Had a phone call from a client's friend who wanted general info about my boarding etc for some time in the future. She has a maltese x shih tzu who is about 4 1/2 months old, female. Anyway we got chatting and the subject of desexing came up, they are planning to do it at 6 months, to which I said great. She then went on to say that a few people had mentioned it was better to let the dog have a first season (some even said let her have a litter! Lucky she said no way to THAT one!) as it helps with the pups maturity - but they couldn't tell her what that meant, so she asked my opinion.
Now obviously, coming from a rescue perspective I told her that I'd rather desex the pup asap and hope that she doesn't have her first season. Yes I have strong views about this, and while I may not change MY mind about it, I'd rather be able to have a balanced view about the pros and cons. And it annoyed me that I couldn't answer her question fully.
I kind of understand the whole concept of big dogs/solid built dogs needing time to mature, growths plates etc, but what about the little dogs? Does it really make a difference? If a pup (let's say any size) is desexed before it's first season is there really any health risks or even psychological risks.
I guess no matter what size dog I'd always go the desex route (and I am talking about a pet only, not for show etc). But I'd still like to understand this, I've seen discussion about it before, but I've never really seen anything that makes me go "hmm, maybe a bitch SHOULD be allowed to have a season".
Gawd, did that make sense?