Hungarian Vizsla Forums banner

Have you recognized stigmas and/or criticisms toward keeping dogs intact?

  • Have recognized mixed, but indifferent opinions

    Votes: 0 0.0%
1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Warning - VERY lengthy post! Please skip to the bottom if you want to catch my overall opinion on this issue. I do think it's important to speak about, as there are still many people facing these issues on a frequent basis.

Is it just me, or do other owners of intact pups feel offended/chastised by the fact that a majority of doggy daycares, dog parks, etc., do not accept or allow intact dogs over 6 or 7 months old? Not to mention veterinarians/veterinary professionals that push the neutering/spaying of dogs at or before the age of 6 months (in most cases). I always think to myself, "why can't these places make exceptions/modifications for owners that prefer not to permanently alter their dogs?". These opinions create pressing issues and stigmas that need to be abolished. If you are going to own an animal of any sort, especially a dog, you need to do your due diligence and prepare to provide the tools and resources that are necessary for providing your dog an optimal life (given your specific lifestyle/circumstances of course). I also understand not all owners have the desire/want to professionally or independently train their dogs, and not all dogs are receptive and/or responsive to training. However, if owners are contemplating bringing their dogs to these establishments (or even out in public around other people or dogs), training and basic obedience should be commonplace.

First, let me explain; I do understand why these establishments/parks enforce these requirements. Life is full of "whoopsies", and the liability of an intact male impregnating an intact female or being aggressive toward another male is a big deal and cause for concern (from mainly a liability/money aspect). It is impossible to track a dogs' every waking move, especially in a dog park or large doggy daycare facility. However, I feel it is a MAJOR misconception that intact males are more aggressive/dominant than neutered males. While this holds true for some dogs, not all are aggressive or dominant in nature. It has actually been found that both males and females can and have developed new behavioral/health issues while adjusting to the lack of hormones from having their gonads modified and/or removed. The demeanor of a dog is reliant upon many factors: breed temperament, training, socialization, age, environment, etc. I've seen both intact and neutered dogs display aggressive behavior (dog parks are a prime example of this). To those who think aggression lingers and runs rampant in dogs that remain intact, it's important to think about how this is actually studied. It is close to impossible to fairly analyze the aggression/dominance issues of intact vs. neutered dogs, as sexual sterilization is an extremely common and highly recommended practice. The ratio of neutered dogs to intact dogs is extremely disproportionate, with a majority being sexually sterilized; not including other confounding factors that can alter a dog's overall temperament/demeanor. Long story short, dogs are inherently a huge responsibility, and should be handled as such. Owners need to show utmost responsibility to the best of their abilities.

Back to the doggy daycare/dog park model of the western world
I'll give you a scenario that pertains to my situation.
Let's say at a specific doggy daycare all or mostly all of the dogs have been neutered/spayed. Your intact dog has an exceptional temperament as he/she has undergone both professional and independent training, and prospectively working to become a certified service dog (an actual service dog with a certificate and legitimate vest/purpose...lol). Per these factors, your dog poses no risk in impregnating females as they are all spayed, and poses little to no danger toward other males as they do not exhibit aggressive or dominant behaviors. My issue is, why is it such a hassle for certain businesses to modify certain playrooms/yards for all dogs (both neutered and intact) so the risk of anything happening is nearly impossible? Instead, owners of intact dogs are denied and turned away. This instills ever-evolving feelings of guilt/anger/confusion, as you're just trying to pursue the life you think is best for your dog.

My boy Finn is now 7 months old; will be staying intact as I plan to show him in the future. He is the sweetest and goofiest little guy. He wouldn't hurt a fly, and yearns for attention and play from other dogs. He adjusts his temperament to whatever dog/dog(s) he is surrounded by. I have been trying to find a doggy daycare to take him to a few days a week in order to socialize him and fill the energy and mental stimulation requirements on the days I cannot fully do so. I can't help but feel chastised/guilted when reading the neutering age requirement on virtually all doggy daycare/dog park websites/applications. There are individuals on Rover.com that accept intact males, but the cost is astronomically higher as most people charge flat daily rates that exceed large doggy-daycare facilities by a long-shot after 2 weeks of dog-sitting alone.

This is my beef with some veterinary professionals:
I am a healthcare professional myself (pharmacist), so I highly respect what veterinarians/veterinary techs do, as I could not fathom dealing with half of the things they deal with on a daily basis. I also fully understand why veterinarians highly recommend neutering. A veterinary professional backing neutering is equivalent to a pharmacist enforcing the benefits of vaccines; they help prevent the unexpected/inevitable. My problem stems from seeing and experiencing select veterinary professionals (including their websites/social media accounts) label those who have had/are looking to have their dogs neutered/spayed "responsible owners". I take this as: if you don't neuter your dog, you are an irresponsible owner. Of course, I'm sure those who say this are not intentionally trying to degrade your dog-raising decisions, but this statement unfortunately sends an extremely subliminally negative message to owners that do not desire to neuter their dogs.
It's not only vets/vet techs though, I've received harsh/negative comments from loved ones, acquaintances, and strangers about keeping my dog intact (not to mention the looks of shock and dismay when they see my dog's...you know whats). It's seemingly obvious that many feel it's taboo to not neuter a dog.
At a recent emergency vet clinic visit just a few days back (see last post), I was asked my dog's age and if he had been neutered yet. After I stated "he's 7 months old, and no he is not neutered". The tech restated the question. It seemed as though she thought she had either misheard me, or was in utter disbelief that I had not yet neutered my puppy. I proceeded to receive further questioning and judgmental stares throughout the paperwork/data collection process as if I had done something wrong. Following this, I was asked by the veterinarian why I hadn't yet neutered my dog. It felt more like an interrogation than an actual conversation. VERY uncomfortable. Not to mention stressful, as Finn was already not feeling well (momma was stressed as it was). Thankfully, Finn's primary veterinarian supports my decision to keep him intact and understands my stance after having a conversation regarding recent studies that explored the health benefits of keeping medium-large breeds intact until the age of at least 12 months (I can definitely write up another post on this, as this is extremely important/interesting).

Ultimately, it's the owner's responsibility to raise their dog(s) as they please. The overpopulation of foster/stray dogs is the primary reason for widespread neutering. The abundance of stray/foster dogs is truly a shame, and it breaks my heart that such sweet, loving, and sociable dogs (for the most part; there are dogs that are aggressive - by no fault of their own) are without homes and families to love them back. I have been volunteering at a dog shelter for almost 10 years, and LOVE interacting, training, and witnessing the social behavior of these dogs. It's my therapy (I wish I had pursued a career in dog obedience/behavioral training). This all being said, the abundance of fosters/strays without homes is not the fault of myself or my dog, so why judge my choice to keep my boy intact? Aggressive/dominant natured dogs are also not the fault of myself or my dog. So why is there an ever-lasting stigma surrounding this? If anything, I have to be more responsible and more vigilant with my boy to make sure he is adequately trained and behaved.

My overall synopsis on the neutering/keeping dog intact issue:
It should be up to the owner's discretion whether or not they would like to neuter their dog(s). Those who do want to neuter/spay should 100% do so. Those who decide to keep their dogs intact should not be criticized/guilted/shamed for doing such, but should, in my personal opinion, uphold the highest responsibility for their dogs' actions and training to ensure potential liabilities are kept to an extreme minimum.

If you have read all of my rant and reached the end, thank you for bearing with me (lol). Please let me know your thoughts/opinions! Primarily; what are your specific thoughts on the stigma(s) surrounding intact dogs? Do you face criticism for your neutering beliefs (or disbeliefs)? Do you think it's fair to turn intact dogs away from doggy daycares/dog parks (assuming said dogs are well-tempered, socialized, and trained)? Why or why not?
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
8,302 Posts
My vet does not push spay/ neuter.
My previous vet did not push spay / neuter. With the female dogs, they do advise to spay them by 4 years old, IF I never intend to breed them. I have waited longer, and it's harder the dogs. I've also seen the pictures of the ovaries and tubes of my dogs that were spayed at 6, and 7 years old. After seeing those pictures, I will no longer wait that long, on a female that is not going to ever be bred.
Shine was spayed at 26 months old.
She was never going to be bred. She had matured, and her body was the height and width that it was going to be. Her hips and elbows had been x-rayed and rated by OFA.
With all the information I had, she was mature enough to be spayed.
I had even talked to a Orthopedic Specialist before spaying her.

I help a lot with rescue, and that is where the "Why isn't your dog spayed?" questions that had to be answered. In rescue dogs, you don't see the best dog owners with incoming dogs, you see the worst. Starving puppies dumped on the side of the road. Dogs dying from parvo and distemper because they were never vaccinated. There's more dogs than we could possibly ever save . So spay/ neuter helps to curb the cycle.

If a rescue does not want me to foster, because I leave my dogs intact until 2 years old. Then I would not foster for them. So far when the question has came up, I've pointed out the studies to them, and the fact that I have never had an accidental litter. That I will NOT, spay or neuter before 2. So far they all still let me foster.
Maybe it's because they really need fosters, even if they don't agree with me. So other than helping with rescue, I really don't feel judged for having a intact dog.
I don't do dog parks, I run my dogs on private land. Most of the other dogs they are around, are used for hunting. Those dogs are also intact and most get along just fine.

Shelter/rescue dogs can not be adopted until they are spayed or neutered. More people adopt now, so it became kind of a movement. That you can't possibly be a good pet owner, if your dog is intact. Not taking into consideration, all the steps we actually go through to Not have unplanned litters.
Along with the adopt, don't shop movement. To me either way you're still purchasing a dog. If all dogs were spayed and neutered by six months of age, which is what some people are pushing for. How long would it take for all purebred dogs, to no longer exist?
I'm not a adopt don't shop kind of person. Either do your research on a breeder, or do research on the rescue. Just as all breeders are not created equal, the same can be said for rescue.

I will say neutered males, or more likely to go after intact males in group settings. So if a doggie day care, or dog park has a problem with intact males. It's normally not the intact male that starting it.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
4,252 Posts
I've got eyestrain!, good post :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Sierracb4

·
Registered
Joined
·
34 Posts
My vet does not push spay/ neuter.
My previous vet did not push spay / neuter. With the female dogs, they do advise to spay them by 4 years old, IF I never intend to breed them. I have waited longer, and it's harder the dogs. I've also seen the pictures of the ovaries and tubes of my dogs that were spayed at 6, and 7 years old. After seeing those pictures, I will no longer wait that long, on a female that is not going to ever be bred.
Shine was spayed at 26 months old.
She was never going to be bred. She had matured, and her body was the height and width that it was going to be. Her hips and elbows had been x-rayed and rated by OFA.
With all the information I had, she was mature enough to be spayed.
I had even talked to a Orthopedic Specialist before spaying her.

I help a lot with rescue, and that is where the "Why isn't your dog spayed?" questions that had to be answered. In rescue dogs, you don't see the best dog owners with incoming dogs, you see the worst. Starving puppies dumped on the side of the road. Dogs dying from parvo and distemper because they were never vaccinated. There's more dogs than we could possibly ever save . So spay/ neuter helps to curb the cycle.

If a rescue does not want me to foster, because I leave my dogs intact until 2 years old. Then I would not foster for them. So far when the question has came up, I've pointed out the studies to them, and the fact that I have never had an accidental litter. That I will NOT, spay or neuter before 2. So far they all still let me foster.
Maybe it's because they really need fosters, even if they don't agree with me. So other than helping with rescue, I really don't feel judged for having a intact dog.
I don't do dog parks, I run my dogs on private land. Most of the other dogs they are around, are used for hunting. Those dogs are also intact and most get along just fine.

Shelter/rescue dogs can not be adopted until they are spayed or neutered. More people adopt now, so it became kind of a movement. That you can't possibly be a good pet owner, if your dog is intact. Not taking into consideration, all the steps we actually go through to Not have unplanned litters.
Along with the adopt, don't shop movement. To me either way you're still purchasing a dog. If all dogs were spayed and neutered by six months of age, which is what some people are pushing for. How long would it take for all purebred dogs, to no longer exist?
I'm not a adopt don't shop kind of person. Either do your research on a breeder, or do research on the rescue. Just as all breeders are not created equal, the same can be said for rescue.

I will say neutered males, or more likely to go after intact males in group settings. So if a doggie day care, or dog park has a problem with intact males. It's normally not the intact male that starting it.
[/
Warning - VERY lengthy post! Please skip to the bottom if you want to catch my overall opinion on this issue. I do think it's important to speak about, as there are still many people facing these issues on a frequent basis.

Is it just me, or do other owners of intact pups feel offended/chastised by the fact that a majority of doggy daycares, dog parks, etc., do not accept or allow intact dogs over 6 or 7 months old? Not to mention veterinarians/veterinary professionals that push the neutering/spaying of dogs at or before the age of 6 months (in most cases). I always think to myself, "why can't these places make exceptions/modifications for owners that prefer not to permanently alter their dogs?". These opinions create pressing issues and stigmas that need to be abolished. If you are going to own an animal of any sort, especially a dog, you need to do your due diligence and prepare to provide the tools and resources that are necessary for providing your dog an optimal life (given your specific lifestyle/circumstances of course). I also understand not all owners have the desire/want to professionally or independently train their dogs, and not all dogs are receptive and/or responsive to training. However, if owners are contemplating bringing their dogs to these establishments (or even out in public around other people or dogs), training and basic obedience should be commonplace.

First, let me explain; I do understand why these establishments/parks enforce these requirements. Life is full of "whoopsies", and the liability of an intact male impregnating an intact female or being aggressive toward another male is a big deal and cause for concern (from mainly a liability/money aspect). It is impossible to track a dogs' every waking move, especially in a dog park or large doggy daycare facility. However, I feel it is a MAJOR misconception that intact males are more aggressive/dominant than neutered males. While this holds true for some dogs, not all are aggressive or dominant in nature. It has actually been found that both males and females can and have developed new behavioral/health issues while adjusting to the lack of hormones from having their gonads modified and/or removed. The demeanor of a dog is reliant upon many factors: breed temperament, training, socialization, age, environment, etc. I've seen both intact and neutered dogs display aggressive behavior (dog parks are a prime example of this). To those who think aggression lingers and runs rampant in dogs that remain intact, it's important to think about how this is actually studied. It is close to impossible to fairly analyze the aggression/dominance issues of intact vs. neutered dogs, as sexual sterilization is an extremely common and highly recommended practice. The ratio of neutered dogs to intact dogs is extremely disproportionate, with a majority being sexually sterilized; not including other confounding factors that can alter a dog's overall temperament/demeanor. Long story short, dogs are inherently a huge responsibility, and should be handled as such. Owners need to show utmost responsibility to the best of their abilities.

Back to the doggy daycare/dog park model of the western world
I'll give you a scenario that pertains to my situation.
Let's say at a specific doggy daycare all or mostly all of the dogs have been neutered/spayed. Your intact dog has an exceptional temperament as he/she has undergone both professional and independent training, and prospectively working to become a certified service dog (an actual service dog with a certificate and legitimate vest/purpose...lol). Per these factors, your dog poses no risk in impregnating females as they are all spayed, and poses little to no danger toward other males as they do not exhibit aggressive or dominant behaviors. My issue is, why is it such a hassle for certain businesses to modify certain playrooms/yards for all dogs (both neutered and intact) so the risk of anything happening is nearly impossible? Instead, owners of intact dogs are denied and turned away. This instills ever-evolving feelings of guilt/anger/confusion, as you're just trying to pursue the life you think is best for your dog.

My boy Finn is now 7 months old; will be staying intact as I plan to show him in the future. He is the sweetest and goofiest little guy. He wouldn't hurt a fly, and yearns for attention and play from other dogs. He adjusts his temperament to whatever dog/dog(s) he is surrounded by. I have been trying to find a doggy daycare to take him to a few days a week in order to socialize him and fill the energy and mental stimulation requirements on the days I cannot fully do so. I can't help but feel chastised/guilted when reading the neutering age requirement on virtually all doggy daycare/dog park websites/applications. There are individuals on Rover.com that accept intact males, but the cost is astronomically higher as most people charge flat daily rates that exceed large doggy-daycare facilities by a long-shot after 2 weeks of dog-sitting alone.

This is my beef with some veterinary professionals:
I am a healthcare professional myself (pharmacist), so I highly respect what veterinarians/veterinary techs do, as I could not fathom dealing with half of the things they deal with on a daily basis. I also fully understand why veterinarians highly recommend neutering. A veterinary professional backing neutering is equivalent to a pharmacist enforcing the benefits of vaccines; they help prevent the unexpected/inevitable. My problem stems from seeing and experiencing select veterinary professionals (including their websites/social media accounts) label those who have had/are looking to have their dogs neutered/spayed "responsible owners". I take this as: if you don't neuter your dog, you are an irresponsible owner. Of course, I'm sure those who say this are not intentionally trying to degrade your dog-raising decisions, but this statement unfortunately sends an extremely subliminally negative message to owners that do not desire to neuter their dogs.
It's not only vets/vet techs though, I've received harsh/negative comments from loved ones, acquaintances, and strangers about keeping my dog intact (not to mention the looks of shock and dismay when they see my dog's...you know whats). It's seemingly obvious that many feel it's taboo to not neuter a dog.
At a recent emergency vet clinic visit just a few days back (see last post), I was asked my dog's age and if he had been neutered yet. After I stated "he's 7 months old, and no he is not neutered". The tech restated the question. It seemed as though she thought she had either misheard me, or was in utter disbelief that I had not yet neutered my puppy. I proceeded to receive further questioning and judgmental stares throughout the paperwork/data collection process as if I had done something wrong. Following this, I was asked by the veterinarian why I hadn't yet neutered my dog. It felt more like an interrogation than an actual conversation. VERY uncomfortable. Not to mention stressful, as Finn was already not feeling well (momma was stressed as it was). Thankfully, Finn's primary veterinarian supports my decision to keep him intact and understands my stance after having a conversation regarding recent studies that explored the health benefits of keeping medium-large breeds intact until the age of at least 12 months (I can definitely write up another post on this, as this is extremely important/interesting).

Ultimately, it's the owner's responsibility to raise their dog(s) as they please. The overpopulation of foster/stray dogs is the primary reason for widespread neutering. The abundance of stray/foster dogs is truly a shame, and it breaks my heart that such sweet, loving, and sociable dogs (for the most part; there are dogs that are aggressive - by no fault of their own) are without homes and families to love them back. I have been volunteering at a dog shelter for almost 10 years, and LOVE interacting, training, and witnessing the social behavior of these dogs. It's my therapy (I wish I had pursued a career in dog obedience/behavioral training). This all being said, the abundance of fosters/strays without homes is not the fault of myself or my dog, so why judge my choice to keep my boy intact? Aggressive/dominant natured dogs are also not the fault of myself or my dog. So why is there an ever-lasting stigma surrounding this? If anything, I have to be more responsible and more vigilant with my boy to make sure he is adequately trained and behaved.

My overall synopsis on the neutering/keeping dog intact issue:
It should be up to the owner's discretion whether or not they would like to neuter their dog(s). Those who do want to neuter/spay should 100% do so. Those who decide to keep their dogs intact should not be criticized/guilted/shamed for doing such, but should, in my personal opinion, uphold the highest responsibility for their dogs' actions and training to ensure potential liabilities are kept to an extreme minimum.

If you have read all of my rant and reached the end, thank you for bearing with me (lol). Please let me know your thoughts/opinions! Primarily; what are your specific thoughts on the stigma(s) surrounding intact dogs? Do you face criticism for your neutering beliefs (or disbeliefs)? Do you think it's fair to turn intact dogs away from doggy daycares/dog parks (assuming said dogs are well-tempered, socialized, and trained)? Why or why not?
A view from a very inexperienced V and dog owner is there is a certain amount of stigma around neutering. I’ve lost count of the amount of ‘doggy people’ who have asked me my intentions when commenting on his excited nature 😬 and who are not amused by my ‘It’s not on my radar at present, maybe maybe not’ attitude. My doggy daycare asked me to provide a letter from my vet to confirm that I would be neutering In the future which I found very odd but my vet duly provided me with a letter that stated I would consider it 😂😂

On the plus my vet does not see it as an issue and said it’s my decision and the kennel boarder and puppy trainer also had a very relaxed attitude and said it’s not always necessary.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
871 Posts
i ran into the issue listed in the long post myself, share the frustration, and learned from it: avoid the places which require or raise an eyebrow over intact purebred sporting dogs, as they won`t have the required knowledge these supersonic machines need anyways. Sorry, it may sound arrogant, but just couple of examples... Bende my first boy went to different daycares till he was almost 2 and i spent a lot of time and money on training him, figuring after a while that they were going against my training many times... like they would not crate him as a puppy, as he was so darn cute... and he would drop his toy / bird in front of me as that is what he got praised for at the daycare instead of retrieving to the hand and even worse, they thought him that good boy is a release from the command they gave before. sit was required for every treat, and stand was strongly discouraged, again causing challenges to show and on bird work... and i could go on with my list. he is a smart boy and caught up, but definitely had lots of confusing messages injected into his lovely brain.

so i ended up hiring a dog walker, and ensuring that he has daily off leash runs with me, lots of trainings etc, so he was actually tired at the end of the day and much more calm than after a daycare day. then i added Miksa, and now they are tiring each other out. i work from home now, no more dog walker and i can see that both are even better behaved and calmer than before.

You can also organize play dates instead of a daycare setting. Have a structure which sets up your dog for long term success instead of taking criticism from people who don`t live in your reality and in all honesty probably won`t understand it as they forget / don`t know that the adopt don`t shop movement was created to end backyard breeding and not the quality one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
My vet does not push spay/ neuter.
My previous vet did not push spay / neuter. With the female dogs, they do advise to spay them by 4 years old, IF I never intend to breed them. I have waited longer, and it's harder the dogs. I've also seen the pictures of the ovaries and tubes of my dogs that were spayed at 6, and 7 years old. After seeing those pictures, I will no longer wait that long, on a female that is not going to ever be bred.
Shine was spayed at 26 months old.
She was never going to be bred. She had matured, and her body was the height and width that it was going to be. Her hips and elbows had been x-rayed and rated by OFA.
With all the information I had, she was mature enough to be spayed.
I had even talked to a Orthopedic Specialist before spaying her.

I help a lot with rescue, and that is where the "Why isn't your dog spayed?" questions that had to be answered. In rescue dogs, you don't see the best dog owners with incoming dogs, you see the worst. Starving puppies dumped on the side of the road. Dogs dying from parvo and distemper because they were never vaccinated. There's more dogs than we could possibly ever save . So spay/ neuter helps to curb the cycle.

If a rescue does not want me to foster, because I leave my dogs intact until 2 years old. Then I would not foster for them. So far when the question has came up, I've pointed out the studies to them, and the fact that I have never had an accidental litter. That I will NOT, spay or neuter before 2. So far they all still let me foster.
Maybe it's because they really need fosters, even if they don't agree with me. So other than helping with rescue, I really don't feel judged for having a intact dog.
I don't do dog parks, I run my dogs on private land. Most of the other dogs they are around, are used for hunting. Those dogs are also intact and most get along just fine.

Shelter/rescue dogs can not be adopted until they are spayed or neutered. More people adopt now, so it became kind of a movement. That you can't possibly be a good pet owner, if your dog is intact. Not taking into consideration, all the steps we actually go through to Not have unplanned litters.
Along with the adopt, don't shop movement. To me either way you're still purchasing a dog. If all dogs were spayed and neutered by six months of age, which is what some people are pushing for. How long would it take for all purebred dogs, to no longer exist?
I'm not a adopt don't shop kind of person. Either do your research on a breeder, or do research on the rescue. Just as all breeders are not created equal, the same can be said for rescue.

I will say neutered males, or more likely to go after intact males in group settings. So if a doggie day care, or dog park has a problem with intact males. It's normally not the intact male that starting it.
I've found the criticism/judgements behind keeping dogs intact relies heavily on geographical location it seems. As well as the knowledge of dog owners in your proximity. It bothers me to an extent, but I also acknowledge that those who sway one way or another aren't fully educated, or have stigmas based on what they were taught to think. When I was younger and saw aggressive intact pitbulls/other bully breeds brought into the kennel that were solely used for fighting and/or backyard breeding, that solely shaped my views that all intact males were aggressive. As I've matured and exposed myself to different breeds and research, I've found it really depends on the environment and factors while the dog is raised that truly shapes them into what they become. It's never fully the dog's fault, it's almost always the human that owns them (or the fact that they've been isolated their entire life).

I truly feel all vizsla owners have become experts in the care and needs of their dogs and the breed in general because well, you pretty much have to. These guys are so complex and bright that they require an owner that is active and willing to learn and teach endlessly. This makes owning a dog a much more rewarding experience from what I've experienced with other breeds - you appreciate them more. This also being said, vizslas definitely aren't for everyone. I've owned german shepherds and a catahoula leopard dog in the past, but those breeds don't match the intelligence and personalities I've seen in vizslas/WHVs. Not even close. Not a bad thing, but vizslas are special. I want to write a whole appreciation post for the vizsla/WHV breeds themselves because in my eyes they're much more than a breed. They really shape you as a person, and make you better.

I think eventually more and more people will see the importance of research when looking for a family companion, and I actually think purebreds will surge because people will finally understand the importance of knowing the traits and health background of their dogs. We've domesticated dogs and bred superior bloodlines for a reason; to make them more suitable to fit our needs/wants. I'm not against mixed breeds in the slightest, but like I said knowing the specific traits and health background is important.

I have a catahoula that was a rescue from Louisiana (found dumped in a trash can on the side of the road with his siblings), and he had been neutered before 2 months because he was already gonad-less when I first met him. He now has major thyroid and weight issues, and it's really a shame because he's a great dog. Plus side; he has never tried to hump anyone or anything. Negative side; he will potentially develop more severe conditions based on his health state at 6 years old, and will pass away much younger than he would have if he had been kept intact until the ideal age.

I've thought to myself before; are we doing a disservice to the dogs at kennels/shelters because we're robbing them of growing and developing to their full potential by neutering so young? Is it worth neutering young and potentially putting new owners in a situation where they will have to pan out a lot of money to treat these issues in the future? Should we have guidelines in place to where those working at kennels/shelters need to maintain the best resources and utmost responsibility, so we don't have to neuter so young and the dogs can grow and develop to their full potential? Another fact is most kennels/shelters (at least the ones I've volunteered at) run on donations. To really fix the over-population issue, and to make those volunteering at these shelters more serious about their responsibilities (not that they're not of course, but incentives would help those take jobs and rules more seriously), I think states and organizations should provide funding so that the kennels gets exactly what they need, and those allocating their time to these dogs are rewarded for their hard work. The kennel I volunteer at currently gets a heavy amount of donations, which is extremely touching. Shows how much people actually care about the overpopulation issue. Of course it's rewarding and fulfilling without a monetary incentive but I do feel if that was provided, there could be so much more we could do for these dogs to really put an end to overpopulation. Again, we have to choose the lesser of two evils for these dogs; let overpopulation potentially get worse by not neutering too young, or potentially set dogs up for future health issues by neutering ASAP. It's a hard fish to fry, and I don't think anyone can choose a side without receiving backlash.

Long story short, dogs are amazing and we've domesticated them because they add a lot to our lives. Whether they're intact or not shouldn't matter, but it's responsibility of the owners and those caring for said dogs to do their research and provide the best care for each dog in each particular situation.

I appreciate your input! I love talking on these things and seeing the views from other experienced/extremely educated owners.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
8,302 Posts
Two of the rescues I help, will not spay or neuter that young.
Instead the dogs go to a foster-to-adopt. Meaning the puppies get to stay with the family, and the rescue still pays for all of the puppies medical. Once the puppy is old enough, then it can be spay / neuter, and the adoption finalized.
It's not something every rescue can afford to do, or have the manpower to keep up with all the paperwork to do it.
One of the rescues I helped had 450 dogs adopted from them last year.
They do have a small rescue center, but most of the dogs are fostered.
Because of the amount of dogs and fosters, they do have some paid employees. You can't expect someone to work 12-hour days, with very few days off without some type of compensation.
Rescue is a lot of work, and heartbreak, and spending your own money. You will never get rich doing it, even with a salary. You do it because you love dogs, and the ones that can be saved.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Gabica

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Warning - VERY lengthy post! Please skip to the bottom if you want to catch my overall opinion on this issue. I do think it's important to speak about, as there are still many people facing these issues on a frequent basis.

Is it just me, or do other owners of intact pups feel offended/chastised by the fact that a majority of doggy daycares, dog parks, etc., do not accept or allow intact dogs over 6 or 7 months old? Not to mention veterinarians/veterinary professionals that push the neutering/spaying of dogs at or before the age of 6 months (in most cases). I always think to myself, "why can't these places make exceptions/modifications for owners that prefer not to permanently alter their dogs?". These opinions create pressing issues and stigmas that need to be abolished. If you are going to own an animal of any sort, especially a dog, you need to do your due diligence and prepare to provide the tools and resources that are necessary for providing your dog an optimal life (given your specific lifestyle/circumstances of course). I also understand not all owners have the desire/want to professionally or independently train their dogs, and not all dogs are receptive and/or responsive to training. However, if owners are contemplating bringing their dogs to these establishments (or even out in public around other people or dogs), training and basic obedience should be commonplace.

First, let me explain; I do understand why these establishments/parks enforce these requirements. Life is full of "whoopsies", and the liability of an intact male impregnating an intact female or being aggressive toward another male is a big deal and cause for concern (from mainly a liability/money aspect). It is impossible to track a dogs' every waking move, especially in a dog park or large doggy daycare facility. However, I feel it is a MAJOR misconception that intact males are more aggressive/dominant than neutered males. While this holds true for some dogs, not all are aggressive or dominant in nature. It has actually been found that both males and females can and have developed new behavioral/health issues while adjusting to the lack of hormones from having their gonads modified and/or removed. The demeanor of a dog is reliant upon many factors: breed temperament, training, socialization, age, environment, etc. I've seen both intact and neutered dogs display aggressive behavior (dog parks are a prime example of this). To those who think aggression lingers and runs rampant in dogs that remain intact, it's important to think about how this is actually studied. It is close to impossible to fairly analyze the aggression/dominance issues of intact vs. neutered dogs, as sexual sterilization is an extremely common and highly recommended practice. The ratio of neutered dogs to intact dogs is extremely disproportionate, with a majority being sexually sterilized; not including other confounding factors that can alter a dog's overall temperament/demeanor. Long story short, dogs are inherently a huge responsibility, and should be handled as such. Owners need to show utmost responsibility to the best of their abilities.

Back to the doggy daycare/dog park model of the western world
I'll give you a scenario that pertains to my situation.
Let's say at a specific doggy daycare all or mostly all of the dogs have been neutered/spayed. Your intact dog has an exceptional temperament as he/she has undergone both professional and independent training, and prospectively working to become a certified service dog (an actual service dog with a certificate and legitimate vest/purpose...lol). Per these factors, your dog poses no risk in impregnating females as they are all spayed, and poses little to no danger toward other males as they do not exhibit aggressive or dominant behaviors. My issue is, why is it such a hassle for certain businesses to modify certain playrooms/yards for all dogs (both neutered and intact) so the risk of anything happening is nearly impossible? Instead, owners of intact dogs are denied and turned away. This instills ever-evolving feelings of guilt/anger/confusion, as you're just trying to pursue the life you think is best for your dog.

My boy Finn is now 7 months old; will be staying intact as I plan to show him in the future. He is the sweetest and goofiest little guy. He wouldn't hurt a fly, and yearns for attention and play from other dogs. He adjusts his temperament to whatever dog/dog(s) he is surrounded by. I have been trying to find a doggy daycare to take him to a few days a week in order to socialize him and fill the energy and mental stimulation requirements on the days I cannot fully do so. I can't help but feel chastised/guilted when reading the neutering age requirement on virtually all doggy daycare/dog park websites/applications. There are individuals on Rover.com that accept intact males, but the cost is astronomically higher as most people charge flat daily rates that exceed large doggy-daycare facilities by a long-shot after 2 weeks of dog-sitting alone.

This is my beef with some veterinary professionals:
I am a healthcare professional myself (pharmacist), so I highly respect what veterinarians/veterinary techs do, as I could not fathom dealing with half of the things they deal with on a daily basis. I also fully understand why veterinarians highly recommend neutering. A veterinary professional backing neutering is equivalent to a pharmacist enforcing the benefits of vaccines; they help prevent the unexpected/inevitable. My problem stems from seeing and experiencing select veterinary professionals (including their websites/social media accounts) label those who have had/are looking to have their dogs neutered/spayed "responsible owners". I take this as: if you don't neuter your dog, you are an irresponsible owner. Of course, I'm sure those who say this are not intentionally trying to degrade your dog-raising decisions, but this statement unfortunately sends an extremely subliminally negative message to owners that do not desire to neuter their dogs.
It's not only vets/vet techs though, I've received harsh/negative comments from loved ones, acquaintances, and strangers about keeping my dog intact (not to mention the looks of shock and dismay when they see my dog's...you know whats). It's seemingly obvious that many feel it's taboo to not neuter a dog.
At a recent emergency vet clinic visit just a few days back (see last post), I was asked my dog's age and if he had been neutered yet. After I stated "he's 7 months old, and no he is not neutered". The tech restated the question. It seemed as though she thought she had either misheard me, or was in utter disbelief that I had not yet neutered my puppy. I proceeded to receive further questioning and judgmental stares throughout the paperwork/data collection process as if I had done something wrong. Following this, I was asked by the veterinarian why I hadn't yet neutered my dog. It felt more like an interrogation than an actual conversation. VERY uncomfortable. Not to mention stressful, as Finn was already not feeling well (momma was stressed as it was). Thankfully, Finn's primary veterinarian supports my decision to keep him intact and understands my stance after having a conversation regarding recent studies that explored the health benefits of keeping medium-large breeds intact until the age of at least 12 months (I can definitely write up another post on this, as this is extremely important/interesting).

Ultimately, it's the owner's responsibility to raise their dog(s) as they please. The overpopulation of foster/stray dogs is the primary reason for widespread neutering. The abundance of stray/foster dogs is truly a shame, and it breaks my heart that such sweet, loving, and sociable dogs (for the most part; there are dogs that are aggressive - by no fault of their own) are without homes and families to love them back. I have been volunteering at a dog shelter for almost 10 years, and LOVE interacting, training, and witnessing the social behavior of these dogs. It's my therapy (I wish I had pursued a career in dog obedience/behavioral training). This all being said, the abundance of fosters/strays without homes is not the fault of myself or my dog, so why judge my choice to keep my boy intact? Aggressive/dominant natured dogs are also not the fault of myself or my dog. So why is there an ever-lasting stigma surrounding this? If anything, I have to be more responsible and more vigilant with my boy to make sure he is adequately trained and behaved.

My overall synopsis on the neutering/keeping dog intact issue:
It should be up to the owner's discretion whether or not they would like to neuter their dog(s). Those who do want to neuter/spay should 100% do so. Those who decide to keep their dogs intact should not be criticized/guilted/shamed for doing such, but should, in my personal opinion, uphold the highest responsibility for their dogs' actions and training to ensure potential liabilities are kept to an extreme minimum.

If you have read all of my rant and reached the end, thank you for bearing with me (lol). Please let me know your thoughts/opinion
This is a
Warning - VERY lengthy post! Please skip to the bottom if you want to catch my overall opinion on this issue. I do think it's important to speak about, as there are still many people facing these issues on a frequent basis.

Is it just me, or do other owners of intact pups feel offended/chastised by the fact that a majority of doggy daycares, dog parks, etc., do not accept or allow intact dogs over 6 or 7 months old? Not to mention veterinarians/veterinary professionals that push the neutering/spaying of dogs at or before the age of 6 months (in most cases). I always think to myself, "why can't these places make exceptions/modifications for owners that prefer not to permanently alter their dogs?". These opinions create pressing issues and stigmas that need to be abolished. If you are going to own an animal of any sort, especially a dog, you need to do your due diligence and prepare to provide the tools and resources that are necessary for providing your dog an optimal life (given your specific lifestyle/circumstances of course). I also understand not all owners have the desire/want to professionally or independently train their dogs, and not all dogs are receptive and/or responsive to training. However, if owners are contemplating bringing their dogs to these establishments (or even out in public around other people or dogs), training and basic obedience should be commonplace.

First, let me explain; I do understand why these establishments/parks enforce these requirements. Life is full of "whoopsies", and the liability of an intact male impregnating an intact female or being aggressive toward another male is a big deal and cause for concern (from mainly a liability/money aspect). It is impossible to track a dogs' every waking move, especially in a dog park or large doggy daycare facility. However, I feel it is a MAJOR misconception that intact males are more aggressive/dominant than neutered males. While this holds true for some dogs, not all are aggressive or dominant in nature. It has actually been found that both males and females can and have developed new behavioral/health issues while adjusting to the lack of hormones from having their gonads modified and/or removed. The demeanor of a dog is reliant upon many factors: breed temperament, training, socialization, age, environment, etc. I've seen both intact and neutered dogs display aggressive behavior (dog parks are a prime example of this). To those who think aggression lingers and runs rampant in dogs that remain intact, it's important to think about how this is actually studied. It is close to impossible to fairly analyze the aggression/dominance issues of intact vs. neutered dogs, as sexual sterilization is an extremely common and highly recommended practice. The ratio of neutered dogs to intact dogs is extremely disproportionate, with a majority being sexually sterilized; not including other confounding factors that can alter a dog's overall temperament/demeanor. Long story short, dogs are inherently a huge responsibility, and should be handled as such. Owners need to show utmost responsibility to the best of their abilities.

Back to the doggy daycare/dog park model of the western world
I'll give you a scenario that pertains to my situation.
Let's say at a specific doggy daycare all or mostly all of the dogs have been neutered/spayed. Your intact dog has an exceptional temperament as he/she has undergone both professional and independent training, and prospectively working to become a certified service dog (an actual service dog with a certificate and legitimate vest/purpose...lol). Per these factors, your dog poses no risk in impregnating females as they are all spayed, and poses little to no danger toward other males as they do not exhibit aggressive or dominant behaviors. My issue is, why is it such a hassle for certain businesses to modify certain playrooms/yards for all dogs (both neutered and intact) so the risk of anything happening is nearly impossible? Instead, owners of intact dogs are denied and turned away. This instills ever-evolving feelings of guilt/anger/confusion, as you're just trying to pursue the life you think is best for your dog.

My boy Finn is now 7 months old; will be staying intact as I plan to show him in the future. He is the sweetest and goofiest little guy. He wouldn't hurt a fly, and yearns for attention and play from other dogs. He adjusts his temperament to whatever dog/dog(s) he is surrounded by. I have been trying to find a doggy daycare to take him to a few days a week in order to socialize him and fill the energy and mental stimulation requirements on the days I cannot fully do so. I can't help but feel chastised/guilted when reading the neutering age requirement on virtually all doggy daycare/dog park websites/applications. There are individuals on Rover.com that accept intact males, but the cost is astronomically higher as most people charge flat daily rates that exceed large doggy-daycare facilities by a long-shot after 2 weeks of dog-sitting alone.

This is my beef with some veterinary professionals:
I am a healthcare professional myself (pharmacist), so I highly respect what veterinarians/veterinary techs do, as I could not fathom dealing with half of the things they deal with on a daily basis. I also fully understand why veterinarians highly recommend neutering. A veterinary professional backing neutering is equivalent to a pharmacist enforcing the benefits of vaccines; they help prevent the unexpected/inevitable. My problem stems from seeing and experiencing select veterinary professionals (including their websites/social media accounts) label those who have had/are looking to have their dogs neutered/spayed "responsible owners". I take this as: if you don't neuter your dog, you are an irresponsible owner. Of course, I'm sure those who say this are not intentionally trying to degrade your dog-raising decisions, but this statement unfortunately sends an extremely subliminally negative message to owners that do not desire to neuter their dogs.
It's not only vets/vet techs though, I've received harsh/negative comments from loved ones, acquaintances, and strangers about keeping my dog intact (not to mention the looks of shock and dismay when they see my dog's...you know whats). It's seemingly obvious that many feel it's taboo to not neuter a dog.
At a recent emergency vet clinic visit just a few days back (see last post), I was asked my dog's age and if he had been neutered yet. After I stated "he's 7 months old, and no he is not neutered". The tech restated the question. It seemed as though she thought she had either misheard me, or was in utter disbelief that I had not yet neutered my puppy. I proceeded to receive further questioning and judgmental stares throughout the paperwork/data collection process as if I had done something wrong. Following this, I was asked by the veterinarian why I hadn't yet neutered my dog. It felt more like an interrogation than an actual conversation. VERY uncomfortable. Not to mention stressful, as Finn was already not feeling well (momma was stressed as it was). Thankfully, Finn's primary veterinarian supports my decision to keep him intact and understands my stance after having a conversation regarding recent studies that explored the health benefits of keeping medium-large breeds intact until the age of at least 12 months (I can definitely write up another post on this, as this is extremely important/interesting).

Ultimately, it's the owner's responsibility to raise their dog(s) as they please. The overpopulation of foster/stray dogs is the primary reason for widespread neutering. The abundance of stray/foster dogs is truly a shame, and it breaks my heart that such sweet, loving, and sociable dogs (for the most part; there are dogs that are aggressive - by no fault of their own) are without homes and families to love them back. I have been volunteering at a dog shelter for almost 10 years, and LOVE interacting, training, and witnessing the social behavior of these dogs. It's my therapy (I wish I had pursued a career in dog obedience/behavioral training). This all being said, the abundance of fosters/strays without homes is not the fault of myself or my dog, so why judge my choice to keep my boy intact? Aggressive/dominant natured dogs are also not the fault of myself or my dog. So why is there an ever-lasting stigma surrounding this? If anything, I have to be more responsible and more vigilant with my boy to make sure he is adequately trained and behaved.

My overall synopsis on the neutering/keeping dog intact issue:
It should be up to the owner's discretion whether or not they would like to neuter their dog(s). Those who do want to neuter/spay should 100% do so. Those who decide to keep their dogs intact should not be criticized/guilted/shamed for doing such, but should, in my personal opinion, uphold the highest responsibility for their dogs' actions and training to ensure potential liabilities are kept to an extreme minimum.

If you have read all of my rant and reached the end, thank you for bearing with me (lol). Please let me know your thoughts/opinions! Primarily; what are your specific thoughts on the stigma(s) surrounding intact dogs? Do you face criticism for your neutering beliefs (or disbeliefs)? Do you think it's fair to turn intact dogs away from doggy daycares/dog parks (assuming said dogs are well-tempered, socialized, and trained)? Why or why not?
This is a very good rant. I have 2 intact males - a 6 year old Vizsla and a 1.5 year old GSP. I agree with everything you wrote. I'm European, we do not neuter male dogs, and I never have and never will see it in any way "irresponsible". In fact, I find castrations inhumane.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
Your concerns are real and your questions are good. I wouldn't say that doggy day-cares have a ruling about intact males based upon stigma; I believe it's because they've run into the issues between intact and neutered males that TexasRed mentioned. Vets aren't going to be pushy about any kind of treatment (vaccine schedules, neutering, types of flea medication) if you speak with the voice of knowledgeable authority. Knowing the pros and cons of de-sexing, and specifically as if affects the Vizsla, will enable you to speak intelligently on the subject to vets and others who choose to make comments on the intact dog. I am a member of many Vizsla clubs and sporting dog groups; if I have to leave my dogs there will always be someone to help out. I would suggest you reach out to your clubs and the groups that have the same interests you do. Their support will assist you in many of the things that come up with Vizsla ownership. The shared camaraderie, and friendship, will change your world. Good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
58 Posts
In my current country (Germany) vets don’t perform surgeries unless it’s for a medical reason. Surgery is no replacement for training, and intact females in heat are kept out of parks here.

I have noticed that US centric forums tend to push neutering like it’s gospel. I’m about to move it the UK and I really hope it isn’t some kind of trend in the English speaking world. I don’t plan to neuter him unless it’s a problem for us in the future. He is 13 months old and frankly just a dream dog for us. If we don’t have to we won’t. We’ll train him first, if problems come up.

I'm European, we do not neuter male dogs, and I never have and never will see it in any way "irresponsible". In fact, I find castrations inhumane
Yes! Especially how early vets in the US seem to push castration. A lot of reasons people give to castrate their pets seem to be training issues IMO. If it’s just about not having accidental litters, surely a vasectomy would do. Apparent dog vasectomies are also done in rare cases. I really believe the point of complete castration is about removing testosterone. Maybe dog owners are now used to thinking either you castrate or allow the risk of litters because vasectomy is just not done for some reason. Castration or vasectomy for your pet? seems like a lot of vets push castration to control behavior

Germans don’t neuter their dogs unless it’s a medical necessity and I don’t believe I’m exaggerating when I say Germany has the best dogs in the world. Best behaved. Best trained. Some of the most celebrated dog breeds come from here. I have never seen a dog fight here, and there are no strays. Shelters have way more cats than dogs.

Basically I don’t plan to do it. I might give him a vasectomy one day but neutering is not in question unless we run out of options.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
58 Posts
I want to write a whole appreciation post for the vizsla/WHV breeds themselves because in my eyes they're much more than a breed. They really shape you as a person, and make you better.
Drink to that. My mom doesn’t like dogs. She reluctantly got me one because she thought kids needed dogs. She wasn’t thrilled to meet my V, but completely fell in love with him. She even says she misses him haha

She says he has kind eyes, and is oh so considerate towards her. He’s a bit pushy to me and my husband when he wants to play but we kind of let him. She doesn’t like that, so the dog reads her face. If she shakes her head, he leaves her alone. She thinks he doesn’t want to offend or scare anybody. I don’t think I’ve heard another dog described as “kind”. She doesn’t even like dogs.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top