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  Topic Review (Newest First)
09-28-2014 08:20 PM
Sputter or not

• Do you plan on neutering/spaying your Doberman? What age are you planning on doing this? If you already did this, what age were they when you did this?

I am currently on Doberman number 7. I have a very strong preference for bitches and so that is what I currently own. I never spay before a second season and many times not even then. IF I choose to spay this one it will be because she is having abnormal heats, has other health issues or is more than 8 years of age.

As for the few dogs I have owned over the years, none of them have ever been castrated before the age of never. The only reasons I have found for castration have been health related. My son’s last Schipperke was castrated at the age of 12 because he had started having prostrate problems and he is the only one we have ever castrated in owning multiple dogs over a span of more than 50 years.

• Do you think spaying/neutering at an early age impacts their growth due to missing hormonal changes? Slower to fully mature physically?

The earlier dogs and bitches are sputtered the more likely they appear to be to sports injuries and/or play injuries.

What we continue to see in our program here is not so much that they are slower to fully mature physically, but that they do not completely mature either physically or mentally. In our puppy program the difference between early sputter and those pups who are intact is glaringly obvious. They early sputters pick fights, want to run away rather than come, don’t want to stop fighting and are way, way more likely to try to bite the human hand that reaches out to help and guide.

• Do you think having this done, prevents certain risks of cancer.

Quite the contrary, I think they are far more at risk for various forms of cancer than those who remain intact for most, if not all, of their life.

• What gender benefits more, male or female?

Neither gender benefits from sputtering. The real reasons why it is done so often, so young and without any real thought to the matter is because it is more convenient for the owners to not have to be bothered with paying attention to and caring for an intact animal. Besides which, PETA/HSUS continue to march successfully forward in the quest to sterilize all animals until there are none. Current stats are more and more showing that something like 85% of all owned dogs have been sputtered. I ask all of you just one question. Where will you get your next dog?

• What are the Pros & Cons do you see for spaying/neutering?

I know it has a monstrous impact on health, growth, learning ability, ability to develop adult behavior, and more. For the past 15+ years we have run a dog day care program that to the best of my knowledge is the only one in the area that allows intact dogs in the program.

Granted it is a small program and we don’t allow more than 18 to 20 dogs a day. All the dogs are required to be in training or have trained here before they are eligible for the program. All the dogs come when called NO MATTER WHAT THE CIRCUMSTANCES. What we have found is that:
• The younger the dog when sputtered the more difficult it is for that dog to integrate into the day pack.
• The more difficult it is for the dog to learn new commands and then remember them.
• The more difficult achieving a reliable recall becomes.
• The earlier a bitch has been spayed the more likely she will be to pick fights, the longer she tries to keep fighting and the higher the likelihood she will be unforgiving.
• Bitches having gone through at least 2 heat cycles don’t appear to have the same “spayed bitch” incontinence problems that early spays are cursed with.
• Bitches appear to be much less likely to have chronic UTI when they have been through at least 2 heat cycles.
• Intact dogs do way more posturing and way less fighting than dogs that have been castrated. They are also much less likely to hold a grudge toward another dog.

There is one major con to owning an intact, adult animal these days. Very, very few of the younger Vets even know what healthy genital looks like. Since they have no idea what healthy looks like they are even less able to help when old age and/or disease turns up.
09-23-2014 03:54 PM
The Nick I think there might be more Cons than are being mentioned here...:

Dr. Becker: The Truth About Spaying and Neutering - YouTube
06-21-2014 11:00 AM
RACV Do you plan on neutering/spaying your Doberman? What age are you planning on doing this? If you already did this, what age were they when you did this?
I spayed Mara when she was 8 or 9 months old.
I adopted her from a shelter when she was 6 months old and spaying was part of the adoption agreement. Although I would have spayed her anyway
I had to watit a couple of month after adopting her because she was recovering from leg reconstruction surgery. She was rescued from the street and a car had run over her, broking both rear legs.
So when she was strong enough I tooke her to get spayed

Do you think spaying/neutering at an early age impacts their growth due to missing hormonal changes? Slower to fully mature physically?
I don't know if it had impact on her growing. She is a just little bit smaller than other dobermans, but thats because she was a malnourished street dog until I adopted her when she was 6 months old, and she had to recover from her surgery, so that had a negative impact on her growth rather then tthe spaying.

Do you think having this done, prevents certain risks of cancer.

I read about apying before spaying her and one of the benefits that I read about was that spaying prevented mamary cancer and uterus cancer. The people at the shelter where I adopted her told me the same thing. So yeah, I do believe that.

What gender benefits more, male or female?

I think that there are benefits for both genders. There´re not only health benefits, like preventing certain risks of cancer, but also you avoid the risk of unwanted pregnancies that lead into unwanted puppies. And also, i t helps controlling aggressivity or dominance instincts, specially on males.

What are the Pros & Cons do you see for spaying/neutering?

The only con that I can think of is that she can't get pregnant so I can't have new puppies. But I live in an apartment with space for one dog only, so that's ok. I can't have anymore dogs.
On the other hand, the pros are that I prevent the risk of cancer, I avoid unwanted pregnancies, I avoid that inconvinience of male dogs following her and bothering her when she's on her period, and I avoid blood stains on the floor, rug and furniture (my mother would kill me if she founds blood stains XD).
also, I don't know if this is a character thing or it's due to the spaying, but after the spaying she got along better with other females.
12-05-2012 02:25 AM
katekev04 Vets love doing the spay/neuter thing...easy, quick money. I have never spayed or neutered my Dobermans...only one female. I have never had problems with dominance since I establish pack leadership and train correctly.
12-17-2011 03:07 AM
Originally Posted by Ahzuz View Post
Hi guys,

Is there such a thing as too old to get sprayed ?
My dobie is 2 years old and i'm planing doing it on him.

Is it too late ?

Thank you guys.
My vet told me never too late! You probably wouldn't see a change in his behaviour in terms of dominance as much as if he'd have had it done younger. Id have a chat with your vet to see if your boy would be a good candidate.
12-17-2011 03:01 AM
Amelia_ Rupert is unneutered purely as I want to show him, if you could show neutered dogs then he would be neutered as he's not breeding quality.

If anyone wants to know why I show an non breeding quality dog, it's because we enjoy it, its good for obedience, confidence, socialisation and it builds a good bond between us I would like to have a show quality doberman in the future, but even then I don't think I'd ever want to breed.
12-17-2011 01:39 AM
mmctaq I de-sex animals if there is a medical issue which would be addressed by being de-sexed or if there is a behavioral issue which I either chose not to live with or found excessively difficult to address through training or management. After a lifetime of having routinely neutered pets, I have decided that the medical information which is available makes a better case for NOT doing this routinely, so I no longer speuter for the purposes of convenience or birth control.

I really think that this is a medical decision which should be thoroughly researched and then decided based on what one feels is best for each particular animal and each particular owner's circumstances. I do not think that it should be done thoughtlessly or as a matter of course.
12-14-2011 08:55 PM
Odin's_Master Our min pin was 7months. Did not stunt his growth (not that there is much "growth" in a min pin ). And Odin our Doberman is 1 year, and he is going on the 22nd of December to get neutered. I would have done it sooner if he was our dog from a puppy.

I dont see how there are any real "cons" or "pros" to getting your animals spayed/neutered. It is all about what you want and/or expect from your dog. My dogs are both family pets, and I see no reason why they should be intact.
03-14-2011 09:20 PM

Hugo was neutered at around six months of age. It helped his budding dominance issues... immensely!
02-06-2011 03:30 PM
Adam Just read this thread looking for ideas on when to lose the jewels..

Fred is currently 15months and we'll be waiting after reading this thread. I'll get him fixed between 18mo-2year mark. That seems to be the go between # for everyone here...

Poor Fred He's sitting here looking at me, as we discuss when to trim him up like he knows what's going on..
01-09-2011 05:28 PM
Lawsman Do some research. Look at large Veteranarian School study's that are peer reviewed. You will find they all say spaying/neutering as early as possible decreases the chance of reproduction cancer dramatically.

If you plan on showing a dog, then you have no choice. AKC requires intact dogs to be shown in confirmation. One (owner, not breeder) has to be look really close as to when to fix thier dog? If dog is 18-24 mos. old and has not done too well in the show world, you may want to consider spaying/neutering? This is subjective of course, but remember your breeder and/or handler makes $ from showing dogs. They tend to be less objective as to the confirmation qualities of their own line. Not to bash all the breeders, but this is human nature. It's tough to look in the mirror and not like the reflection of your own breeding. It's a lot easier to look in the mirror of someone else's breeding and the reflection is crystal clear.

Look at Pet Insurance Co's policy's. Almost all of them exclude cancer related to reproduction if not spayed or neutered? HMMM? Why? Becasue they know from historical claims it will cost them $ if they insure intact dogs.

The few that do insure intact dogs, the premiums are quite high.
12-08-2010 10:46 PM
Brucifer My current plan to breed Princess once. I will keep a pup and I will give pups to a few relatives in the local police forces that want them for both companions and to train as working dogs.

I think the health issues are still undecided,there is evidence of of risks and benefits either way. However I would wait till the dog is fully mature as I do think it can affect development.

The obvious benefit is not having unplanned puppies you are not prepared to deal with.
11-11-2010 06:32 PM
Island Girl Gosh after reading this thread im more confused as ever! lol Sasha has just gone 15 months and i was thinking of getting her spayed this month as its right in the middle of her cycle. She has had two heat cycles already. I'm wondering now is it better to wait until she is 2. Hmmmm
10-31-2010 02:01 PM
DobermanDobbie It is not really necessary and it's still the prerogative of the owner to get the dog spayed/neutered.
10-20-2010 07:34 PM
JagermeisterHn It seems many or most dogs in the US and Canada get spayed/neutered. Is it really necessary?? Here in Honduras is not common to have it done unless the owner gets tired of certain behaviors or after a dog is a certain age. I wont have my boy go through that.
10-18-2010 07:56 PM
Brandy's mom I had a talk with my vet and we weigh the pro and cons. I have decided to go ahead with the spaying as planned before the first heat cycle. One of the main reasons is a point my vet brought up. I know nothing about heat cycle and when it will start. Ruby has a lot of contact with other dogs. There are enough accidents in the world and I don't want to be a part of it. I am not saying I am unresponsible owner just and ignorant one when it comes to heat cycle. I don't want an unwanted pregancy because of my ignorance.

So I just hope I am making the best choice.

Dawn and the girls
10-12-2010 07:03 PM
Brandy's mom Thanks for all the information. Ruby is 6 months and will be spayed at the end of the month so she will be almost 7 months.

My first doberman I didn't spay and she ended up with pymitera on Christmas eve. I never wanted to go there that again. She lived to be 17 years old.

Next doberman was spayed at 6 months Penny just passed this Jan from bone cancer she was 13 1/2 years old. Did I give my girls cancer by having her spayed to young?

Next was Brandy and she was spayed before 6 months. At 6 years old she was DX with diabetes and a few months after that thyroid problems. Did having her spayed this young cause the problems? She is now a very happy senior lady at 10 1/2.

Do I have concerns about all this yes I think any responsable owner would have concerns. What about the effect of mamory cancer?

I knew I would never breed any of my dogs and don't see the reason to keep them intact. Now I learn different so I will have a very franked talk with my vet before the end of the month.

Dawn and the girls
10-03-2010 04:18 PM
Ahzuz Hi guys,

Is there such a thing as too old to get sprayed ?
My dobie is 2 years old and i'm planing doing it on him.

Is it too late ?

Thank you guys.
08-09-2010 07:06 PM
Bodhi Excellent question and good discussion. I'm inclined to err on the side of very smart breeders I've talked to recently who encourage later neutering for health reasons. too many issues against us already. And would encourage education on thyroid issues and testing -- innocent, inexpensive to treat issue that is emerging as potentially more insipid attack on immune system that can lead to problems down the road.
06-29-2010 01:24 AM
thoughtful Here is some information about risk rates accordingly to the amount of female estrus cycles from the same study. It is not that scary as they want you to think it is.

“Mammary tumors are by far the most common tumors in intact female dogs, constituting some 53% of all
malignant tumors in female dogs in a study of dogs in Norway15 where spaying is much less common than in
the USA.
50-60% of mammary tumors are malignant, for which there is a significant risk of metastasis16. Mammary
tumors in dogs have been found to have estrogen receptors17, and the published research18 shows that the
relative risk (odds ratio) that a female will develop mammary cancer compared to the risk in intact females is
dependent on how many estrus cycles she experiences:
# of estrus cycles before spay Odds Ratio
None 0.005
1 0.08
2 or more 0.26
Intact 1.00
The same data when categorized differently showed that the relative risk (odds ratio) that females will
develop mammary cancer compared to the risk in intact females indicated that:
Age at Spaying Odds Ratio
_ 29 months 0.06
_ 30 months 0.40 (not statistically significant at the P<0.05 level)
Intact 1.00
Please note that these are RELATIVE risks. This study has”
06-28-2010 08:06 PM
thoughtful I want to say a few words about “spay/neuter health benefits” for dogs. I do this to rebut a number of rumors, exaggerations and overt lies. It is sad, I believe, that many people make important decisions based only on rumors and do not do good research before spaying or neutering their dogs.
I am originally from Europe -Ukraine. People spay and neuter dogs there in only rare cases, and lots of dogs live long and happy lives. I was shocked, when I found out, that the most American dogs are going through these kinds of procedures without real necessity most of the time. I want to tell about my personal canine behavioral observations, and research on the spay/neuter subject.
I do agree, that dogs of “fighter” breed (Rottweiler, Pit bull terriers, Staffordshire terriers, etc.) should be neutered, because it doesn’t matter how well trained they are, they can lose their minds sometimes. It’s simply in their nature. However, I don’t agree that the toy breed males should be neutered, unless they are not monitored.
People tell stories about “nasty male habits of marking in the house”, which was another “discovery” for me. What the heck are people talking about? We’re talking about DOGS, but not CATS! Here are a couple of observations that prove the insanity of this point. I’ve had two male Poms. Neither of them were used for breeding. They NEVER marked in the house, because they were simply well-trained and were doing potty only outside, like any other well-behaved dog. It is a matter of good training!!! Another thing is; when we recently bred our female Pom to a nice small KENNEL male Pom (which was not potty trained --and he was trying to mark things inside the house) Omg! Oh miracle! I trained him to quit doing that “nasty male habit” in just 5 days!!!!!!!! I’m talking about an intact male dog that was NEVER potty trained!
My research on health benefits of the spay/neuter subject.
First of all, spaying/neutering has both positive AND adverse health effects on the dogs.
I found one good scientific research report on this subject. It appears, that spaying has more advantages , than disadvantages, because it eliminates small risks of mammary tumors and pyometra. Neutering, on the on other hand, has more disadvantages, than advantages like “quadruples the small risk (<0.6%) of prostate cancer”. All of those risks have a very small rate of health problems, and you can read about them in “summary” down below.
Another thing is, if spaying/neutering is done before 1 year of age, it increases the risk of osteosarcoma (bone cancer) in both sexes. This is a common problem that can appear in medium and larger breeds. Many “experienced” breeders suggest fixing the dog before 1 year of age, which is risky kind of thing… Breeders don’t know everything. Heck, nobody knows everything; but if you are ready to make an important and life changing decision for your dog –you had better do full research on this subject.
This is the summary of the research, that was done at Rutgers University (see link below) after numerous dogs had been tested, and large amount of data compiled --which makes it an excellent reference on this subject.

An objective reading of the veterinary medical literature reveals a complex situation with respect to the longterm
health risks and benefits associated with spay/neuter in dogs. The evidence shows that spay/neuter

Page 2 of 12
correlates with both positive AND adverse health effects in dogs. It also suggests how much we really do
not yet understand about this subject.
On balance, it appears that no compelling case can be made for neutering most male dogs, especially
immature male dogs, in order to prevent future health problems. The number of health problems associated
with neutering may exceed the associated health benefits in most cases.

On the positive side, neutering male dogs
eliminates the small risk (probably <1%) of dying from testicular cancer
reduces the risk of non-cancerous prostate disorders
reduces the risk of perianal fistulas
may possibly reduce the risk of diabetes (data inconclusive)

On the negative side, neutering male dogs
if done before 1 year of age, significantly increases the risk of osteosarcoma (bone cancer); this is a
common cancer in medium/large and larger breeds with a poor prognosis.
increases the risk of cardiac hemangiosarcoma by a factor of 1.6
triples the risk of hypothyroidism
increases the risk of progressive geriatric cognitive impairment
triples the risk of obesity, a common health problem in dogs with many associated health problems
quadruples the small risk (<0.6%) of prostate cancer
doubles the small risk (<1%) of urinary tract cancers
increases the risk of orthopedic disorders
increases the risk of adverse reactions to vaccinations

For female dogs, the situation is more complex. The number of health benefits associated with spaying may
exceed the associated health problems in some (not all) cases. On balance, whether spaying improves the
odds of overall good health or degrades them probably depends on the age of the female dog and the
relative risk of various diseases in the different breeds.

On the positive side, spaying female dogs
if done before 2.5 years of age, greatly reduces the risk of mammary tumors, the most common
malignant tumors in female dogs
nearly eliminates the risk of pyometra, which otherwise would affect about 23% of intact female
dogs; pyometra kills about 1% of intact female dogs
reduces the risk of perianal fistulas
removes the very small risk (_0.5%) from uterine, cervical, and ovarian tumors

On the negative side, spaying female dogs
if done before 1 year of age, significantly increases the risk of osteosarcoma (bone cancer); this is a
common cancer in larger breeds with a poor prognosis
increases the risk of splenic hemangiosarcoma by a factor of 2.2 and cardiac hemangiosarcoma by
a factor of >5; this is a common cancer and major cause of death in some breeds
triples the risk of hypothyroidism
increases the risk of obesity by a factor of 1.6-2, a common health problem in dogs with many
associated health problems
causes urinary “spay incontinence” in 4-20% of female dogs
increases the risk of persistent or recurring urinary tract infections by a factor of 3-4
increases the risk of recessed vulva, vaginal dermatitis, and vaginitis, especially for female dogs
spayed before puberty
doubles the small risk (<1%) of urinary tract tumors
increases the risk of orthopedic disorders
increases the risk of adverse reactions to vaccinations
One thing is clear – much of the spay/neuter information that is available to the public is unbalanced and
contains claims that are exaggerated or unsupported by evidence. Rather than helping to educate pet
Page 3 of 12
owners, much of it has contributed to common misunderstandings about the health risks and benefits
associated of spay/neuter in dogs.
The traditional spay/neuter age of six months as well as the modern practice of pediatric spay/neuter appear
to predispose dogs to health risks that could otherwise be avoided by waiting until the dog is physically
mature, or perhaps in the case of many male dogs, foregoing it altogether unless medically necessary.
The balance of long-term health risks and benefits of spay/neuter will vary from one dog to the next. Breed,
age, and gender are variables that must be taken into consideration in conjunction with non-medical factors
for each individual dog. Across-the-board recommendations for all pet dogs do not appear to be
supportable from findings in the veterinary medical literature.”
The link to the full version:
The same study has been used to oppose the Californian legislation on mandatory spay/neuter by AVMA ( American Veterinary Medical Association) Save Our Dogs Spay/Neuter Health
05-27-2010 01:04 PM
Aphrodite I neutered Quattro at 14 months (was trying to hold out for the 1.5 years, but I couldn't take the humping other males anymore lol).

As far as this tall and lanky thing goes - he is tall and lanky lol. So I'm not sure if that had really anything to do with when I got him neutered because I think 14 months is a reasonable time to get them fixed.

Has it changed him? Not at all except that he's not try to dominate every dog out there and not drooling over girl pee lol.
Oh and the "man drips" have stopped thank god.
05-25-2010 02:37 AM
DagniTheDobie SO glad to see this thread! Definitely planning on spaying my female but not sure when. Again, the argument of early or after the first heat. Our breeder recommended after the first heat due to the hormonal issues mentioned but our vet is telling us 6 months and BEFORE the first heat.

Honestly I don't care if I have a lanky dog if that keeps her cancer free (I'd rather have a lanky dog than a dead dog!) but that lankiness comes with problems of its own with the dobies AND maybe different cancers.

Right now I'm leaning towards waiting on the spaying because I don't want to increase her risk of bone issues but of course I don't want to insult the vet by dismissing her recommendation. Decisions, decisions.

Glad to have this thread to read the opinions others have on this subject.
04-16-2010 01:34 AM
smwah Thanks for this thread!! When I get my first dobe I'll be sure to wait at least 10 months before neutering to allow proper growth. I like the solid boy look. =) Someone(from a vet nursing background) has told me that it's safe to neuter once the testicles have fully dropped. What age would that be for most male dobermans?

My dog Terry was neutered at 24 months, only because he wasn't marking or being naughty or displaying other unwanted not neutered male behaviour at an uncontrollable level.

I advocate the 6 months neuter/spay for inexperienced pet owners to prevent problems.

prevent unwanted litters
fix some problem behaviours
prevent certain cancers

may affect growth
can increase risk of other cancers (I heard and read this somewhere, can't remember where though.)
04-11-2010 12:15 PM
Sunrisesya Do you think spaying/neutering at an early age impacts their growth due to missing hormonal changes? Slower to fully mature physically?

In 15 years of obedience training classes it was noted that the spayed/neutered animals that seemed to be perpetual puppies forever were altered before their first heat cycle and/or before one year of age. These were the animals that seemed to never grow up mentally. They need the adult hormones for the brain to mature.
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