Hello Fellow Dog Owners,
My husband and I own a Gamebird Preserve where we train and used to hunt all breeds of bird dogs every day year-round. I speak from dozens of years of experience about the problems of EARLY SPAY and NEUTER on bird hunting dogs that I have seen and witnessed first-hand. For many years, I have been an AVID researcher and supporter of "NOT" fixing your dogs before 1 YEAR OF AGE ... for many reasons (please read the numerous FACT LINKS below). I know that still way too many veterinarians are not as opinionated about this, but as THE OWNER and the one who will be affected with any future health concerns of your pet, "YOU" will need to make an informed decision.
For many years I have actually seen and believed that there is a correlation between having your dog fixed before 1 year of age and the incidence of CCL injuries due to the hormonal changes and the abnormal bone growth of the legs. Dogs fixed before 1 year of age have been proven to grow longer legs that changes their structure UNNATURALLY. In recent years more studies are confirming this fact, as well as narrower chests, smaller heads and many other health problems, too. Many professional organizations are now suggesting waiting until AT LEAST 1 year. Almost all very expensive and heartbreaking CCL injuries that I am aware of were to dogs that were spayed or neutered before 1 year of age.
Since 1993, we have owned 13 GSPs and NONE of our GSPs have ever had CCL injures. Also NONE of them have ever been fixed before they were fully mature (over one year of age). Bill was a bird hunter for over 40 years and a field guide for almost 30 years, so all of our dogs are avid bird dogs. All of our GSPs are out running hard everyday in the fields and are also hunted each year on wild birds, as well. Each year we see hundreds of bird dogs (all breeds) training and hunting from all of our thousands of patrons year-round. When I offer this advice, it is from BIRD DOG EXPERIENCE and a lot of research on this subject, as well.
As previous GSP breeders for 15 years, we are only aware of 1 of our 185 GSP puppies that has had CCL problems. Sadly, she blew one CCL and then blew the other. It cost the owner thousands of dollars to fix. More importantly, trying to keep the young energetic dog still for many months proved almost impossible after the surgery for the owner. She then blew the other CCL. Unfortunately, he chose to put her to sleep before calling me as he could not put her or the family through the misery of surgery again. He wanted to know if it was a problem with my breeding. I asked how old she was when she was fixed. He sent for the vet records and found out that the vet spayed her when she was ONLY 4 MONTHS OLD!! This was one of our earlier breedings so I was not WARNING our puppy buyers like I eventually did with each of our annual litters. As a breeder, I strongly advised and even put in our WRITTEN SIGNED PUPPY CONTRACT, that we recommend waiting until at least 1 year before spaying or neutering any of our puppies.
"8" FACTUAL LINKS - PLEASE READ CAREFULLY and MAKE AN INFORMED DECISION!