@alibobo - Unless you are ready for Basenji breeding season and can keep them separate for at least 30 days... then you need to have either the boy neutered or the bitch spayed... and believe me that if you don't and you do not keep them apart.. you will have an "unexpected" litter... and all need to be health tested before that happens. And not impossible for a testicle would descend at his age.. but again unless you are ready to keep them apart (and that is NOT easy)... then consider neuter and/or spay for one or the other. AND NO neutering a boy will NOT make him lazy, fat or boring..... Basenji boys neutered or not for sure know Basenji breeding season. What does you breeder suggest you do?
I got my Basenji neutered hoping it would make him less active and less reactive towards other dogs but after 3 months I’ve haven’t seen any changes. I still have to walk Kylo 4 times per day, and now I’m working with a trainer on the behavioral aggressiveness. I had a Boxer prior to my Basenji and on that breed it made him more calm and less reactive towards other dogs, but not lazy, just a little fat.
With Kylo I took a week off from work to take care of him.
@jengosmonkey - the reason for not to neuter early is the same for not to spay... you want to let their grow plates close which is typically around 8 to 12 months... and yes a puppy bitch even in their first season can and will conceive puppies.... again, what does your breeder tell you?
Thanks everyone. I'm very worried about the potential for them breeding, it's not that I don't want to keep an eye on them, I'm just unsure what to look out for and how good a job I could do of caring for them both at that time. The breeder has not been keen for neutering as they feel it is unfair to put the pup through an unnecessary operation. However, I know they care greatly about the health of the Basenji breed and would be against any illegitimate pups being born.
The fact that one of his testicles is smaller than the other - is anyone aware of that causing heath problems for the dog later on in life? The vet doesn't seem to think so but still believes that neutering rules out a great deal of potential problems.
I agree with Tanza that you probably want to neuter somebody. Although it should be easy to tell when the bitch comes into heat, and she shouldn't be fertile in the early stage of her cycle, in one household it will be a chore to keep them separate, likely something you don't want to worry about going forward unless you are a breeder with the facilities to cope. Of course it's easier to do the male, but then you still have the concern of the female getting caught by another male and ending up with mixed breed pups. The girls can be quite resourceful when the urge is on them! (as can the boys....a friend had a small dog climb onto a garbage can, then over the fence into the dog run with her English Setter! A quick trip to the vet for a shot sorted that.)
I've heard that you risk ending up with an arrogant Basenji if you wait much longer than age three to neuter.
I have to laugh at that ! I have NEVER neutered a boy in all my years with the breed and despite having had 3 entire males with 5 pretty (and entire) ladies living with us as house pets at the same time.
Haven't had an arrogant male Basenji yet. The arrogant one is the pack Alpha - ME !
Maybe it is time for someone to reproduce Liz McCargo's excellent piece on why one should NOT neuter in most cases ?
But this boy is a rig. Only one descended testicle. THAT could indeed be a reason to neuter him, but on health grounds. Vigilance can keep him away from the girls.
But talk to your vet and find out the reason for this advice. Is the vet just saying it because it is in his DNA to neuter dogs, or does he think there could be a genuine health problem ?
I think it's probably in the vet's DNA to neuter. As both testicles are now fully descended, he said that the dog won't need neutered, but that it is still his recommendation to prevent long term future health issues.
The problem I have now is that one of the testicles is significantly smaller than the other. I just wondered has anyone else got any experience of that and if it was something to worry about?
@alibobo I would first of all seek out a second vet's opinion ! The dog is one year old, and the second testicle has now descended.
How experienced with Basenjis is your vet ? Is he aware they carry fore and aft, not side by side as most breeds do ? So when he claimed the first descent was 'in the wrong place', did he really know what he was talking about ?
If you haven't read the post which quoted Liz McCargo's well reasoned and well expressed reason for NOT neutering a young dog, message me with your email address and I will send it to you.
Although I guess it is in the archives somewhere.
I don't think the difference in size would make any difference but if quality of life deteriorates in old age, you can always castrate him then.
Neutering would indeed save you any responsibility or need to be vigilant during the season season, but you also have to consider what such drastic changes can do for the dog as he matures. Yes, neutering probably makes no difference to a Basenji in the short term as people here are telling you but you never know what could happen much later on.
It is not that difficult to be careful !
Unfortunately my vet is not experienced in Basenjis... Nor were the other 3 vets who I have taken him to. I live in Northern Ireland where the breed is very rare as far as I know. Are there many on this forum from Ireland or the UK? I wonder if someone had a vet they could recommend, maybe I could even arrange a phone consultation or something. Just a thought.
Anyway, neutering would certainly not be my preference. I will see how the next few weeks/months play out. Thank you to everyone for their input.
Echoing what Sally (and Liz McCargo) has suggested re: not spaying/neutering, at least at this young age.
There's a very insightful and thoroughly informative booklet by the "Puppy Culture" founder on the subject. It is chockful of the latest scientific/medical/genetic research and also takes into consideration the social "pressure" of neutering/spaying one's pet.
(BF should read a few pages if he prefers facts to oft repeated false tales)
Whether to neuter/spay is an important decision and so is its timing should you decide to have the operation.