Deciding whether or not to "fix" your Gordon Setter can be difficult, but it doesn't have to be. The basic decision comes down to how long you want your Gordon Setter to live. Studies have shown that Gordon Setters, like many dogs are very susceptible to certain diseases and illnesses if they aren't spayed or neutered. To spay or neuter your Gordon Setter is an important decision to make early on, to prevent complications later. There are other more practical reasons that you may decide to spay or neuter your Gordon Setter, like unwanted pregnancy. Whatever your reasoning, you should know the facts before you decide.
To Spay or Neuter…
For a female Gordon Setter, there are some health concerns that can be avoided by spaying. Breast Cancer incidences can be greatly reduced by spaying your Gordon Setter bitch and the chance of your pet contracting pyometra, an infection of the uterus, is virtually eliminated. The most obvious benefit of spaying your Gordon Setter is that it will eliminate the opportunity for an unwanted pregnancy. In addition, spaying your pet will likely decrease the attention she gets from male dogs. However, this is a major surgical procedure for your dog and requires stitches, so you should be certain this is the right decision for you and your Gordon Setter.
Neutering your male Gordon Setter will decrease the likelihood of problems with tumors in the abdominal testicles and prostate problems later in life. But more importantly, neutering your Gordon Setter can decrease his aggression toward other dogs and other deviant behaviors. Neutering will also strip your Setter of his urge to hump your leg. The neutering procedure is much simpler, involving a small incision to remove the testicles. Both procedures have a relatively quick healing time.
If you decide to spay or neuter your Gordon Setter, you should do it before your dog reaches sexual maturity. For the Gordon Setter, it could be up to three years, but it is recommended when your pup is around six months old. This is especially important in the female Gordon Setter because once she's gone through heat, her chances of being infected with breast cancer increase significantly.
…Or not to Spay or Neuter
The only valid reason why any Gordon Setter owner opts not spay or neuter is the intention to breed. Since many owners choose not to fix their dogs, there is an extremely large overpopulation problem. If you aren't capable of properly breeding your Gordon Setter, paying attention to lineage and any genetic birth defects or illnesses, then you should not consider breeding as a realistic option for you. Unless you're a professional breeder adhering to all set guidelines, you are just contributing to the decline in the health of your Gordon Setter.