• If you need to board her, I am betting you will be hard pressed to find a kennel that will take an in-tact bitch. Especially one that might be in or coming into season. You will hear many, many different reason to spay early/spay late. I think in general it because a personal choice and what works for your family/lifestyle. You can find studies that support either way... IMO. As a breeder, I encourage people that get a Tanza pup (and are not going to show) to spay around 9 months, but at that you do run the risk of them coming into season earlier. Also if you do board her, then she should not be with other dogs (her own kennel/run) and then you don't have to worry about a "chastity belt" as in no access to other dogs is in itself a chastity belt... And the ones that you see advertised, trust me if a male wants that bitch in heat, that will never stop them and that is provided you can even keep it on the bitch

  • Your boarding facility should have secure pens. No type of device is going to stop a pair of determined dogs. No respected facility takes bitches if their pens aren't secured. If they aren't, ask your vet for recommendations.

    So quoting my own post...
    "I am also in the "no neuter camp."

    Yes, some breeds need to be spayed for medical issues (Samoyed bitches have high diabetes rates, not spaying more than triples it), and then there are mammary cancer and other issues. All still debatable at best.

    For males, studies indicate there are a lot of issue with neutering prior to 2 or 3 ... bone cancer in larger breeds proven (growth plate), increase in fearful behaviors and even aggression. So if you don't have to neuter, I'd wait.

    Sadly, vets think all owners are idiots incapable of keeping intact animals from breeding. I have real issues with them just pushing neuter instead of being honest about research."

    People blow off mammary cancer as if it's nothing. It isn't nothing. You can help with intact bitches by checking the nipples every single month. But the fact is, bitches do die from it. They also die from pyometra, but so do spayed ones if the vet leaves "a stump ".

    My point is simple. Get all the education that you can from unbiased research sources. Then know her health and life are in your hands. If your choice ends up bad for your particular dog, you'll have the comfort of knowing you cared enough to really learn and you made the choice you thought was best. Don't let anyone beat you up for your choice.

    Again, I'm in the no neuter camp generally. But I wouldn't make a choice for someone else if they paid me.

  • @tanza REALLY appreciate this information. This is a Khani pup (Portland OR) who will not be for show or breeding (contract companion dog) and I was thinking, if not at 6 months, then one year for maturity's sake.

    I'm curious to know if you think Bs attain a full height and muscle mass if neutered young? I've heard this as well. I do want to lure course with her.

    There is also ligating the tubes and leaving ovaries and uterus in place for continued hormonal release... not sure about that. Any opinions?

    I, personally, would wait. The boarding kennel will have an individual run for Phoebe and another -adjoining- for our neutered mix. It's the group "play" area that has me thinking. Costa Ricans tend to be very well-meaning people, but they don't always tell you about things they did that you asked them not to... if you know what I mean. Consequently, my worry and thoughts about spaying before she goes.

    I guess it comes down to what's best for the dog--possible long-term effects of sterilization vs definite long-term effects of early and unwanted pregnancy.

    BTW, I DEFINITELY agree with you about male dogs getting to a bitch in heat. Not to mention the bitch's willingness to participate!

  • @debradownsouth More good feedback. Thank you. Yes, this is what I'm doing now: educating myself. I want the best for Phoebe. I lost my last pair, littermates, to lymphoma two and three years ago. They were 9 and 10 when they died. Whether it was the neutering or a genetic marker, I don't know. The vet said the latter but, whatever it was, I do not want to do that again.

  • @debradownsouth said in Spay Early or Spay Later:

    They also die from pyometra, but so do spayed ones if the vet leaves "a stump ".

    Yes, I've read this as well.

  • @morgansc - Have you spoken to Kathy about this? (breeder)...... best to always follow your pup's breeders opinion.

  • The two females I raised from pups both lived to +/- 16 years. Lady I spayed following her first heat. Tamu I left intact longer because her breeder wanted me to finish her. I did spay her once she had her championship and we were done showing, I think at around 2 years if memory serves. I had no issues with either when they were in heat, except that my neutered GSD/husky cross (who lived to 15, BTW) fell in love with Tamu and couldn't understand the rejection when she went out of season and went back to hating him! 😉

  • Six months is FAR TOO YOUNG. You need to let the bitch grow and develop, structurally and hormonally. If you must spay - then let her have at least one season, preferably two.

  • @tanza Sent her a note but she never responded. She had the sire, another breeder, Teri, had the mother.

  • @zande said in Spay Early or Spay Later:

    Six months is far too young.


    Thanks, everyone, for weighing in on the side of waiting. I had a nice long WhatsApp chat with Liz McCargo of Bellator Basenji's last night and even though I did not buy my pup from her, she took the time to share her thoughts, which she said I could share here. This was her original answer.

    “For the most part, I recommend delayed spaying and neutering in nearly all cases. For my puppy buyers I recommend waiting until 12-18 months old at the very least, ideally around 24 months old. For a majority of cases, this is best and best for the dogs. Although it means a little more management for the owners, it’s better in the long run for the lifetime of the dog.

    “The best resource regarding spaying/neutering is the spay neuter booklet from puppy culture. It goes into all the nuances of why, from a scientific standpoint, and explains things a ton better than I ever could. What it boils down to is it’s better physically, emotionally, mentally, and psychologically for dogs to be allowed to fully mature before removing their sexual organs.

    “The sexual organs help regulate the endocrine system which controls growth of joints, bones, organs, and the regulation of the thyroid. This is why many pets become fat after being fixed, the thyroid is negatively impacted by altering pets, and weight control becomes a bit more difficult. So with earlier spay/neuter, a dog can essentially grow disproportionately to what it was genetically designed since early removal of the sexual organs alters the dog genetically.

    “So physically you may see no difference but their organs may be smaller or larger than originally designed which may lead to complications in the long run. So your dog may live to 10-12 years old, but had the potential to live to 15. We never really know the full impact as we cannot see into the future. Delayed altering can also reduce risks of many different types of cancers. The issues cited that support altering your pet are still there once you alter at a later age, so you’re not missing out on any of the benefits by waiting, but adding to the ultimate life long benefits by waiting.

    “As long as a family can reasonably and responsibly contain their female when in season and contain their male apart from females in season, there’s no need for early altering. Many vets push it because it came from an era of pets breeding at their own will and resulted in many unwanted litters. In today’s day and of age of more fences and less farms, I don’t know any responsible owners who have unwanted litters.

    “Most of Europe doesn’t alter their pets ever, but are able to responsibly contain them and prevent unwanted breedings. Anyway, that’s my two cents on it, the puppy culture book is a wealth of knowledge and the more educated you are, the better a standing up to pushy veterinarians.”


    So a) I will be buying the puppy culture booklet and b) will do everything in my power to keep my girl from being spayed until she is at least a year old and preferably two. Where I live is rampant with unneutered mutts but I have a secure house for her and am with her 100% of the time, so...we should do fine.

    My other two Bs (littermates) were neutered younger than a year. One died of lymphoma at age 9 and the other of a brain tumor at age 10. Not sure if it was the early neutering, disreputable breeder, or what, but I really want to do everything I can to give this little girl the longest and best life possible.

  • @eeeefarm Yes, Liz was telling me last night that they get moody and a bit clingy. She also said keep her away from males for 30 days after the first sign of blood. Check!

  • Liz has absolutely the right of it !!!

    @morgansc 's post should be kept and trotted out every time anyone asks about neutering ! It is MUCH better for the dog to keep it entire and really not that difficult. Basenjis are very clean and mess should never be a problem. Later on, if it is to improve quality of life for the Basenji - it can be necessary.

  • @morgansc Did you decide to wait for the spaying surgery? How was your Phoebe in the meantime? I'm in the same situation right now with my 5 mo old.

  • @mryltis
    Read this comment from @morgansc within this post dated May 30, 2019, 7:49 AM. It answers your question. Ideally it is best to wait until age 24 months but no early than 18 months.

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