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When should I neuter my puppy?

There's loads of controversy out there regarding when and whether to neuter your puppy, and lots of emotion involved in the topic too.

Here's a summary of the questions and concerns that you might want to look at.

Neutering early - some think that puppys should be neutered very early, but most vets, I think would now agree that the sex hormones are necessary for correct development and growth. So, this would mean neutering at maturity. But, regarding growth, and health risks - ask your vet. They are the ones who keep up to date with the latest scientific evidence, and should be able to provide you with the pros and cons.

Ofcourse, there are sometimes some health risks associated with later neutering. Your vet will also be able to answer these concerns.

Regarding behaviour there are 2 things to think about

1. For girls - if your puppy or dog is aggressive, then don't neuter them until you've got the behaviour problem resolved. The theory is that the female hormones help to curb the aggression. However, it's not going to go away by itself. So, speak to your vet to recommend a qualified behaviourist. There are obviously health risks and concerns that may outweigh this consideration.

2. For boys - if your puppy is scared of things or fearful, then don't neuter. The theory here is that they need the testosterone to provide confidence to overcome the fears. However, this is hugely complicated and needs to be thoroughly and holistically thought through. So, again I"m recommending that you see a behaviourist to give this full consideration. Sometimes, it is better to neuter to help to overcome the problem. However, neutering alone, won't fix it.

Should I let my puppy have a litter before neutering?

There's no conclusive evidence that I'm aware of that indicates that this is beneficial either behaviourally or medically. Ask your vet for advice.Should I let my dog be a "father" before neutering? Again, there's nothing here behaviourally or medically that should sway your answer. So this shouldn't come into the equation. So, it's simply a matter of considering whether you do want to neuter at all, and then if so, when. Yes, there are medical risks with not neutering, but you may be of the belief that you want to keep the animal whole. Please do discuss the risk factors with your vet and then weigh up the pros and cons.

Read more help here for when you've just got your puppy