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Hey guys... So I’m pretty well-read on the timing of neuter/spay debate in the dog world. I know about the growth plates closing later than the typical recommendation from some vets, which is important to consider with Vizslas, a breed prone to potential orthopedic problems.

Here’s where I am having my dilemma. I had always anticipated getting my male V neutered around a year and a half, but at the young age of less than 4 months, we have had a big problem with resource guarding. He deep growls, will lunge, and has bitten and drawn blood. Now, to be clear, I am in the process of setting up one on one training with a trainer outside of puppy class to address this issue, but my concerns is that at such an early age he is already capable of these aggressive moments... I’m worried about hormones kicking in between now and the next year.

I’ve read that growth plates vary from dog to dog and that if your dog “looks” mature then his plates have most likely closed, but how can you tell? I know I’ve read the general safe rule of thumb is 18 months but I’m not sure I want to wait that long if my dog continues to show signs of aggression even if only with resource guarding and after additional training.


I’ve talked to my vet. She knows about my wanting to wait and that my dog is going to be a running companion for my husband so we want to prevent as much as we can orthopedic problems, however she also knows about our current problem with the resource guarding. Her normal rec for larger breeds is 9 months and I told her why I thought that was too early. She was totally fine waiting till later, but mentioned how removing his hormones might also help with the aggression.


Would neutering at 12 months be too early reguarding his growth plates? How can I tell if he “looks” physically mature? I know I should not worry until after I get the one on one trainer, but I wanted to get anyone’s thoughts and experience or knowledge they’ve had with what their breeders or vets have said. Thanks in advance!
 

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A simple xray will show if the growth plates are still open.
 
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Whether they have really closed or not can only be seen on x-ray, not even a vet can safely tell you that without that.

There is a vasectomy option which will still provide the hormones for your pup and those according to newest researches are still very beneficial.

In terms of maturity: if you really have to, you may want to consider to proceed with the procedure once you have no more age related behavior challenges, otherwise you may end up with a dog with lifeline unwanted behavior traits, since without those hormones you can conserve them in the status where they were at the time of conserving. Hope this helps, and also that you can help your pup developing to a wonderful vizsla.
 

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I'm glad to hear that you are addressing the behavior, because that's the real issue. Once you have corrected the behavior, I don't expect that there will be a problem at puberty.
 

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Neutering will not address what for you is a behavioral issue, and I'd encourage you to read the Vizsla study recently completed which show that sterilization is linked to all sorts of negative, serious health problems. The growth issue is a mere inconvenience.
 

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Hey guys... So I’m pretty well-read on the timing of neuter/spay debate in the dog world. I know about the growth plates closing later than the typical recommendation from some vets, which is important to consider with Vizslas, a breed prone to potential orthopedic problems.

Here’s where I am having my dilemma. I had always anticipated getting my male V neutered around a year and a half, but at the young age of less than 4 months, we have had a big problem with resource guarding. He deep growls, will lunge, and has bitten and drawn blood. Now, to be clear, I am in the process of setting up one on one training with a trainer outside of puppy class to address this issue, but my concerns is that at such an early age he is already capable of these aggressive moments... I’m worried about hormones kicking in between now and the next year.

I’ve read that growth plates vary from dog to dog and that if your dog “looks” mature then his plates have most likely closed, but how can you tell? I know I’ve read the general safe rule of thumb is 18 months but I’m not sure I want to wait that long if my dog continues to show signs of aggression even if only with resource guarding and after additional training.


I’ve talked to my vet. She knows about my wanting to wait and that my dog is going to be a running companion for my husband so we want to prevent as much as we can orthopedic problems, however she also knows about our current problem with the resource guarding. Her normal rec for larger breeds is 9 months and I told her why I thought that was too early. She was totally fine waiting till later, but mentioned how removing his hormones might also help with the aggression.


Would neutering at 12 months be too early reguarding his growth plates? How can I tell if he “looks” physically mature? I know I should not worry until after I get the one on one trainer, but I wanted to get anyone’s thoughts and experience or knowledge they’ve had with what their breeders or vets have said. Thanks in advance!
Ok, so I didn’t want to castrate for at least 12 months , I’d read all about the pros and cons. But you are the owner of your dog and what is best for you and them.
I decided to do it at 9mnths , not because my vet advised it, infact my vet said it would be best to leave it due to his fear And nervousness towards strangers.
well, it was the best thing I ever did, for him and myself! And if I’d waited longer I think his behaviour would of escalated . Being a reactive little fellow that he was , I put it down to his personality... literally two weeks after castration.... what a difference ! So relaxed , still alert to strange men but not reactive in a ridiculous fashion. Less in your face with other dogs, just generally a happy dude . So glad I made MY mind up and didn’t go with all the facts. And I’m so glad I did it now rather than wait because ‘science’ told me I shouldn’t. and yes we work, he is a gun dog, and is very well trained. This wasn’t a decision short cut.
 

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Ok, so I didn’t want to castrate for at least 12 months , I’d read all about the pros and cons. But you are the owner of your dog and what is best for you and them.
I decided to do it at 9mnths , not because my vet advised it, infact my vet said it would be best to leave it due to his fear And nervousness towards strangers.
well, it was the best thing I ever did, for him and myself! And if I’d waited longer I think his behaviour would of escalated . Being a reactive little fellow that he was , I put it down to his personality... literally two weeks after castration.... what a difference ! So relaxed , still alert to strange men but not reactive in a ridiculous fashion. Less in your face with other dogs, just generally a happy dude . So glad I made MY mind up and didn’t go with all the facts. And I’m so glad I did it now rather than wait because ‘science’ told me I shouldn’t. and yes we work, he is a gun dog, and is very well trained. This wasn’t a decision short cut.
And his brother was a resource guarder , again, they got him castrated and he is a lot better... testosterone has a lot to play in personality . It fires their engines. Male Primeval instincted and desires overcome some dogs before reasoning especially in certain breeds.
 
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