Was neutering my pup at 6 months a mistake???
Thank you so much for this site...incredibly informative and helpful.
Here is my question. I have a male rottie, he's 2 years and 1 month now, incredibly sweet and calm demeanor, and I love him to death. But here is my question.
He's purebred (i.e. came with papers, visited and saw his parents etc) and both were beautiful rotties with thick bodies and large heads.
Atticus (my boy) is still at that "lanky" stage...i.e. all legs and skinny head, etc. Ive been doing alot of reading online lately which says that neutering a rottie at 6 months is a MISTAKE because it stunts their muscular development (i.e. you will end up with a tall, skinny, small-headed rottie if you neuter before 1 year old, or even later)
I have 5 dogs, and always neutered around 6 months because I thought i was doing the right thing for their health and keeping down the unwanted "pup" population. But now Im worred that I may have stunted my guy's development. He is about 25 inches right now in height which doesnt seem "unusual" but I wanted to get your thoughts on this...at a little over 2 years old, will a NEUTERED rottie continue to "fill out" or is the growth and development stage over. Ive read different things all over the place (i.e. no more growth, growth until 3-5 years, only in intact males, etc)
Any help would be greatly appreciated--just want to know for my future rotties :)
This is a good question, and as you have found out there are a LOT of differing opinions on this, most of them expressed very strongly and usually conflicting each other totally.
I am not a veterinarian nor a professional when it comes to canine genetics, development and so on, just a Rottie owner and lover who has loved, raised and trained these dogs for decades.
I can only give you my personal take on this and my own experiences, if they help then I'm glad to share them :)
I have owned male Rottweilers who have been neutered prior to 6 months, and those who have remained intact throughout their journey to adulthood. In both instances my puppies grew up to be large, muscular adults. Of course they were different in lots of ways because they were from entirely different lines so their conformation, bone size, head shape, pace of development, personality etc. were not the same. However, I can't say that I noticed that a neutered pup was 'stunted' in any way in terms of physical development.
In terms of how long it takes for a pup to reach adulthood, it's very individual and tends to be genetic. One of my big males took a full 3 years + to grow into his head and legs, but he had not been neutered.
It would be helpful to see photos of your pup's parents, and him as an 8 week old pup and again at 6 months, as that gives a good indication of bone size, conformation etc. Of course, genetics is a very complicated process, and your pup doesn't just inherit his looks and temperament from his parents. Grandparents and all the dogs in his lineage have an effect to some degree, so a pup who has two large, muscular parents would usually mature to be somewhat similar in type, but could also grow to resemble a grandparent, uncle, cousin etc. There are no guarantees.
From the photos above it doesn't seem as though Atticus has a particularly large frame or bone size, but it's very difficult to judge accurately from photos, especially small ones, so I could be wrong. His skeletal framework is probably fairly much complete in terms of growth by now, but he could quite easily continue to put on weight and muscle development over the next 6 - 9 months or so.
The best thing you can do is to make sure he's eating a premium dog food and that he gets adequate exercise, after that it's really up to Mother Nature I'm afraid.
I realize this isn't a definitive answer to your question, but I really don't think that there is one at this point. There is no clear evidence either way that I am aware of, and my own experiences mirror that!
Atticus looks like a nice Rottie and he has a sweet facial expression which gives the impression of a very calm and loving temperament. His size is really of less importance than his health and personality so I wouldn't worry too much about all of this, although I do understand your interest in this question.
Best of luck with your Rottie, enjoy him :)