What is the age to Spay or Neuter your Griffon?

To spay or not to spay…. That is not the only question.

Butte, our adorable mop-head stud dog.

The best age to spay or neuter your Griffon or any dog has changed over time. Since the United States and other countries have experienced a large over population of unwanted cats and dogs, large campaigns to spay and neuter your pets have been launched, and with noble reasons. It became quite popular to consider spaying and neutering at the very youngest of age, 10 to 12 weeks of age, and there are breeders and shelters that insist that occurs before the puppy has even left the property. These good intentions ignored any medical, or developmental issues that compromised the long-term health of the individual animal.

I am not a veterinarian, but I was in the sales end of this industry for 28 years. I am going to relay some of the most current information regarding the age to spay and neuter..

Outback’s Bandit, an Outback bred stud dog.

Associated Joint Disorders, Cancers, and Urinary Incontinence

There have been several exhaustive studies using both purebred dogs and mix breed dogs who were grouped in like size to seek out significant results as opposed to anecdotal beliefs. https://www.frontiersin.org/research-topics/8524/effective-options-regarding-spay-or-neuter-of-dogs/articles Feel free to reference the articles in the above posted link to do your own research. The groups were compared long-term by dogs that were neutered, prior to the age of 1 or after the age of 1. Spoiler there was no significant benefit to delaying neutering your puppy more than a year. Ultimately it seems that the individual dog should be evaluated instead of a blanket age for altering. Specifically speaking of the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon, there was no specialized study done on this breed. There was a study that used 35 different purebreds, one of which is the Labrador Retriever. There was also a mixed breed study that grouped the dogs by size, above 45 under 65. This is pretty much our group that should mostly apply to the WHPG.

Let’s spay and neuter after your Griffon’s first birthday.

Outback’s Ridgeline

The studies showed a significant reduction on the onset of osteoarthritis in both the labs and the dogs that ranged in weights between 45 to 65 pounds. The precious end years of our dogs can be less painful if we can delay altering your Griffon early. For the most part the other conditions studied could not prove significant changes in the average physical ailments. I would caution you in saying this applies to every breed or size of dog, because altering appears to impact Giant dog breeds different that toy dog breeds, and so on.

To add to this thought, it is a proven fact that a fit weight directly correlates to a reduction in early osteo arthritic conditions. Simply put a fat Griffon will experience arthritis sooner than his thin brother.

It is still a fact that altered dogs do experience less mammary or testicular cancers. They also exhibit fewer reproductive related challenges that involve the drive to get pregnant or to breed in general. I see less aggression in males specifically. I cannot say that females spayed or intact exhibit fewer territorial issues or aggression. That is purely Christy Owen experience talking.

Excercise, Obedience, then Love

Many times, when I talk to someone that is having issues it is when their Griffon is in the 9-to-11-month age. It is the age that they are getting used to their bodies and their hormones. Often, these folks have forgotten the first rule. Exercise, Obedience and then Love. They often tell me the dog has plenty of exercise but then it turns out they go for a run 3 times a week. For a dog of this age that is not enough activity.

Take Away, alter after 1 year of age, keep your dog in fit not fat condition, and offer your maturing puppy plenty of exercise.

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