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NancyH, Dog Expert:Rescue, Train,Breed,Care
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 31958
Experience:  30+ yrs dog home vet care & nursing, rescue, behavior&training, responsible show breeding, genetics
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At what age should a male english mastiff be neutered Our ...

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At what age should a male english mastiff be neutered? Our vet is recommending that we have the puppy''s stomach stapled at the same time. Is this a common practice? Can you please provide some information on the stomach problem and how we can deal with it? Thanks
I would not do stomach stapling surgery unless your dog comes from a line of dogs known to have frequent issues with bloat.
You can read about bloat here
In addition to the cautions listed there I'd suggest avoiding corn as many of these types of dogs do not do well with corn. You'll notice too that the list does not include doing surgery.
There are varying views on altering dogs particularly giant breed dogs.
Some feel the dogs should not be altered until the growth plates are pretty much closed which would be around 18 months or so. Some feel altering at 4 months when the cost of doing so is lower is a better choice. The bigger the dog the more anethesia costs are involved in the surgery.
A recent retrospective study of cause of death in another large breed seems to show that dogs neutered or spayed young appear to have a higher incidence of bone cancer than ones done after the age of three.
However an intact male dog can be difficult to live with and a powerful one like this can be a challenge unless really well trained.
As giant dogs tend to mature later than more usual sized large dog breeds do you might wait to alter him until he gets to puberty as that is a time when the growth plates begin to close.
Discuss the issues with your vet and with your dog's breeder if you know them. Knowing more about the health issues background of your pup could help you make decisions on the surgeries.
Hope this helps you!
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Thanks so much for the help... you do not, however, discuss my distinct problem. We do have TWO beautiful MALE 4-month-old puppies. While we do want to do what is best for them, I still face the possibility of two very large males coming of age, and fighting over the same territory. We would like to neuter them before they start trying to kill each other! We had Great Pyrenees before, and the males (both show-dogs), started fighting around two years of age. We'd like to avoid this if possible!! Thanks in advance for your help!
Neutered or not they may still fight as they are siblings. I did not see information that you had two pups until after I wrote up my answer to you.
In a situation where you want one to be domiant without fighting you may be best off altering only one. The intact dog is normally dominant over a neutered dog. You may want a trainer's help in determining which dog is already the leader of the two and leave that dog intact at least until he is mature and the pack ranking roles are firmly in place.
Key in raising dogs, including giant breeds, is that they are not the decision makers in the home. You would be wise to make sure the dogs see you humans in the home as the pack leaders. I suggest basic obedience training, working one on one with the pups, and using the nothing in life is free program which you can read about here
If these are siblings it takes a lot more work to raise two together than to raise one.
Fighting is really likely when you keep same sex siblings unless one pup is a really different temperament than the other.
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