Need your help to decide....male dog

Star the Fell

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Jun 14, 2015
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Tri-colour, pure bred order collie, he has just turned one. He is very headstrong ( trainers words). He wants to play with every dog he sees, and can get quite demanding if they don't want to play....lots of barking, bouncing around etc, chases anything that moves, terrified of motorbikes and quads.
We are in two minds about getting him neutered, views on internet are mixed....reduce risk of cancer, may calm aggressive dogs,but a lot of negatives too.

So have you a male dog and is he neutered?
What age did you get him 'done'?
Did his behaviour change at all?

Obvious reason to get him done is to stop puppies. We have no intention of breeding from him, although he would make beautiful puppies with the dog next door, who is a long haired version of himself!
 

Orenoko

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Feb 13, 2017
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Grew up with Airedale terriers - couldn't get more headstrong if you tried! - and neutering really helped calm them down. They weren't perfect afterwards but were MUCH better. I think the positives of neutering health wise outweigh any negatives, plus eliminating any risk of making more pups. Of course neutering isn't a silver bullet but, combined with training (which it sounds like you're doing) it can be really helpful.

I remember we tried chemical castration first with one dog to see if it would change his behaviour (I.e. Calm him down). It's an injection that lasts about a month. Apologies, I can't remember what it was called but you could ask your vet if they do it?
 

CharliesAngel

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Jan 15, 2010
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getting him neutered isnt going to solve the issues you describe - only lots of training and time will do that and ultimately although you can vastly improve the behaviours such as being scared of the quad and chasing, this will probably just always be the dog you have. We have had up to 7 BCs at one point and currently have 4 and I used to be trainer running classes and 1:1’s. I would still look at getting him neutered as it’s the responsible thing to do :) If you dont feel you are making progress with your trainer then look for someone else who is very experienced with the breed (local agility clubs will usually be able to recommend someone).
 

Star the Fell

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We have just started weekly training sessions with him. Trainer used to train Greater Manchester Police dogs and teaches agility too, mainly German Shepherds and Border Collies. He has taught us lots in the two weeks we have been going so think he knows his stuff.
However speaking to the other in the group is what made us question wether we are neutering too young.
 
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Bodshi

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Apr 23, 2009
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We had a discussion at the training class I went to about neutering. It's a tricky one and the trainer was of the opinion that if you leave it until later to neuter, any undesirable behaviour has already been learnt. We made the decision not to neuter our giant breed as a puppy because of the supposed risk of the growth plates being affected potentially causing damage to joints. Obviously with a giant breed you have to be particularly careful of joints because the puppies grow so quickly and not all their body parts necessarily grow in sync! Plus, he had suspected elbow dysplasia at one point, which thankfully he seems to have grown out of. Now he's 20 months and should have finished growing, but there seems little urgency to neuter him as he's a very gentle and placid boy and has never shown any interest in females. I probably would have him neutered now, but my OH is very squeamish at the thought and doesn't want to do it.

Oh, and the really experienced 'doggy' people at the training class (as in people who compete and/or breed their dogs) were of the opinion that neutering is overrated, and not the magic solution to all problems that it is promised to be. Of course, they don't necessarily share the same views as the average pet owner.

Good luck with your dog, border collies have so much energy and I should imagine that age one is quite a trying age!
 

Jane&Ziggy

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Apr 30, 2010
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We thought about letting Corky sire a couple of litters of pups because he is so lovely, and our vet agreed and offered us chemical castration for him to keep him safe and calm until he was 2. But we decided in the end that we shouldn't breed from him (he has Queen Anne legs at the front) and had him neutered at about 9 months. To be honest there isn't much change in his behaviour at all.
 

Jessey

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Dec 20, 2004
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If it were a horse there would be no question of castration if you're not planning on breeding, I don't see its any different with a dog.
 

Jessey

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@Jessey current thinking is that neutering canines can lead to an increase in joint disorders (and apparently some cancers). I was searching for a really good article I've read on it, can't find it but this is another one - based on a study of retrievers but the principle applies to al dog breeds.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4096726/
Thats really interesting, how things have moved on since I made that decision 15 odd years ago. I wonder if similar studies will be done with other mammals.
 
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Lissie

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Jan 18, 2016
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Grew up with Airedale terriers - couldn't get more headstrong if you tried! - and neutering really helped calm them down. They weren't perfect afterwards but were MUCH better. I think the positives of neutering health wise outweigh any negatives, plus eliminating any risk of making more pups. Of course neutering isn't a silver bullet but, combined with training (which it sounds like you're doing) it can be really helpful.

I remember we tried chemical castration first with one dog to see if it would change his behaviour (I.e. Calm him down). It's an injection that lasts about a month. Apologies, I can't remember what it was called but you could ask your vet if they do it?
@Orenoko My family have always had Airedales and agree they are very headstrong. Have a way of getting under your skin though, don't think I've met another dog more loyal, funny, or boisterous :p would love another but haven't got the time.

I think they have to be neutered before a certain age, otherwise it's already learnt behaviour.
 

CharliesAngel

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@Star the Fell what i was trying to say was that the behaviours you are wanting to work on wont be ones fixed by neutering but I still believe it is the responsible thing to do. All ours have been neutered at different times tbh and we have never regretted getting any of them done. Behaviours have changed - in terms of sexual awareness, ability to focus around bitches, SOME dominance (but neutering can confuse this in other ways & cause a defence reaction which some people think is plain dominance) and marking territory. Sounds like your trainer is on the job, I took from your post youd been going for quite a while but its very early days. Good luck!
 
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Star the Fell

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The intention has always been to get him neutered, the problem is at what age? My previous dogs had already been done when we got them at around 18 months old.
We had thought that 18-24 months old would be right as he is not yet physically mature. He is still using energy to grow up and is a real scrawny thing at the moment. Once he starts to grow out and get his ruff we would book him in. However his behaviour is becoming more dominent and as others have said this can become a learned behaviour. Very confusing!
 

CharliesAngel

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in your original post you didnt mention any dominant behaviour, what is he doing that’s dominant?
personally now, having done it younger (6 months) and older I would wait to 18 months, that would be my choice.
 

Star the Fell

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The dominant behaviour is with other dogs who decide they don't want to play with him. He barks at them, often right in the face, and has to be pulled away. Perhaps dominant is the wrong word in this context?
Thanks CharliesAngel x
 
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CharliesAngel

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i dont think neutering will solve this, training will though :) they are challenging but so worth it, you’ll have a great dog in time :)