It’s been a very busy few weeks since I last had the opportunity to sit down and write something, so I apologise! We have had a LOT of successes in the Good Citizen Dog Scheme awards with a 100% pass rate, so I’m super proud of all my amazing clients and their humans!
Bronze- Arnie & Lucy, Chester & Ainsley, Lexi & Sue, Millie & Craig, Poppy & Charlotte and Storm & Beverley.
Silver – Billy & Doreen, Chester & Keith, Ellie & Claire, Hugo & Craig, Molly & Ken, Poppy & Linda, Poppy & Lynn, Tess & Norma and Tux & Steve.
As well as celebrating these amazing achievements, we’ve been joined by Beth, who has spent a month with us doing work experience. Beth is studying a Level 3 Diploma in Animal Management at Reaseheath College, which is a 2 year course and she hopes to go on to train and work with dogs. I have to say, in the time she’s spent here, I have watched her develop her handling and instruction skills and have even entrusted her to work with my dogs (anyone who knows me knows that this is a great honour!) Whilst Beth’s work experience will end on Sunday, I am very pleased to announce that she will continue to assist with a couple of classes as well as cover me for dates I’m unable to do solo walks.
Whilst the progression classes are flying through the levels and will soon be passing their gold awards, the puppy classes are also doing well and we are putting more & more classes on to meet demand! With an increase in puppies, a question that is frequently asked and argued is the ‘to neuter or not to neuter’ one! There are a number of debates surrounding this with, like everything else, everyone having their own opinions & experiences. It’s important to do your research, not be bullied by your vet and to be aware that there are advantages and disadvantages. So, here are a few points to consider when making the decision!
Your pup will reach puberty from six months old and this will cause increased hormone levels that may alter their behaviour! Despite what has been said in the past, these new behaviours won’t stop just by neutering your dog! The only thing you can do is manage the situation and wait for it to pass – think back to how you were as a hormonal teen!
Testosterone is the male hormone that is found in higher amounts as a dog goes through puppy hood and into their juvenile stage. As the dog gets older, they may start to reduce their levels of testosterone. There are small levels of it for females, but their main sex hormone is oestrogen. Testosterone is responsible for male secondary sexual development on reproductive organs and it is also responsible for positive bone, skin and cardiovascular effects. Many dogs behave less aggressively after castration, once testosterone levels drop, but as testosterone is a confidence giver, many dogs also react aggressively when feeling under threat as they don’t have the confidence to deal with the situation. Your dog may react aggressively because that’s how he’s always been and it’s a learnt aggression rather than an emotional response to a situation, so don’t think castration will solve aggression issues! Some unwanted and difficult behaviours are just that, and not influenced by testosterone at all! So, whilst castration removes the risk of prostate problems and the risk of testicular cancer it can affect their growth and maturation and you may be left with an immature dog forever if castrated too early.
Oestrogen is necessary for many physiological actions in the body including, but not limited to, the development of secondary sexual characteristics including duct growth of the mammary glands, changes in body conformation and hair growth, the regulation of skeletal growth and maintenance of the skeleton. Spaying your bitch will affect her growth, so be aware that until she’s had her first season, there’s the potential she’s still growing. If you neuter your dog when they’re too young, there is an increased risk of hip dysplasia, torn ligaments, and bone cancer because reproductive hormones are essential in the development of your dog's bones and joints.
All dogs are different, so it’s essential you consider all pros and cons of neutering before going ahead as once it’s done there’s no going back! The one thing I will say is please don’t neuter your pet whilst they’re young as their reproductive hormones won’t have had time to do their extremely important jobs.