - I' looove to see the method section on these studies to see where they pulled samples from. If you're comparing dogs neutered super early because of being in a shelter situation to dogs intact because they show it would follow that some of the behavior differences could be related to the backgrounds vs the neutering...
     
  5. sassafras

    sassafras mushinois

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    Exactly. When I see the word "correlation" thrown around in a conclusion I wonder what their methodology was. Simply using a large sample size isn't good enough to draw meaningful conclusions - confounding factors need to be corrected for. Correlation just means that there's enough of a chance it's true that further study is warranted; correlation isn't causation.

    Any chance you could post links if those studies are online, ihartgonzo? Or at least the citation so people can go looking?
     
  6. Emily

    Emily Rollin' with my bitches

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    Yeah, I too wonder about some of the behavioral stuff... it's quite possible the dogs were neutered BECAUSE of their distraction issues, aggression issues, etc and surprise surprise it wasn't a magic fix.

    Then again, most dogs I know are neutered because... because... because... that's what you do!!! lol Not because the owners put any thought whatsoever into it. Though I did honestly have a client who thought her Lab's jumping up was because he was intact. At 5 months old. -__-

    Anyway, I really doubt that it significantly effects biddability or focus, drive, etc. I can buy that there's a correlation but I have hard time with causation.
     
  7. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    Balls=magical jumping beans attached to the butt.
     
  8. Emily

    Emily Rollin' with my bitches

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    LMAO he must have been using them like this:

    [​IMG]
     
  9. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    Lmao exactly what I was imagining!
     
  10. ihartgonzo

    ihartgonzo and Fozzie B!

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    http://weimaranerclubofamerica.org/main/pdf/HMColumn0112.pdf

    It would be nice if they could do much more specific studies, pinpointing the minimum age that results in the least behavioral/physical issues due to altering. Although I'm assuming that waiting until physical & social maturity, at 2 years old, is best.
     
  11. elegy

    elegy overdogged

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    From my Chris Zink seminar notes, and I have no idea where these trends came from, because my notes are apparently not that fantastic. But.

    When altered before maturity:

    medium/large breed male
    longer radius/ulna
    longer tibia

    medium/large breed female
    longer scapula
    longer humerus
    longer femur

    dwarf breeds

    male
    longer scapula
    longer humerus
    longer radius
    longer ulna
    longer femur
    longer tibia

    female
    no apparent effect

    toy
    no significant effect
     
  12. sassafras

    sassafras mushinois

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    Ugh, the problem with summaries is that they don't really explain the methodology thoroughly. If all it was was a questionnaire and bone length measurements with different breeds all lumped in together, then... it's a pretty poorly designed study.

    Unless there is significant methodology they aren't putting in their summary, as far as I can tell there is no attempt whatsoever to identify, let alone control for, confounding factors (breed, size/bone length of relatives of the dogs in the study (if known), diet/nutrition, where the dog was acquired, how old the dog was when it was acquired, just to name a few). So as it stands, it's nothing more than a suggestion that further study is warranted IMO.


    ETA: I actually truly, sincerely wish someone would do some well designed studies about this stuff. It's frustrating.
     

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