Vets push it because most American's are not responsible owners and can't keep their pets from "accidentally" reproducing.
it takes a lot of supervision and there are other issues that can arise like aggression esp towards other males
also as mentioned prostate issues down the road
and other reproductive cancers
there is always a trade off
also looks are determined more by genetics than early neuter except there seems to be a propensity towards extra bone growth making the dog slightly taller if neutered earlier than later
WHAT other reproductive cancers exactly??
There are NONE associated with an intact male, and it's lies like that thrown around by everyone telling you to neuter your dog at 6 weeks old or they'll die before they're 5 of 100 different mysterious cancers.
Intact males are more susceptible to prostatitis and prostate abscesses as they age. Both can kill your dog, but both can also be treated. NEUTERED dogs are more prone to prostate TUMORS that are non - responsive to most treatments and will eventually kill your dog.
There are really no other health defects associated with having an intact male. No cancers linked to testosterone in the body.
I feel pets should be kept intact until sexual maturity (12-18 months preffered) for their own health BENEFIT. But yes, most people can't handle intact animals so they should be neutered if you can not 100% guarantee your dog is not going to jump the fence or go running off.
As far as behavioral issues... it amazes me when "trainers" recommend early castration to avoid a whole list of behavior problems. Long story short - train your dog. And if someone can't train an intact male to be obedient and not mark in their house, I wouldn't want them as a trainer! I have a neutered male I neutered at 9 months, and I have a 16 month working line male, intact. Both are, surprise surprise, very well behaved, social, obedient, neither has ever dared to mark in the house. I have taken the intact male to schutzhund club every week since he was 8 weeks old, and surprise surprise, 30+ intact dogs and ALL of them are extremely well behaved, and all of them are first and foremost family pets that live in a house. Most with other dogs.
The german shepherd i had to euthanize for extreme fear aggression was neutered at 4 months old... i am not saying that is related, because it's not. That's my point. Sexual organs (or lack of) should play ZERO part in a dog's training or behavior.
Now don't get me wrong. Yes an intact male has an increased chance of dog aggression (although I surprisingly find it seems to be neutered males that go after intact males). Yes an intact animal has an increased instance of roaming. My whole point is, train your dog, contain your dog. Things you should be doing with or without balls.
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