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I’ve just got a new Border Terrier puppy. My vet has recommended I neuter the pup at six months, but I’m reading lots of conflicting things online about whether I should neuter him at all.

Paul Manktelow advises…

Vets will often push to have animals neutered if you don’t intend to breed from them. The main reason being is that we see first-hand the issues that present in unneutered pets. Traditionally, the driver for neutering male dogs would have been to reduce the risks of conditions such as testicular cancer and prostate issues. Behaviourally, neutering may also help with roaming and hypersexual behaviours, such as mounting. Also, if your dog is neutered, he is less likely to contribute to the problem of unwanted litters, which is a real problem in the UK.

The conflicting view is that neutering – especially early neutering – can cause issues in later life relating to growth and development, as well as increased risks of other diseases.

The truth is that testicular and prostate problems are actually quite rare in male dogs and if they arise, neutering can often resolve or remove the disease. I am therefore more likely to recommend neutering in male dogs if the behavioural signs become a real problem. This advice is based on owners being responsible, managing their dog’s behaviours and checking them regularly for health problems.

My advice for female dogs is quite different, as I believe there are stronger drivers and more common life-threatening diseases in bitches than there are in males.

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