Hola! New to forums, and question about neutering.

Hello, my name is Joseph, my girlfriend Amy and I brought home Marco "Poco Taco" Polo home almost a month ago now. He is 14 weeks old, 5.5 kg, and growing.

So far there have been no major problems, when left alone he cries a bit and he once chewed the door frame. He has since not destroyed anything, which I find amazing. Maybe he's getting us complacent, so he may one day find himself alone with access to shoes galore?

We are using positive training and he understands (though inconsistently performs) SIT, STAY, COME HERE, CROSS (to quickly cross the road). He's learning DOWN, though having such a flexible neck means he doesn't have to lay down to follow a treat to the ground… He seeks out his crate to sleep and has done short stretches alone in it. And he'll be starting puppy school in a week. We also have a 6 y.o. large male tabby cat (Howard Bailey), though rocky at times, they are warming to each other and they will now sleep side by side on the couch and just before Howard was eating from Taco's food bowl (in his crate) with Taco patiently waiting for his turn!

IMPORTANT BIT:
We had his final lot of vaccinations today and the vet said that he should be neutered at 6 months to avoid becoming aggressive. The vet said that the Basenji breed is susceptible to attacking due to being particularly shy and easily scared. I am at odds to understand how removing Taco's testicles will make him feel more secure?

What is the consensus, to neuter or not? And if so, at what age? We don't plan on breeding him. I am not fundamentally against the mutilation of neutering, and paying cheaper council rates is positive… But if he will be a happier, healthier dog if left intact, then I'd do what's best for him.

If you made it this far, thank you for reading. Here's a photo of the little man (and one of the cat, or he'd get jealous):

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Hi,

Welcome to our community!

What a gorgeous looking boy! I am no expert, but neutering will not cure aggression (which seems to be what your vet is suggesting…) It does have some health benefits, but IMO, 6 months is way too early (my boy was done at 18 months...) I have read books that suggest Bs can grow up like spiders (i.e. too leggy, but not sprouting an extra 4!) with too early neutering....I'm sure an expert will be along in a minute, so welcome!

I know that in the US we are far more pro neutering than other countries but I too wasn't quick to neuter Oakley until
I researched it fully. I do however, after familiarizing myself with the breed agree that neutering is a good idea. Your vet is correct that basenjis are more aloof than other breeds and wary of strangers..but I don't necessarily agree that causes them to be aggressive. I believe (in my opinion) that basenjis are prone to being territorial, moody and altogether a much more difficult breed than others. For instance, I raised Oakley very social however at maturity he decided he isn't a fan of other dogs and doesn't particularly enjoy strangers and as an aside is food aggressive..he is a mixed bag and if he wasn't neutered I imagine he would be edgier than he is because his testosterone and hormones would cause him to be more driven in his bad behaviors and aspects…neutering tends to diminish the fortitude behind their urges, good or bad...and perhaps it's because I have a basenji that exudes (and I know this will offend some) the public perception of a basenji (which is they are difficult, aloof, prone to aggressive behavior, vets nightmare) that I think neutering is better for them in the long run.
I did however choose to wait until oakleys growth plates fully closed because I felt it was better not to chance stunting his growth or causing weaker bone structure... I don't know this to be true but I've heard that basenjis are slower growers than some breeds and I know I didn't want to neuter Oakley at the 6 month mark.

Good luck in whatever decision you choose, it is your decision and whichever you make is the right one for your family.

For neutering I took the advice of the breeder we got Kaiser from and neutered him at 8 months, due to research I did on Basenji I really wanted to socialize him as much as I could and he is a social butterfly, loves meeting both people and dogs that with his parents both being of good temperament helps to make for a secure confident dog. Don't agree with what your Vet said about aggression probably look for a vet that has Basenji experience as they are special and have certain requirements during anesthesia like greyhounds. Get out there with your puppy and meet different people and sit and watch buses, trucks bikes etc go by, the more things he experiences the more social and confident he will become and puppy school is a great start and have fun. Our boy also has a cat at home but just like the humans in the house we are the slaves and the cat rules, even lets the dog lick him dry after getting wet in the rain. Enjoy your pup he is awfully cute, boy they grow fast, ours is nearly 17 months now.

Jolanda and Kaiser

Being intact -MIGHT- make them a little more snarky/"aggressive" with other dogs (particularity males) when they reach maturity. Intact males -MIGHT- also be more prone to roaming and you will have to be careful to keep them contained especially if there are bitches in heat. Intact males will also mark (ie lifting their leg on a tree) and SOME may mark in the house. That being said, neutering them will not at all guarantee them to be better pets! I have met PLENTY of fixed basenjis with less than idea temperaments and even more intact show dogs with perfect temperaments. I have only owned intact male basenjis (show dogs) and while my last dog was not fond of other dogs he was perfect with all people including children. My dogs came from a good breeder who pays attention to temperament and that means SO much more than whether or not they have their testicles.

In the USA people are kind of looked down on for keeping their pets intact because everyone is worried that they will breed and add to the over population problem. Accidents happen of course but most of the intact dogs out there with good vigilant owners will not get out and breed. I personally think it's silly to hate on people for making an educated decision about their pet's health.

If you choose to fix your new baby I personally would wait longer and also talk to your breeder. I'm not saying the vet is "wrong" for recommending that you neuter him but his reasons are not 100% on target. 😕

Welcome and congrats on your new addition! I'm no expert, but I would re-think neutering early. I would wait until the growth plates fully close and then neuter him. And I would not say that the breed is susceptible to attacking, though Basenjis can be reserved and cautious with strangers. Most are confident, loving dogs, when socialized. It's always good to keep an eye out for problems, however, and address any aggressive behaviors before they have a chance to escalate. Good luck with him!

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