It's quite a common question that gets asked, and it is important that you ask it.
It is a myth that every dog should keep its testicles to maintain its "manliness". Dogs do not need to breed. It doesn't make a dog any better if it does breed, and it certainly doesn't make its owner a better person either! And it certainly can make that dog much more difficult to manage if it is not neutered.
The reality is that unless there is a specific reason to breed your dog, it should be neutered at an early age to prevent unwanted pregnancies, minimize aggressive male behavior, and to lessen the chance of some forms of cancer.
My recommendation is that the dog gets neutered between 2 and 6 months old. In fact, when we place puppies, we will neuter them before they go and include this as part of the purchase price. We strongly encourage other breeders to do the same. Yes, there is always a small risk associated with any sort of surgery, but there is far greater risk associated with owning and managing a dog with an aggressive sex drive. There is significant evidence showing that younger pups manage through the surgery option much better than older dogs. Indeed, the surgery is quite simple and can be performed in a matter of minutes. We recommend that you seek a couple of quotes from different vets as prices can differ enormously.
If your dog is not neutered, you will often see the following:
-they will pee on everything and anything - including all furniture, curtains, shoes, and handbags in your house.
-a major change of behavior around bitches "in season". Once a dog has actually had sex, this behavior can be magnified significantly on future occasions when coming in contact with fertile bitches.
-many dogs will actively seek fertile bitches breaking out of seemingly secure fences. Indeed we have a friend whose dog broke his chain, then broke out of a shed, then chewed through fences, and got into the house where the bitch was housed, and was able to breed with her producing pups 9 weeks later.
-sometimes dogs will be aggressive to other dogs and may hump any other dog (males included) that he finds. This behavior can go on for some time.
-often dogs not neutered will seek out neutered males to hump. You can imagine the outcomes that this can have in terms of aggressiveness (not to mention your embarrassment)
-sometimes the dog will refuse to eat whenever they smell a fertile bitch
-male dogs can sometimes be quite aggressive to a female in season
-male dogs seeking to fulfill their sexual drive will often hump anything or anyone that moves
-male dogs can howl and cry for weeks while a bitch is in season within smelling distance of them (and believe me, this will drive you nuts)
-often males will exude a smell related to the sex hormones when a bitch is in season. This smell is appalling, and you will be doing your best to figure out how to get rid of it. (good luck - we haven't figured out a way yet).
It is surprising just how major the behavior change in dogs can be when bitches are in season. Before I got my toy poodle neutered he would actually attack my old neutered boxer when bitches were in season. Naturally, a toy poodle cannot do a heck of a lot of damage to a boxer, but in one instance the boxer decided he'd had enough and turned on the poodle. Luckily I was there to stop any damage. However, when involved with stud dogs on other occasions, I have been damaged (bitten) by aggressive stud dog behavior - and by dogs who normally had the most superb temperament. As an old-timer mentor said to me recently - "a male will actually attempt to kill any male who he thinks will mate a bitch near him."
When a male dog is after a fertile bitch that is the only thing on his mind. He will do anything that he can think of to get at bitches. This includes scaling fences, breaking down doors, mating through fences, and physically harming and even killing other dogs, etc. Additionally, as the owner of the male dog, you are as responsible as the owner of the bitch, for any puppies that are born. This means you have a ethical responsibility for life to rescue any of those pups if they ever end up in the pound. (as a note: it is likely in future that legally as well as morally you will have this responsibility).
When you get to this point, you really need to ask yourself, "is this really worth it?"
Frankly, in the 99.99% of cases, it is not worth it. Do yourself, your family, and your neigbhours a favour by getting your dog neutered.
Don't wait until your dog starts getting sexual drives before you neuter him. In many cases, once the dog starts the misbehavior associated with attempting to breed, that behavior can stay after the neutering has taken place.
Article submitted by: © Jane Johnson