There have been many many studies in regards to spaying/neutering dogs at a young age (before 12 months of age) this isn't specific to great danes but to all breeds in general. This is a wonderful visual put together by Sit Matters Dog Training.

First, we'd like to thank Martine Skaffloth for providing us with both pictures of her dog Ember to use, and for the idea to do this wonderful post!

Many, many people are in the mindset that the earlier the spay/neuter, the better, but the fact is, that is NOT ideal or healthy. New research has shown that early spay/neuter can increase chances of cancer, joint issues including arthritis and dysplasia, thyroid issues, obesity, bladder issues, and more. In some breeds, like Rottweilers, chances of some cancers (namely osteosarcoma in Rotts) QUADRUPLES if the animal is altered.

Besides all the science, let's use common sense- you'd think a small child losing all of their hormones would be a problem, right? Of course! You don't keep a kid from going through puberty; it impacts their physical and mental development. It's not all that different in dogs, either. Please let your dog finish growing- a minimum of one year in small breeds, a minimum of 2 years in larger breeds, though some "giant" breeds may not have complete closure until 2.5 to 3 years- before fixing them!

And remember: spaying and neutering will NOT fix behavioral problems! There are neutered dogs that roam and mark, and intact dogs that have impeccable behavior. Training is how you address behavioral problems, NOT surgical procedures.

Please share and help educate!

Sources regarding risks of early spay/neuter (one or two repeat the Golden Retriever study, in different formats of readability- the very last link is the study itself for your viewing):

https://www.ucdavis.edu/news/early-neutering-poses-health-risks-german-shepherd-dogs-study-finds/

http://www.akcchf.org/news-events/news/health-implications-in-early.html?referrer=https://www.google.com/

https://www.avma.org/News/JAVMANews/Pages/100301g.aspx

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4096726/

http://www.vrcc.com/oncology/does-early-castration-increase-the-risk-of-cancer-in-dogs/

http://www.naiaonline.org/pdfs/LongTermHealthEffectsOfSpayNeuterInDogs.pdf

http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0055937

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