Neutering Your Labrador – If and When To Neuter Your Dog

pros and cons of neutering a labrador

I believe that neutering your Labrador is best left until after they are at least a year old, as doing so earlier comes with some health risks and no benefits to your pet besides preventing unwanted puppies. Which you can do yourself by monitoring them and keeping them contained outdoors. For female dogs many veterinarians also ask owners to delay until they have had at least one season. But it’s important to remember that neutering at all is a choice, and although their are benefits to having your dog fixed there are also some significant potential problems attached to these common medical procedures.


Neutering is a way to interrupt your dog’s production of sex hormones. This traditionally involved an operation to remove the testicles in a male dog or the uterus and ovaries in a female dog. Spaying in the traditional manner is a major surgical procedure. Nowadays there are more options available to us than in years gone by. Female dogs can be spayed using a laproscopic procedure which enables the uterus to be left intact and which is a less invasive method than the traditional. For male dogs we also now have the option of ‘chemical’ castration.

Today I’ll help you impartially to decide if and when to neuter your Labrador. This is where you can find the answers to your questions about neutering such as ‘when can I neuter my dog’ and ‘how long before my dog is infertile’

I will look at what is the best age to neuter your puppy, how neutering affects puppies and older dogs, and even whether you should neuter your Labrador at all. Attitudes towards neutering are changing in the light of recent research and opinions vary widely from one country to another.

Neutering in different countries

In some countries most dogs are neutered at a very early age and you are considered totally irresponsible if you fail to neuter your dog. Neutering is routinely practised in some parts of the world,  Australia for example, and the USA where a widespread spay and neuter campaign has been in operation for some decades

In some regions, neutering your pets is obligatory. In Los Angeles County for example, most dogs and cats are required to be sterilised before they are four months old!

At the other end of the scale in some countries, neutering is considered offensive. In Norway for example, it is considered unacceptable to neuter a dog without valid medical reasons, and birth control is not one of them.

Over in the UK neutering is not universally practised. And though many Labradors are neutered, many are also left entire. In our modern digital world where it is easy to talk to people from all over the world, these differences can cause confusion and even argument.

Neutering vs leaving entire

There are now groups on Facebook set up to oppose the routine neutering of dogs, and strong feelings about neutering from both sides of the argument.

In fact there is no need for argument. This should really be a fact based issue. And facts are what you will find on this page and in the resources I link to.

Why Neuter Your Dog?

There are lots of reasons why people neuter their dogs, and those reasons are based on beliefs that people hold about the outcome of neutering and how it will affect their dog. In general, apart from birth control, people tend to neuter male dogs for behavioral reasons, and to neuter female dogs for reasons of convenience

Birth control

Some people think that it is their duty to neuter their dog in order to prevent more puppies being brought into the world.

In practical terms, there are other simple ways to ensure that dogs do not reproduce during their lifetimes for those that choose not to neuter. But there is no doubt that neutering is a complete and permanent way to avoid your dog producing any offspring.

Does Neutering Change Behavior?

Many people for example think that neutering will calm their male Labrador down. Some think it will stop him humping things. This is not necessarily the case. Others think that male dogs will become aggressive if not neutered.  Many top pet websites still promote this idea.

But along with some other assumptions about neutering, it is now known to be incorrect.  In fact recent studies found more behavioral problems in neutered dogs than in entire ones.

The truth is, that behavioural effects vary and are not what we once believed.   But in short, the evidence now point to behavioral problems being more common in neutered dogs, not the other way around.

The convenience factor

Female dogs can be messy when they are ‘on heat, and managing a female dog during her season is not as easy as managing her when she is not.

She can’t be exercised in public for example, entered in show or competitions, or worked as a hunting companion if there are likely to be male dogs around. For these reasons, many people will choose to neuter a female dog so that she never comes into season again

Neutering for health

Neutering female dogs confers a couple of important health benefits. Including protection from mammary cancer if carried out early, and protection from pyometra. Unfortunately, we now know that neutering also comes packaged with some serious health risks.

In male dogs, these health risks to neutering almost certainly outweigh any health benefits.  In females, balancing these up is not easy.

Getting at the facts – an objective view

The truth is, that there are both benefits and disadvantages to neutering, and we look at each of these in more detail in our articles on male and female dogs.

Recent research has highlighted some serious long term health risks to neutering including increased risks of cancer, dementia, and some common joint problems.  And you need to know about these.

Some of the reasons people neuter their dogs, are based on beliefs that are not supported by evidence. And some of the reasons that people neuter their dogs, could be better achieved by other means.

Most information about neutering seems to be presented from one angle or the other. What we have tried to do here, is to present the information about neutering in a factual and objective way, so that you can decide for yourself what is best for your family and your dog.

Different methods of neutering

In the past, neutering was always a surgical procedure.  Nowadays there are a few more options available to us than there used to be

Castrating male dogs

Traditionally, male dogs were neutered by a small and simple surgical procedure during which the testicles are removed through a small incision in the scrotum. This is still a common procedure.

Recovery time is quite rapid and the dog becomes infertile within a couple of months as no more sperm are produced. Removing the testes removes the dog’s main source of testosterone or sex hormone, which is responsible for a number of behavioural and physical characteristics.

It has recently become clear that testosterone is involved in more aspects of your dog’s health and development than was previously thought, including growth and protection from injury and disease.

Surgical castration is 100% effective as a form of birth control, it is also permanent and cannot be reversed. Apart from infertility, the effects of surgical castration can be variable depending on the dog, that too is covered in the link above

Chemical castration

Chemical castration is an option now available to pet owners in some regions.  A chemical such as Zeuterin, is injected into the dog’s testicles. Just like surgical castration, chemical castration causes infertility, though it is not quite 100% effective.

Chemical castration does not have exactly the same effects as surgical castration, there is some testosterone remaining for example, but it gives you some idea of how permanent castration might affect your dog.

Some people might find it helpful to have a trial run of castrating their dog using the chemical option before going for a permanent solution

Like surgical castration the affects can be variable. There are also some possible side effects to chemical castration which you will need to discuss with your vet. These may vary from dog to dog and are most likely to occur during the first few days after the injection.

Spaying a female dog

Traditional methods of spaying female dogs involve major abdominal surgery. A long incision is made in your dog’s belly and her reproductive organs are removed through it.

Recovery time is at least two week.  There is however, now an alternative

Laparoscopic spay

With a laparoscopic spay, two tiny incisions are made and only the ovaries are removed. Without her ovaries, your female dog won’t produce estrogen. She will be infertile and won’t come into season again.

 The laparoscopic spay is a much simpler procedure.

The effects of neutering in dogs

Apart from rendering your dog infertile, neutering or de-sexing, has other effects. Differences in physical appearance between neutered and un-neutered dogs will depend on the age at which the dog was neutered

Neutered dogs look different

A neutered male will have no testicles, which can be very apparent in shortcoated dogs. It won’t bother your dog, but apparently it bothers some owners. In fact nowadays, it is possible to get ‘fake’ testicle implants so that your dog still looks like an entire male.  These are known as neuticles!

A male dog neutered before he reaches sexual maturity will look less masculine than an entire adult dog. He may be mistaken for a female dog with a more ‘feminine’ head.

Dogs of both sexes will usually grow a little taller than they would have done if they had not been neutered. And female dogs neutered later in life may develop a rather coarse, scruffy coat. However, most of the changes that result from neutering are less obvious. They involve the behavior and long term health of your dog.

Behavioral changes after neutering

Changes in behavior after neutering are not always predictable. What people think will happen to their dog, is not always what happens at all. Especially where dogs are neutered later in life.

The behavioral changes of neutering neutering a male dog are limited. Bouncy, boisterous or aggressive behavior aren’t improved by neutering. Although roaming behavior can be.

The Risks

Some people are surprised to discover that there are risks to neutering a dog.  Risks that go beyond the basic risk of surgery and anesthesia.

In several breeds of dog these risks have been shown to include an increased rate of certain cancers. And an increased susceptibility to some serious joint problems.

It is now clear that the traditional – ‘neutering is always best’ approach is no longer appropriate. Life is more complicated than that.

This leaves owners in something of a dilemma. Especially if their veterinary professional is not up to date with the latest research or has formed different conclusions as to its implications. Therefore you will need to weigh up the pros and cons carefully and consider the evidence available.

Deciding whether or not to neuter your dog

For many people, there is no doubt that a neutered pet is simply more convenient. If you need to go out to work and your dog needs a place in doggy day care, he may need to be neutered. Many day care centres simply will not accept an entire dog.

Caring for some females in season can be a somewhat messy business. And not being able to take your dog out for several weeks can be annoying.

If you live in a region where routine neutering has become the ‘norm’  you may find it hard to get support for taking any other course of action. As the person responsible for your dog’s health, the implications of the latest research are something you will also need to think about.

Neutering Your Dog Is A Choice

There is no doubt now, that there are some serious health risks to being neutered. And these exist for both male and female dogs. There are also some health benefits to neutering a female dog.  These are clearly explained in the articles linked to in this article.

The important thing is to make an active choice based on information. My personal view is that neutering a dog for convenience is the right decision for some families. But I do think it is important that you are aware that this is what you are doing.

I increasingly meet dog owners that have had their pets neutered purely for health reasons. Or to prevent their male dog becoming aggressive. Only to find out that this was not only unnecessary, but may actually have disadvantaged their dog.

This is very upsetting to discover after irreversible surgery has taken place

When to Neuter a Labrador

If you decide to have your pet neutered, you will  also need to decide what is the right age to have the procedure carried out.

In the USA there is a tendency to carry out pediatric neutering (neutering before sexual maturity).  This is the American Veterinary Associations Position Statement on this procedure

The AVMA supports the concept of pediatric spay/neuter in dogs and cats in an effort to reduce the number of unwanted animals of these species. Just as for other veterinary medical and surgical procedures, veterinarians should use their best medical judgment in deciding at what age spay/neuter should be performed on individual animals.

In the UK, vets normally recommend that female dogs are allowed to have one season before being spayed to allow her to mature physically.

And many experts now recommend that it is better for your pet’s health to wait until he or she is over a year old.

The advantages of pediatric neutering are from a birth control standpoint. There are no advantages to the individual dog to be neutered at less than six months old. And there is some evidence that the health risks of neutering will be exacerbated by neutering your Labrador at a very early age.

Remember, unless you are required by law to neuter your pet by the time he is a few months old, it is your decision to make. Don’t forget that your pet may be capable of breeding soon after  six months of age.

If you decide to delay neutering, or even put it off altogether, you will need to take responsibility. Ensuring that no unwanted puppies are brought into the world.

Do talk to your veterinarian about any concerns you may have.

A good vet will not simply state that all dogs should be neutered but should be aware of the latest research. They will also prepared to discuss this with you and help you come to best decision for your family.

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  1. We had a very beloved, big yellow lab named Cashew. He was 110 lbs of pure love and awesomeness. He was neutered around 5-6 months and was the healthiest, most well-behaved dog we’ve ever known. He never had any health issues until 11 years of age, when his back legs just couldn’t do it any longer. He was absolutely perfect; great personality, fun, happy, smart, extremely loving, loyal, and kind to all people and animals. For his size, we think he lived a wonderful, full and very healthy life. He was a “Canadian Lab,” kind of a mix between English and American… big blocky head, tall, big chest, medium length hair. He was the BEST.

    • Thanks!… You’ve broken thru all of the (expert) back and forth babble… Your story inspired me. It also helped me make the decision to neuter my Lab/pit puppy … 🤙🏾

  2. Hi Tracy,

    Thanks for sharing the info.

    Any update on how your boy was after the implant wore off, and did you nueter in the end?

    Best, Adam

  3. I neutered my first pure bred Lab at 5.5 months in 2004. At 12 months, both his acls in his hind legs were gone & required surgery. While we did the surgeries, he had spindle legs for the rest of his life.
    Also got cancer, “larpar”, obesity set in fast. Great dog, lived till 14, but had major joint n health issues.

    Since then, there have been numerous studies showing that neutering too young leads to significant joint problems. I now have a 82lb 1.5 yr old pure bred lab, who’s a big love bug. Never mounted anyone(or dog), no aggression, strong, sturdy, smart – just gorgeous – and while my vet pushes for neutering, we have decided not too this time around. I agree with this post…think twice and do your research.

    • My lab will be 2 years old in mid-October – similarly our vet and friends also suggest neutering! But till now, he doesn’t hump or mount, he jolly, intelligent, happy and healthy. We’ve done research on latest findings on longterm health implications on neutering on male labrador- so, we’re not totally in favor of the surgery – what do you suggest?

  4. I am on my 5th labrador.

    First one a black male, never neutered. He had problems with seizures, not too often, but still had them occasionally, he started having urinary problems at age of 10 and when opened up for the “simple” operation, the vet found a major mass inside and put him down during the surgery.

    Second one a chocolate male. He was neutered very young. Was a great dog and he had good health to a little over 11 years (I had him c. 11 years to the day). He stopped eating and I took him to the vet. They said that his liver enzyme in the blood was over 800, when it should have been around 100. They wanted to do all sorts of exploratory surgery, tests, etc. I could not bear to put my 11 year old lab through that, as I did not think it would it would significantly improve his life span and he had a good run.

    Third lab, a female chocolate that was rescued from a county pound at around 1 year old. She was already spayed when I rescued her. I had her for 12 years and she was overweight, as she ate everything she could find, including poop. I got her when Lab 2 was 3 years old. They were great companions, but when he passed in late 2017, she became lonely and withdrew from activities. Hence, Lab #4 came along after 6 months. It was like night and day, as she suddenly was following him all over the yard and was happy again. Lab 3 had all sorts of lumps and bumps, which are typical with labs, but she did well and simply slowed down as she got older.

    In late 2021, Lab 5 came along, a female black puppy. I had 3 labs for a while, as I did not want to have #4 go through the depression that lab #3 did after losing #2. Lab 3 lasted until February of 2022, but was slowing significantly and she finally told me it was time, when she struggled to walk around the yard and collapsed before getting to the door, as she was out of breath. The vet said that the insides of her lips were very pale and that likely indicated an internal bleeding event. That made me feel better, as it is a hard thing to put a dog down.

    So now I have a 4 year old lab who has been marking spots around the inside of the house (he had been good until about 8 or 9 months ago). He also likes to sniff and smell at the females and their pee (was doing that to the spayed #3 and also to #5) and a 7 month old lab who has not yet come into heat. The male (#4) is being neutered this week. The female (#5) will be spayed at an appropriate time after her first heat.

    My experience is that I am not positive that there are health benefits to having it done or not having it done. However, there certainly could be benefits as to what age one has it done. All dogs are different and can have different health issues regardless of when or if they are neutered.

  5. Hi, just wanted a little bit of advice about our 8 month old black lab. He is rampant around females and recently at puppy day care has been humping all dogs(especially male). We are considering having him neutered(as we need the day care to ensure he is not alone all day on certain work days)! The research we have done is really mixed, so would love to hear both positive and negative reviews please?

  6. I wanted to take a moment to thank all who posted on The Labrador Site. I learned more from those who posted then most topic specific articles. Thank you! We have a 18 week old yellow male lab pup and have been pondering our options regarding neutering. Our other male lab pups were neutered at four to six months, primarily because our of vets and local ordinances. We are going to wait one to two years to decide whether to neuter Rio, based on what we have learned from lab people.

  7. I would not even suggest it on male lab that’s pure breed,.. my ex did 6 months without permission when fishing alaska..that’s why she’s x.. anyways I had Yellow pure breed… from 6years old on he non cancerous growth his lower hind legs 2 surgery lab a long laser treatment s and 20000 .. bucks it came back .. by that point his 9 and nobody want do it again..he last till thirteen he got stuff that’s uncommon in lab.. my next dog will be born August will not begetting cut..I have pics and proof never again on pure breed lab .. he s a black common soon.,and your right the behavior was more instense after .. o gave a lot excersice till I started the bout with that growth.. it’s to bad these vets just want to push there propaganda even if it’s papered dog likel mine and the now coming

  8. “In Los Angeles County for example, most dogs and cats are required to be sterilised before they are four months old!”

    I live in Los Angeles County so this was rather shocking to me, but it turns out that it’s not actually true. The ordinance is for unincorporated areas only, that is, those parts of L.A. County with no municipal government, where very few people live. This ordinance applies not to “most dogs and cats”, but in fact, to very few dogs and cats. It’s also, of course, practically unenforceable :-^.

    • Although you are correct that the animal laws in city of LA don’t cover all cities in LA county, but outside of the city of LA, a lot of the other cities have similar laws. My city is not covered by the city of LA (my zip code is not listed in the zip codes covered under the city of LA), is incorporated, but is still within LA county and has the same requirements as the city of LA.

      Anyone can visit the website of their local animal control center to see what the license requirements are. I think some areas make it optional, but some adoption centers make it mandatory when adopting.

  9. I lost my two terriers, one month apart, to the same type of cancer. Spayed and neutered. I asked the vet if there is a higher incidence of cancer in altered dogs and the answer was yes.

    My male Lab is intact and will remain so. He will never be bred. He is an 84 pound sleek, beautiful male, well muscled, with the temperment of a big teddy bear. No agression, he has never humped anything or anyone. He is 3 yrs old. Major intelligence. When its bath time I simply ask him to walk into the shower stall and he does so, standing perfectly still until he is done. He is very well behaved and a pleasure to have around. Think twice before you routinely neuter your lab.

    • So pleased to hear You speak about your Labradour in that way.
      I have booked my One year old Lab 4 times to have him neutered and cancelled last minute( i think i am going to be banned from my vets soon)
      My Lab is the same, smart, intelligent, tall and has a very Nobel way about him.
      I decided not to neuter in the end because, he could’nt tell me himself that that is what he wanted.
      I do not want him to change in any way because i adore him, also i believe in some scandinavian countries they choose not to neuter.

  10. I liked that you pointed out that if you are thinking about putting your dog in day care you should get your dog neutered. I have been thinking about getting a puppy and I will need to put him in a daycare often so I should probably get him neutered.

  11. My vet wont spay my lab until 3 1/2 months after her first season .she has just started and im worried about what procedure to get after the time is up? ????

    • I know this question was asked in 2017, but I have an answer.
      Short answer: It depends, but for the most part, no.

      Long answer: There are some differing opinions about the affects of spaying/neutering in regards to growth. First, we must think about the breed and how large that breed will get – larger breeds take longer to grow to their full adult size than smaller breeds. Then we consider how long it takes a dog to go from puppy to adult. Dogs do most of their growing in the first 6 months, which is why most vets spay/neuter at this time. There are cases where dogs are fixed before 6 months, or even before puberty (pediatric neutering). Fixing large breed dogs before puberty has been shown to affect joint growth – the growth plate does not close, and so these dogs are more likely to end up having legs that are a bit longer (making them slightly taller) and more prone to joint issues. Because of this, many suggest that waiting longer to fix your large breed dog is a safer option – some even say to wait a full year before fixing. There are others who believe that waiting longer will help large breed dogs grow more, but this has not been proven to be the case.

  12. Hello Lab Lovers!! I think if you can avoid neutering you SHOULD!!! My Beloved husband and I are on our second lab together. Our first one Tobey Champ, we adopted at just under a year old from our Humane Society. He had been neutered there. He had a wonderful life with us, we learned so much about animal welfare and compassion because of him!! His regal spirit comes and says hello once in awhile. At 10 years old we noticed he would adjust his jaw when he would put his dummies down that he ALWAYS carried with him. A couple days later he was in so much pain his fur was sticking out like a cat’s. We took him to our emergency vet, they got his pain and stuff calmed down. The vet told us she felt our money would be better served if we got him a Cat Scan, normally we would have thought about it for a few days, but my husband and I looked at each other and just said “Yes, set it up!” We did, and he had an Osteosarcoma group of cells on his jaw. It was not a tumor yet, just a groping of abnormal cells. They did a Biopsy too. We took our Beloved Tobey Champ to the University of Minnesota Veterinarians, people from all over the world bring their animals there. It is like the Mayo Clinic for animals. We live in Minneapolis. His Oncologist and dental surgeon were very optomistic, with just a small piece of the upper jaw removed, he lost one molar, and went through a month of Radiation. He lived at the University of Minnesota during the week then we would bring him home on the weekends. When your dog goes through rediation, they sedate them each time, so its better to keep them there, on IV Fluids, and with the staff who watches over them with such LOVE!! Tobey stayed in remission for a year, then it came back and showed up into the lungs. We did comfort care for about 3 months, he did wonderful. Even when we got our puppy at the time Baxter Sprocket. They had an understanding right away, but when we knew Tobey Champ needed to rest, we would just keep them separated with baby gates, play soothing music, and one of us sitting with each of them. <3 Tobey Champ did not falter till his last 3 days, he stopped eating, even his most prized indulgences. We were able to have him euthanized at our home!! What a GIFT that was!! We registered him with an organization, and you call them when it is time for them to go home. The vet came to our house, Tobey Champ greeted her as he greeted anyone who came to our house, got a drink of water, jumped up on our living room couch, and shit his eyes, and didn't move a muscle while she prepared the injections, when she gave them to him, and when they took affect, just nothing……….We had made sure we prepared him for this, by having many heart to heart talks with him during peaceful times.

    Now Baxter is 4 years old, since we got him as a puppy we haven't had the heart to neuter him since neutering large breed dogs, especially sporting breeds before AGE 2, makes them prime candidates with links to Hystocytic Osteosarcoma of the jaw. Tobey Champ's cells were used as research and did help them make the link. Baxter doesn't jump up on people, hump people, or stray far from our side ever. He is our shadow. He has been spoiled rotten with good food, allowance on the furniture, love, fun, and medical care, and knows exactly how to ask for exactly what he wants. He does hump his own bedding and pillows. He kind of drags them around and does this in front of every body, but he doesn't bother anyone with it. We are thinking of getting a second lab, either one from a lab rescue, or maybe a puppy, it depends on what comes into our life at the time we make the decision. I would like a female, I do not want puppies, but I think we could put some pants on her, until it is the right time to spay her. But if your dog is not neutered, yet has no bad behaviors because of it, please don't!! Baxter is a little heartier of a dog than Tobey Champ was. Tobey would have a wee bit more stomach issues, and prone to more ear infections. Baxter Sprocket doesn't even seem to get bit by mosquitos.

  13. I am having a lot of mix feelings. My lil woman is only just 6 months on the 22nd October and my VET is really advising to get the Spay done. I will get this done as i will not breed her , and it does have its benefits. My only concern is , do i wait another 6 months and let her have a cycle of heat. I am terrified after reading above that there is a lot of Yellow labs out there with Spay incontinence. Is there much of a benefit to get this done so early, is there a real risk of letting her go until 1 year.

    Also – Laprascopic surgery sounds so much less invasive, but with the non removal of other organs can she still develop mammary tumours, Pyometra etc, is it just better to go with the more invasive surgery but have a better outcome?

    I really appreciate all the help.
    thx a mill


    • The Laprascopic surgery removes the ovaries and thus the hormones that can increase the risk of mammary cancer. Spaying before the first season has the best outcome for mammary cancer, but a worse one for other cancers. This is based on the latest evidence which hopefully your vet has read. The pros and cons of earlier and later spaying are also examined in the articles linked to on the page above. There is no cut and dried answer. It can be helpful to get your vet to discuss the pros and cons objectively with you. Explain that you know there are risks as well as advantages and ask him what his view are on the latest research. Best of luck.

  14. In regards to the comment above about spaying too early…my vet spayed my baby at not even 4 months because she had vaginitis and the only way to rid of it was to spay her to stop all the hormones. So while the risk of spay incontinence was there, she was un house breakable with the vaginitis.

  15. Definitely pay extra for the less intrusive method, we had our lab spayed at 18months after two seasons, she now has spay incontinance, she’s now almost 7 and we’ve learnt to live with it without medication but would not have had the procedure done if we’d have known.

  16. My dog is Cryptorchid and going in for removal of the undescended testicle this week I was having a real dilemma re: whether or not to neuter him at the same time. This article and the links have really helped me makeup my mind. So helpful – thank you. Oh….and my decision is not to neuter.

  17. I have three yellow labs two males & a female. One male neutered one not. My oldest is 13 and neutered the other 5 and not. Both are very healthy. I have not seen a difference between the two. Of course my female is spayed, she was not done until 1 yr of age. I was going to mate her and the 5 yr old but I changed my mind. She is also very healthy.

  18. Beware of spaying your female to young. 6 months is to young. I have 2 females with spay incontinence. One is 2 years old, was spayed at 6 months, started leaking immediately after spay. Our other female is 6 as was spayed at 6 months.
    Both girls are now on estrogen supplements, which will ultimately shorten their life span.
    When I get my next female, I will wait until they have at least one heat cycle and I will also get the vet to leave her ovaries. A full hysterectomy is to invasive to a young dog. I will not make the mistake of spaying early ever again. I find it shocking that vets will even consider doing it early after the evidence that is out there, of the issues it causes. It’s a money making business it’s not based on the welfare of the dog.

      • I have decided not to spaying Sandy our !yr old American Labrador. I think that all may find :Dr Becker: The truth about spaying and Neutering, very interesting. My last Golden retriever was never spayed and live to be 15.5 yrs and pass on during Christmas with her family. I will continue to research about the right thing to do for Sandy and be responsible for her good.

  19. We have just lost our 13 year (and 11 month) old male black through pure old age. He was truly an Alpha male. Never started a fight but if challenged never lost one either. He was a wonderful guard dog – barking to let visitors know he was there but never barking to extreme. He was gentle when greeting people, loyal and loving. I had him before my kids so had 3 babies crawling all over him at various stages in his life and never once reacted in a negative way. If, accidentally, we hurt him by steppping on his tail or something he would yelp and then lick our hands to let us know it was alright. All round gentle, loyal, confident giant. He was never neutered.

  20. Hi I have a Labrador retriever mix male dog he will be 3 years old in August he has always had a dry nose since the day we got him I put Vaseline jelly on it but he has a bad habit of licking it off.. Is there something else I could use to get moisture back in his nose?

  21. My 1.4 year old pure english male is a joy except at 1 year he really started to “get into stuff”. More exercise needed.
    I am afraid neutering will change his personality. At the dog park the other males smell his testosterone and constantly try to mount him. I don’t know how to prevent this but sometimes it is scary when three dogs mount him and the growling begins (other dogs).He rarely mounts another dog but it is usually a male. We live in San Francisco. He does bark agressively at other dogs but calms down immediately when I let them meet, if he hasn’t thrown me to the ground. He is socialized but goes nuts till he meets the other dogs.

    Other owners give him the “evil eye” but I am not sure that is a reason to neuter him. Some have a spray they use on their dogs but I dont know what it is. I have never used aversive training.

    • Your dog sounds exactly like mine! I am reading this site looking for answers to those exact issues/questions. My dog is 9 months old. English Black Lab Male. He is a big dog. We have not neutered him yet. I don’t not want the joint problems I have seen other males get when neutered. I also did not want to give him a feminine look. That happened to my Golden Retriever – he was neutered before he was 6 months old. (that was 16 years ago, he has since passed.) We have just started to give him more exercise, walking him. He needs to act better when he meets other dogs. He gets way way way to excited. Once he meets them then he is fine and acts normal. I don’t want to neuter him just to see if that will “fix” some of his social issues.

      I also don’t want to get him a “zap” collar.

  22. thank you for your time my wife & i had 2 labs we lost due to cancer with in a year apart 11/2/11 & 10/11/12 the female was fixed not the male we recived a little black male at 6 weeks old now he is 9 weeks old i cant make up my mind to get him fixed im not going to bred him it will help him in health but always there is the word but ok im told it ruin him. to train also to train for hunting he wont have no will hell just be lazy any tips i like to ask more about more things but this first. thank you & god bless tim shelor

    • Hi Tim, Have you read the article called should I have my Labrador castrated
      My research on neutering is all there. As far as working ability is concerned I have only castrated one of my labs and it did not affect his working ability at all. However, he was fully mature (at least 3 years old) at the time.

      • We had our boy fixed at just over a year,about fourteen months. It hasn’t changed his beautiful nature one bit. It has made him non aggressive and even more loving and faithful. He has only barked once since the day we got him at eleven weeks and is the most easy going dog you could ever meet. I think there are signs if a dog needs fixed( our boy has undershot jaw,so didn’t want to put him to stud).I would allways spay my girls though.I have never felt the need to breed from my dogs,enough and too many already. I think reading as much as possible and listen to PIppas good advice!! This has been invaluable to me in the last two and a half years,thanks!!