Friday, December 7, 2018

Thursday, December 6, 2018

The unspoken risks of spay/neuter πŸ‘€

No time like the present to educate yourself on the unspoken risks of spay/neuter. Please take a few moments to read about this important topic, full article at As discussed with our future Moonlight puppy owners, Vizslas need to remain intact until at least 24 months old.

The Scientifically Proven Negative Side Effects of Dog Neutering Before Puberty


The early neutering of dogs is not without it’s side effects or critics, and I’m certainly one of them. But please, before the heavily stressed and over-worked shelter staff post up about overpopulation problems (I spent a couple of years in them too), lets look at this issue with less emotion and more science.

1. Cancer

It is well documented in the literature that by removing the gonads in developing animals you certainly prevent the possible occurrence of gonadal cancers such as various forms of testicular, prostate and ovarian cysts and cancer. I think that goes that without saying. If you have no prostate you’re not going to get prostate cancer. I think we’re clear on that one.

But if ignore the fact that gonadal and mammary cancers are rare enough in the general dog population, dogs are known to recover very well from testicular cancer following diagnosis and castration, Furthermore while between 30-50% of mammary cancers are malignant in dogs and, when caught and surgically removed early the prognosis is very good in dogs (Brodey et al. 1983, Meuten 2002).

Also, while these possible cancers of your pet will be avoided, numerous studies show that removing the sex organs early in the developmental period of an animal causes cancer in your pet, just not in their testes or ovaries.

A study in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, compiled over 13 years found that “… neutering dogs appeared to increase the risk of cardiac tumour in both sexes”. The results showed that spayed females were five times more likely to suffer tumours of the heart than intact females (Ware and Hopper 1999), one of the three most common cancers in dogs today.

In another study spanning 14 years of research and involving 3062 purebred dogs with osteosarcoma compared to 3959 purebred dogs without osteosarcoma, it was concluded that sterilisation increased the risk for bone cancer in large breed purebreds twofold (Ru et al. 1998).

Upon further investigation using 683 male and female Rottweilers spayed or neutered before one year of age, both sexes were found to be significantly more likely to develop bone cancer than intact dogs with early sterilisation bestowing a staggering 25% likelihood of bone cancer in your Rottweiler (Cooley et al.2002).

In a study of 759 intact and neutered golden retrievers Torres de la Riva et al. (2013) and found significant issues associated in neutered dogs. Almost 10 percent of early-neutered males were diagnosed with lymphosarcoma, 3 times more than intact males.

It’s often stated that neutering a male dog will prevent prostate cancer but some authors refute this on the basis that “ non-testicular androgens exert a significant influence on the canine prostate”. The College of Veterinary Medicine at Michigan State University found “…castration at any age showed no sparing effect on the risk of development of prostate cancer in the dog“.

All these considered, it’s hard to argue the cancer benefits to neutering early or you end up playing the whole “I see your very slight chance of testicular cancer and raise you a certain increase in bone and heart tumours”.

2. Abnormal Bone Growth and Development

Testosterone and oestrogen play pivotal roles in the development of your muscles and bones. It stands to reason that if you remove testosterone and oestrogen from the vital and dramatic puberty growth phase there will be consequences to that individual’s height, muscle mass and bone formation of the individual, compared to an intact animal of the same size and breeding. Studies show this to be absolutely the case.
Early Neutered Animals Are Taller

A study by Stubbs and Bloomberg (1995) set out to answer the following theory: Oestrogen tells the growth plates to stop. Thus if you remove the oestrogen-producing organs in immature dogs, female and male, you could expect cause growth plates to remain open and the dog to grow longer bones. They divided dogs and cats into three groups. Group one was neutered at 7 wks, group two at 7 months, and group three remained unneutered. They found that “early spay/neuter may result in a slight increase in adult height”. The earlier the spay the taller the dog.

A study by Salmeri et al. in 1991 found that bitches spayed at 7 weeks grew significantly taller than those spayed at 7 months and that those spayed at 7 months had significantly delayed closure of the growth plates than those not spayed (or presumably spayed after the growth plates had closed).

survey of 1444 1yr old Golden Retriever owners by the Golden Retriever Club of America Inc., found bitches and dogs spayed and neutered at less than a year of age were significantly taller than those spayed or neutered at more than a year of age.

While it stands to reason that being taller in itself is not an issue per se, in that it is assumed with the removal of the gonads closure of all of the physes will be delayed resulting in longer bones, it could also be assumed that this longer growth would be proportional across the joint. If this was the stand-alone orthopaedic concern in neutered dogs it may not concern us. It is when this extra growth is considered in relation to the increased risk of cruciate rupture and hip dysplasia, discussed below.

Increased Cruciate Rupture

Thus with no oestrogen to shut it down, these animals can continue to grow and wind up with abnormal growth patterns and bone structure. This results in irregular body proportions.
Grumbach (2000) quotes Chris Zink, DVM to explain the problem with neutering males and females early and cruciate rupture – “For example, if the femur has achieved its genetically determined normal length at 8 months when a dog gets spayed or neutered, but the tibia, which normally stops growing at 12 to 14 months of age continues to grow, then an abnormal angle may develop at the stifle. In addition, with the extra growth, the lower leg below the stifle likely becomes heavier (because it is longer), and may cause increased stresses on the cranial cruciate ligament.”

This is verified with a study by Slauterbeck et al. (2004) who found that spayed and neutered dogs had a significantly higher incidence of ACL rupture than their intact counterparts, regardless of breed or size.

In their study of 759 golden retrievers, Torres de la Riva et al. (2013) noted that while there were no cases of cranial cruciate ligament tear diagnosed in intact males or females, in early-neutered males and females the occurrences were 5 percent and 8 percent, respectively.

Increased Risk of Hip Dysplasia

study by the Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association showed that both male and female dogs sterilised at an early age were more prone to hip dysplasia.

In their study of 759 golden retrievers Torres de la Riva et al. (2013) noted that of early-neutered males, 10 percent were diagnosed with hip dysplasia, double the occurrence than in intact males.

In a study of 1,842 dogs Spain et al. (2004) found that dogs spayed or neutered before 5 1/2 months had a significantly higher incidence of hip dysplasia than those spayed or neutered after 5 1/2 months of age. However it would be remiss of me not to add at this point that the same authors went on to note that the authors noted that dogs neutered at the traditional age were three times more likely to be
euthanised for the condition as compared to the early age group, leading the authors to suggest that early age gonadectomy may be associated with a less severe form of hip dysplasia.
3. Longevity

Waters et al. (2009) found that neutering female Rottweilers before four years of age reduces life expectancy by 30%. Females that kept their ovaries the longest were nine times more likely to achieve exceptional longevity (13+ years).

The lead author of the study notes: Like women, female dogs in our study had a distinct survival advantage over males, but taking away ovaries during the first four years of life completely erased the female survival advantage. We found that female Rottweilers that kept their ovaries for at least six years were four times more likely to reach exceptional longevity (13yrs of age) compared to females who had the shortest lifetime ovary exposure.

4. Increased Risk of Hypothyroidism 

When one hormone producing organ is removed, other organs will be forced to pick up the slack. This can over stress an organ which can suffer as a result. Both Panciera (1994) and  Glickman et al. (1999) found spayed and neutered dogs to be more likely to develop hypothyroidism.

5. Increased Risk of Incontinence

Both Spain et al. (2004) and StΓΆcklin-Gautschi et al. (2001) found early neutering increases the risk of urinary incontinence by 4-20% in females. Interestingly Aaron et al. (1996) noted that neutering it is associated with an increased likelihood of urethral sphincter incontinence in males also.
6. Increased Risk of Disease

Very early neutering increases the risk of disease in dogs. A study of shelter dogs conducted by the College of Veterinary Medicine at Texas A&M University concluded that infectious diseases were more common in dogs that were sterilised at less than 24 weeks of age.

7. Behavioural Considerations

Spain et al. (2004) also noted an increase in undesirable sexual behaviours but also an increase in unsoundness, showing early age gonadectomy was associated with an increased incidence of noise phobias. I can personally testify to this from Guide Dogs. All our non-breeding training dogs were neutered at 6mths and sometimes there’d be five or six in a line humping each other.

More worryingly Spain et al. (2004) noted an increase in aggression towards family members, barking or growling at visitors, and excessive barking that bothered a household member in male dogs neutered before 5 and a half months.

But then again the same study found that dogs neutering dogs before 5 and a half months resulted in a decrease in escaping behaviour, separation anxiety, and urinating in the house when frightened!

Thus it’s hard to deduct anything concrete from this study. Perhaps as Spain et al. (2004) were using questionnaires, whereby lay people and vets were interpreting the data as opposed to trained behaviourists more could have been gleaned from this study.

In another study Hart (2001) found that in dogs affected with some form of cognitive impairment the “percentage of dogs that progressed from being mildly impaired (i.e., impairments in 1 behavioural category) at the time of the first interview to being severely impaired (ie, impairments in > 2 categories) at the time of the second interview was significantly higher for neutered than sexually intact male dogs.” In other words, mental issues could get worse in neutered dogs.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Have you checked out Puppy Culture?

Puppy Culture is a guiding hand for you and your puppy.

Our team of experts have bred, raised, and trained thousands of dogs, and we know from first hand experience what works best. We make that vast experience available to you, broken down into clear instructions, in short chapters that are easy and fun to watch. 

How you teach your puppy is as important as what you teach your puppy.

Studies have shown that many common training techniques can actually increase aggression and problem behaviors, which can damage the human-animal bond. The Puppy Culture program will show you how to train your dog while enriching your bond with him, every step of the way.  

Real life proof that it works.

Most puppy training videos appear to have been shot in one weekend, using a few easy-to-train puppies. How do you know those training techniques really work in the long run? Unlike other films, Puppy Culture tracks one litter over three years, so you can see the true results of our program. You’ll see the puppies overcome real and varied behavior challenges and ultimately grow to gentle, well-behaved adult dogs.

The truth about socialization.

During this sensitive time, the puppy is as vulnerable to imprinting negative experiences as he is to imprinting good experiences. This means you need a good plan for socializing your puppy.  Your Puppy Culture team gives you a plan and guides you through the process.

How to be your puppy's advocate.

It can be difficult to stand up to a person in a position of authority, such as a veterinarian or a dog trainer, but you need to learn what’s right and wrong for your puppy, and stand up against bad advice.  Puppy Culture’s veterinarians, behaviorists, and breeders give you the facts to know when you’re right, and the conviction to walk away from anything that might harm your puppy.

The Sugar & Spice babies start ENS today

We have been performing Early Neurological Stimulation, otherwise called E.N.S. or the Bio Sensor / “Super Dog” Program since 2009. Once the work of the military, noted breeder, author, lecturer and researcher, Dr. Carmen Battaglia is the main driving force behind why many breeders now know of this program.

We also incorporate Jane Lindquist’s “Puppy Culture” socialization methods as a preliminary training for all our puppies.

Both programs help allow our puppies to get off to a better start in life through sound desensitization, socialization, clicker conditioning, and much more. The goal in adding these programs to our breeding protocol is to help condition your new puppy to have better startle recovery, be curious rather than unsure of new objects as well as people, teach them how to learn so that training is smoother and to allow for an overall easier transition to their new life with you. 

Early Neurological Stimulation

As previous scientific research has proven, early stimulation exercises can have positive impacts long-term on a variety of species. While there is no specific amount of time that is stated to be optimal, some amounts can be too much and cause pathological adversities. The military began this early stimulation program and saw important, lasting results with their dogs.

With Early Neurological Stimulation (hereafter ENS), exercises begin at day three of life until day sixteen as this interval of time is believed to be a time of rapid neurological development and growth. There are five exercises which are conducted on each individual puppy for 3 – 5 seconds each. 

Head held erect
Head pointed down
Tactile stimulation
Supine position
Thermal stimulation

These exercises produce neurological stimulation that would not occur naturally until much later in their lives. They do not get repeated more than once a day, so we do not overload the puppy.

Dogs that received ENS as puppies had:
Stronger adrenal glands
Higher tolerance of stress
Greater resistance to disease
Stronger heart beats
Improved cardio vascular performance

To learn more about ENS, read Dr. Carmen Battaglia’s article on his website here.

Also check out this clip from Puppy Culture to see how the different ENS exercises are performed.

Are you ready to get a puppy?

Sharing from Vizsla Puppies Facebook group -- A MUST READ!

Ready everyone??!!  Before you buy your first puppy, take this test to find out if you can cope with living and looking after your puppy:

This test is best taken in the autumn or mid winter!

1. Buy a lead and tie it to a big stone, walk around dragging the stone behind you
2. Get up at 5am, go out in the pouring rain and walk up and down a muddy path, repeating good girl/boy, wee wees...poo poos, quickly please
3. Stuff your pockets with plastic bags and pick up all the poo you can find, obviously not your dogs as you have not bought it yet
4. Start wearing your shoes indoors, especially during muddy times
5. Collect leaves off the ground and spread them on the floor
6. Carry sticks and branches indoors and chop them up on your carpet
7. Pour cold applejuice on the rug and floor....walk barefooted over it in the dark
8. Drop some chocolate pudding on your carpet in the morning and then try to clean it in the evening
9. Wear socks to which you have made holes using a blender
10. Jump out of your favourite chair just before the movie ends and run to open the back door
11. Cover all your best clothes with dog hair, dark clothes with blond hairs and light clothes with dark hairs
12. Tip all just ironed clothes on the floor
13. Make little pin holes in all your funiture, especially chair and table legs
14. When doing dishes, splash water all over the place and don't wipe it.
15. Spread toilet paper all over the house when you leave the house and tidy up when you get back home
16. Forget any impulse holidays and/or breaks
17. Always go home straight after work or school
18. Go walkies no matter what the weather, and inspect every dirty paper, chewing gum and dead fly you might find
19. Stand at your back door at five in the morning shouting " bring Mr Bumble and Mr Lion in, its raining
20. Wake up at 3am. Place a correct size bag of flour on top of yourself and try to sleep, whilst wiping your face with a dishcloth, which you have left next to your bed in a bowl last week

Repeat everyday over 6 months and if you still think getting a puppy sounds like a good idea, Congratulations, you might be ready to get your puppy. πŸ˜†πŸ˜†πŸ˜†