Spay and Neuter, when is it time?
Another question we get quite often, is when is the best time to “fix” a puppy? Spaying and neutering or “gonadectomy” has usually always been said to be done at 6-7 months of age, if not earlier. However, recent findings have linked early gonadectomy with multiple risks which greatly impact the long term health of dogs. The articles below are extremely informative regarding the pros and cons of spaying and neutering your dog.
Here at Mountain Life Malamutes, we do not require spaying or neutering of puppies as part of our contractual agreement for this very reason. We do not offer Limited AKC registration in exchange for proof of spaying and neutering; we just do not believe that is fair or ethical for our pups. Limited AKC registration is available for an additional fee, but it is not contingent upon proof of spay or neutering. Limited AKC registration does not offer any additional rights or protections, so we do not see the value in exchanging the long term health of pups in exchange for a piece of paper. We do not judge or condemn other breeders for this practice; we just subscribed to a different philosophy.
We do feel that at some point, it is good to perform these surgeries, but as the article suggests, only around the age of 17 months or older. This gives your dog a chance to go through puberty, sexually mature, and balance out chemically in their systems before taking those vital hormones from their bodies. These hormones are crucial for proper development, and in some cases, can even prevent certain diseases. There is still no specific answer as to when the “best time” is for every dog, or if your dog should ever be “fixed”. This is something you need to discuss with your veterinarian openly, and extensively. Finding the right veterinarian is almost as important as finding the right breeder. Often you will see that money and tradition are the focal point of many veterinarians, which is a real honest shame. Finding one that is genuinely familiar with the Alaskan Malamute, understands and accepts the importance of new research, and that not all dogs/breeds are the same, and should not always be treated the same – is VITAL. Please take the time to fully research the risks and benefits, and not just follow “tradition” for the sake of common practice.