If you have no plans to breed from your dog then there are proven advantages to having him/her neutered. Both dogs and bitches are usually neutered between 6-12 months of age but the operation can be carried out later.
In males, neutering reduces the incidence of prostate disease in later life and the incidence of testicular cancer. Neutering also reduces the incidence of aggression in male dogs and removes their sexual urge, often preventing them chasing after bitches in heat.
In females, neutering reduces the incidence of mammary tumours, ovarian tumours and life-threatening infections of the uterus. It prevents phantom (and real!) pregnancies and stops them coming into heat - which means your bitch will not have to be confined and deprived of her usual exercise for several weeks each year.
It is a common fallacy that a neutered dog becomes fat and lazy. Provided your dog receives an appropriate, complete diet and continues to receive regular exercise then obesity will not occur.
Another misconception is that neutering a dog removes its character. Whilst it is true that neutering can remove some aggressive tendencies, neither males nor females lose their intelligence or their spark, provided they are not allowed to become overweight.
Finally, there is no scientific evidence to support the theory that bitches should be allowed to have one litter.
What does it involve?
In males the surgery is called castration and involves removing the testicles. In females the surgery is called spaying and involves removing the ovaries and uterus.
In both cases the surgery is usually carried out as a day case. That is, leave your dog with your vet in the morning and collect him/her again that evening. In many cases your dog will have non-dissolvable skin stitches which will need to be removed by your vet around ten days after the operation. For more information, speak to your veterinary surgery.