I'm glad a select few of you are so ultra responsible, good and caring owners that for you, it makes sense to keep an intact animal but sadly, there's far too few of you and too many that aren't like you to make s/n before sexual maturity the best decision out there.
Exactly. The population of this forum is not representative of the general public when it comes to pet ownership.
And I have to say that my clientele is not necessarily representative of the general public either. Not everyone who owns a pet cares to (or needs to) take it to a professional groomer, so I'm actually seeing a slightly more responsible segment of the pet-owning public.
But when I worked as a vet assistant, I saw a complete cross-section. With the mobile vet in under-served, lower income areas, I saw very poor, uneducated folks with their pets. Working at the hospital in a higher-income area, I saw well-off pet owners driving nice cars. And literally everything in between.
One thing that runs through the cross section is that very few people who own pets are actually animal experts. In America, everybody has pets, unlike other countries like China where a pet is considered a luxury, or places like India where dogs are considered unclean. In those countries, I imagine the only people who own dogs are those who are really, I mean REALLY, crazy about dogs. In America, it seems everyone owns a dog whether they like it or not. It's considered normal to have a family dog, and almost un-American not to!
So, the point of this ramble is to illustrate that the level of dog-savvy in American owners is generally rather low. And so, the recommendation to spay/neuter before puberty is a good one for the general public--the dogs are more tractable and easier to handle for people who are not terribly dog-savvy. Statistically, neutered dogs are less likely to fight, roam, mark, and bite than their intact brethren. Why do you think Schutzhund and police dog trainers generally keep their dogs intact? Because they WANT that extra intensity, hardness, and fight drive.
When on this forum, you might get the impression that the average pet owner is pretty smart and pretty responsible, but most everybody here is actually the exception to the general rule in that regard.