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It was recommended by two different breeders to have my precious a 4.5 month old Chihuahua, Poppy, as soon as possible to avoid potty training problems, like hiking as he gets older. I do want to have Poppy use potty pads rather than going out, due to health reasons.
However, my vet will not neuter him until he is six months old. I have no doubt that he is doing what he feels is best for Poppy. That is what I pay him for and appreciate his opinion. Does anyone have any information on when it is ok too neuter?
Any help will be greatly appreciated, love my Poppy!
Thanks
 

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I wouldn't neuter a dog that early. I believe they need the hormones that kick in at adolescence for both physical and psychological development.

Do you mean you are concerned about him scent marking?

But I need to add, taking your dog out is about a lot more than toileting. Dogs are intelligent animals that need mental enrichment and a huge amount of that comes from exploring outdoors. If your health can't cope, can you get some help?
 

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I would definitely wait until at least six months, this is sound advice. Smaller breeds mature at a faster rate than larger breeds and based off personal experience in the field (please note this means I haven't done extensive research) the small breed dogs seem to cope absolutely fine with the earlier neuters. They certainly aren't as predisposed to the issues a lot of bigger dogs face if they aren't allowed to develop properly.

However, there is nothing wrong with waiting until he is 12 months old or later if that is your preference.
 

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I've been discussing this lately in connection with my 6+ month-old mixed-breed dog. She's about 50 pounds, so a much bigger dog--and some say that matters, that it's more important to wait for older dogs. Also, Ella is female.

The following is from a veterinarian. He laid out the issues pretty clearly, based on his reading of available research.

This is a good question. Unfortunately, the research out there is not fool proof to say either way. The research shows that spaying and neutering in dogs does allow for longevity to increase by approximately 27%. This is based upon a retrospective study performed in 2015. The disease processes that were looked at are multi-factorial in nature. That means that spaying early alone is not the only cause and good genetics are of utmost importance. For example:​
"A study of 1,500 Labrador retrievers identified no difference in the risk of hip dysplasia in males at any neuter period compared to intact dogs. In females, however, the risk of developing hip dysplasia was higher for those spayed at <6 months (5.4%), 6–11 months (5.1%), and 12–23 months (4.3%) compared to intact females (1.7%). The risk of hip dysplasia for those dogs spayed between 2 and 8 years was 0." This is directly from the article that is being referenced everywhere.​
At the same time, the following is also referenced in the article regarding osteosarcoma in Rottweilers:​
"No attempt was made to correlate increased body weight with neuter status (gonadectomized dogs tend to gain weight following gonadectomy).No attempt was made to correlate increased body weight with neuter status (gonadectomized dogs tend to gain weight following gonadectomy)."​
In short, I have not personally read anything specifically linking the development of disease to these procedures other than a study that looks back at old veterinary records. The only thing that is well established is the risk of testicular cancer and pyometras in animals as they age. Keep in mind that you can choose to weight if you wish as well. ... However, if you choose to wait, the procedure does become a bit more difficult and you would have to monitor Ella during and after each heat cycle to make sure she does well.​
 

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These days the trend is to neuter dogs once they are fully adult. For a large breed dog that would be over a year. The contract for one of my puppies says he can't be neutered until he reaches 18 months. Chihuahuas mature younger, but I still wouldn't neuter at 4.5 months. I would not consider hiking a leg to be a behavioral issue; it's completely natural and normal behavior in a male dog. Peeing inappropriately indoors, whether by squatting or by lifting a leg, IS a problem, but it's a problem I would address via training.

I don't normally recommend potty pads, but I understand they might be necessary if you are housebound or if you don't have a safe area to walk a tiny dog. I would make a special potty area with a tray in a corner. Attach adhesive clips to the wall and hang a potty pad to make a pee curtain if he shows signs of lifting his leg.

I agree that you should still make an effort to get him out for walks if it is within your physical capability. He's tiny enough that you could use a dog stroller or a crate strapped to a rollator to give him outings for his entertainment and mental health. Plus the dog stroller could hold supplies for you and help with stability.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I wouldn't neuter a dog that early. I believe they need the hormones that kick in at adolescence for both physical and psychological development.

Do you mean you are concerned about him scent marking?

But I need to add, taking your dog out is about a lot more than toileting. Dogs are intelligent animals that need mental enrichment and a huge amount of that comes from exploring outdoors. If your health can't cope, can you get some help?
Thank you for your time, I appreciate you responding. I love my dog very much and he will be outside at times. I do not have anyone who can come to my house and take my dog out 5 to 6 times each day. Poppy has enrichment toys, a tunnel and we play fetch and visit with neighbors in my complex. Want only the best for him.
These days the trend is to neuter dogs once they are fully adult. For a large breed dog that would be over a year. The contract for one of my puppies says he can't be neutered until he reaches 18 months. Chihuahuas mature younger, but I still wouldn't neuter at 4.5 months. I would not consider hiking a leg to be a behavioral issue; it's completely natural and normal behavior in a male dog. Peeing inappropriately indoors, whether by squatting or by lifting a leg, IS a problem, but it's a problem I would address via training.

I don't normally recommend potty pads, but I understand they might be necessary if you are housebound or if you don't have a safe area to walk a tiny dog. I would make a special potty area with a tray in a corner. Attach adhesive clips to the wall and hang a potty pad to make a pee curtain if he shows signs of lifting his leg.

I agree that you should still make an effort to get him out for walks if it is within your physical capability. He's tiny enough that you could use a dog stroller or a crate strapped to a rollator to give him outings for his entertainment and mental health. Plus the dog stroller could hold supplies for you and help with stability.
Thank you so very much for this information. I greatly appreciate it.
 
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