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When making the imperative decision of the timing of spaying and neutering, I want to make available research-based information to you all before you speak to your veterinarian. When you discuss your circumstances it is of the utmost importance to be informed when it is in your pet’s best interest, especially since your dogs are prone to breed-related orthopedic problems and certain health problems. Research is showing the timing and the sex are critical factors in spaying and neutering. Below are the two major important papers you should read and discuss with your health provider. Both studies appeared about the same time in 2013.
 
I’m posting them for all to read since we make the best informed decisions for ourselves and our pets. Each one of you has unique circumstances, and should make decisions that are best for you and your puppy's life. Old and young animals are especially vulnerable with the risk and complications of surgery and anesthesia, this is a decision to be made between your family and veterinarian.
 
1st the AKC Golden Retriever paper February 13, 2013:
Neutering Dogs: Effects on Joint Disorders and Cancers in Golden Retrievers: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0055937
 
For the above link findings for people not wanting to read papers, Here is an easy to follow graph link: http://www.instituteofcaninebiology.org/spay--neuter-effects.html
 
2nd dated April 17, 2013
Reproductive Capability Is Associated with Lifespan and Cause of Death in Companion Dogs: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0061082
 
AKC Canine Health Foundation’s Health Implications in Early Spay and Neuter in Dogs 2013: http://www.akcchf.org/news-events/news/health-implications-in-early.html
 
AKC Clarifies Position Statements Related to Spaying and Neutering April 20, 2016: http://www.akc.org/content/news/articles/new-spay-neuter-position-statement/
 
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA): JAVMA News article : Assumptions about a mainstay of companion animal practice are called into question By R. Scott Nolen 2013: https://www.avma.org/news/javmanews/pages/131101a.aspx
 
This is an interesting article on physical manifestations 2011: http://grca.dcwdhost.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/EffectsEarlySpayNeuterPurina1.pdf
 
Study to watch over the years:
Morris Animal Foundation’s Golden Retriever Lifetime Study’s primary cancers endpoints as of May 25th, 2017: http://caninelifetimehealth.org/all/canine-health/pet-cancer-awareness-month-and-the-golden-retriever-lifetime-study/
Other resources: http://ofa.org/     http://akc.com/content/
 
At times it is easier to read conclusions in a different voice. Therefore, I’ve included additional links to read. Please do your own research and evaluate these with care.
 
http://www.patriciamcconnell.com/theotherendoftheleash/the-plot-thickens-spay-neuter-effects-the-health-of-our-dogs
 
http://caninechronicle.com/current-articles/spaying-neutering-may-lead-to-increased-health-problems-in-dogs/
 
http://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/long-term-health-risks-benefits-spay-neuter-dogs/
 
http://cpt-training.com/recent-research-raises-concerns-regarding-early-spayingneutering/
 
http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2016/07/27/neutering-spaying-effects.aspx
 
http://www.aaha.org/blog/NewStat/post/2014/07/17/785809/UC-Davis-study-neutering-golden-retrievers-Labradors.aspx
 
https://purinaproclub.com/resource-library/pro-club-updates/study-evaluates-the-effects-of-early-neutering-and-spaying-in-golden-retrievers/
 
http://www.care2.com/greenliving/can-you-harm-your-pet-by-neuteringspaying-too-young.html
 
http://www.pointvicentevet.com/spayandneuterhottopic.pml
 
http://www.goldenretrieverclubofsandiegocounty.org/Spay_and_Neuter_Info.php
 
http://www.earthrated.com/en/blog/the-spay-and-neuter-controversy/
 
AKC’s Grant review for study: http://www.akcchf.org/research/research-portfolio/1840.html
 
http://news.vin.com/vinnews.aspx?articleId=27205