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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My 10 month old westie has been perfect - high energy but obedient, playful, athletic, fearless, gentle, cuddly, quiet, will eat anything but doesn't beg for food. His balls finally dropped a couple months ago, but we've been too busy to get him neutered. I know owners do this to limit aggression and prevent babies, but his recall has been flawless and he has zero aggression, even to dogs trying to bite his head off. It's proven impossible to rile him. I don't want his temperament to change one bit... is that a risk with the procedure?
 

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I have never neutered any males I have owned. I competed in Agility with my last male and never a problem. My dogs are never wandering loose on their own where they could father any litters and never have.
 

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What about for behavior/temperament reasons? I would consider neutering if it "locks in" his current personality and proactively prevents development of more aggressive future personality, or any testosterone-fueled behavior that I haven't yet seen. I also read that there are health benefits. I wouldn't do it if it, say, results in him being less upbeat or assertive with other dogs.
 

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It will definitely not “lock in” his current personality. On the down side it can cause him behavior problems and even change his personality.

Here are some risks with neutering your dog:

#1: Most pets are neutered prior to their first year of age which disrupts proper hormonal processes. Removing the hormone generating organs of the body so early in age will impact other essential growth processes.

#2: Hormonal disruption in neutered male dogs heighten the risks of other growth centers. Neutering may triple the risk of hypothyroidism.

#3: Early neutering of male dogs increases the risk of developing bone cancer. Osteosarcoma is a common cancer in medium/large and larger breeds with a poor prognosis.

#4: Male dogs who are neutered are more likely to develop other orthopedic diseases. The potential for hip dysplasia and cruciate rupture rises when male dogs have inadequate time to fully hormonally develop and grow healthy bones.

#5: Neutering male dogs increases the risk of cardiac hemangiosarcoma.The likelihood of developing this common cancer in many breeds after neutering rises by a factor of 1.6 and has a very poor prognosis.

#6: Male dogs neutered during their first years have a tripled potential for obesity. Similar to humans, overweight dogs are more susceptible to numerous other health problems.

#7: The originally small risks for prostate and urinary tract cancers increase for neutered male dogs. The risk for urinary tract cancer doubles (<1%) while the risk for prostate cancer quadruples (<0.6%).

#8: The vaccines recommended to pet parents may result in adverse side effects in neutered male dogs.By decreasing the immune stimulation and protection from the testosterone surges during puberty, negative reactions to vaccinations are more likely to occur.

#9: Neutering male dogs may negatively impact their quality of life as they age. Testosterone soaks the brain and provides protection from amyloid deposits, protein deposits that clog brain pathways. The risk of progressive geriatric impairments rises in neutered male dogs.

#10: For the behavioral symptoms pet parents believe will be helped by neutering male dogs, other negative symptoms in behavior may develop.Studies indicate neutered males are susceptible to anxious or fearful behaviors, noise phobias, aggression, and undesirable sexual behaviors.

 
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