To spay, or not to spay??

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To spay, or not to spay??

This is a discussion on To spay, or not to spay?? within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; Hello all! We have two female Irish Setters, and yesterday aquired a male English Setter. Problem is this! Our old girl is spayed, which isn't ...

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Old 09-08-2011, 11:50 AM
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To spay, or not to spay??

Hello all!

We have two female Irish Setters, and yesterday aquired a male English Setter.

Problem is this!
Our old girl is spayed, which isn't a problem, but Tessi is 2 and is still full, and is rather hormonal when she comes in to season (hey boys, here I am!)

We aquired Rufus yesterday froma foster home, and he has really settled Tessi's behaviour down (no more barking, running at the door, beating poor old Sorrel to play) in 24 hours.

My question is this. With both Rufus and Tessi being entire, will this cause any problems? He seemed interested in her at first, but not so much now.

He has full pedigree papers, and is a truly handsome dog, and we're wondering whether to breed, and just Tessi spayed and leave him entire.

Will it make much of a difference if we do or don't breed him, and will he go fluffy/fat if I do neuter him.

Will it make his temperament any better? (he's an extremely loving dog as it is!)

Thank you in advice for your help!

Sophie, Sorrel, Tessi, Rufus.
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Old 09-08-2011, 12:12 PM
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Well, the obvious problem with having an intact male and female are the puppies and all of the work that entails. It's more work than most people realize and are willing to put in, not to mention the $$$ it would take to properly take care of mom and puppies.

I don't see why you wouldn't spay Tessi and neuter Rufus? If you monitor his food intake, then you can prevent him from getting fat (same goes for spaying Tessi). If he's already a loving dog, that shouldn't change for the worse.

I'd get them both fixed before any medical problems arise (pyometra/infected uterus for her and prostate issues for him).
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Old 09-08-2011, 12:37 PM
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Thanks for your advice!
I was just doing some research on his pedigree papers to see if any relations came up as another reason I ask about keeping him entire is for breeding purposes as he's 3 now, good temperament, good features etc however I don't know what sort of work would have to go in to that? Do I need to show, or offer some sort of insurance to the owner of the bitch?
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Old 09-08-2011, 12:48 PM
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I don't know the intricacies of that aspect of breeding since I am anti-breeding due to overpopulation, but I know there are people who breed on this site so hopefully one of them chimes in to give you advice. I'm only going to give you the medical advice and I don't feel it's healthy to keep them intact as they get older...

Last edited by Holly; 09-08-2011 at 12:50 PM.
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Old 09-08-2011, 01:51 PM
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With breeding a dog comes a lot of questions.... Is the male a proven good example of the breed?(i.e show or working titles or a hunting companion etc), do you know of his lineage, does he come from health tested parents, has he passed his health tests? as well as dozens more...

As Holly said it takes a lot of time and money to raise a litter/breed a dog. There's health testing, stud fees, vet trips, not to mention the possibility of an emergency C-section etc

Personally I wouldn't consider breeding a dog unless it was a proven good example of the breed like say excelling in the show ring or excelling in schutzhund etc as well as passed all necessary health tests(like OFA, Thyroid, CERF etc). I would love to some day breed working line Boxers, but that is a distant dream, but I do know my future boy(or girl) will be competing in schutzhund and hopefully will acquire a few titles

As far as keep animals intact I see no problem if your able to actually handle an entire dog or bitch which most of your average joes aren't. Bo is currently intact. Not my choice and if were up to me I'd have him neutered in a heart beat, but dad's dog, dad's rules. He's never allowed to roam and always monitored and never left alone outside etc. Also there's been a lot of studies from my understanding and leaving an animal intact isn't the end of the world. From what I understand leaving a male intact has more pros then cons where as in a female has more cons then pros. Plus I would just hate to deal with heats.

Also contrary to beliefs spay/neutering doesn't usually effect a dogs personality/temperament. Nor does it make a dog fat/lazy. What makes a dog fat and lazy would be lack of exercise.

However when it comes to spay/neuter none of my dogs will be neutered until at least 18 months of age to allow for proper growth etc. However with a female I will most likely try and spay before the first heat as I'm not sure how well I could handle a bitch in heat
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Old 09-08-2011, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Boxerluv View Post
Also there's been a lot of studies from my understanding and leaving an animal intact isn't the end of the world. From what I understand leaving a male intact has more pros then cons where as in a female has more cons then pros. Plus I would just hate to deal with heats.
My biggest problem/concern with leaving a male intact is that I've seen too many males develop problems (testicular tumor, enlarged prostate, perineal hernias etc) that need to be surgically corrected... but by that time they've developed other medical problems (bad kidneys, heart usually) that prevent a surgery from occurring... or make the surgery very unnecessarily risky. Other than that, there aren't many other medical cons for leaving a male intact.
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Old 09-08-2011, 09:26 PM
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Please alter the female if not both the male and female
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Old 09-09-2011, 02:38 AM
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I would definately be spaying your girl; a litter is expensive, and can be heart breaking, you could lose your bitch and the entire litter with the simplest mistake.

Your boy may be gorgeous, and have papers, but that doesn't make him a good example of the breed, nor a proven stud. I don't see problem with leaving him intact (there have been no proven studies that it makes the coat fluff, either), if you can handle him and you're responsible.
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