Spaying and Neutering
By Diane Jermyn DOGS IN CANADA ANNUAL 2013 Page 15
When to spay (for females) and neuter (for males) is another hot topic, especially for breeders and trainers who don't agree with the standard veterinary recommendation of sterilizing at six months of age.
Those opposed to early sterilization cite health issues such as urinary incontinence in spayed females and an Iowa State University study that demonstrated an increased risk for cardiac tumours for castrated males and particularly for spayed females.
Other dog owners worry about how sterilization can slow an animal's metabolism leading to serious weight gain and its related health issues.
However, most experts agree that sterilization - at the right time - not only helps control the flood of unwanted puppies that overwhelm animal shelters but that it's uniformly good for a dog's health and personality.
Behavioural studies have shown that neutering can prevent or significantly reduce the incidence of aggressive tendencies and undesirable habits such as roaming, humping and urine-marking.
Even with those benefits, experienced trainers and breeders can tell you that spaying or neutering too soon can leave the dog suspended in a "perpetual adolescence," meaning difficult behaviours can become more firmly entrenched.
This is why it's crucial to research and find out the optimal time to spay or neuter your specific breed of dog.