It's been a long time since I've had a dog spayed or castrated. Our two oldest dogs are 11 and 8. Some of you know we recently acquired a puppy, and in the past months as I was browsing petfinder.com for puppies I was quite surprised to see puppies as young as 8 weeks old already spayed or castrated. This seems extreme to me. I certainly am a big proponent of spay/neuter programs...and I think it is incredibly irresponsible to not spay/castrate a mixed breed dog or any "pet quality" purebred dog. The only people I want to see letting their dogs have puppies are responsible breeders of show quality purebreds or working dogs. 8 weeks?! That's just crazy to me. I want to know your opinions on this topic...does the political correctness issue regarding getting your dog neutered outweigh what is best biologically for that individual animal? Sure, it's a bad idea (I think) to bring an unaltered dog to say, a dog park. What about a "responsible" owner of an unaltered dog? Shouldn't we consider individual lifestyles and an individual dog's situation? I find myself, when I notice an unaltered dog judging that owner...castrate that dog for crying out loud! I feel like there is so much misinformation out there about the effects on dogs and the age at which they were castrated or spayed. So, I'm interested to hear your opinion. Edited to add: It just occurred to me that this can be a very heated topic. Let's keep it civil, as I'm very interested in opinions not arguments.