I was visiting a behavioural client yesterday, who was experiencing some dog aggression and general delinquent behaviour with her four-year-old Labradoodle. This boy was indeed behaving badly and displaying all the hallmarks of dominance and frustration aggression, rather than the more common fear-related dog aggression. As with all my clients, I asked the owner if her dog was neutered and of course he had been. However, I was less than impressed when she told me that he was already neutered when they got him – at eight weeks!
If you have read my thoughts on neutering on the ABOUT page of this website, you will see that I am not the biggest fan of routine neutering, knowing as I do that it causes far more behavioural problems than it will ever solve. However, the routine neutering of puppies even before they have left their mother, is for me a totally unethical thing to do and it is known to create diseases and certain cancers, such as osteosarcoma, joint problems, cruciate ligament problems etc. As well as this, the tendency to create young dogs which never properly mature, is well known and accepted by most behaviourists and many vets.
How any self-respecting vet can justify this procedure on baby puppies and yet self-righteously support the docking ban all those years ago, is hypocrisy of the highest order and is largely based on boosting their practice profits. I hasten to add that I am more than happy to see my Rottweilers with tails these days, but the sanctimonious preaching of many vets about the cruelty involved back in the day, doesn’t really stand up. Creating behavioural problems and disease is certainly not what a vet is paid for. If you go to look at a litter which has already been neutered, I strongly urge you not to support this barbaric practice by parting with your money. You may well live to regret it if you do.
Peter Mounsey, Ashclyst Dog Training and Behaviour, Devon June 2016