A reader considers whether or not to have her Lhaso Apso neutered, Vicky Payne advises.
Q: We have just become the owners of a 12-week-old male Lhasa Apso and I’d like some advice on whether to have him neutered. There seems to be a lot of contradictory information online, and I wondered what was the latest, most up-to-date thinking on this procedure. I just want to do what’s best for him. He’s a lovely little chap, quite outgoing and confident at the moment, but I appreciate it’s very early days. If we do decide to go ahead and have him neutered, when would be the best time to do this?
Eileen Stringer, Lincolnshire.
A: Vicky says: Research into the positive and negative effects of neutering dogs is ongoing, and advice does change from time to time. Neutering male dogs can reduce their risk of some health problems including testicular tumours, perianal adenomas, perineal hernias, and prostate hyperplasia. It also reduces male behaviours such as urine marking, searching for bitches, and aggression towards other male dogs. However, neutered dogs are more likely to gain weight, larger breeds may be more prone to joint problems if neutered, and nervous dogs can become more nervous. If you train your dog well and he has no health or behaviour issues, you may decide to keep him entire. If you decide to neuter, I’d wait until he is over a year old, fully grown, and mentally grown up.