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I am trying to determine if I want to neuter my new puppy, Beorn. He is just over 4 months old right now, and has already started humping actions, though infrequently.

I am hesitant to neuter him, because my parent's older german shepherd got neutered when he was fairly young, about 6 months old, as I recall, and he never really seemed like he grew up, behavorially. He always seemed a bit insecure - it's hard to describe, but he never seemed like a confident adult male should be, and I suppose I blame the neutering.

But on the other hand, I don't want to risk having an uncontrollable and agressive male. I don't want him, say, breaking out of the yard to go find a mate, though I have a good-sized privacy fence, and don't think this is likely.

I am taking as many opportunities as possible to introduce him to people and dogs as possible, so I'm not terribly worried about agression, but I'm not sure what will happen.

I asked my breeder, and she thought that intact dogs dominant / mating behavior can be mitigated with good training, which I am working on.

I don't have any long-term plans to breed him, though it is a fun daydream to start breeding puppies. But I'd rather keep my options open.

My plan is to keep him intact, unless his behavior becomes unmanageable, in which I will neuter him.

I suppose - long story short, is that I know the reasons to neuter a dog. Do people feel there are compelling reasons to not neuter? And have people changed their minds about it? When is a good time to neuter?
 

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I think you are right on in your decision.
If you are being a responsible owner and your dog is well trained, no reason to neuter.
My male is 4 and so far I've not had any problems with leaving him intact....his marking isn't excessive because I don't allow it, and he seldom tries to mount my spayed females. If he does, they correct him immediately.
If I had decided to neuter him, I would have waited til he was 2 or 3 mentally and physically mature.
I don't think your parents dogs temperament was because he was snipped early, but probably his genetic make up. I wouldn't blame lack of confidence on neutering.
 

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I can only speak for us and Joey.

We adopted Joey at 5 years old. He was intact, and we were on the fence about neutering. We heard arguments both ways.

Last year, at age 7, he was diagnosed with an enlarged prostate. We had him neutered.

Neutering did not change his behavior (I didn't expect it to).
 

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I think this is very good information on the Pro's of Castration provides valid points that are not "control the pet population" driven. IMO if you are not intending on breeding why not do it? All of my pets are altered but I do not have intentions of breeding or a want / need to do so. I think it is a personal preference

Castration
People seem to have numerous hang-ups about castrating male dogs. No doubt a psychologist could have a field day with the owner's projections and complexes. Castration does not make dogs more lethargic. If anything, a castrated dog is more attentive and willing to please its owner, since it is less distracted. Neither does castration cause a marked personality change. And castration does not make a dog a wimp.

The behavioral endocrinology of dogs is quite unique. Whereas the castration of most mammals appears to eliminate secondary sexual characteristics, the masculine characteristics of dog behavior appear to be emancipated from adult hormone levels. Whether or not a male dog will lift his leg when urinating, sniff and mount bitches and be more aggressive than females has all been preprogrammed by fetal testosterone in utero. Adult castration has absolutely no direct effect on urination posture, sexual preference or hierarchical rank.

Castration does, however, exert a number of extremely beneficial behavioral changes. Castrated males tend to roam less than intact males. They are more content when left at home or in the yard and are less likely to develop destructive behaviors or attempt escape. A castrated dog will still urine-mark, using the characteristic male leg-lift posture, but it will do so less often.

Most importantly, castrated male dogs are involved in far fewer fights than their male counterparts with testicles. All dogs have disagreements, and most dogs fight. However, over 90% of dog fights occur between uncastrated male dogs. Strangely enough, castration does not make dogs less inclined to fight, neither does it reduce the dog's social standing vis a vis other dogs. Instead, castration reduces the desire for other dogs to pick fights with your dog. Castration removes the source of testosterone, the male sex hormone which makes male dogs smell male. Thus, castrated males appear to be less of a threat to other males, which consequently will be less aggressive and combative towards your dog. In a sense, castration makes your dog appear to be less obnoxious to others. Furthermore, if other dogs are more relaxed around your dog, your dog will feel more relaxed around them, and thus, he will be much easier to control. ■
 

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To me neutering is a life choice and has nothing to do with behavior. Everything you listed...from your parent's dog's insecurities to the fear of having an aggressive dog are behavioral and training issues that can be solved.

Unless you really start training, titling, and proving your dogs worth (along with a good pedigree), not many bitch owners will want to breed to your male. There are SO many good males out there that its really hard to imagine why anyone would breed to anything that's not titled/shown/brings something great to the table. This probably means that if you do breed him, it will be to a subpar female, and then who knows what kind of puppies you'll get (I'm in the same boat you are in with my male).

Now, why do I say that neutering is a life style choice? Well...what do you want to do with your dog? Go to the dog park? Probably out of the question because either HE will react to other males, or other males will react to HIM having that extra testosterone and then he might end up standing up for himself (and the GSD always gets in trouble). That's the problem I run into...so we've stopped frequenting dog parks. If you plan on leaving him in a yard...that's either not fenced or short fenced, he might get a whiff of a female in heat and take off. My boy definitely lets me know when there is a female in heat around in the neighborhood or when we're out and about.

There are a lot of good things and bad things about keeping the animal intact. There are health issues for and against it, but none of those have really been proven to be CAUSED by neutering. Many times you'll see "risk" increases of less than 5% for any ailments found to have any correlation to neutering.

It's your decision...if you think you can handle the dog, train the dog, and not allow him what I call the "standard amount of freedom" that most neutered dogs get, don't neuter, it will probably be better for his growth. But if you think there is a chance you'll get lazy, let him make a mistake, you should probably go ahead and neuter. I'd consider waiting until he's about 1 year old for that though.

After seeing the post above mine I'll make it clear that my boy is intact and I intend him to stay that way. He's almost 3 and at this point I see no reason to neuter him. I have however had to adjust the activities we do together due to the things I highlighted and the poster above me spelled out as well.
 
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