We recommend spaying or neutering you pup after 18-24 months of age to allow the dog to develop into the full adult he was
meant to be, altering to early could stunt there growth and proven to cause skin issues, they could have no muscle tone, be
tall and lanky and will not look like the parents! Between 18-24 months of age the growth plates are not growing.
If you spay or neuter to early, you can have unstable joints and will be more susceptible to cruciate ligament tears, ACL
issues, hyperextension, hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia.
IMPORTANT: Also, don't forget, hormones also contribute to how your dog LOOKS.
(Imagine cutting off an 11 year old boy's hormones, where would that 25 year old be???)
Structural growth is done by 24 months of age in canines and the third year they really muscle out, chest drops, head comes
If you neuter/spay early, your dog will be dwarfed, and again will NOT look like its parents.
Do not fall for the false “he’ll get testicular cancer” or “she’ll get breast cancer”,
it is just the opposite!! Some Vets have been giving the HSUS and PETA ‘spay/neuter early’ line for years, only
caring about ‘unwanted puppies and kittens” with no consideration for the long-term health of your canine family
If your vet wants to neuter/spay early, you may want to search out a younger vet, or one familiar with the latest research.
We know you all want your dogs to live long, pain free lives, and to look like the beautiful labs you know us for!*** And
remember…altering hormones causes shedding (ask any woman that has had a hysterectomy…hair loss is a side effect).
Will spaying or neutering my Lab alter their personality?
No, any slight changes in their personality will be positive. There are many myths about canine reproductive needs. At the
top of these myths is the suspicion that neutering turns a male into a sissy and spaying causes a female to lament her lost
The truth is that male dogs are usually better pets if they are neutered. They have less desire to roam, to mark their territory,
or to exert dominance over family members. An intact male does not retrieve, hunt, or perform better in any way, except to
reproduce. Neutering will reduce the desire to breed, and that has a calming effect. As far as we know, dogs do not lament
their lost capability to reproduce. Regardless of the age when your Lab is spayed or neutered, they will remain a caring,
loving, and equally protective companion.
I have heard that dogs become fat and lazy after they are spayed or neutered. Is this true?
Spaying and neutering does change the metabolism of your Lab, so in most cases, they will not need as much food to maintain
their weight as unspayed or unneutered dogs. As owners, we tend to over-feed our dogs by not allowing for this change, and
as a result our neutered and spayed dogs are more apt to put on a little unnecessary weight. The problem is not with our Lab
but with us. Your Lab will not gain weight if you provide them with adequate exercise and watch their food intake. Neutering
is good for your Lab, since sterilized pets tend to live an average of two to three years longer than unsterilized pets.
As for laziness, again the amount of activity and exercise that our Lab gets is often dependent upon us. There are plenty
of spayed/neutered dogs that compete on a regular basis in agility or in the field or as service dogs or are trained in search
and rescue. These dogs are a far cry from being lazy.
I might want to breed them some day. Don’t you think that children should witness the miracle of birth?
Please don’t let your Lab breed simply to teach your children the miracle of birth. There are countless books and videos
available to teach your children about birth in a responsible way. Letting your Lab produce offspring you have no intention
of keeping is teaching your children to be irresponsible. Making sure you have good homes for all the puppies (which could
be a dozen) is only one step of the process. You also need to be sure the breeding will produce quality puppies. Have the
male and female dogs had a medical exam to be sure they are healthy? Are they free of venereal diseases? Are they free from
hereditary problems such as hip dysplasia, PRA or epilepsy? Are their vaccinations up to date, and have they been wormed?
Are you prepared to pay the extra veterinary costs if there are problems with the pregnancy or delivery?
The fact of the matter is the vast majority of dogs regardless of use and perceived quality should not be bred. They are simply
average dogs that you especially enjoy. Breeding quality dogs is not a one-time thing. Chances are that some percentage of
any litter will experience either birth defects, whelping injuries, or death. Many dams experience complications in whelping,
requiring a C-section, which can pose an additional threat to the unborn puppies and mother. Eclampsia (milk fever), acute
septic mastitis (breast infection or abscess) and acute metritis (infected uterus) are additional complications the dam can
incur and if not properly treated can be fatal to the mother. Is this what you had planned for your children to witness? As
you see, a lot goes into responsible breeding. Anyone who has seen an animal euthanized in a shelter for lack of a home knows
the truth behind the dangerous myth of sharing the miracle of birth.
Isn’t it better for my female to have at least one litter before she is spayed?
Some people believe that it helps their female dog in some way to develop more completely or become a better pet. However,
neither is true. Becoming pregnant and having a litter of puppies is very stressful on the female dog both physically and
mentally. In addition, not all pregnancies go smoothly. Difficult labor, puppy mortality, and potential health problems in
the mother such as uterine and mammary gland infections can take a toll on the mother and you. The sooner you spay your female,
the better her health will be in the future.
Should I be concerned about my Lab undergoing anesthesia?
Placing a pet under anesthesia is a very common concern many Lab owners have. Although there is always a slight risk involved,
the anesthetics used by veterinarians today are very safe. Many veterinarians also use equipment that monitors the heart and
respiratory rates during surgery to ensure that their patients are doing well under anesthesia. The medical benefits today
of having your Lab spayed or neutered far outweigh the slight risk involved with undergoing anesthesia. Consult with your
veterinarian about blood testing your Lab before he/she is put under anesthesia
Amy Avery ~ Owner, Breeder & Trainer
Newport, North Carolina
Started Dogs, Finished Dogs, Duck Hunting Dogs, Water Dogs, Hunting Retrievers,
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