Uly is a fabulous dog, but I found myself considering the question of whether to have him castrated. Of course this is a big decision and there's no going back once done.
Deciding factors seem to be as follows:
- Other people we knew had complete dogs and they were frankly a pain, kept as pets they humped anything in sight
- Some uncastrated dogs will mark their territory indoors (and this included whenever they were taken to a new environment, like someone else's house). castration seems to cure this
- Complete dogs, we were told, have a habit of wandering off, escaping to get to any local bitch on heat. Dogs have been killed crossing roads to get to bitches
- One dog, when kept with its mother for three weeks, constantly leaked semen around the house and invoked a 'phantom pregnancy' in the bitch (which wasn't on heat)
- Our vets told us that various diseases, such as some cancers are avoided in a castrated dog
- All male guide dogs are castrated at 8 months
- Castrated dogs seem to be less smelly
- A castrated dog's 'lipstick' is never seen again
- Uly, now castrated, seems to be less prone to try and mount bitches in the local park (though he does still seem to show interest in bitches when they are around their season)
- A castrated dog can live its life mercifully free of being constantly taunted by its own and bitches' hormones – they can live blissfully as if as young lads never troubled by girls!
- Unknown things: Uly appeared not to enjoy his castration experience at the vets. He is very unhappy going to the vet now and I have had to try and get him over this. It might be worth considering having the operation done at another practice if you do not want him troubled every time you re-visit your regular one for check up and vaccinations.
UPDATE: I do in some ways regret my decision to have Uly castrated. The people I've met at gun dog training have shown me it is possible to have an uncastrated dog that does not constantly present problems. Once again, it comes down to training. I did it with best intentions, but I think in the future, if I ever have another dog, I may leave it longer and see how the dog develops before taking the chop