View Full Version : Will I survive ??? Neutering questions !

23rd September 2006, 11:12 PM
Ok, I am REALLY trying to follow Laura's advice and wait until Colby is 12-14 months old to get him neutered .........but my sweet innocent baby boy has become a horn dog overnight !!!!! I really thought that he may be errrrr gay ...... because he wasnt doing anything naughty until he hit 8-8 1/2 months ! I guess thats the "time" but never owning a male before I just didnt know Anyway ........ he has been caught humping or trying to hump the girls a couple of times . They tell him where to go though which is good and he has started marking a little bit . and the little **** jumped up on my bed last night and peed/marked on my comforter !!!!!

Any advice from those who have gone thru this ? If I do wait ( and I really really really want to wait ) will he stop this once he is neutered ? If I give in ........will he still develop that beautiful head ? I have just started to see his head maturing and getting that beautiful adult boxing out look ......I guess because his hormones are kicking in right ? I dont want to stop that :wink:but I dont want him getting into bad habits either ..... what do I do ?????????

Any experiences from early( 6-12 months) VS Later Neutering ( after 12 months ) you may have I am very interested in knowing ;)

THanks !!

Cathy Moon
24th September 2006, 12:06 AM
Hi Roxanne,
Wow, nobody told me anything about males' heads!

We had Geordie neutered at 6 months, and he has never lifted his leg or marked anything. He sometimes humps on India, who was raised from puppyhood with him and used to sometimes hump him when playing. Once we noticed he was actually getting aroused, so we took him to the vet; our vet said to re-direct Geordie to prevent the behavior from becoming a habit.

Anyways, here are a few pictures of Geordie at age 2 (neutered at 6 months):
He may not be a total hunk b*n*n* , but he doesn't look like a girl :*nana: either!

24th September 2006, 12:17 AM
Well, I think he *is* a TOTAL HUNK !!! and his head is gorgeous BTW ;) and no he does NOT look like a girl !

I may be wrong, but I thought I read somewhere that neutering early supresses the secondary sex characteristics whis include broadening of the head ...or maybe I am confused and I didnt read this at all ??? :sl*p: I do know that the Ragamuffin ( a purebred cat ) breeders DO feel this way about their breed and also suggest waiting until about 8 -10 months old to neuter them so that they look like a male ( broader head) rather than retaining a smaller ....more "female" type of head . Now I could be totally wrong about the Cavaliers ..just thought I read that somewhere ???? Its obviously not true in the case of studly Geordie !!!

Cathy Moon
24th September 2006, 12:34 AM
Since I don't show or breed, I don't know anything about it! I would trust that Laura knows, since she is very experienced.

I have seen one or two male cav show puppies who have big masculine heads - thought maybe it was the lines they were bred from (Crisdig, Ottermouth?)

24th September 2006, 01:16 AM
This is an interesting topic... we will certainly be neutering Rio but we have heard conflicting accounts about getting it done BEFORE she goes into her first heat and leaving it until after. Any suggestions??

BTW Geordie is GORGEOUS. I'm sure there are some disappointed girls out there somewhere ;) ;)

24th September 2006, 01:16 AM
This is an interesting topic... we will certainly be neutering Rio but we have heard conflicting accounts about getting it done BEFORE she goes into her first heat and leaving it until after. Any suggestions??

BTW Geordie is GORGEOUS. I'm sure there are some disappointed girls out there somewhere ;) ;)

RoyalT Cavaliers
24th September 2006, 02:14 AM
I love Geordie he is BOOOOTIFUL!! :drivecar: I am on my way to get him.. LOL
Gosh I love his head.. :luv:

24th September 2006, 02:40 AM
Hi Roxanne,
Well I'm no expert and certainly don't have a wealth of knowledge, but I thought I would include our experience to the responses you will get.
We neutered Riley at 6 months old. Since he was 12 weeks old, he would "mount" any dog smaller than him, male or female. As he got older it got worse, to the point where he didn't even want to play with the other dogs, just seek out any dog that would allow this behavior even for a few moments (or until i would tell him NO and get him off the other dog). :sl*p: It was like he was obsessed, it was a one track mind kind of thing whenever he was around other dogs. Highly embarrassing! icon_blshing
I talked to experienced breeders and looked up tons of information about neutering and what age to do it long before we even got Riley. The experienced breeders seemed to feel that you should not neuter until after 12 months old, they felt it affected the dogs growth if you do it any sooner. Well, with Riley's "mounting" issue and our need to board him and do daycare (both of which required neutering after a dog reaches 6 mths.) we decided to neuter him at 6 mths.
His behavior since the neuter has greatly improved. No mounting at all, much more interest in playing with other dogs. He seems a little calmer than before (he is still a spitfire by all means, but a bit calmer now) and I don't think he seems any less boyish in looks. Nor do I feel that his growth is out of line. He is not a small boy, neither were his parents so I didn't really expect it, although I know that is not the only indicator of a dog's size.
If i could have waited until after 12 mths. I probably would have, however, given his behavior and the daycare/boarding issue it wasn't going to work that way for us. I don't regret neutering earlier, in fact I'm quite glad that we did it then. He recovered very quickly and it all worked out fine.
He was not going to have that perfect Cavalier show dog look anyway, but it doesn't matter to us. We love him the way he is. He is now 9 1/2 mths. old and weighs 16 pounds. I think he looks like a boy. Good luck with your decision, do whatever you think is best for you and Colby. :)

(It was a bright day so he is squinting even though i shaded him, usually his eyes look bigger :) )

Cathy Moon
24th September 2006, 02:44 AM
This is an interesting topic... we will certainly be neutering Rio but we have heard conflicting accounts about getting it done BEFORE she goes into her first heat and leaving it until after. Any suggestions??

Here's a link to female spay information:
If Rio does go into heat before she is spayed, you will need to discuss with your vet how long you must wait after her heat cycle to have her spayed - to prevent false pregnancy problems.

We had India spayed before her first heat. Chocolate is a retired show/breeding girl, so she was not spayed until age 4. If possible, I will always have my females spayed before first heat to get maximum protection.

24th September 2006, 04:59 AM
On females: there's no health advantage to having a dog go through a first heat and there are definite health benefits to spaying before she does -- hence most vets will recommend spaying before the first heat (It is absolutely not true that any female neeeds to go through a first heat!). You will need to wait 3 months or so after her heat if she goes into it and also keep her inside for several weeks while she goes thru it.

On males -- personally I think it is pretty hard for most pet owners to wait for most boys to go past age one before neutering. It is possible to train a dog to stop or at least minimise these unwanted behaviours but it is not always easy to do when the dog isn't neutered, and many people find it very awkward to deal with these behaviours in an intact male during the process of training simply because they can be so public and enthusiastic in dogs going into the equivalent of puberty. Also, the longer you wait to neuter, the less likely (to some extent) that neutering will address the behaviour. And it doesn't always address these things anyway. Hence training should be your first line of 'defense' :lol: while you (quickly) weigh up how important it is to you to wait to neuter. The difference is so slight in appearance that I don't think 99% of pet owners are going to see much difference in appearance between a dog neutered at 6 or 9 months or at one. I don't think many people would look at Leo in particular and not think he looks every inch a mature male yet he was neutered at 10 months. I sure don't see much difference between Leo and the older intact males that come in to me thru rescue (except every single intact male has tried to mark inside my house -- every single one...).

As for Jaspar, neutered at 8 months -- he is maybe slightly longer legged but he is also excellent at agility and very athletic, which Leo, with a cobbier build, is not. I have no idea if his build is the result of neutering but if anything the slightly longer legs benefit the activity he loves more than anything so I cannot possibly see this is a negative in any way. :)

With Jaspar it was also like a switch was thrown when he turned 8 months -- up til then he was very puppyish; after that, he was ready to start marking and humping.

I think that now, I would be ready to try managing a male until past age one, intact -- but I found this daunting at the time and working in rescue I find it is possibly the number one challenge for male dog owners and a leading reason why dogs get left into the pound. :|

24th September 2006, 02:21 PM
I have found a few articles on the net talking about growth plate closure and neutering. It all seems to go back to a study they did in 1991 where they showed that dogs neutered at 7 weeks were taller than dogs neutered at 7 months and those dogs were slightly taller than those neutered after a year . It does seem that most articles and evidence touts early neuter meaning BEFORE PUBERTY ( pediatric neutering 7 wks - 5/6 months ) . They say that if you neuter before puberty these dogs will be taller . I cant find anything stating how much the long bones will continue to grow if a dog is neutered AFTER puberty starts .......or in my case 8-9 months.It does seem that if a dog is neutered at this age they MIGHT be slightly taller but not as tall or leggy as if a he was neutered before his puberty had started ....... but i cant find much about neutering at this time ?? I would think that the longer you wait the less leggier they will be ......but if we are only talking a fraction of a inch ....is it really worth the wait ?? ( I am talking of neutering Colby at 9 months instead of 12-14 months ) I am wondering if there will be THAT much difference ???

24th September 2006, 05:28 PM
Roxanne, Maxx was neutered at 6 mths and he has a big head - he is a very chunky boy and could never be mistaken for a girlie :lol:

Cathy Moon
24th September 2006, 07:49 PM
Not to make light of this topic, but Geordie's head just got a little bigger from all the nice compliments! Especially being called studly :lol:

matties mum
24th September 2006, 08:24 PM
Barney was neutered at 8/9 mouths he is fine the reason I had him done you name he would try to hump it this was from about 4 mouths old and he did smell :*gh: so the vet said that the old he gets the worst he would get

24th September 2006, 10:13 PM
this topic is very current with me also. jadan is 6 half months and i have noticed a great difference lately in his marking,(outside at the moment thankfully, touch wood)he too has shown a great likeness to males and females alike icon_whistling infact we cant go near a dog without him wanting to check them out in GREAT detail :yuk: :yuk: and humping his toy dog has increased too. :? i wondered what age to have him done and didnt know about the things mentioned previously. big head and long legs etc. jadan already has long legs and i dont really mind if his head stays small as i like him puppy looking. put i was pondering on maybe studding him for one litter as he has the "spot" and it is sooo distinct that i thought he could pass it on. however.....his "girlfriends" owner isnt keen on her girl having a litter as she is so small at just over a year and i dont know of any other willing females so it will just have to stay a dream of younger jadans running around :D

(i may be joking around here, but i would def take the issue very seriously if it arose believe me!!!)

but i am going off track again, as i do.... i was wondering what other characteristics have been known tochange after neutering, good and bad. i would be interested to know and obviously at jadans age with a view to having him done at 7 months. ;)

25th September 2006, 02:34 AM
Markings are not passed on with any great regularity -- especially not the blenheim spot, which is totally random and only a minor cosmetic feature that matters very little in the show ring or anywhere else, except as a charming detail that some like, with an entirely fake story to back it up :) -- and this would simply never be a reason to consider breeding a dog.

This is a very, very important point and what I sincerely hope is that board members over time get a deeper understanding of how precious this breed is, how serious are its health threats, and therefore, how very important it is to leave breeding to the the people who both show and breed, and work to conserve the best qualities of the breed while always breeding with health the number one priority. Consider the scourge of MVD in this breed -- most of us will likely lose our cavaliers to this condition eventually, and we all hope later rather than sooner. None of us wishes to lose his or her beloved cavalier at only 5 or 6, but we have board members who have sadly lost their cavaliers to MVD at this young age. A breeder has in his or her hands the crucial ability to help rid the breed of this problem, or alternatively, with unconsidered breeding, to keep prolonging it, by the deep knowledge of the breed, genetics and lineages they have -- or lack.

While I know all of us cherish aspects of our own dogs that we would love to see in other cavaliers, these can be best preserved and obtained again by returning to your quality, reputable breeder and getting a second dog of the same lineage. If cosmetic markings such as blenheim spots are important (and many love them so I know they do come high on the list of attractions for people, all else being equal! :)), then view a litter from a quality breeder and choose that special puppy with the markings wanted. But breeding a dog with a lovely spot will not mean a single puppy offspring will have one. These are random events.

We also all need to keep in mind that the reason a cavalier is sold to a pet owner (eg most of us) and not to someone who shows, is precisely because the dog was specifically NOT considered to be breeding quality. Most reputable breeders specifically state in their homing contract that a pet may not be used for showing or breeding and must be neutered. No reputable breeder will allow their quality bitch or dogto be mated with a pet quality cavalier. Thus the only choice left is to breed a dog with dogs never intended for breeding -- in other words, backyard breeding without any consideration for the the health reasons that should be at the top of the agenda, closely followed by conformation and temperament.

I strongly suggest anyone considering breeding to read Bruce's comments here: http://www.cavaliertalk.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=1356

And to read this posting in the Library:


And if the idea of breeding appeals, to follow Bruce's great advice and get involved with the breed, start to show, get to know breeders, and work to find that special, quality breeder who will mentor a novice and guide those all important first breeding decisions. :)

25th September 2006, 05:09 AM
I have never heard of the head size problem or the leggier thing either. But in my experience getting a male desexed at 6 months is good because they tend to not have the issues of an entire. e.g marking,smelling and wondering. I have found that they are generally more quieter and they tend to keep their weight on a lot easier. So I watch the diet of my desexed dogs because they can get very fat very quickly. Hope thats a bit of extra info.

25th September 2006, 07:59 AM
aaawww!!! i know you are right of course about the breeding issue. :) jadan will never be a daddy.... :? and why would i want to put uppon another female species the hard work of bringing up children on her own long after the father has had his role to play ;) ;) !!!! icon_whistling

i think the issue of not marking/wandering/smelling is enough to make me decide that he should be done, even though he was always on the cards to go in anyway poor love. :yikes

still..... there are things i would like to be aware of for when he is done, such as the weight gain etc :wggle:

25th September 2006, 06:41 PM
I was hoping to postpone neutering Zack until after a year old, just because i thought it would be more healthy for him to be able to be full grown and matured in all his bodily systems.

I discussed it here on these forums and heard different opinions and researched it on the web and could not find much in the way of potentiall health problems, although intuitively i would think that there could be long range issues that haven't been studied. There are asserted to be some health benefits to earlier neutering as well, but the research supporting this was limited in sophistication.

The reason it came up for me is that i had started taking Zack to a dog park at 6 months and his behavior quickly started changing, he started lifting his leg and began marking, and the humping which he had done a little since i got him but was easily redirected, began increasing, and he began to get extremely emotional about going to the dog park, and was acting more emotional generally, perhaps related to anxiety, i don't know, he was more often his usual calm but alert active self, but when it came to social matters, dogs and people, he was very emotional, doing a lot of crying out sounds.

So, i was considering whether i should neuter him, and after discussing it here, i decided to do it, because of going to the dog park and not wanting to worry about a dog in heat coming in and gettinbg pregnant by him, and wanting him to be obedient out in the world and able to listen to me, and not having behaviors that would be socially obnoxious such as obsessive humping, or peeing on things he shouldn't.

He was neutered at 7 months and i was glad i got it done because he settled down, still the exuberant puppy, and actually more active than ever in the months since then, very little sleeping during the day, lots of exploring and playing, no weight gain so far, better appetite, good behavioral changes, i dont' know if that was because of the neutering or if he just would've mellowed out anyway, but he doesn't cry and yelp except very rarely around other dogs anymore, he doesn't jump up on them, he has more social boundary respecting behaviors now, humping is rare and easily redirected such as when belle recently visited, only at the very beginning and then after being asked not to do it, it stopped for the rest of the visit. No marking, althoug a few months after neutering, my bathroom rugs got peed on and i dont' know if it was marking or something else, he could've gone outside if he had chosen, but that was now a couple of months ago and hasn't happened again.

My daughter just remarked the other day how Zack's got a more boxy head than Belle, adn it's true, i've been noticing his head getting more squareness, i dont know if it's the skull shape--it looks like it's the ears or the head fur.

This is the most mature looking photo i have of him, taken a couple of weeks ago (the second one has his more usual puppy look, but there's some squareness of his head) (he will be a year old next week :D October 7, we made it!!!) :


matties mum
25th September 2006, 11:18 PM
I think he is lovely Aileen

Cathy Moon
26th September 2006, 02:58 AM
Judy, he's sooo handsome! Nice thick ears and well placed, too! Beautiful big round eyes - what a heartbreaker :l*v:
:) Boy, your new camera takes good photos, too.

26th September 2006, 12:27 PM
Judy - he has turned into handsome little boy and Cathy Geordie handsome also.... :flwr: