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Thread: The debate: Desexing at a young age affects growth

  1. #1

    Default The debate: Desexing at a young age affects growth

    What do you all think? Does desexing a dog, in this instance a male dog, affect it's growth in the development of muscle and height?

    Jasper was desexed at about 5 months. He's gotten very tall in the past month and is now a few days over 6 months old and is 58cm tall. He is a mixed breed though Bull Arab/Boxer/something. He isn't getting very big, just tall and lanky. Any new person he meets also thinks he's a girl :S

    A friend at work desexed her female Rotti at 6 months and she is growing in muscle and height.

    I've also read that desexing a male dog before he reaches maturity means there's no testosterone that tells the body to stop growing, and so the legs get longer and the growth plates fuse later. Also, that there is less development of muscle because of the lack of testosterone.

    In saying this, what are everyone's opinion on this? Does early desexing affect the physical development of a dog?

    P.S. Photo update of Jasper 6mo.
    NOKIA Lumia 900_000216.jpg
    Last edited by wkristen; 12-18-2013 at 10:09 PM.

  2. #2
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    In my educated opinion I believe it does affect growth, but it's kinda odd because I've met two dogs that have been desexed as young as 5 weeks old and they both never grew to even the minimum of their breed standard... a lot of people say dogs grow bigger when desexed early and some say they stop growing early.. from what I believe, they stop growing earlier but I'm not saying it's a fact because 50% of people say the opposite lol

    Since it does affect growth(whether bigger or smaller) I will be getting my pup desexed at 10-12 months of age(she's now 8.5 months old) so I know she's grown to her full height naturally.

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    In my educated opinion
    Cool, does that mean you're studying veterinary orthopaedics? Or did you mean the opposite?

    In my experience - I have one dog who was desexed at 8 weeks - so sample size of 1 (not exactly scientific). She is of unknown parentage but displays cattle dog attitude and looks - especially the stumpy tail variety.

    She is very long legged and narrow in the head compared to other cattle dogs. But there are many dogs out there that look a lot like her. However - many of them have been desexed young by rescue organisations.

    Most people think she is a boy dog - because all cattle dogs are male (right), or the females are too bitchy to take to public dog spaces? She is also a grovel dog - so most people think she is still a puppy - she's 5 years old now. But every now and again she does the cattle dog bitchy thing and stands up for herself - she especially likes to tell off rude dogs who are old enough to know better. Especially labradoodles.

    There are advantages and disadvantages to early desex. The majority of opinions I've read - is if you have a big boned dog eg Rotti or Great Dane - desex older eg 18 months. If you have a working or sport dog that is required to do lots of running, jumping and turning tight - desex older. But if it's just a pet or a small dog - then younger is ok. Small dogs like maltese or chi can be desexed quite young and be fine because they develop earlier than bigger dogs. Labs seem to be still puppies at 3 years old by comparison.

    If you have a female dog - she will probably have a heat some time after 6 months and could have as many as three by 18 months so then you have to be very careful she doesn't get pregnant. It's generally thought that they should not have puppies until they're done growing too. Ie the same age that you would desex - or with vic rules - 2 years old. So the health risks of having puppies too young are probably worse than the health risks associated with an early desex.

    With male dogs - there are some risks associated with cancer of testicles and prostate if you don't desex. There are also some increased risks of wandering in search of a female or picking fights with or being picked on by other (male) dogs. So some health risks like car accidents and dog attacks there. It is possible to train to mitigate some of these things - tho no amount of training your dog will stop some other entire male wanting to kill him for being entire.

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    All i know is my male Ridgeback x staffy was desexed at 6 weeks (pound puppy) and he grew up jut a bit shorter that my mates pure Ridgey. I expected that due to the Staffy in him.

    He fought off parvo about a week later and from then grew into a happy healthy dog who lived to 14 on a fairly poor diet (i didnt know then what i know now about dog food).

    Not much to go off really but i honestly think it didnt effect him badly at all.


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    In my thinking (and it's only my thinking,not saying it's right), if you've got bull arabs or bull arab crosses, how do you know what they're really supposed to look like in terms of height or size?

    Should they be shorter and stockier or taller and leaner? Not being a recognized breed how can you determine what their maximum and minimum height and weight range should be?

    Both my dogs have bull arab in them. Zeus is bull arab cross mastiff and my old girl Kodi is bull arab cross mastiff cross great dane.

    He is a lot heavier and taller than her but she seems to be broader than him. He just looks lanky to me.

    Kodi was desexed at 5 months and Zeus at 6 and a half months.

    I don't know if having them desexed early has influenced their size at all because how am i supposed to know what size they should be and how can anyone know when they have bull arab crosses in their?

    Hope that made sense and if anyone can enlighten me please feel free to do so.
    If you think dogs can't count, try putting three dog biscuits in your pocket and then giving Fido only two of them. ~Phil Pastoret

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    I personally don't desex until a little older, but then they have all been working dogs.

    At the end of the day, it is something that you must decide for yourself. do your research and make your own decision, because at the end of the day, your the one who is personally responsible for your dogs welfare.
    "He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion" Author Unknown

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    @ Hyacinth

    Companion Animal Studies, thank you very much
    Last edited by RakshaWw; 12-19-2013 at 08:23 PM.

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    It probably does affect growth but only by mms I have read. I have had cattle dogs desexed at 6 months and a couple desexed at 12 months and it made not one bit of difference. They were all much the same height and my lankiest most narrow headed bitch is one that was desexed later but that is her lineage. I have a one desexed at 9 months and she has a very blocky head.

    My last few dogs I have opted to desex a little later 12 months for bitches and about 20 months for dogs but not really seeing much difference. They are all lean hard muscled working dogs both my bitches and dogs are rippling with muscle regardless of when they were desexed, more so than any average pet desexed or not.

    I think it gets back to your own ability to manage your dogs. I have never had any cause to believe the health of my dogs were affected as they have all lived to a ripe old age with no health issues and it just makes it easier to manage my multiple dog household to have them sterilised. Also discourages wondering dogs and wild dogs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RakshaWw View Post
    @ Hyacinth

    Companion Animal Studies, thank you very much
    That's good to know. So you've probably read the same studies on early desex that I have?

    For anyone interested there's one here - a pdf.
    http://www.caninesports.com/uploads/...tions_2013.pdf

    It's just the way you worded it, I wasn't sure if it was just a feeling you had, or if you'd done some study, and what kind of study - ie reading someone else's or doing the research or the practice. Reading someone else's qualifies as "educated" as long as the source is reliable (ie better than Wikipedia). Doing a tafe or uni course is a good start.

    right now - I'd say we need more data on the pros and cons.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyacinth View Post
    right now - I'd say we need more data on the pros and cons.
    I would agree. Untill then I am doing what seems to work for me.

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