There are many reasons to spay or neuter your dog and only one reason not to do so. That one reason should only apply to serious, professional breeders. There are many good professionals whose mission is to improve their breed of choice. They participate in AKC events and obedience trials to showcase their breed. They write books, create websites, and rescue dogs. If the animals they are selling are not show-quality, these breeders insist that the puppies be spayed or neutered. They do not sell their puppies before they are old enough to leave the litter, which is usually about 10 weeks, and they don’t over-breed their animals.
Backyard breeders tend to ignore any rules of conduct with the animals they sell. They don’t concern themselves with what happens to the pups once they are sold, and don’t know if they are spayed or neutered. Their business is making money.
Some pet owners breed their pet once to educate their children about nature. Those puppies come into the world; mama dog raises them, and the family must find homes for the babies. Usually, the babies are adopted out at 6 weeks, far sooner than is healthy for them. Many puppies end up at shelters, possibly being adopted, but more likely being euthanized because of over-crowding.
Puppy mills are the scourge of the domesticated animal world. The adult breeding bitches spend their lives locked in too-small cages, often with wire floors, and surrounded by their own waste. These poor females churn out litter after litter of puppies that are sold by “brokers” to pet stores across the country. When the females are past the breeding age, they end up in shelters or dead. Treating them as pets and eventually spaying them is not the order of business for puppy mills.
Spaying your female helps prevent breast cancer. Male dogs benefit from being neutered in several ways. If the surgery occurs before 6 months of age, it will prevent testicular cancer in his later years. An intact dog will perform Houdini-like feats to reach a female in heat, even traveling miles in search of a mate. From my childhood, I recall a neighbor whose female Chihuahua was in heat. Male dogs gathered in their yard at night, annoying all the neighbors. One particularly agile dog climbed our 6-foot fence and surprised our female, spayed Chow, who was not amused.
If a dog has been “fixed,” he won’t feel the need to roam and his behavior will much improved. Unneutered dogs also mark their territory with sprays of urine. They are guided by instinct and don’t care if it is inside or out. A dog that has been altered will be less aggressive and make a better family pet.
Take care of your dog and have it spayed or neutered.