View Full Version : sexually mature? neuter question...

18th January 2012, 01:36 PM
We just got a cavalier puppy and he is 17 weeks old. I initially wanted to have him neutered at 6 months old, but my breeder strongly suggested waiting until a year old for health reasons. He is a good puppy but likes to hump other dogs and even tried to hump my daughters. I corrected it and I haven't seen him do this in a few days, but I'd rather reduce the chances of this behavior becoming a pattern for him sooner than later. Plus, I'd like to avoid the marking behavior all together. He's dong so well right now with house training.

At what age can male dogs have sex? Another concern of mine is that my neighbor is bringing home a female puppy in a few days and I'm not sure of her intentions to spay. We share a fence and I really don't want any crazy behavior or worst case scenario...a litter of cav puggle mixes!

Last question...my breeder mentioned that she would love to get a semen sample from him to freeze while he is still intact. How early can this be done? Anyone know?

Kate H
18th January 2012, 07:15 PM
As far as the neutering question is concerned, you'll find quite a useful discussion going on over on the SM and MVD Cavaliers Forum, under the heading 'Totally out of Left Field', posts 4-10. It's somethingthat often comes up for discussion!

Kate, Oliver and Aled

18th January 2012, 09:45 PM
This situation with your breeder seems odd. You want to neuter him, but they want a semen sample so he can be bred from?
Why did they sell him to pet home if they think he has the potential to act as a stud?
And, would you shoulder the costs of cardiologist, hip, eye, knee and MRI screening him at appropriate ages to make sure he's a suitable stud, or would they? Or will health tests just be ignored?
What does the language of your puppy contract say?

18th January 2012, 11:20 PM
Two good posts above and I'd share the concerns. It is unethical to breed from a one year old dog -- the MVD protocol alone requires an age of at least 2.5 years old and his semen should therefore not be taken at all until that point, if they want to breed from him and IF he passes his heart exam, an MRI, eye tests etc. Otherwise to do so is to support a totally unethical approach to breeding that fully disregards all health concerns and responsibilities, and I am sure that whatever about the breeder, you have a lot of sense and care about the breed, and do not want to do that.

On marking and humping -- please don't 'correct' for humping (if that means scolding/punishing), which is a totally normal behaviour. All you need to do is discourage in a positive way by refocusing his attention elsewhere. Given a dog something else positive to do and praising whenever you see your dog doing something that is ok with his/her time rather than simply saying 'no' (and worse -- punishing at ANY time) is a far more productive way to train for desired behaviour! :D Think of a small child doing something unwanted -- just yelling 'no' doesn't give the child any desired alternative and is frustrating to the child. Same for a dog. Distract with a toy, a game, a chew. They do tend to grow out of it anyway.

19th January 2012, 04:04 AM
Great point about the health testing...I didn't even think of that. I assume that she'd hold onto the semen and then want to health test until we reached 2.5 years (at hear expense) but honestly we haven't gotten that far. I'm not sure of her plan and of course it isn't in my contract at all...just something she mentioned, not required. We have a good relationship so I don't want to disappoint her, but I guess there is some cause for conern.

Karlin- thanks for the tips on humping. I have not punished...not even sure what that would entail. My strategy was to stop him and distract him with practicing "sit" for a treat, which he loves to do. What I did read somewhere though is that if you don't stop it and redirect, your dog could make a habit of it, which is what I'm hoping to avoid. I read that neutering could lessen the urge as well.

19th January 2012, 05:14 AM
That is a really odd thing for a breeder to be asking... if he's placed in a pet home, he should be pet quality and therefore shouldn't be bred at all. I'd feel really uncomfortable if I ever got such a request from a breeder.

As for neutering, above 6 months is better than younger than that. Cadence had a HUGE problem with humping as a pup. He was obsessed with it--wouldn't even play with other dogs because he would just hump them all day long. So I got him fixed at 6 months and almost immediately, that behaviour stopped. I don't think I could have handled the obsessive humping much longer than that.

19th January 2012, 02:04 PM
Thanks for the info Lucidity. 6 months is what I am leaning toward as well. He hasn't tried to hump us since I redirected with with my kids last week, and it has never been things (like pillows or anything) but when we played with another dog it was incessant. The other dog would correct him and then he'd get right back on. I will plan to go ahead with it and just put the semen collection thing out of my mind. It does seem strange and was mentioned after I purchased him, when I was picking him up.

20th January 2012, 11:11 AM
Max was neutered at 6 months and still humps occasionally when he gets excited. He also grew very tall. I waited until Rylie was a year (at my breeder's advice and because I knew I wanted to do agility with him) and he never humps so I don't think the two are necessarily related. Max didn't start lifting his leg until several months after he was neutered and Rylie was probably about the same age (10 months) before he lifted his leg at all. Both my dogs have marked in the house once long after they were trained. Max - again long after being neutered once marked in my son's house much to my shock. My breeder's daughter has an intact male who only tries to mark in the house if they visit while one of the girls is in heat. I think it's a matter of supervision and management more than when a dog gets neutered.