Lee Windeatt, International Agility Competitor and Dog Trainer has sent us this story of his experience with his young dog Coy
For years we have been encouraged to neuter our dogs and cats, we have been told this will help prevent unwanted pregnancies and help prevent many health issues. The first is certainly true but is the latter? Yes it can prevent “some” health issues but the latest research shows it can cause a lot of health issues too and may actually have far more negatives than positives. I’d encourage you to research it thoroughly before going ahead with it.
I have a puppy (sort of anyway, at the time of writing she is just 2 years and 3 months) At the age of 10 months I noticed a change in her, subtle at first but then it snowballed into a full blown personality change, a shell of her normal self she would just shutdown and act like the world was over. She may be in a fantastically good mood and bouncing around begging me to play with her then within one second act as though she had been scolded and threatened.
Nothing I tried could bring her out of this state, except time. I tried ignoring it, I tried treats, playing tug (her favourite thing) begging her, I tried putting her away from all the other dogs, I tried putting her with the other dogs. I tried every single thing you could ever think of and the only thing that helped was a few hours to herself and then she’d be ok for an hour or so.
I recognized that this was hormone related and after her first season she had a major phantom pregnancy. After the phantom I carried on trying to work through this which was soul destroying as I trying to train her for agility. It was impossible to train her, so after another season where she had her second phantom pregnancy I waited for three months and then made the decision to have her spayed.
I had a traditional spay and after the necessary rest and care about 8 to 10 weeks later I decided to start her agility training again. I cannot express how happy I am, since her spay she has been back to her old self, the pup I had before ten months old.
She is now flying and hopefully will be able to start competing soon as long as no hiccups come my way. So although I am still not convinced neutering our pets in the best thing it certainly was in this case, it has turned a very sad dog back into the happy bouncy girl she wanted to be –