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I'm specifically commenting on males, because I know that females should be fixed after 2 years to prevent illness/death. At least, this is what the vet told us after our female needed an emergency hysterectomy due to a severe uterus infection >.>

But in male dogs, at least, are they generally healthier if they aren't fixed? I ask because I have a beagle who will be 10 in June, and he looks younger and more fit than many other beagles (that I've seen) the same age. He hasn't been altered, and I'm just wondering if that may have something to do with it.
 

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I have two intact male dogs, one is 11 and the other is almost 9. What I notice the most is that I have never had a weight problem with them. All the females I have had spayed had to be really cut down on their food or they got fat. I don't know if neutered males have the same problem. I have never seen any reason to neuter my males as I can still compete in Agility with one of them that is not neutered.
 

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My aunts German short haired pointer got benign hyperplasia of the prostate at 8 years, this resolved when they neutered him. No testosterone, no tumor.

I think it really depends on the dog and I'm not sure there is a way to predict it.
 

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I have a super healthy almost six-year-old intact male. He has never required a sick visit to the vet in his life. Neutering will most certainly have some effect on the health of a dog because you can't take out a good portion of the endocrine system and expect nothing to happen.

Here is a very recent review of the health complications related to neutering published in the Journal of Etiology and Animal Health.
@Chas
I think it really depends on the dog and I'm not sure there is a way to predict it.
There most definitely is a way to predict which dogs are going to get sick. Just ask those in the natural rearing community.
 
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