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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Ok, well now that Zeus is a big grown up dog, I have big grown up dog questions!

(Haha I know the 1 is not quite grown up, but I still have questions!)

#1 - Food.
Zeus has been on Taste of the Wild Puppy formula since he was weaned. We are thinking of changing his food to TotW Adult formula. What is the best way to do this transition? Half puppy food, half adult food? Or should we start with less than half of the adult food?

#2 - Neutering
The time has come ... for our big boy to be neutered! He has an appointment on the 16th. My question is, what should we expect after his surgery, behavior wise? What is the heal time after a surgery like this? Should I not walk him? Not running, but like our usual strolls around the neighborhood. Should his feeding schedule be the same, or should I hold off food? (I was told already that he'll have to fast before the surgery...) I'm sure the vet will let us know all of this closer to the surgery date, but I'm sure there are people here who have answers. :)

Any and all advice is welcomed! Thank you!
 

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Great questions Gamer...

I left my dogs intact for years (decades). Several years ago, I was coerced into castrating them. The only difference that I had to deal with was rapid weight gain... Even with no additional food uptake. Butcher went from about 88lb. to well over a buck in a very short period of time. It was crazy fast. So, my best advice would be to carefully watch Zeus's weight. If that means running by your vet and putting on a scale every couple of weeks, that's what I would do.

As far as exercise, that should a discussion with his veterinarian.

Some folks claim that castration minimizes marking (sniffing, licking and peeing). That has not been my experience. Neither has it changed basic behavior.

Again... This is just my past experience.

This time around I decided to go my previous route and leave our youngest intact unless a medical situation requires neutering. He is now 4 yo and is no different in demeanor than any of our other boys were.

My boys that were castrated were mostly about 2 years old. One was 5. We never had a problem with rebound/recovery.



John
Portland OR

edit to say... All dogs differ. You should have a sit down with Zeus's vet and see what he/she has to say.
 

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I would wait until he's fully grown (2-3 years old) before neutering. Seriously. He needs those hormones.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
@falnfenix, unfortunately we dont have the luxury of waiting a few more years. The military base we're moving to requires all dogs to be neutered. Our vet advised waiting at least a year when we inquired about the neutering time frame at his very first visit, so I'm glad that we at least got that year's worth of growth and hormones.

@4x4bikeped we definitely will be talking to the vet about all of these things! Thank you for sharing your experiences. I've heard people mention weight gain, so I'll definitely monitor that. He hasn't had and behavioral issues (except his spazzy moments which hasn't happened again since the time I posted about them... I think he knew I was talking about him!). No leg lifting anywhere other than outside. He sniffs around as much as I think any dog would. I have seen him sniff an area, lick it a little and then get suddenly super drooly at the mouth..which I see as more gross than troublesome. No clue what that is, btw. I'm guessing he smelled some hot-smelling female or something.

I'm hoping the neutering does not change his personality! He's such a goofy dog, I should've named him Jester instead of Zeus!
 

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When I transition food i do 25% new 75% old for 2-3 days, 50/50 for 2-3 days and 75% new 25% old for 2-3 days. I make a big batch up in plastic baggies ahead of time and number them in the order they need to be fed. Then feed the old food til its all gone, so I don't have to throw any away. I used to feed TOTW a long time ago, with no issues. We switched bc Sully got food allergies, although I think it is owned by Diamond pet food now.

I can't help you as far as the neuter goes, Sully was neutered when he had his first knee surgery.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
How are his poops on totw? I've never had a doberman do well on that food, so I would be looking to switch brands unless that works well for him. I also agree about waiting to neuter, but only if you're capable of handling him intact into maturity.
His poops are fine! :) The only time they weren't is when we fed him the canned version when he had 2 broken teeth extracted. We soaked his kibble instead, but that was a while ago.
 

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The only thing I noticed that Mr. B did not hick his leg up as high - still today he only rises it up a few inch's - he still go's as much as before - It did not take any manly ways away either - This is no kidding here - he started sitting on my foot when he sat down - I did read that this is common - they are use to sitting on them and now there gone .

Food - like the others - break them in on it - If he don't like it - you can always get them a set of Neuticles !
 

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Ok, well now that Zeus is a big grown up dog, I have big grown up dog questions!

(Haha I know the 1 is not quite grown up, but I still have questions!)
LOL--big grown up dog questions--I like that..

#1 - Food.
Zeus has been on Taste of the Wild Puppy formula since he was weaned. We are thinking of changing his food to TotW Adult formula. What is the best way to do this transition? Half puppy food, half adult food? Or should we start with less than half of the adult food?
I basically switch foods the same way Control Freak does--but I don't make up packages number for use--I put it on the calendar in the kitchen. And I have never kept a puppy on puppy food for a year--mine are usually transitioned at 5 or 6 months.

#2 - Neutering
The time has come ... for our big boy to be neutered! He has an appointment on the 16th. My question is, what should we expect after his surgery, behavior wise? What is the heal time after a surgery like this? Should I not walk him? Not running, but like our usual strolls around the neighborhood. Should his feeding schedule be the same, or should I hold off food? (I was told already that he'll have to fast before the surgery...) I'm sure the vet will let us know all of this closer to the surgery date, but I'm sure there are people here who have answers. :)

Any and all advice is welcomed! Thank you!
Most vet clinics give a post surgery hand out and either the vet or a vet tech go through it with the owner when the dog is discharged.

My dogs mostly are not neutered--partly because all the puppies start out a show prospects and for the conformation ring they must be intact. Unless there is some pressing reason to neuter my males generally are intact their entire life. But I do sometimes neuter for medical reasons so one of my dogs was 7 when he was neutered and Toad was 9--both of those dogs had a prostate issue. I neutered a young male champion at 3 because he was so ridiculously testosterone ridden that he was spending all his time looking anxiously for bitches. We thought he had a good chance of being a really good performance dog and he had a litter brother who was already being bred so he didn't need to keep him in the gene pool and he went on to earn a bunch of titles in Obedience, Rally and Agility. And I neutered a young (in my household he was young to be neutered) male who turned out to have a genetic form of hypothyroidism. I absolutely didn't want for someone to use him for breeding and his pedigree was very good and he was vWD clear and is now starting to earn performance titles.

Most vets want you to be giving the dog minimal exercise for about two weeks post surgery for neuters. No exercise except on leash for the first two or three days to go potty--leash walks (short) for at least a week and longer on leash exercise for another week.

If you mean should you feed him on the day of the surgery--if the surgery was in the morning you'll usually be told to give him a light meal in the evening and after that he can return to the amount he usually gets.

I haven't had the experience that 4x4 John had with any of my dogs post neuters. Because the amount of exercise they got post neuter was the same the only time my neutered dogs really gained weight was when they were older. Toad is a good example--he has eaten 4 cups of kibble (daily--2 cups in the am and 2 in the evening) during the winter (because I keep the house pretty cold) he might get a 1/4 cup more with each meal. But I watch the dogs weight and adjust amount they get accordingly. Toad at nearly 13 now gets about 3 cups of kibble per day--1-1/2 cups with each meal. But he's retired from every thing and simply doesn't require nor get as much exercise as he used to.

And I've never seen any sort of personality change in any of my altered dogs. And since things like marking inside is never an issue (that is a training issue-not a neutering issue) nothing changes there. The dogs that were neutered very late (like Toad) KNOW if there is a bitch around and it's obvious from their posture and attitude but they aren't pushy about it.

I'm presently doing ears on a 4 month old red puppy bitch--Toad cocks his head, arches his neck and stacks himself showing off for her if she's in the house--it cracks me up but he's very polite around bitches (but he aways was).

If we've missed anything here--ask your vet--they would always rather you asked than feel that you might be bothering them with questions.
 

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Kip we neutered at about the same age as you doing Zeus and I never really noticed any difference. One funny thing though....for about 3 weeks after his surgery, he acted a bit weird, sorta puppy submissive, around other male dogs....like he didn't know quite how to act without his hormones. But then he figured it out, I guess, and went back to normal again.


I left my first male entire until he developed prostate troubles in his tenth year. Then he had to be neutered. It was a bit of a worry to do a surgery at that point in his life, but everything worked out fine and he lived to be almost 14.

He was on free feed before he was neutered and did fine with his weight--but he did get gobs of exercise. After he was fixed, he no longer self-regulated his eating, so we had to go to regular feedings to control how much he ate. But it wasn't particularly hard to keep him in shape.

Of course, he was the dog you could sit in the back seat of the car with and eat a hamburger, and he didn't even bother to beg....he knew he wouldn't get any. Until the kids got into high chairs and he figured out he could sit close by and catch the largess raining down from above. Once the genie was out of the bottle......
 
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