Quote:are there any studies that show earlier nuetering to stunt/change their growth?
IF neutered before the growth plates close, the dog will probably be taller than it otherwise would have been. This might give an excessively leggy, out of proportion appearance. Many people believe the dogs fail to muscle up/fill out properly. I suspect it's true, that they retain a boyish/adolescent appearance. They also believe the head doesn't become fully masculine & retains a bitchy look to it, more refined & narrow. I don't think the external genitalia will fully masculinize, although perhaps they regress in the absence of testosterone even in late neutering, I'm not certain. (The testes will be lost if castrated<duh> with only the penis remaining, but that's much smaller in castrated dogs, or at least those castrated early).
Personally I like a tall, leggy dog so that aspect doesn't bother me. Adolescent bodies can muscle up & be fit so that doesn't matter so much to me. I do prefer a masculine head & I've gotta admit I prefer the appearance of a large penis to the shrunken, adolecent member in castrated dogs. I suspect I'm not spozed to admit that, but it's true.
Prior to Djibouti all of my guys were castrated. The mutt pup(Terrier Toy Poodle X) b/w 9mos & 1yr. Da Vinci, my IW ~1yr (as agreed to with the rescue), Cochise, my over sized Sibe, ~6mos (I got him at 4yrs old). All had masculine heads, general appearance & attitudes. They were unmistakably *guys*. They also had undeveloped boyish, rather than mannish penises which frankly annoyed/bothered me much like some feel about the erect ears.
I plan to keep Djibouti intact though that's more to do with over all health benefits than my own shameful fetish<jk>. I suspect the riskiest, least desirable neuterings are those done very early. I certainly understand why shelters & rescues insist on it when placing but IMO responsible pet owners should refrain until the pup is at least 6 mos old, preferably over a yr, especially in large dogs.
I'd love to see some extensive, unbiased studies on changes in aggression (both desirable & inappropriate), dominance etc. I'm not convinced that there aren't some effects in at least some dogs. Unfortunately, the subject is fraught with people rushing to prove what they prefer while ignoring what they dislike.