Should I neuter my Basenji?


  • @cognition - My contract for pet puppies state that spay/neuter is required. What is different is the timing... and 90% of pet people do not want to have an intact dog/bitch.... I neutered my first male at 4yrs because we had bitches intact in the house and we decided that I would not be using him...


  • @cognition you didn't send me your email address via messaging privately so I have not been able to forward you Liz McCargo' s piece. It spells out reasons not to neuter, for health and development. I think you would find it most helpful.

    People who have recently neutered puppies will not yet know of adverse effects. Which is probably why nobody has responded. Or they may be regretting their actions.

    Again, @tanza has the right of it. Timing is everything. Certainly you should never even consider neutering before hormonal and structural development - and not before 3 or 4 years old. By that time you should have realised that having an entire basenji just means vigilance for a few weeks once a year.

    Over here we possibly have a different mindset. I always insisted my puppies NOT be neutered, and never sold to any one with that in mind. Late in life to improve quality is one thing. Cutting a dog for the owner's convenience is another.


  • @cognition said in Should I neuter my Basenji?:

    I am surprised no one who has neutered their dog responded

    I made it clear to my pups breeder that I wanted my pup to be spayed. As an "older adult" I recognized that I lacked the knowledge to be a breeder myself, didn't have a desire to learn about breeding, and (generally) wanted a puppy as a companion. As it turns out, the girl they picked for me was a Fanconi Carrier, which means that she could have passed Fanconi on to her own pups, and only made the decision to spay her more responsible. She was 18 months old when she was spayed. I have never regretted my choice. ♥ my baby girll!


  • @elbrant - She could have only passed Fanconi to her pups if the Sire was a Carrier or Affected. Carrier to Clear the pups would either be Carrier or Clear and would not get Fanconi.


  • @elbrant said in Should I neuter my Basenji?:

    was a Fanconi Carrier, which means that she could have passed Fanconi on to her own pups,

    Absolute nonsense ! Unless the dog she was bred to was also a carrier. And then you would have had a 50/50 chance of producing an Affected. However, Affected does NOT mean afflicted.

    Very far from all the dogs DNA tested 'affected' actually become afflicted.

    And with due care there was no need to for her to be bred anyway. You wanted a companion, you got a companion, that you maybe inadvertently shortened the time you have together, we shall never know.

    I honestly cannot get my head around the frequent mutilation of healthy dogs just for the convenience of their owners. In Europe the tendency is to keep the dogs entire and be careful.


  • @zande - Sad to say, not true in the US.... to many Backyard/puppy farmers out there just to make money...


  • @tanza I know. It makes me so sad, though, that so many dogs are altered for what seems to me to be entirely spurious reasons.


  • @tanza @Zande You have both eloquently illustrated how little I know about breeding, and one of the primary reasons I'm glad she is spayed. There is much I do not know about!

    May doodle and I be blessed with a loving relationship long into our years together!


  • @elbrant But, and I think @tanza will agree with me, Doodle was cut at 18 months, I think you said ? So not as a puppy. She will have had at least one and probably two proper seasons and have reached hormonal maturity. Therefore her chances are much better than if she had been spayed as a totally immature puppy.

    I am still rabidly against neutering 'for convenience' but can more or less accept that in USA you have a different mindset. Just leave puppies to mature properly first - PLEASE.


  • Thanks again for the responses all!

    I will review all the material received and respond back with my thoughts and or further questions.


  • @tanza said in Should I neuter my Basenji?:

    @cognition - My contract for pet puppies state that spay/neuter is required. What is different is the timing... and 90% of pet people do not want to have an intact dog/bitch.... I neutered my first male at 4yrs because we had bitches intact in the house and we decided that I would not be using him...

    I'm on the fence. My main concern, as I experienced with our Basset Hound, Sam, growing up, was wandering as a saftey issue. That Basset climbed over a 5 ft fence somehow every time Frowsi, a few blocks away, went into heat.

    I've read pros and cons on the health issues. Truly objective information is extremely difficult to discern. I'm personally skeptical, as with DocC's link to "PUPPY CULTURE SPAY/NEUTER BOOKLET" that the health cons are as overwhelming as claimed. My vet, who I trust, says the data on the difference between 6 months and 1 year is based on research on golden retrievers that they may get more arthritis. He said there's otherwise very little research on the outcomes of the timing difference. What's your position based on?

    I'm tending toward neutering because I see it as a safety issue. Sally's position is that preventing that is for the convenience of the owner. I don't see it that way. I worried about Sam's safety, as I worry about Sanji's, of getting out and getting killed by a car. In fact, I got Sanji because my last dog got killed by a car (but not related to this as he was neutered at six months). I couldn't live with myself easily if Sanji wasn't neutered, wandered off, and got killed by a car.


  • @sanjibasenji I honestly fail to see HOW neutering will prevent an RTA (road traffic accident) ! Sanji will wander, or not, regardless of whether you cut him. He is a Basenji - the hunting instinct will be there, he will always be curious to find out what is the other side of the fence.

    In any case, in 40 years of breeding and running a pack of up to 8 at a time, I have never found my boys even remotely interested in anything that wasn't a Basenji. Let a nubile young lady come a-visiting and BINGO ! whichever of the boys was due to get lucky - paid gigolos all - showed he knew just what was what. But when next door's Labrador or the Spaniels across the road came in season, they came and told me, but it wasn't really a matter of interest to them. They certainly didn't try to go walkabout.

    However, if you MUST do it, sweat it out until he is three at the very least. Sanji went to live with you far too early and has a lot of catching up to do. He needs to mature thoroughly, hormonally, physically and mentally, before you start cutting him to bits.

    With a little luck, by the time he is three, you will see there is really no need to castrate him at all ! And he will be able to live out his potential as nature intended he should.


  • @zande
    I appreciate your considered view. It's useful to know that your's never wandered for another breed. That adds a major point to the "no need to neuter" column. So far, perhaps due to his late development and our extensive training, Sanji shows no interest in wandering beyond where he can see us. He sticks by us, and always comes when I call or whistle for him. Lot's of off-leash recall training is paying off in that regard. So, perhaps it could be the case that we'll discover it unnecessary after a year or so. I plan to wait that long at least. We'll see.

    (But wandering could lead to an RTA; we were lucky that our basset didn't get hit by a car during his escapes to get to Frowsi.).


  • In the US it is typical that pet owners do not want intact dogs... so they spay/neuter... be great to let them get to adult age and if still and issue then spay/neuter. Basenjis after "typical breeding season" will not bother other breeds, in fact many time we have tried to collect males with other breeds and the Basenji says "thanks but no thanks" and even if collected they are producing "duds".... If in the US it is typical that spay/neuter is done as we have way too many backyard breeders or puppy mills. But best if you can to wait till they are of mature age. In my contracts for pet pups I require spay/neuter between 8 to 12 months...


  • @tanza & @sanjibasenji There is a piece on my (long neglected cos of the database taking all my time) own website. http://www.zandebasenjis.com/rutting.htm Basenji Boys Have A Rutting Season Too - which bears out your point, Pat. It is not easy to collect sperm from them when they know it is not the time of the year when the very survival of the Breed depends on THEM ! Difficult to show a dog dirty pictures. . .

    Wandering can always lead to an RTA. Which is why, 40 years ago, we cut all our hedges in half and installed heavy duty wire on independent posts before letting the hedges grow back normally. During the rutting season I never walked the boys in the same direction as the girls. They went up the drive and up the road to the north, through the village always on leads, and the girls went out of the front gate and down the country lanes away from the centre of habitation. This is a tiny hamlet in a farming community and working dogs abound - so if they had been interested in non-Basenji breeds, I could have had problems.

    You are really making an effort, @sanjibasenji , to train your wee boy which is really to be applauded. And you are getting good results which OUGHT to encourage others that it is possible !!!! (why amn't I convinced it will ?)

    There is a worry over here now, that, with the vast increase in demand for puppies, more people will try to cash in and breed without proper study, knowledge or health checking. I should hate for Europe to develop a need to neuter.


  • @zande said in Should I neuter my Basenji?:

    Difficult to show a dog dirty pictures. . .

    Google's loaded with images! All positions! Ha!


  • @tanza said in Should I neuter my Basenji?:

    If in the US it is typical that spay/neuter is done as we have way too many backyard breeders or puppy mills.

    Can you explain this to me? I don't get the connection between neutering one's pet and backyard breeders. Sounds to me like good breeders just don't want buyers to breed the dogs they buy from them. Sally, being a breeder opposed neutering, seems to be objective since it's not in her interest in this regard.

    Helle Devi posted a link to a UK-published book claiming that there are many negative health side effects from neutering. At first, I wasn't sure I trust that source, but according to the AKC,

    "An increasing body of evidence shows that neutering (including spaying) male and female dogs can have adverse health effects such as an increased risk of certain joint disorders (hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and cranial cruciate ligament rupture) and cancer (lymphoma, mast cell tumor, hemangiosarcoma, and osteosarcoma). However, this risk varies depending on the breed, age at neuter, and sex of the dog. With funding from the AKC Canine Health Foundation (CHF), researchers examined medical records from the University of California, Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital to analyze these risks. They have created guidelines based on breed, sex, and body weight regarding when to neuter a dog in order to avoid increasing the risks of these joint disorders and cancers."

    Curiously, contradicting this information, the title of the article is, "What is the Best Age to Spay/Neuter Your Dog? It Depends." It ought to be, "Evidence that Neutering has Adverse Health Effects"

    There is more. From one of the links to Frontiers in Veterinary Science, there is this:

    "Neutering (including spaying) of male and female dogs in the first year after birth has become routine in the U.S. and much of Europe, but recent research reveals that for some dog breeds, neutering may be associated with increased risks of debilitating joint disorders and some cancers, complicating pet owners' decisions on neutering."

    From "Assisting Decision-Making on Age of Neutering for 35 Breeds of Dogs: Associated Joint Disorders, Cancers, and Urinary Incontinence"

    Indeed complicating pet owner's decisions, to put it mildly. No Basenji's in this study.

    It is widely assumed in the US that one should neuter their dog. The main reason for this to my knowledge is to prevent homelessness, disease. According to the ASPCA, about 3.3 million dogs enter shelters, and 670,000 are euthanized each year. Yikes.

    But if one is a responsible dog owner, and doesn't let their pet wander off, then why neuter? I think I'm the only Basenji owner in my town, so wandering shouldn't be an issue for me if there are no females. One thing is for sure, it won't hurt to wait. Once done, there's no going back.



  • @sanjibasenji - In the US, pet owners typically are "not" into having intact bitches that come in season that they have to confine for at least 30 days or watch that any neighborhood dogs (in tact) can access... they do not want the bother or the "clean up". With Basenji males, "rutting" season is or can be a pain... Basenjis KNOW that time of year. My very first male in the early 90's cried the entire month of October and stopped eating and I even had a bitch in the home (she was not in season).... and even more important that they do NOT roam the neighborhood looking for a mate. As far as puppymills and backyard breeders, they buy puppies and then breed them every year for dollars and dollars only.... Placements by responsible breeders are very, very careful who they place a puppy with as the home is the most important. As far as spay or neuter, many of the things you can read really refer to early spay/neuter as it before a year or 2yrs when they would be full grown. And of course it depends of the breed....
    It is a fact that many in the US think it would be great to have a litter to show their kids the "wonders" of birth having no idea the cost and care involved with raising a litter properly.


  • A long time ago, when I was a kid, just about nobody neutered male dogs. Many or most spayed bitches that were kept as pets. The perception seemed to be that it was a lot of trouble to keep a bitch in season from getting nailed by a local roaming male and then you had puppies to deal with. Males were preferred as pets because one didn't have the added expense of spaying or the nuisance of having a bitch in heat to deal with. If I recall correctly, males were often priced higher because of the added expense of having a bitch. Back then, many dogs roamed loose and there were no leash laws as such. The rules where I lived were that the loose dog must be on its own property or "under the control" of the owner. A lot of dogs were trained to stay home but there were always those that did wander. Our family Sheltie was trained to stay on our property and he did not abuse our trust....if he wanted out we just opened the door to our unfenced yard, and he respected the property lines he had been taught to stay inside. On a walk he always came to heel to cross a road. Times are different now!

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