Saturday, October 2, 2010

8 Months

I have heard that 8 months is for greyhounds like the terrible twos are for young humans - very hard on the parents. So far so good. During the 8th month the only casualty was one leather leash that I left on Miles while in the van on the way home from our working vacation at Beach Bound Hounds. When we got home the leather leash was in two pieces. "Mom, I swear I thought it was a rawhide."

The pups jaws are much stronger all of a sudden. I can imagine that a pup without strict rules on what belongs to him and what belongs to the people could do some serious damage. Their sturdy chew toys are not able to stand up to the pups jaws now and I have been finding pieces laying around and have had to throw away several. Even cow hoofs are slowly disappearing one small bit at a time.

The growth rate of the pups has definitely changed. They are still getting a little taller but mainly are lengthening. Miles was very short bodied last month for as tall as he was. Now suddenly his back and body is long and more greyhound like. It is harder to keep weight on Miles at this age. He is probably ready to go to two meals a day because he doesn't eat as well in the evening if he gets a meal in the afternoon now. We do skip lunch sometimes but I still give it most of the time just to keep weight on him. Miles and Otto are definitely going to be tall boys and are already taller than most male greyhounds. They are nearly as tall as my other greyhound Streak that raced at 92lbs. Only a few of the tallest greyhound boys at Beach Bound Hounds were taller than Miles.

You can see how tall Miles is in these photos of Miles dancing and playing with Roy.

There are no outward signs of the boys hormones kicking in yet so the growth plates aren't anywhere near closing yet. They are likely to keep growing some. They will definitely put on muscle once the hormones kick in because they haven't been neutered. Miles probably only weighs around 70lbs. He is very narrow and tall without much muscle even though the pups run all the time. Like humans, pups just don't put on much muscle until their hormones kick in as they mature. The testosterone is what closes the growth plates in the bones too. The long bones are the last to stop growing and are likely to grow for too long if the dog is neutered early and doesn't have the testosterone to stop the growth at the proper time. Combine that with a lack of muscle to support the too long bones and you have a high performance dog that is prone to injuries.

Early neuter also multiplies the risk of bone cancer which is already way too prevalent in our breed. There are other risks to spaying and neutering dogs before they are mature. With greyhounds the growth plates may not close until 14 to 16 months so Miles will definitely not be neutered until sometime after that just to be safe. Here is some of the research I looked at when deciding when to wait to neuter Miles. All articles are research based and done by vets or scientists, not just random opinions on the web.
PDF: Long Term Health Risks and Benefits Associated with Spay Neuter in Dogs

I also took into consideration that my dogs never run loose and are always on leash or in a very secure iron and brick fenced yard. I do not own an unspayed female so there is no chance of Miles contributing to the pet over population problem. He follows rules and listens to us and has since he was tiny so I don't think that he will become unmanageable as his hormones kick in. The risks of waiting a few months to neuter seem very small in comparison to the health risks of spaying and neutering too soon.


Hiking Hounds said...

Great pictures of your pups! I love the pool pictures.

FeatheredGems said...

Thank you for waiting to neuter him until he's finished growing! It's the best thing for his future health (plus, early neuter makes them grow up looking weird!). And no, you won't have any problems with him when his hormones kick in. I've raised two intact male greyhound puppies and neither of them changed at all when they hit puberty, other than figuring out how to lift their leg to mark.

4norrisam said...

i just got a new puppy two weeks ago and couldnt figure out for the life of me what breed she was, because she is so long and lean, but she is brindle. i didnt know that greyhounds could be brindle, so here i was scratching my head trying to figure out what in the world part of this dog looks like a pit or a rot. so thanks to you for helping me finaly figure out that little baby luna must be a greyhound.