Well, we made the decision to neuter our pup; deciding that we didn’t want to stud him out and we didn’t want him roaming and producing litters with random females.

The decision to neuter or spay an animal is always one that can cause controversy and questions. We once had a neighbor who had an ‘intact’ male and he let him roam the neighborhood unchecked. We had a pure bred dalmatian female, who was coming into heat. We would put her out in the kennel while we were gone from the house, in our backyard. We came home a couple of times and found our neighbors lab in the yard. We would call and the man would come pick him up, we explained that our female was coming into heat and asked him for the week that she was in heat, if he could put the dog on tie down and/or prevent it from roaming.

Needless to say he never did, and we ended up with a litter of unwanted pups. (Lesson: they can do it thru the kennel chain if the female is willing to back up to the fence.) Oddly, at least to me, this man was very “proud” of his dog and his wife thought we should give them the “pick of the litter”. We weren’t happy about any of it, as we were the ones who had to pay for the food, shots, and find them good homes. (We did find them all good homes, and we kept in touch with most of the owners over the years.)

His reason for not neutering his dog? He didn’t want him to be less ‘manly’. None of the other things mattered, he didn’t care how many unwanted litters his dog might produce. He wasn’t doing it to help make the Labrador breed any better. Just that he didn’t want to neuter him so that the dog wouldn’t feel like he was less of a male dog.

When you consider if you are going to keep your animal intact make sure the reasons are valid. If it is for the propagation of a breed to ensure the lines are healthy, that is one thing. If, however, you are putting your own feelings on the line instead of considering what is best for the animal, then please think harder.

We pretty much knew that we were going to neuter our dog from the beginning, since we weren’t planning on breeding him and we wanted him to not be as likely to roam. The question for us was more of when would be the best time to do it.

Of course, even after I dropped him off at the vets, I was apprehensive, not for the surgery (well okay, a bit toward the surgery as they make you sign those waiver forms, “if anything goes wrong and your dog dies…..”) but more as this was the first time that he wasn’t going to be with me.

The vet has called to let me know that he came through the surgery with no problems and I can pick him up in a couple of hours. I am looking forward to it!

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