Original Question: How old should a dog be to get neutered? - Arlette
Thanks for your question.
Most veterinarians typically recommend neutering at 6 months.
There was a recent study that looked at the risk of cruciate ligament rupture and age of neutering and they found that the risk was decreased if the neutering occurred at 12 months rather than 6. I looked at this study closely and noted that it wasn’t too reliable, but more so, it was really for large breed dogs only so depending on your dog’s size, it may have more or less relevance.
Some dogs may develop certain undesirable male behaviours from the effect of the testosterone that is produced by the testes. This can contribute to behaviours such as aggression, urine marking, humping and enthusiastic attraction to intact females. If you start to see these behaviours, you could implement behavioural strategies to counteract them or they could be improved by performing the neuter. If they are left to continue while you wait to have a neuter performed later in life, they can become learned behaviours and although they were promoted by the testosterone effect, removing it later may not resolve them since they would be ingrained in your dog’s personality.
Here’s my recommendation. You should educate yourself on the facts and then make a personal decision about what you want for your pet that suits your philosophy of care.
I hope this helps,
Dr. Clayton Greenway