The pros and cons of spaying or neutering your dog.
If you have taken your puppy or dog to the vets, no doubt they have talked about when you should get them spayed or neutered. They have given you all the reasons why you should do it and very little about what potential harm it could cause your dog.
It is common practice for veterinarians to spay or neuter dogs from as young as 6 months old. However scientific studies have shown this can do your dog more harm than good! You can't undo this procedure so please read on to find out when I (and science) believe the best time to spay or neuter is and why.
Why Early Spaying or Neutering can damage your Dog
Basically, early Spaying or Neutering (before 13 - 18 months depending on breed) stops you dog from maturing, both physically and mentally. This is not only harmful to growth but, as a professional dog trainer, I have observed behavioural problems caused by early spay/neuter procedures. See one of the studies here.
Dogs need their sex hormones to mature, taking those away causes issues with bone growth, hair growth, temperament, behaviour, weight and often has little positive effect on behaviours most owner want to get rid of e.g. humping and excitable behaviour.
Ideally I recommend Spaying or Neutering your dog no younger than 18 months, if at all. However spaying female dogs before they get into their senior years is advised as they would otherwise be at risk of developing Pyometra, a dangerous and life-threatening infection of the womb.