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Old 01-31-2008, 06:47 PM
 
Location: Maine
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We have a 5 1/2 month old Alaskan Malamute that we plan to run as a sled dog. I have always heard that it is best to neuter dogs before 6 months of age because of the cancer risks and other negative attributes associated with an intact dog. But recently both the breeder and the vet recommended we wait if we want to run him. All I can find on the net is that it IS recommended to neuter them early, but it all seems to stem from the same author (same wording). There must be other opinions out there. Just curious to see what others have been told by their vets, or have found out through experience. We don't want to put him at risk for cancer, but we also want to make sure we don't neuter too early. I know they say that neutering young does not affect their growth or strength, but I wonder if that's true.

What do you all think??
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Old 01-31-2008, 06:59 PM
 
Location: San Antonio
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I am from England and there the vets advise not to do the op on a male until he is over 1 or a female until after the first season.
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Old 01-31-2008, 07:05 PM
 
Location: Stuck in NE GA right now
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I've had all my male dogs neutered at around 6 months...never had any problems...check with a vet you trust.
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Old 01-31-2008, 07:56 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleddog905 View Post
We have a 5 1/2 month old Alaskan Malamute that we plan to run as a sled dog. I have always heard that it is best to neuter dogs before 6 months of age because of the cancer risks and other negative attributes associated with an intact dog. But recently both the breeder and the vet recommended we wait if we want to run him. All I can find on the net is that it IS recommended to neuter them early, but it all seems to stem from the same author (same wording). There must be other opinions out there. Just curious to see what others have been told by their vets, or have found out through experience. We don't want to put him at risk for cancer, but we also want to make sure we don't neuter too early. I know they say that neutering young does not affect their growth or strength, but I wonder if that's true.

What do you all think??
I've had dogs neutered at varying ages, and none of them appeared to suffer from it in any way. The older they are, the longer it takes for the testosterone to fade away, but that's about it. What is the reason they give for not neutering him if you want to run him? Do you plan to race him, and does the breeder think it would be a good thing for her rep if he turned out to be a really good runner? He's old enough now to breed if he gets a chance, and it sure won't have an effect on his bred-in desire to runrunrun. I have an older female mostly lab/newfie cross with just enough husky in the mix to make her nuts to run, too. And long ago I had a team of Siberians that were mostly neutered, didn't bother their desire to run. I've watched the Iditarod beginning, and those dogs are so focused on 'gogogo' that some of them would literally run themselves to death, if there's no driver to make them keep to a reasonable pace and stop to rest and eat.

Try googling for dog racing and skijoring instead of information about neutering, and see what you find. I know there are a number of sites out there, but I lost all mine when my last computer died.
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Old 01-31-2008, 08:05 PM
 
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Male dogs can have some nasty little habits once they go into sexual maturity, which is around 6 mos. It is best to have them fixed around that age or just before.
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Old 01-31-2008, 08:17 PM
 
Location: Maine
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We are new to the area, so we don't yet have a vet that we know really well. We are using a vet who works with the Iditarod teams, but I'll have to ask him more specifics. When we asked the vet he just said it would be best to wait until he was two. We are taking our female in to be spayed next week, so we'll ask him more questions then. Our breeder seems to think neutering too young affects their strength, and she runs a team of Mal's. Maybe this is just a myth, I don't really know. It shouldn't have any effect on their desire to run, so that is not a concern.

So far he is an extremely easy going dog. If we do decide to wait, we'll certainly reconsider if he starts showing any signs of aggression. We plan on running him on a team, but I'm not sure about racing. I am new to the sled dog circuit so I'll need to see if I, or the dogs, even like it. We just really want the dogs to do something that they'll love, and it's only natural for a Malamute to love to run.

But anyway, thanks for the recommendations so far!
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Old 01-31-2008, 08:36 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleddog905 View Post
We are new to the area, so we don't yet have a vet that we know really well. We are using a vet who works with the Iditarod teams, but I'll have to ask him more specifics. When we asked the vet he just said it would be best to wait until he was two. We are taking our female in to be spayed next week, so we'll ask him more questions then. Our breeder seems to think neutering too young affects their strength, and she runs a team of Mal's. Maybe this is just a myth, I don't really know. It shouldn't have any effect on their desire to run, so that is not a concern.

So far he is an extremely easy going dog. If we do decide to wait, we'll certainly reconsider if he starts showing any signs of aggression. We plan on running him on a team, but I'm not sure about racing. I am new to the sled dog circuit so I'll need to see if I, or the dogs, even like it. We just really want the dogs to do something that they'll love, and it's only natural for a Malamute to love to run.

But anyway, thanks for the recommendations so far!
It's not aggression so much as interest in the opposite sex. The sled dog types are bred to work in packs, so aggression isn't usually an issue. On the other hand, I know of one Borzoi breeder who ended up with an unexpected litter because a 5 month old male got into a pen with a female. She said her vet told her not to worry, he was too young and the sperm were immature. Two months later she told him at least 12 of those little wigglers were quite mature, and what did he suggest she do with the new litter? I heard about it in great detail, because I ended up with one of the unexpected ones.
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Old 02-01-2008, 08:46 AM
 
Location: Tejas
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My vet wouldnt neuter till he reached six months of age so that seems about right. Different vets have different beliefes about it though.
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Old 02-03-2008, 02:33 PM
 
Location: Maine
398 posts, read 1,163,592 times
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Well, I think we'll wait on his neutering and see how things go. I will certainly speak with our vet this week and ask him about the possible increased risk for testicular cancer.
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Old 02-03-2008, 08:46 PM
 
Location: Deep in the Heart of Texas
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There are some studies that indicate neutering of working or athletic dogs should be postponed until the growth plates close at sexual maturity. Here's one article on the subject. Since you are looking for both strength and endurance, you may want to read some of the studies cited in the article or contact the authors for more information. http://www.caninesports.com/EarlySpayConsiderations.pdf

Good luck with your decision!
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