View Full Version : Affects on neutering a 1-yr old Cavalier King Charles

Siobhan Ryan
29th September 2005, 01:09 PM
I am wondering if anyone can offer any advise regarding the pros and cons of neutering a 1-yr old Calavlier King Charles (male).
He is quite a lively dog and we are quite worried about him, as we live close to a busy road. He has had a number of close shaves.

Neutering has been suggested by a dog trainer so that he will bond with us and not want to go 'rambling', but what are the other side-effects expected with neutering. I have heard all sorts of 'rumours' so if anyone out there has any first-hand experience of this particular situation, i would appreciate any replies.

S. Ryan

29th September 2005, 02:41 PM
Hi Siobhan, and welcome to the site!

I think it would be an *excellent* idea to neuter, for a number of reasons. I have two neutered two year old males, neutered at 10 months. In general, a neutered dog is calmer and more trainable, for males, less likely to mark indoors and display unwanted behaviours like humping legs, other dogs, toys etc; is at much lower risk for roaming (a male can smell a female in heat from over a mile away and will travel to find her); sharply lowers the risk of various male cancers, prevents unwanted litters of puppies that will most likely be out down as over 17,000 unwanted puppies and dogs were last year in Ireland at pounds alone. Managing an unnuetered dog has some big responsibilities as well, and this can be difficult for pet owners as he really needs to be kept under eye at all times.

*Sometimes* they are more prone to putting on weight as metabolism slows slightly -- so if you notice this happening, cut back on food about 20% or give more exercise. (Mine have never had this issue). Here's more info on why to neuter: http://www.marvistavet.com/html/body_canine_neuter.html.

I'd have a concern though with a cavalier left outside to roam -- these are not a breed that should ever be left to wander by themselves off lead and without supervision. The reason why -- first, though I know a lot of pet owners don;t realise this, it is actually against Irish (and UK) law to allow a dog to roam in this way and they will be collected by wardens if sen on their own (I work with pound rescue groups and 90% of the dogs in pounds are strays collected by wardens, out "walking themselves". Very few are reclaimed because people think the dogs will eventually wander back. They don't -- the pound kills them after five days if they are unclaimed). I've seen a few cavaliers come in in this way and always make sure they at least come out and are rehomed -- few are reclaimed. :(

More importantly, AND I CANNOT STRESS THIS ENOUGH!!! -- cavaliers have NO road sense ATALL!! Most dogs do not really have "road sense" anyway -- this is definitely a myth -- but cavaliers in particular are bred to be "fearless" -- you can read it in the breed standard, which I have posted down in the FAQ section -- and therefore genetically, through centuries of breeding for this trait, they are disinclined to be afraid of something like a huge lorry or car bearing down on them (it also makes them wonderfully friendly and fearless of large dogs for example and therefore, not good watch dogs). Both of mine, as smart and easily trainable as they are, will walk directly into heavy traffic if given a chance -- so of course, they never are. Please reconsider allowing him ever outside to roam or most likely, you will not be able to enjoy his company for very long. This tendency to walk into traffic is endlessly remarked upon to me by people who own or who have owned cavaliers -- they should, like other toy breeds, be indoor dogs primarily and either allowed into a well fenced secure yard to play or taken for regular walks on lead (or off lead in a safe area, like a park or fields well away from any traffic). A lot of people do not realise how hopeless cavaliers are around traffic until they lose their cavalier in a road accident. :cry:

For example this is what one breed website says of cavaliers:

VITAL, ENERGETIC, EBULLIENT, ACTIVE, LOVING, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is the perfect family dog. But it must be stressed, they are dogs that belong with people. They are not dogs to be left alone or housed outside as they thrive on human contact. Subsequently they are dogs that are most suited to family circumstances or for retired people. Apart from all their excellent qualities they do drop coat twice per year and have poor road sense so outside the well fenced family property, they should be kept on a lead.

And from another breed description site:

This breed sometimes displays a chasing instinct and should be kept well enclosed or leashed so he does not get lost or run over by a car!

And from the excellent dog breed website, www.yourpurebredpuppy.com, in its "negatives" about the breed:

Chasing things that run. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels cannot be trusted off-leash. They have more spaniel (hunting dog) instincts than you might think. They will chase things that run and can easily end up under the wheels of a car.

I'm sure some others will want to talk about this too -- I know we have at least one board member who lost a cavalier in this very sad way and many who have had close shaves (I've had a few -- we all drop a lead, or open a door at the wrong moment, or have a dog run off sometime, no matter how careful we are. So I really know how scary that can be and how hopeless this breed is when confronted with road traffic).

30th September 2005, 12:52 AM
Couldn't agree more Karlin. Maxx was neutered at 6mths and it hasn't done him any harm at all :D If anything, it has calmed him down (slightly) .

I never ever could trust Maxx off a leash and would never ever even trust him to just 'stay' out the front if we were right by his side. He chases anything at all that comes his way, including butterflies, bees, people on bikes and cars. He hasn't got a clue about danger and just sees these things as something to play with!

Siobhan, if you let your Cavalier out by himself then please,please think again. As Karlin has said, these are 'housedogs' and they really do NOT have any roadsense. Apart from the fact that your dog could get killed on the road or picked up by the dog warden, Cavaliers are very 'stealable' dogs. You could find your little one missing and taken to a puppy farm (plenty around) never to be seen again. Again, this is even more likely with an un neutered male.

Siobhan Ryan
30th September 2005, 01:31 PM
[quote="Siobhan Ryan"]
Thanks everyone for the replies - perhaps i didnt fully explain the situation from the outset but our dog is free to roam around our property, not the road. He is fully fenced in and secure, for the most part until he 'finds' a new way to get out; resulting in another patched up fence or wall. It is these little episodes that cause the problems. And neutering him had been suggested as an option to stop the destruction of hedging, fences and wire that he is currently causing.
Thanks for the websites on the Neutering and the 'negatives' of the Cavalier breed.
Thanks to everyone again!
Regards, S. Ryan

30th September 2005, 02:12 PM
Sorry Siobhan, I misread your first post :? Your dog sounds like a rescue we once fostered. She was an absolute nightmare for escaping. Luckily, she always came right back when we called her but imagine my surprise when I let her out the back garden on the second day and when I called her I heard her barking at the front door :shock: She had managed to squeeze through a gap that even my friends 14 week old puppy couldn't get through :roll:

In the end, my hubby went right round our garden witha huge roll of chicken wire, fencing everything including the 'inner' (we have two gates in succession to get outside - our house is like Fort Knox to try and prevent dogs escaping) gate off - Holly, however then dug underneath it.

We ended up having to actually pin the wire into the ground to stop her. I think our garden is now even 'mouse proof' :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Good luck with your little darling, I think the only answer is to erect steel fencing the whole way round your garden, the way Michael Eavis did at Glastonbury to stop people getting in without tickets LMAO

Have a look at this http://eventbiz.co.uk/newproducts/evetrakway.asp might be the only way to stop him :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

30th September 2005, 03:00 PM
The Glastonbury cavaliers! :lol:

Some are really escape artists all right. In general a fence about 5-6 foot is needed if you have one that can jump or climb (some can clumb chicken wire or chain link), and often this does also need to be sunk about a foot down to prevent diggers. It's all part of having a dog -- small ones like cavaliers can get out through some really small spaces! Siobhan I can imagine how worrying that must be when they are, as Donna notes, the flibbertygibbets of the "road sense" world! They will indeed chase a piece of paper blowing across the road, a butterfly, almost anything.

Breeder Laura Lang uses fencing about 6 feet high in her dog yard -- you can see a pic og it here:


Here's a brief dicussion of the need for secure fencing for cavs:


1st October 2005, 08:38 PM
I don't think neutering will stop him from wanting to explore. I happen to agree to neuter him, and hope you get the desired result :)

My Darby has been neutered since he was 6 months old, he is 7 yrs old, and if there is an opportunity for him to take a walk through the neighborhood (alone!) he will take it. (however, he does not LOOK for ways to escape if that is what you mean)

That being said, McGwire was neutered at age 4 (he is 5 now) and I have noticed that he may be finally ready to do a bit of agility or obedience with me as he isn't so interested in what boys or girls are around? All the time he was intact, he did not have a desire to go wander. He "would" if a door was clearly open, I did run and find him and Darby at my neighbor when Mac was just 7 mo. old. They were visiting. Not running away, but walked out an open door.

So it has its benefits! But the temptation to go see the world is usually too great LOL

1st October 2005, 10:37 PM
Hi Steph, nice to see you on here :D