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Hi everyone,

Bruno, my 11 month old standard poodle is scheduled to be neutered tomorrow. I am feeling very conflicted about this, mostly because he does not show any aggressive behavior what so ever. He is very docile and sweet. Does not hump. Only marks outside. Is it too soon for him to be neutered? Should I wait a few more months?
 

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My breeder, Arreau, was strongly of the opinion that spoos should not be neutered until around 15-18 months. The sex hormones at maturity "turn off" the growth hormones, as I understand it, which means that dogs neutered earlier continue to grow more, leaving them somewhat leggy and a bit unbalanced.

My spoo Pericles is not at all aggressive, never was, is extremely sweet and smart, similar to Bruno. I did not see any change in behavior when he was neutered at 15 months.
 

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What a cute puppy! I neutered my dog around a year old because of his humping behavior but otherwise I would have waited until 15-18 months. I think it is good to be safe than sorry it you are not having behavioral problems.
 

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Since you don't have adverse behavior issues I think waiting makes a lot of sense. That said Javelin still has all his parts at two years old. He sometimes barks at other dogs, but not much and there are no other negative behaviors. I may not neuter him at all since I think the evidence of clear health benefits is not very convincing right now.
 

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Since you don't have adverse behavior issues I think waiting makes a lot of sense. That said Javelin still has all his parts at two years old. He sometimes barks at other dogs, but not much and there are no other negative behaviors. I may not neuter him at all since I think the evidence of clear health benefits is not very convincing right now.
Same here. Vontae is 3.5 years old and I also don't plan to neuter him, for the same reason cited above - no clear health benefits, and even some evidence of health deficits according to some studies. Before getting Vontae, I used to think that not neutering would automatically lead to seriously unwanted behaviors like marking all over the house and aggression with other dogs. These concerns simply haven't materialized. The only differences/minor annoyances I've observed in Vontae vs. Moses, my neutered Sheltie who passed at 13, are 1). Vontae is much more interested in female dogs, even ones not in heat, than Moses ever was; 2). Vontae uses his nose to sniff around outside much more than Moses; 3). it takes Vontae many more leg-lifting sessions to empty his bladder, whereas Moses never marked and emptied his bladder all at once.

If you're willing to deal with these minor inconveniences, I do suggest considering the option of not neutering.

Kevin
 

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Sam is 3 and he as not been neutered. He has been shown and bred and we have plans to breed him again, so definitely no plans to neuter him. But even if Sam was not going to be bred, I don't think I would neuter him. We are around other dogs all the time. Bob, who was neutered at 6 months, actually showed more humping behavior than Sam does. As others have mentioned, there do not seem to be any health benefits to neutering a male.

If anyone wants more info about spay/neuter, here are some good resources:

Spaying and neutering Dr. Karen Becker

Summary of pros and cons of spay/neuter
Long-Term Health Risks and Benefits Associated with Spay / Neuter in Dogs

Benefits and Risks of Neutering–An Evidence-Based Approach
Benefits and Risks of Neutering–An Evidence-Based Approach | The SkeptVet

Early spay/neuter and joint disease
Spay Neuter And Joint Disease
 

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I agree with what others have said about waiting until the 15-18 month range. I also agree that there isn't much support for health benefits of neutering a male.

I don't really believe that aggressive and marking behavior is strongly correlated with keeping dogs intact. In fact, nearly all of the aggressive dogs I've encountered were neutered. And as others here have said, there are many intact dogs that are excellent canine citizens. Even altered males may mark in the house if not trained otherwise. Good breeding, good temperament, and most importantly, good training are key to raising a good, well-behaved dog.
 
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