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Discussion Starter #1
I know this is a sensitive subject for some but I have some questions and wanted other Vizsla owner's advice. I have read and researched about when is the best time to neuter, and 18 months seems to be the "magic" number.

Has anyone neutered there dog before 12-18 months of age? If so, did you notice a change in your dog's behavior? Also, knowing what you may know now, would you still choose to neuter your dog prior to 12-18 months?
 

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I have girls, but I have several friends who are long time breeders and their standard contract says the if the dog is neutered prior to 18 moths, all health guarantees are null and void.
 

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Hi!

Here are my answers:

Has anyone neutered there dog before 12-18 months of age? Yes - at 6 months. Breeder had advised no earlier than 9 months to ensure the right "look" but vet said 6 months was fine.

If so, did you notice a change in your dog's behavior? Absolutely not! That kind of energy and crazy is just in them - they are extremely high energy puppies and nothing will change that.

Also, knowing what you may know now, would you still choose to neuter your dog prior to 12-18 months? Absolutely! The only thing I would have done differently was get him some children's jogging pants to wear while his stitches were healing so he wouldn't like them and end up wearing a cone for several weeks.

Hope this helps in your research.
 

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http://redbirddog.blogspot.com/2011/10/why-not-to-spayneutered-your-vizsla.html

http://redbirddog.blogspot.com/2011/01/rethinking-spay-neuter-in-2011.html

http://redbirddog.blogspot.com/2011/07/on-going-discussion-on-spay-and-neuter.html

Hope this helps in your research. At 18 months most male Vizslas growth plates have developed. The chest fills out and the ribs expand allowing the lungs to have more capacity. An athletic hunting / field dog needs to run hard and the more lung capacity the better and longer they can run. Look at the chest of an intact male and a early neutered male. You will see what I mean.

Hope this helps in your research.

RBD
 

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Dozer was just done a few weeks ago, 15 mos old. I question whether he's picked up some challenging behaviors due to testosterone levels which may have been prevented by neutering earlier but we'll never know. I just get to work with him longer and harder. He hasn't changed much yet, vet said it should become easier for him to focus in a month or so. But I will say think many many times about neutering because I look at Dozer now and wonder whether we made the right decision and it's not one we can take back. It broke my heart for days. On the other had he has terrible allergies and it was a player in why we didn't wait until the magic number 18. Hormones could be playing a part in his skin issues. Good luck in your decision making.
 

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I am waiting til 18 months to get Kobi snipped, because I want him to be as healthy as possible. I can't say that having his little ginger nuts will make him healthier, but I can't see the opposite (chopping them off) making him healthier either.

Honestly though, every time I think about it I feel bad for him that he's going to have to have the operation done :( Poor little guy
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for all your responses!

RBD--I follow your blog and have read those articles prior to this post :) Thanks!

I feel like I'm more concerned about this issue than most dog owners but maybe that's because the ones I've talked to have had their dog "fixed" around 6 months of age.

One issue we're having is finding a local off leash dog park & a boarding kennel that do not require your dog to be neutered/spayed to attend.
 

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jachambers said:
One issue we're having is finding a local off leash dog park & a boarding kennel that do not require your dog to be neutered/spayed to attend.
That's a shame. This was a non-issue for us. Found both just fine here in NW VA.
 

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Our local dog parks shuns dogs that have no been neutered. I haven't looked in to a boarding kennel, so I can't comment on that. Actually, almost everyone I run into seems turned away by the sight of Kobi's ginger nuts. You would think that they spew cancer and homeless puppies everywhere he walks by the reactions I get.

Of course, the vet would have been happy to lop them off at 6 months, but she doesn't know anything about Vizslas. I don't know much, but I know more than her, apparently ;D
 

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My Mac is 7 months and still has little fellas swaying away! I am also in the camp of the those that think until the bones settle don't touch the nuts. I want him to have all the hormones he can to get him to the size nature intends. I figure why risk it. If you chop them there is a risk if you don't there isn't a risk. Leave til 12-18 months. For those who look down on dogs with nuts they might not under stand as for most breeds everyone is in such a hurry to get rid of them. ;)
 

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I met an intact male for the first time on the Vizsla walk the other day and he was absolutely STUNNING. I can see why it would be a good idea to wait until they're older to neuter.

Our breeder said the same applies to females. She recommends waiting until *at least* the first heat to spay. We are having an issue finding a daycare that will take her unaltered after she is 6 months. Our vet recommends spaying at 6 months, but I think that is not enough time to let her develop properly. I am actually considering not getting her spayed at all, if we can get our work schedules set up so we can exercise her properly. The breeder said if you don't spay, you have to keep them away from intact male dogs for approx. 28 days during the heat cycle. Does anyone have experience with this?
 

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I don't go to dog parks - everyone in my office who has ends up with their dogs getting kennel cough sooner or later. But I'm fortunate that we have county parks that allow off leash running and we also have a state game area where hunting is allowed - and of course that means dogs can run free.

None of the doggie day care facilities in our area will accept a dog older than 6 months that has not been neutered/spayed. Quest is 11 and was not neutered and has not fathered a litter of puppies yet.

We had a female Gordon prior to Quest. Maizie was kept in a fenced in back yard when in heat ... both to keep the boys away from her and to keep her away from them. No walks during her heat cycle. She had this amazing ability to go into heat every October, the one best month for ruffed grouse hunting here. Eventually I had her spayed.

Assuming I'll be able to exercise my new V and have control over him much like past dogs then I probably will keep him intact. The two boys I did have neutered didn't seem to benefit and they didn't have an opportunity to sire a litter even if they had been intact.
 

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The breeder said if you don't spay, you have to keep them away from intact male dogs for approx. 28 days during the heat cycle. Does anyone have experience with this?
http://redbirddog.blogspot.com/2009/12/female-vizsla-heat-cycle-explained.html

Extracted from the post:

"Okay, my bitches bleed for about 3 weeks. Right now I have 9 intact
bitches. I have had as many as 13 at once. I cannot even count how many heat cycles we've managed (with sometimes up to seven bitches in standing heat at the same time)

My girls come into heat every six months like clockwork (Cass is almost
to the HOUR). Their first heat cycle usually comes at around 11 months, and it is every six months thereafter.

When the discharge changes from blood to a more opaque color, THAT is when the bitch is fertile, and needs to be watched the most carefully, not when you slack off.

Use a dog crate with an easily washed/bleached light-colored blanket
inside so you can monitor the discharge and know where the bitch is
every waking moment. When all discharge and swelling stops, you continue
the monitoring her for another week (so, 4 weeks total). You will want
to change these blankets a couple of times a day to launder them, and
control the odor, so have multiple blankets. (I do not use the panties,
as I frequently forgot to REMOVE them when taking the girl out to potty
until it is too late)

Females who have been bred can "hold" the semen for 5 days to to wait until the moment of ovulation -- so absolute caution in necessary until all discharge has stopped and all swelling has gone down. A breeding tie can last anywhere from 5 minutes to 2 hours and still produce puppies.
So a bitch who is out of sight for even 10 minutes could conceivably
take the opportunity to get bred.

Boarding kennels are NOT a good option. If you are not capable of taking responsibility for 4 weeks for every waking moment of your dog's life, then get her spayed BEFORE the heat cycle. Passing the responsibility off to anyone who is not the dog's breeder is a cop out. Besides, I think you will find most boarding kennels would refuse to take a bitch in season in to board because they do not want the responsibility or liability.

Neutered males are NOT immune from the allure of a bitch in season. You can still get a breeding tie, but won't get puppies. Injury can come to both male and female during the tie, so you need to protect your girl from even neutered males, and especially from inexperienced intact males. "

RBD
 

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Discussion Starter #14
We used to take Hudson to daycare once a week but are no longer able to since he's older than 6 months and still intact :( Every morning on our walks he stops at the car and gives us this look of "do I get to go to camp today?"

I wish we had the ability to let him off-leash in a fenced area (besides our backyard) so he can interact with other dogs but no such thing in our area. We are close to 3 state parks with off leash areas but all of them require you to show proof of vaccination and proof your dog is spayed or neutered.

I previously lived in Charleston, SC, where there were plenty of local dog parks, county parks, and designated off leash hours at one of the beaches without this mandatory rule :D

Thankfully my parents still live in Charleston so whenever we visit, Hudson is able to enjoy lots of off-leash time with other dogs.
 

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Our next dog will more than likely be a male Vizsla.
I'd like to wait until he is fully grown to snip him, but that will depend largely on his behaviour, or more fitting, our ability to train an intact male.

My question is for those with intact males: do you provide a release ever?

I see 2 intact males fairly often and both owners have trouble providing that. They both looked into stud services on craigslist, but this apparently is not legal and their posts are removed quickly.

Just as a note, one dog is a 3 year old Husky, the other a year and a half old Bulldog. Both of these powerful dogs are excellent. No aggression, no bad behaviour.
They aren't allowed in dog parks, but imo they are far better dogs than many who are allowed in off-leash areas.
We see them at an unofficial off-leash park all the time. They do fine with other dogs and neither has ever had a release.
 

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I have not provided "release" for my intact male. They are as capable of leading celebate lives as we are.
 

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My question is for those with intact males: do you provide a release ever?
Not needed. That said, you have to give them things that are even better than sex. Birds do the trick for dogs and some older human males 8)

RBD
 

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Aimless1 said:
Assuming I'll be able to exercise my new V and have control over him much like past dogs then I probably will keep him intact. The two boys I did have neutered didn't seem to benefit and they didn't have an opportunity to sire a litter even if they had been intact.
Honestly, I would probably go this route if not for the fact that my girlfriend and parents (who frequently watch Kobi for overnight stays or a few hours on a weekend) would not approve at all. The only negative behavior he seems to have is a lot of marking, but that doesn't bother me except on a rare occasion when he marks somewhere he should not have (my mom's Christmas sled while it was still in her basement). Sure he marks a lot on our runs, but he's usually done by 1.5 miles in.

The mindset that an intact male automatically fathers puppies simple by being intact boggles my mind, but it seems to be the mindset that many people have.
 
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