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Griffin is Having a Hard Time!

AGBF

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My Newfoundland, Griffin, is having a hard time. He is not ill. He had this same problem in December of last year, but a bit later in the month and running through most of January. Having seen the symptoms before, I diagnosed the problem almost immediately, but that didn't help me with a solution.

He is an intact male and there is a bitch in heat nearby. Last year I didn't know where the girl was. This year when he ran away one of the first times, he led me right to her house! Apparently he visits there (shame on me that he manages to escape that often) even when no one is in heat. Because a very nice Asian man who lives in the house Griffin went to said that he has four dogs and that one of them is very aggressive, but that my dog is a "good dog"!!! (He said this while Griffin was rummaging around in his yard and three of us were after him with a leash! Some good dog!)

At any rate, Griffin is once again off his feed. Last year he lost 13 pounds, going from 147 down to 134 pounds, in one month because he stopped eating. He spends his time outside howling at the fence for his lady love, which would annoy the neighbors if we allowed him to stay out there. He doesn't know where he wants to be, inside or outside. And at night he jumps up on the couch next to me to be close. (He never gets on the couch.)

He has a need for closeness all the time, but like many Giant Breed dogs, he leans when he wants to cuddle. So he comes up to me and leans against my legs if I am sitting on a couch, and I hug him. Now, at night, he is jumping onto the couch to be closer and then leaning and pawing either my daughter or me, too. He can't get enough affection and touching. He just doesn't know what he wants. I mean he actually doesn't know what he wants. Our vet has said that at his age (six) since he has never mated, he would not know how to do so if given the opportunity. But he knows he wants something very badly.

I have had female dogs that went into heat when I was growing up, but never an intact male until Griffin. I belong to a dog forum where I had the chance to discuss this with dog owners last year, but since the issue is right in my face again I thought I would mention it here this year.

Have any of you had intact males that you did not want to neuter for some reason? Did your males suffer when a female was in heat? How did you handle it?

Deb/AGBF
 

MissGotRocks

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I have never had a male dog - only females that were spayed early in life.

May I ask why you don't want to neuter Griffin? I'm not familiar enough with the pros and cons - just trying to gain a bit of knowledge on this topic!

I hope that someone else can give you some insight into this situation.
 

azstonie

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Finn, my avatar,was not neutered until he was 5 years old. We wanted him to have the benefits of being neutered at an older age. He has always loved the ladies, who loved him right back :lol: even at obedience class (shout out to Molly the fabulous french poodle!). He used to have a stuffed teddy bear fetish :twirl: .

Poor Griffin, he's a cuddle bug, just a real big one! Big hugs to the big fella!!!!!
 

AGBF

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MissGotRocks|1450236755|3962123 said:
I have never had a male dog - only females that were spayed early in life.

May I ask why you don't want to neuter Griffin? I'm not familiar enough with the pros and cons - just trying to gain a bit of knowledge on this topic!

I hope that someone else can give you some insight into this situation.

Of course you may ask why I have not neutered Griffin! That is the topic of the thread, after all. <smile> We got Griffin when he was already 16 months old. The breeder had been making all of the decisions about him up until then. She is one of the top breeders of Newfoundlands in the United States, so she was making very informed decisions. Griffin was being shown and the plan was for him to be part of her breeding program. For both reasons he would not have been neutered at all, since show dogs must be intact and, naturally, dogs that breed must be intact. However, larger breed dogs mature later than smaller breed dogs and it is healthier to allow males to mature completely before one neuters them if one has the option. In many, many case one does not have the option of waiting and neutering must happen earlier. My last dog, a purebred yellow Labrador Retriever, who was also male, but was a rescue by me, was obviously neutered earlier in life. Sometimes there are signs of it in a dog's behavior.

But back to Griffin. The breeder suggested that we wait to neuter him or, preferably, not neuter him at all. She knew our physical circumstances of course, that we had a fenced in yard for the dog, since she did her due diligence when she investigated us as a possible home for one of her dogs. So she wasn't recommending an intact dog to someone who would allow a dog to wander and impregnate female dogs. Therefore the decision was based solely on Griffin's health. Apparently the not neutering is more likely to prevent all male cancers except testicular cancer and testicular cancer can be dealt with if it appears. But the main reason for not neutering in Newfies is temperament.

Newfies are incredibly mellow. They are on the list of the ten worst watch dogs and the ten worst guard dogs. Griffin will fall asleep on the walk leading to the house and let delivery men step over him. He never met a stranger. The breeder said if he were neutered he would be like a big side of beef. The way he lumbers into the house from outside, every step a big decision, is just laughable even now. My daughter once said, "Like a greyhound" while he was doing his act and sometimes we now say that to indicate that Griffin is on his way in. (And it's not as if the dog can't run when he wants to. He is fast when he wants to be! He can outrun my 23 year-old daughter easily. Once she chased him and a police car with search lights on followed her as she tried to catch him. I brought up the tail end of the parade in my Jeep.)

So the short answer is, it is better for his temperament not to be neutered.

Deb :wavey:
 

AGBF

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azstonie|1450238902|3962132 said:
Finn, my avatar,was not neutered until he was 5 years old. We wanted him to have the benefits of being neutered at an older age. He has always loved the ladies, who loved him right back :lol: even at obedience class (shout out to Molly the fabulous french poodle!). He used to have a stuffed teddy bear fetish :twirl: .

Poor Griffin, he's a cuddle bug, just a real big one! Big hugs to the big fella!!!!!

He sounds adorable! Griffin likes one teddy bear he has, too. He is very, very gentle with it. He is gentle with all toys. My last dog-a Lab- instantly tore everything he got apart.

Deb :wavey:
 

missy

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Hi Deb just popping in to send lots of hugs and good wishes to your dear Griffin. That is interesting what you wrote about not neutering as I thought it was the opposite re cancers. If you like I could ask my sister but I totally understand if at this point you don't want me to. I thought neutering was protective against many cancers vs not neutering which puts them more at risk. Of course I am not a veterinarian but this is what I remember learning.

Anyway sending Griffin and you lots of love and hugs and hope he feels 100% very soon!
biggyhug.gif
 

MissGotRocks

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Griffin sounds like a real love! I have never had a male dog nor a large dog - in fact have always been rather intimidated by a large dog so I found this all very interesting. It is hard to imagine such a large dog being so laid back in temperament and harder still (from your description) to imagine being even more laid back that he could be compared to a side of beef - lol! Had to chuckle at that! I would have guessed though that neutering could possibly lead to health issues and that is completely understandable.

Guess the best hope here is that his lady down the street has a short heat so that Griffin can stop pining away for her and get back to his old self! I can only imagine that in his feelings are confusing with no real way for him to alleviate his frustration. His best scenario would certainly be for the lure of his affection to become silent again!

Thanks for sharing - I'm left with the image of a large dog with a teddy bear personality!
 

lyra

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I would talk to the breeder and ask when she wants to breed him, or if she still wants to use him. If not, it would be best to have him neutered. We have had show dogs as well. You don't have to keep a non-active show dog intact forever. Either he's in her breeding program, or he's not. If he has a successful brother or other related dog in the program, there's not a need to have him in it. You don't have to keep him intact forever. If he's losing that much weight every year and gaining it back, that's not good for him. He should be neutered if he's just a companion pet now. Neutering is better for his health, and since he's a large breed, you want to keep him healthy in all ways as long as possible. ;))
 

momhappy

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I was a little confused by your post, so please correct me if I'm wrong - didn't you post that he escapes the yard sometimes? And if so, wouldn't you then run the risk of having him impregnate another dog?
I can't offer any advice on your situation because while I have only ever had male dogs, they have all been neutered at an appropriate age.
 

AGBF

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I think there is some confusion here. Griffin is not in a breeding program and never has been. He was being shown in order to start accumulating titles towards being a Champion because he was going to be in his breeder's program. He did not, however, grow tall enough. She said that at his height making him a champion would have been, "a slog". (In my beautiful boy's defense, the obedience class teacher took one look at him from across the room and called out, "Best in Show!". He used to show Bull Mastiffs who competed against Newfies and knew them well. He said he knew a woman who could make Griffin a champion, but that he would have to live with her. I didn't want our pet living with someone else!)

Griffin has not been neutered because we feel it is in his best interests to remain intact.

Griffin has escaped for two reasons: a broken gate (that three workmen have promised to fix but failed to fix properly) and people allowing him to slip through when a bitch is in heat and he is very interested in escape. In my opinion, neither is acceptable and neither should be allowed to continue. I have now hired a carpenter to replace the lock entirely, not just to repair it. Anyone who opens my gate is responsible for keeping the dog inside. Otherwise the person need not enter. The only people welcome in my home are people who can be responsible with my dog.

Deb/AGBF
 

AGBF

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missy|1450265247|3962204 said:
Hi Deb just popping in to send lots of hugs and good wishes to your dear Griffin. That is interesting what you wrote about not neutering as I thought it was the opposite re cancers. If you like I could ask my sister but I totally understand if at this point you don't want me to. I thought neutering was protective against many cancers vs not neutering which puts them more at risk. Of course I am not a veterinarian but this is what I remember learning.

I would love it if you talked to your sister, missy. I would like to have as much information as possible. However, I suspect that we will keep Griffin intact due to the importance of it for his temperament unless some adverse health effect occurs. It was about five years ago that I had these conversations with the breeder and the vet, so I may not be remembering them correctly. What I do know is that I was satisfied that medically-in terms of cancer and other disorders- it was safe to leave him intact. But by all means, I would like the facts!!!

Hugs,
Deb :wavey:
 

yennyfire

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I have no advice but could you please post a couple of Griffin photos here? I've seen a couple and he's adorable!! I could use a Griffin fix! :wink2:
 

Resonance.Of.Life

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This is my first time having an intact male. I currently have a 80 lb foster dog, (huge for his breed) who is not neutered due to the mange he was afflicted with after the organization I volunteer with pulled him from the shelter and due to his heart murmur. He's never displayed the same behaviors that Griffin is displaying like howling at the fence, but he is a rather big cuddler.

At 3, I suspect that Griffin would be done with the majority of his growth and that neutering him might be a good option now that he is done growing. I know Great Danes are not neutered or spayed till around 3 either due to their growth.
 

momhappy

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AGBF|1450308289|3962447 said:
I think there is some confusion here. Griffin is not in a breeding program and never has been. He was being shown in order to start accumulating titles towards being a Champion because he was going to be in his breeder's program. He did not, however, grow tall enough. She said that at his height making him a champion would have been, "a slog". (In my beautiful boy's defense, the obedience class teacher took one look at him from across the room and called out, "Best in Show!". He used to show Bull Mastiffs who competed against Newfies and knew them well. He said he knew a woman who could make Griffin a champion, but that he would have to live with her. I didn't want our pet living with someone else!)

Griffin has not been neutered because we feel it is in his best interests to remain intact.

Griffin has escaped for two reasons: a broken gate (that three workmen have promised to fix but failed to fix properly) and people allowing him to slip through when a bitch is in heat and he is very interested in escape. In my opinion, neither is acceptable and neither should be allowed to continue. I have now hired a carpenter to replace the lock entirely, not just to repair it. Anyone who opens my gate is responsible for keeping the dog inside. Otherwise the person need not enter. The only people welcome in my home are people who can be responsible with my dog.

Deb/AGBF

Obviously, I know very little about this, so please bear with me, but why would it be in his best interest to remain intact? He sounds like he's not well - not eating, etc. and perhaps that outweighs the potential disadvantages of neutering?
 

AGBF

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Resonance.Of.Life|1450315936|3962484 said:
At 3, I suspect that Griffin would be done with the majority of his growth and that neutering him might be a good option now that he is done growing. I know Great Danes are not neutered or spayed till around 3 either due to their growth.

Griffin is now six and I won't neuter him unless he develops a medical problem that makes it necessary. You are correct that the Giant Breeds should not be neutered too early. My last dog, the Lab, was 110 pounds, though. He was a huge specimen of the breed and he had been neutered young. One could tell from the way he failed to lift his leg to urinate. I had no say in the matter, however, since I adopted him when he was two. He was as macho as dogs come, even neutered. The opposite of Griffin. He was the one who bit everyone on my front porch and who got quarantined for biting a jogger (not even really nipping her, Thank God) on the throat. I often say that he was The Worst Dog in the World and that Griffin is my reward for having lived through him. Biscuit was the ultimate guard dog. I took him in the car with me if I was going someplace dangerous. He would absolutely kill anyone who dared to violate our car! But Griffin won't even get in the car. Biscuit lay on the deck to enjoy the Fourth of July fireworks and never blinked at thunderstorms. I think he came from a long line of South Carolina gun dogs. Griffin jumps onto the top of the couch (not the seat, the top) if he hears thunder!

Deb/AGBF


biscuitchristmascarda.jpg

griffininhishole2011.png

griffininthesnow.jpg

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AGBF

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yennyfire|1450313354|3962466 said:
I have no advice but could you please post a couple of Griffin photos here? I've seen a couple and he's adorable!! I could use a Griffin fix! :wink2:

Thank you for being so sweet. I put up the pictures since you asked and since I am a proud Grandma. (I am the owner, but my daughter has been calling herself the mother, so I have been calling myself the grandmother.)

Deb :wavey:
 

AGBF

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momhappy|1450319563|3962509 said:
Obviously, I know very little about this, so please bear with me, but why would it be in his best interest to remain intact? He sounds like he's not well - not eating, etc. and perhaps that outweighs the potential disadvantages of neutering?

Griff's problems are temporary, momhappy. They only last for as long as a female in close proximity to him goes into heat. Although theoretically if one lived close to him she should go into heat twice a year for about a month each time, in Griffin's case he has not been afflicted like this since December of last year. (Don't ask me why. I just report the news!) If the female is spayed or moves away he may never have a problem again in his life after this month. And the problem is really only that he is lovelorn. We are not letting him sleep outside the way the male dogs did when our females went into heat! (Not that sleeping outside hurts Griffin.) I remember my mother saying how terrible it was that poor Butch (the little male dog from next door) was sleeping in our yew bushes, wet and with his fur freezing on him in the winter when our Cocker Spaniels went into heat! Males from miles around converged on our house. We couldn't get out our door to walk the girls! But the sex drive is powerful!

Deb :wavey:
 

momhappy

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Ah, gotcha. Like I said, I'v only ever had neutered male dogs, so this is all new to me.
Poor Griffin! He looks like such a sweetie pie. I hope that things get back to normal soon =)
 

mjr1

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I understand delaying or off putting neutering so dogs reach full maturation to enhance temperment and maximize bone structure. There is also a belief that there is decreased incidence of certain cancers with later neutering. At some point though you need to assess the concerns you have-weight loss due to decreased appetite when other dogs are in heat, wandering out of the yard also increases the chance of a dog being hit by a car, etc. etc. My vet believes in later neutering for all the reasons above but is fine with neutering at 2+ years because she believes the advantages are maximized by that age. There is very little you can do to offset the decreased appetite-other than adding foods that are favorites, trying some of the appetite stimulants, exercising the dog more frequently and smaller more frequent feedings are also worth a try. Good luck, but I think at is age
it is worth considering neutering if the weight loss is excessive and the dog is unable to be safetly contained in his own yard. He is a beautiful boy!
 

Karl_K

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cold shower
 

AGBF

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Karl_K|1450332721|3962560 said:
cold shower

:))

The question will be how to get it cold enough. These dogs break the Arctic ice with their chests while they swim off the coast of Newfoundland. My Golden Retriever group enjoyed this series of photos from one of last year's snows. They have to be viewed in order. It was very hard to get Griffin to sit up. He was so comfortable that he didn't want to cooperate.

Deb :wavey:

buriedgriff1.jpg

buriedgriff2.jpg

buriedgriff3.jpg
 

yennyfire

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AGBF|1450320881|3962521 said:
yennyfire|1450313354|3962466 said:
I have no advice but could you please post a couple of Griffin photos here? I've seen a couple and he's adorable!! I could use a Griffin fix! :wink2:

Thank you for being so sweet. I put up the pictures since you asked and since I am a proud Grandma. (I am the owner, but my daughter has been calling herself the mother, so I have been calling myself the grandmother.)

Deb :wavey:
He just makes me smile! He's so beautiful!! Thanks for the photos!!
 

missy

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Love the new pics. Griffin is absolutely precious. :love: :love: :love:
Deb, I will ask my sister and report back to you. Coincidentally you share the same name. But we call her Debbie.
 

AGBF

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While looking for some photos of Newfoundlands in Arctic waters I stumbled over a really beautiful blog posted by someone in Alaska. (She has a Newfoundland dog, Delta, who is pictured in the blog.) I thought that I might as well share it here. The photography is simply stunning. Anyone can subscribe to the blog.

Link...http://birchleafphotography.com/blog/

Deb :wavey:
 

woofmama

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Hi Deb,

Griffin is a very handsome boy :love: I adore Newfies & am fortunate to know many fine examples of the breed.

I have lived with many intact dogs over the years, from childhood pets (male German Shepherds) to my adulthood pets (Giant Schnauzers). I believe in taking a very holistic approach to raising & caring for my dogs & research all medical issues in depth prior to making decisions. I'm attaching some information on the spay-neuter topic that you may find helpful. A very viable option that is becoming more relevant now is getting a vasectomy for a male dog. http://www.whole-dog-journal.com/issues/16_2/features/risks-benefits-spay-neuter-your-dog_20685-1.html?pg=1

I was also active in showing my Giant Schnauzers and at one point my household consisted of my intact champion male along with two younger intact females. I didn't end up breeding any of my dogs & did eventually have them fixed but much later in their lives, after six years of age. I was very fortunate that my parents adored my male and were willing to have him visit for the duration of my females heat cycles. I have many breeder friends who have both sexes intact & do a lot of household management during heat cycles as well.
All very responsible show dog breeders, never any accidental litters.

As to the issue you're experiencing right now with Griffin & the neighbor dog I'm hopeful that fixing your fence keeps Griffin secure.

HTH
 

telephone89

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Zero advice on intact vs neuter, but I do LOVE newfies :love: :love: My uncle used to have one, and he was just as sweet as your Griffin sounds. I love the snow photos
 

Loves Vintage

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Oh my gosh. I just love him! So glad I opened this thread. He is so gorgeous!! :love: :love: :love:
 

AGBF

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woofmama|1450368551|3962661 said:
I'm attaching some information on the spay-neuter topic that you may find helpful. A very viable option that is becoming more relevant now is getting a vasectomy for a male dog. http://www.whole-dog-journal.com/issues/16_2/features/risks-benefits-spay-neuter-your-dog_20685-1.html?pg=1

I have missed hearing your voice in these threads, woofmama. I very much appreciated the link you provided, and understand, now, what you meant when you said that you had a holistic approach to dogs' health. The article's author appeared to have such an approach, too. The article was also sufficiently informative about neutering males that it reinforced my belief that I must have remembered correctly that it was only testicular cancers that were more prevalent in intact dogs. I thought it was a great article.

Deb :wavey:
 

december-fire

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AGBF,

Griffin is like a cuddly black bear! Thanks for sharing the photos! :appl:

And thanks for posting the link to birchleafphotography. I've just been admiring the wonderful photos of life in Alaska! Beautiful!
 

Rockinruby

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AGBF, Griffin is adorable! :appl: I love his sweet face! He looks so cuddly too!

Unfortunately there isn't a lot that you can do when intact boys get bitten by the love bug! I have found that some don't mind, but some are like Griffin and get all worked up. I am basing this on my own personal experience with intact males that I've had over the years. The main thing that I would be concerned about is when they drop weight. I do my best to avoid that happening by giving them more exercise, extra enticing meals, yogurt/peanut butter pops, etc. I have been given various suggestions over the years that work for some, but not others. Here are some things that have been suggested:

Don't leave him in the backyard except for restroom breaks.
(This helps with the dangers of the dog trying to escape, getting hurt, being constantly bombarded by the scent, etc.)
Supervised walks or throwing the ball/some form of exercise.
Keeping him inside with candles burning to distract him from the female odor.
Stuffed kongs or toys/puzzle games with food to help maintain weight and lessen distraction.
Training sessions or special time with owner(s).
Send him over to stay with family or friends who don't live in the same neighborhood.
Board him. Although many places don't take intact males.
Holistic pet calm remedies, Rescue Remedy or Calm-eze.
(I know one person who gets meds from her vet.)
Pheromone diffuser, citronella sprays for outside or other.

Our current boys are great! They could care less because they have been exposed to the smells in training classes, dog shows and more. It's not that they don't notice it, but they have been raised to have good manners around females. Sometimes the females themselves will teach the boys a thing or two about sniffing them when they shouldn't. :Up_to_something: Our current boys haven't ever had a fight and they don't miss a meal either! We are still very cautious though to keep everyone safe and happy.

Also, here is a link to one of my favorite publications: http://www.whole-dog-journal.com/issues/7_9/features/Spaying-and-Neuturing_15649-1.html

Hopefully things will calm down soon. Poor Griffin! :doh:

Eta, oops, I didn't realize woofmama had already posted a similar link to wdj. Good to know other PS members use it though! :wavey:
 
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