Anyone who has ever owned a pet has probably heard about the virtues of neutering them. According to the stories, neutering a dog helps curb aggression and makes them more docile and easier to socialize with human beings.
But there is a new article in Psychology Today that discusses studies where a bunch of neutered dogs showed increased aggression. According to the article.
As in previous studies, the new data clearly shows that the positive behavioral effects that were expected from neutering dogs did not occur, and if anything, the behaviors of neutered male dogs tended to be considerably less desirable. Of the 100 behaviors assessed 40 showed statistically significant differences between the castrated and intact dogs. Only four of these behaviors showed a more positive outcome as a result of neutering. Neutered dogs were less likely to urine mark indoors, or to howl when left alone. Neutered dogs, when off leash, were also more likely to return when called, and also tended to reliably fetch tossed items. That's it for the positive effects of neutering. The other 36 behaviors were all more negative in neutered male dogs.
Going in deeper, the study uncovered some disturbing consequences of neutering. Neutered dogs tend to be more aggressive towards strangers, including delivery people and passing cyclists. They also tend to display skittish or nervous behaviors, roll in messes and eat animal droppings, and barking persistently when they're afraid. According to the study, these behaviors become more pronounced the earlier they are neutered.
So you may want to think about neutering your newborn puppy. Talk to your vet, talk to people who have or have not neutered the pets, and read these and other studies. Pet ownership is a big responsibility and you want to do what's best for your loved one.