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Desex & age of pet - why do shelters neuter pups?

Discussion in 'General Dog Forum' started by leashedForLife, Jan 26, 2019.

  1. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife Well-Known Member Registered

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    here in the USA, we still kill between 3 & 5 million ‘surplus’ AKA homeless dogs & cats, each year. :( Try to imagine how many animals that is, on any average day.

    It’s 8K, 219 daily on the low end, at 3M —- or if 5M died in the year, & the deaths were distributed evenly, 13,698 in a day... across the 50 states.

    Early AKA pediatric desex is now standard practice in municipal shelters - that’s S/N done on any healthy pup or kitten, who weighs at least 2# & is old-enuf to leave their dam & littermates.
    In most states, that’s 8-WO minimum or 56-DO; in a few who are lazy & can’t be arsed to match USDA regulations on minimum age of separation, the earliest a pup or kitten can be adopted & leave their natal family is 7-WO / 49-DO.

    Australia has also adopted pediatric desex as their standard for shelters, done prior to making any infant pup or kitten available for adoption.

    In the USA, ped-desex was being done in progressive shelters as early as 1972, in sheer self-defense, as even with an adoption contract that says they will both confiscate the pet AND fine the adopter, “spay / neuter by 6-MO” is worthless.
    Adopters sign the blasted contract, & yet they forever have some excuse for not getting the op done... & then she’s preggo, or he’s escaping to sire litters, & they shrug & bring the litter to the shelter, or tell the bitch’s owner it’s YOUR fault for not spaying her, not MY fault for my randy dog getting out. :rolleyes: The blame game is pointless; if all pets are S/N prior to release, none of them will get preg, nor sire another future litter.
    Problem solved. :)

    The national average compliance rate with a pubertal S/N contract here is just 40%.
    That leaves 60% of adopted intact pets, still fertile - & we will never reduce our kill rate, with 6 of every 10 adopted-intact dogs & cats, able to breed, since apparently here in the USA, owners are incapable of recognizing estrus, or suitably confining or monitoring their intact dog of either sex. :mad:

    There are also those perennially aggravating parents who want THEIR pet to “show my children the miracle of birth’; they quite deliberately get their bitch or cat pregnant, despite the massive overpopulation of pets.
    I can only froth at the mouth when these numpties start yammering about how wonderful it all is, because yes, pregnancy & birth are quite incredible, but at the same time, they are not risk-free... & their “loved” female pet is possibly going to pay the price of their foolhardy decision.
    Showing their bored children the “miracle of death” wasn’t in the plan, but stillbirths & dam deaths happen, too. :(

    Pediatric desex in U-S shelters & rescues became SOP in the early to mid-80s; it was SOP in Oz around the same time, so both countries have massive data across more than 30 years of early-neuter.

    Ped-desex patients heal faster, bleed less, have less post-op pain, are under GA for a shorter time, & have fewer complications across the board than pubertal patients [who are between 5.5 & 7.5-MO], & in their turn, pubertal desex is safer, less painful, less prone to complications, than ADULT desex, which is the riskiest age of all.
    Ped-desex patients only fast briefly, not for 12-hrs, & they are up eating and playing shortly after surgery, as tho nothing had happened; they heal with less scarring, too - internal, not external - & that further lowers the risk of possible complications, such as bladder adhesions, bowel strictures, & so on.


    On a personal level, in 2012, I moved from the Southeast [Virginia, in the Tidewater area of Va Beach / Norfolk / Chesapeake / Hampton / Newport News / Suffolk], where surplus dogs & cats abound, strays are common, & kill rates in shelters can reach 50% or more of surrendered pets, to New England - where “surplus” pets are so scarce, shelters & rescues are forced to import kittens & puppies, to have any for adoption. :)

    This IMO is a delightful ‘problem’ to have! - whole litters of young pups or kittens, & dozens of young adults, are brought from high-kill shelters in the South, Midwest, & Southwest, in vans or RVs, to New England states, where they are desexed, treated for any medical issues [parasites, skin problems, gut issues, etc], placed with fosters or kept in kennels, & put up for adoption by the public.
    Small-scale registered nonprofit rescues are EVERYWHERE, & they scour the shelters of Arkansas, N & S Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Ohio, northern Michigan, etc, to find adoptable dogs & cats.


    If i walk down any street in Massachusetts, IM direct E, the odds are overwhelming that any dog i see is an out-of-state adoptee, & if s/he was adopted as a pup, they were desexed before the owner picked them up - pediatrically [defined as before 12-WO].

    It’s funny, i see more hounds here than i did in Virginia during the 12 years that I lived there, yet often the Coonhound or Beagle or Foxhound that i meet, walking along a Boston or Medford or Malden street, CAME FROM Virginia. :D It’s a reunion of sorts.

    I am delighted to be out of Virginia; i don’t miss volunteering in Ye Olde Dominion’s shelters & seeing healthy young animals who are doomed to die shortly, from newborns, to 2 & 3-YO adults in the bloom of youth & strength. :(
    I am thrilled to be in New England, where unplanned litters are scarce commodities that are imported, treated like pearls & gems, & can’t be brought in fast enuf to meet the demand - which pushes novice owners to get young-adult pets, who are plentiful, & a better choice for the 1st time owner, anyway. :)

    The New England average for S/N vs intact pets is 75% desexed to 25% intact.
    In Massachusetts, at least 80% of dogs & cats are desexed, & in the Boston metro area, it’s 90% & up; virtually every pet who is not either a show entry or a breeding prospect, IS neutered.
    And i’m glad of it - the dog parks are calmer than in VA, fights are practically unknown, there are very very few strays & they are quickly picked up & reunited... compared to Ye Olde Dominion, this is pets’ heaven on Earth. :)

    I am ecstatic that in Massachusetts, i’m no longer haunted by the faces of pups & kittens i saw today, who will be dead tomorrow, & bagged for cremation. U really cannot imagine what a relief it is, that i can walk into a shelter & KNOW that every animal in it, with very very few exceptions [s/he has an untreatable condition, chronic unrelievable pain, or severe problem behavior that can’t be mitigated], WILL BE adopted - not killed.

    Now that i am in Florida, that’s no longer true -
    CraigsList ads here are not registered rescues showcasing their adoptables, but desperate owners looking for someone, ANYone, to take in their pet... so they don’t have to take them to the local shelter, which here in Polk County is very likely to put them down. :(
    Unplanned litters & BYBs selling purebred litters or “designer” crossbred litters are common, posting in defiance of CL rules [no breeding, no sales].

    Once we get our new wheels [Rozinante, the ramp-van, died], I will post some photos of the Death Row pets in the local shelter... perfectly nice, friendly animals, who will die for want of a home.

    - terry

    .
     
  2. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife Well-Known Member Registered

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    These are recent pet ads on Lakeland, Fl, CraigsList -

    Puppies. (Haines city florida)
    image 1 of 5
    [​IMG]




    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    © craigslist - Map data © OpenStreetMap
    (google map)


    Hello -
    Pure mix of 2 high cuality breeds are born pitbull x doberman ; they have their first set of shots an tail are doked an they been declawded ..2 males an 3 females left they are ready for their new homes .. if any one is interested text me or call me to shedule an apoiment to see the puppies .thanks
    • do NOT contact me with unsolicited services or offers
    post id: 6802353581

    posted: 3 days ago

    updated: about an hour ago

    _______________________________________________________


    .
    SHORKIE PUPPIES LAST TWO

    © craigslist - Map data © OpenStreetMap
    (google map)

    2 male Shih Tzu mix puppies
    Mixed with yorkie
    Will come with FL health certificate as they already had there first set of shots and were dewormed.
    There is a rehoming fee to ensure these puppies go to good and loving homes. Please email me contact info and I will get back to you!

    Thank you and have a blessed day!!




      • do NOT contact me with unsolicited services or offers
    post id: 6804295401

    posted: about 3 hours ago

    ________________________________________________
    .

    Catahoula pit mix
    image 1 of 3
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    © craigslist - Map data © OpenStreetMap
    (google map)

    Born Oct 9th male so playful and so cuddly his name is Tucker $50 re homing fee to ensure amazing home




      • do NOT contact me with unsolicited services or offers
    post id: 6804295774
    posted: about 3 hours ago

    ___________________________________________


    .
    Free Cocker Spaniel full blood (Haines city)

    [​IMG]



    © craigslist - Map data © OpenStreetMap
    Barlyn ave at Old POLK city road
    (google map)

    11years old house trained only one medical problems hard of hearing love to play very good dog good with kids he's very known at Davenport pet smart as a good dog shots up to date, we're moving and not able to take him




      • do NOT contact me with unsolicited services or offers
    post id: 6804082109

    posted: about 16 hours ago

    _____________________________________
    .

    Two Dogs need loving home (Wahneta)
    image 3 of 3
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    © craigslist - Map data © OpenStreetMap
    2nd Wahneta Terrace at Rifle Range Road
    (google map)

    These two beauties need a new home.
    The male (Ty) is a Rhodesian Ridgeback and the female (Luna) is a black-mouth cur. Ty is a year old and Luna is two.
    I am asking a re-homing fee of $100 for both, I do not want them separated. They do not do well with other dogs or cats. Serious inquiries only please. Send me a text if you are interested: show contact info




      • do NOT contact me with unsolicited services or offers
    post id: 6803916747

    posted: about 20 hours ago

    _________________________________________
    .


    The pups in ad #1, Dobe x Pit, look to be about 12-WO; they’ve gone past their sell-by date, & will soon be giveaways or surrendered to the shelter. // They’re not adorable squushy infants, anymore. :(

    The “Shorkie” litter - no photos, no DOB - will eventually sell, tho probly not for the original price.

    The pit-mix in ad #3?... He turned 3-MO on approx Jan 9th.
    Look how he & his littermates are fed, in the 1st photo - cheap kibble poured ON THE BARE GROUND of the unfenced yard. // If they don’t have hookworm, roundworms, whipworms, pinworms, tapeworms, AND heart worm, i’ll be astounded. :(
    If he isn’t hit by a car on the street by 6-MO, i’ll be shocked.
    [The power pole, just over the owner’s shoulder in photo #3, marks the street.]

    The “free dog” 11-YO Cocker is a sad case.

    The 2 crossbred dogs in ad #5?...
    The owner wants to rehome them as a pair [good luck!], they don’t get on with other dogs OR CATS [e-g, they probly chase & want to kill them], & both are pitbull-mixes - as common as dirt, in most of the USA.

    Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx


    In stark contrast, this is Boston CraigsList -
    boston pets - craigslist

    ... & here is the most-recent *dog* ad on Boston CL -


    2 yr old hound beagle mix (Littleton)
    [​IMG]

    © craigslist - Map data © OpenStreetMap
    (google map)

    Located in new Hampshire. Willing to meet in concord nh.
    160$ rehoming fee for her.
    • do NOT contact me with unsolicited services or offers
    post id: 6804287858

    posted: about 4 hours ago

    _______________________________________________
    .

    Notice that they live in NH, & post their dog for adoption in BOSTON?

    U have to scroll down to ad #78 to find another dog who’s being rehomed by the owner - there are 2 young pups above that, a Sibe & a 4-MO Golden, & 1 “missing cat” ad [a Siamese].

    All the other ads are for pet gear [bird cages, dog crates, fish tanks...], reptiles, fish, & birds, feeders [insects, rodents, etc], or services - dog walking, pet sitting, etc.
    What a difference!

    - terry

    .
     
  3. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    I quite understand why rescues neuter pups early. They are flooded with unwanted dogs, some of which have congenital problems and extremely iffy personalities. I can't imagine the heartbreak of seeing these dogs, often having to put them to sleep, on a daily basis because indiscriminate and/or unplanned breeding.

    Though it's a completely different matter when someone decides to leave their own pet unneutered, or neuter them when they are more mature, either because of potential health benefits or because 'if it ain't broke don't fix it'. I know plenty of people with unneutered dogs who have no intention of breeding their animals and who take enough care that there won't be unplanned litters.

    To my mind, these are both issues ripe for discussion, but they need to be kept separate or the waters simply become even more muddied than they are already. The terrible welfare issues caused by the huge population of unwanted dogs doesn't have any bearing on a responsible individual's decision about what is best for their dog.

    @leashedForLife , I noticed that the American Kennel Club say:

    Would you dispute this?
     
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  4. Caro Perry

    Caro Perry Well-Known Member Registered

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    I agree here with Judy. I do fully understand why the shelters neuter so early - essentially they have to.

    We have yet to neuter Harri who is coming up now to 18 months old. Although he's a rare breed and has a COI well below average, he fails to meet breed standard ( too much black, not enough tan) so is what is termed a "working" Welsh terrier. If we were breeding for temperament alone he'd be perfect but for a pedigree stud dog looks are everything.

    At the moment we have no real need to neuter - his behaviour won't be improved by it and he's not going to be ever in a position to father a litter. His coat may suffer and his personality change. The sex hormones do more than just regulate the urge to reproduce and I'm not sure we yet fully understand the role they play. We would certainly reduce one set of health risks but it seems put him at risk of a different set.

    The jury is very much out here at the moment.
     
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  5. Whippylove

    Whippylove Well-Known Member Registered

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    I understand why they neuter early at shelters, far too many unwanted dog's so sad to see, it's upsetting to read so many dogs needing homes :(
    Marley is neutered but only because of a medical problem ,Oliver and Rolo aren't but they will not be used for breeding i have been asked numerous occasions but have said no they are my babies :)
     
  6. Ari_RR

    Ari_RR Well-Known Member Registered

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    I can't generalize, just my personal 2 cents worth:

    Health benefits of neutering males are questionable at best, and do not conclusively justify the procedure.

    We have sufficient control over interactions of our dog to ensure no accidental matings and unwanted litters.

    Behavioral issues should be addressed via training, not via surgery. Intact dogs are no less trainable than neutered.

    I believe that in many parts of the world it's easier to have a neutered one, because most other dogs there are neutered, and because this is considered norm. Having an intact male then leads to limited social part of having a dog. Especially so if he is large or extra large size.
    But being in line with local social norms was never a priority for us when it came to our dog, so that wasn’t really in play.

    Most dog kennels (where we live) don't accept intact dogs, but we would never leave ours in a kennel anyway...

    So, we never found a really good reason to neuter... and we didn't.

    Of course, shelters have different considerations.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2019
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  7. Mad Murphy

    Mad Murphy Well-Known Member Registered

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    Ive always had my dogs neutered. Because of social interactions (we live in a crowded country) and the risk of accidental matings. Yes Ive seen bitches in heat being allowed to run loose because "its an off lead area and I have as much right to be here as you" comments from clueless owners.
    As well as health implications not signigicant in many dogs but Ive had two with undecendend testicles and they do have a higher risk..

    As for shelters, seeing the heartbreak of overful shelters having to kill (yes KILL) healthy dogs because people cannot be trusted not to let them breed or come out with stupid comments such as, 'he would make a great dad', 'shes so affectionate with her teddies I just know she would love to have puppies' both of which Ive personally heard.

    My dogs have never been neutered until fully grown but reading various publications there seems to be more and more medical evidence showing that early neutering does not have significant impact on a dog so I accept that shelters do it.

    On the other hand. My stomach turns when I see the over bred over exaggerated features of many pedigrees their blood lines so close and narrow that it cannot help but make you wonder what gentic time bombs they are.
    I love the good old mongey who brings a lifetime of guessing about who or what his parents may have been.

    So yes careful out breeding, more acceptance because are stupid things such as @Caro Perry mentions about Harri having too much black important. Seriously? Is this more important than his actual medical health?

    Yet again greed plays its part by keeping strict rules about the type of dog classed as suitable by looks there are people profiting from both social staus and money they can earn.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2019
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  8. Teddy560

    Teddy560 Well-Known Member Registered

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    I know this is a contradictory thing to say but I think unless you are a pro breeder, then I think pets should be neutered. Sadly, people just aren't careful enough. I can't remember if I posted this on this forum but just last week I was at the park on a rainy morning, hardly anyone around and we turn a corner (round a big hedge) Ted off-leash and a family with a big black poodle x bitch on a lead literally walk into us. Then the lady panics a little bit and says their dog is IN SEASON and that she knows they're not meant to walk them but... I said it was okay as Ted is neutered but. So many things could have gone wrong.
     
  9. Ari_RR

    Ari_RR Well-Known Member Registered

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    If I encountered a human with a female dog, and the human yelled "she is in season!" - to me this would be a warning that my male can have uncontrolled behavior. Essentially - "grab your dog, mate, he can go wild!"

    But such wild behavior around in season females can be triggered in neutered dogs also.

    When out, we can run into many different things. Aggressive males, wild deer (or wild children :) ), dog-intolerant humans... in season females is just one of many situations we would rather avoid. Neutering will not help prevent such encounters. Only training solid recall will (which is very difficult), and environment management, which includes keeping our dogs on leash when in doubt.

    I can see a good reason to neuter when dogs routinely roam the neighborhood free, and run into other free roaming dogs without human supervision, though.
     
  10. Teddy560

    Teddy560 Well-Known Member Registered

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    No, but if an in season bitch is being walked and comes slap-bang into my dog's nose and he isn't neutered, I'd put my money on there being puppies. Ted was very well behaved and did nothing. Also, in potentially very busy places like a park, how do you know there's not going to be loads of unneutered dogs running around? If they had come from somewhere I'd have seen them beforehand, then obviously Ted would have been on the lead, much as he would with any other potential hazard, like horse riders etc. And neutering can help to curb some sexual drives, in some dogs, in some instances ;)
     
  11. Caro Perry

    Caro Perry Well-Known Member Registered

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    Harri is almost always on a longline in public. Should an uneutered bitch come near him then I have enough control to keep him away. An unneutered bitch in season should not be off lead so her owner should also have control.
     
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  12. Vicbloss

    Vicbloss New Member Registered

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    Not sure how to quote but to pick on the idea of training intact dogs not to bother other dogs...
    In my experience owners simply do not do that. I had an incident the other day, a large, intact male spotted my little (spayed) terrier, came galloping over and started bothering her. Being a terrier, she tried hard to tell him where to go but he was pretty persistent. I tried to get in between them but it was pretty difficult. The owner, who had been calling to dog but was being ignored, eventually came over and said to me "he needs telling sometimes".
    I told him that far from being my dog's job, it was in fact his job to stop his dog bothering others, and that he should get the dog neutered. Sadly, I doubt very much that he plans on doing either.
    I'd like to say that this sort of thing is an isolated incident but, in my experience, it is anything but.
     
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  13. Ari_RR

    Ari_RR Well-Known Member Registered

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    While I agree 100% on the first part of this point, I respectfully disagree with the second part.

    Some folks have poorly controlled dogs. Being neutered or intact has little to do with how well trained and under control the dog is.

    This is quite ignorant for anyone, actually, to believe that by neutering a dog one will solve his or hers behavioral problems (barring some outlier cases).

    Turn the TV on during Crufts, for example, and you will see a great number of intact dogs, in crowded conditions and high intensity environment, not really bothering each other much in the ring.

    They’ve trained for this? Yes, they have - my point precisely, their owners invested a lot in training.

    And then take a look at a some local dog parks, with a bunch of mostly neutered dogs teaching each other all kinds of bad behavior, while their humans enjoy the chit-chat.

    I certainly understand the frustration of being approached by an off-leash dog when yours doesn’t want the interaction, but generalizing this to “intact dog owners don’t train their dogs” and commenting “you should neuter your dog” is a bit off mark, I am afraid.

    Intact dog owners are quite different, as are neutered dog owners. Some train, others keep on-leash, and yet others do neither. In both neutered and intact parts of the dog world.
     
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  14. Vicbloss

    Vicbloss New Member Registered

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    To clarify, I didn't mean that owners of intact dogs are less likely to train their dogs than owners of neutered dogs but rather that most owners can't be trusted to train their dogs properly and thus dogs need to be neutered.
    Personally, I think they should be neutered anyway but that's a personal point of view.
    However, my point still stands about the dog I encountered the other day. He came over in order to try to mate with my dog or at least see if she was in season. Whether he would have come over had he been neutered, obviously we shall never know, but I suggest the chances would have at the very least been reduced.
     
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  15. Ari_RR

    Ari_RR Well-Known Member Registered

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    :) Wouldn’t that be nice and easy...

    But then - what body part can we remove from hounds to reduce their drive to chase deer?

    What can we chop off terriers to reduce their feistiness?

    Training intact dogs may be somewhat different than neutered. But training big dogs is different than small ones too. Hounds vs toys vs gundogs.. social and confident vs shy and insecure..

    Would you advice removing vocal cords from a little fluffy critter because he barks his head off at big dogs, and it bothers big dogs and annoys their owners? I would much rather see him trained to tolerate big monsters without getting scared. And if that's not possible for whatever reason - then I would much rather see his humans preventing his encounters with big monsters.

    I still have to believe that training is the key to well behaved and controlled dogs in most cases, plus environment management. Not surgical procedures.

    Cheers!
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2019
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  16. Teddy560

    Teddy560 Well-Known Member Registered

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    Training is key you are completely right. Unfortunately, I'd say the majority of pet dogs are not as well trained as those at Crufts. In an ideal world, it would be lovely if all dogs could be intact and 100% trained. This isn't the case though. If your dog is intact and you can manage them and the environment, fair enough. It's not about 'chopping bits off' to make life convenient, but sadly dogs have to fit into our environments too, and for us, neutering has made that a lot easier. We live in a military base so there are loads of dogs. Low fences and neighbours frequently move. Our last neighbour had a lovely, unspayed akita bitch that jumped the fences and was in our garden a lot. If I didn't spot her and Ted was outside, intact, well... again there'd be more unwanted puppies. It really isn't an isolated incident.
     
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  17. Ari_RR

    Ari_RR Well-Known Member Registered

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    Certainly, there are many situations where neutering is a necessity to prevent unwanted litters.
    But I think most of those situations have one common parameter - intentionally or not, dogs are allowed to roam the place free, and interact with other dogs without human supervision.
    I thought this would be more common in rural areas, but I guess military bases may be this kind of environment too.
    And I am all for neutering in these cases.

    But I think it's important to realize what neutering will accomplish. It will prevent litters. That's it.
    It will not prevent matings, especially when encountering in season females (and will not prevent possible injuries during such matings). It will not prevent jumping fences, humping, or any other unwanted behavior. It will not magically teach recall or good manners.

    If an intact off-leash dog runs up to other dogs and ignores recall - the odds are that he will continue to run up to other dogs and ignore recall after he is neutered.

    "Get your dog neutered to prevent puppies" - is a good advice for where dogs routinely run free through the village or base, and meet in season females.
    "Get your dog neutered to prevent jumping the fence, or to prevent him from running up to other dogs" - perhaps not so much.
     
  18. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    Slightly off topic but i find that with space invader dogs, shouting to the other owner "you might want to get your dog away, mine has a really bad flea infestation" works wonders at increasing their motivation to get their dog back under control :rolleyes:
     
  19. Teddy560

    Teddy560 Well-Known Member Registered

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    Might try this with other kids :D
     
  20. Vicbloss

    Vicbloss New Member Registered

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    Lol at JoanneF, I'm going to try that one for sure!

    This discussion is getting a little silly now. I will end by saying that in my experience intact male dogs bother my dog much more than neutered ones. And I don't see why she should have to put up with that. And neither should I, reminds me too much of Saturday nights out when I was younger!
     
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