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How Old Should A German Shepherd Be To Be Neutered

When Should I Spay Or Neuter My German Shepherd

What is the BEST AGE to Neuter a MALE GERMAN SHEPHERD – ask me anything

So, youve just arrived home with your adorable new German Shepherd and youre totally enamoured. All you want to do is cuddle and squeeze them, and spend literally every day locked in the house playing with them forever

But, theres a serious side to the first few months of owning a German Shepherd. Vet visits, injections and health checks are all too often in the early stages and, following all that, the final decision you have to make is whether or not to have your German Shepherd spayed or neutered.

Its a major decision we get that so heres all you need to know about what you should be considering and whats best for your German Shepherd.

When To Neuter Agerman Shepherd Male

German Shepherd males can be neutered as early as eight weeks with the common practice being around 6 months old.

For most, the decision to neuter at around 6 months is because this is typically the time they reach sexual maturity. Theyre able to reproduce and hormonal changes begin to occur.

However, a study by University of California-Davis researchers showed that only 8.62% of German Shepherd males neutered at 1 year old suffered from joint disorders versus 20.83% of those neutered at less than 6 months old.

The researchers suggest that the best time to neuter a male German Shepherd is around 16-18 months, or at least 12 months old.

Neutering of German Shepherd Dogs and Associated Joint Disorders

The table above breaks down the results of their study byage and associated cancers. Types of canine cancer included in the study werethe following:

  • Lymphosarcoma Cancer of lymphocytes and lymphoid tissues,commonly affecting lymph nodes, gastrointestinal tract, bone marrow, spleen, orliver.
  • Mast Cell Tumor Tumors commonlyaffecting the skin.
  • Hemangiosarcoma Tumors commonlyaffecting the liver and spleen.
  • Osteosarcoma Tumors affecting the bone.

Results of the study suggest that neutering between 6 and 11 months is most ideal to prevent canine cancer. Neutering at 1 year old comes at a close second.

Given the combined results, around 1 year old should be the best age to neuter your German Shepherd to minimize the risk of both cancer and joint disorders.

When Should I Get My German Shepherd Spayed

Spaying at younger than 6 months old gives your German Shepherd the highest risk of developing at least one type of cancer. Based on cancer risk, the best spay age is between 6 months and less than 2 years of age.

When to have a female German Shepherd spayed? Based on cancer risk, the best spay age is between 6 months and less than 2 years of age. Taking into account the risk for joint disorders, female-specific diseases, and associated cancers, the best age to spay a female German Shepherd is around 1 year old.

Can You spay a German Shepherd? Neutering or spaying German Shepherd Dogs training for police or military work is optional. However, it is important that these dogs be healthy and fit to do their jobs, and neutering or spaying before 6 months of age could increase the risk of a debilitating joint disorder such as hip dysplasia or CCL.

When do German Shepherds go into heat? Pregnancy Most German Shepherds will not go through a heat cycle until they reach AT LEAST 8 months of age. Many of my shepherds dont come into heat until after 1 year of age. It is very important that you dont let your shepherd get fat. The earlier maturing, more rapidly growing shepherds are more likely to cycle earlier.

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Spaying Your Female Dog Before She Has Her First Heat Cycle Reduces Her Chances Of Developing Mammary Cancer To Almost Zero

If she is allowed to go through one heat cycle, her odds of developing mammary cancer shoot up to about 8%, and if she goes through two cycles, it increases to 25%.

Spaying also eliminates the chances of ovarian and uterine cancer, as well as the risk of pyometra â a sometimes life-threatening uterine infection that often occurs in middle-aged unsprayed females.

As an added bonus, spaying females eliminates heat cycles, which can be messy at best and downright annoying at worst.

When You Should Neuter Your Dog


This is an important question to consider because issues can form if this procedure is done too soon or too late. The recommended age to neuter a male dog is between six and nine months. However, some pet owners have this procedure done at four months. Smaller dogs reach puberty sooner and can often have the procedure done sooner. Larger breeds may need to wait longer in order to properly develop before being neutered. Consult our team to find out when the time is right for your dog.

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Do Female German Shepherds Calm Down After Spaying

Does spaying a German shepherd calm her down? Generally speaking, as long as a German Shepherd has no preexisting behavioral issues, his behavior will slowly calm down over the course of a few months after being neutered. However, in some dogs, this process can take several years to have a noticeable effect.

How Long Does It Take For German Shepherd To Recover After Spaying

Normally, a successful spay takes less than a day for your German Shepherd to recover. However, complicated ones can take a longer period. Upon recovery, you will have to reduce your dogs activity for 10-14 days. Within this period, you are expected to monitor and watch out for swelling, bleeding, bruising, or discharge. Your vet should offer you antibiotics and pain management and possibly a discharge summary.

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Whats The Best Age To Spay Or Neuter Your Dog

Typically, weâd like to see female pets spayed before their first heat cycle, so in the past, weâve recommended that pets get spayed and neutered around 6 months of age.

If you can prevent unwanted pregnancy, wait as long as possible before sterilization. For most of my patients, this means around 10 to 14 months of age.

But, as we advance veterinary medicine, we are realizing that this blanket approach is not always best for every pet. Here are some other factors to consider:

Neutering Reduces Dominance And Aggression

German Shepherd sad after getting neutered

This is due to the reduction of testosterone, but remember, NOT ALL testosterone is removed by neutering. If your dog has inherited his dominance or aggression, or if caused by improper socialization or training, then neutering by itself won’t be enough.

Since testosterone fuels the fires of many unwanted behaviors, neutering is the best first step. But other causes of dominance and aggression still need to be addressed through Respect Training.

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What Other Benefits Can I Expect For My Dog From Being Neutered

According to author Michele Welton, your German shepherd is less likely to be a target for other males if hes neutered.

Even if your dog is not aggressive, if hes not neutered, known as being intact, hes at risk of other males attacking him. Once hes neutered that risk is far less since other males wont see him as a threat.

He will also gain some health benefits from neutering. Non-neutered males have a risk of developing prostate problems or testicular cancer. These can be treated if he gets them, but neutering minimizes or eliminates the risk of these diseases.

Another nasty problem that can develop in intact German shepherds, as well as other breeds, is a perianal fistula.

This appears as boils all around the dogs anus, and it is tough to treat. If hes been neutered, hes unlikely to have this problem.

What Are The Benefits Of Neutering Your Dog

Neutering your dog prevents unwanted births, testicular cancer, and prostate disease. Neutered dogs also roam less than un-neutered ones. Neutering your male dog may also diminish certain behaviors associated with mating like marking his territory. Our San Jose veterinarian is committed to helping you make the best choice regarding when to neuter your dog.

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Should German Shepherds Be Neutered

Neutering or spaying German Shepherd Dogs training for police or military work is optional. However, it is important that these dogs be healthy and fit to do their jobs, and neutering or spaying before 6 months of age could increase the risk of a debilitating joint disorder such as hip dysplasia or CCL.

German Shepherd Dogs: The Impacts Of Early Neutering

7 month old GSD

Generations of veterinarians in the United States have been taught to recommend neutering for dogs between four to six months of age, and certainly before their first birthday. Relatively recent research has revealed compelling negative implications of such early neutering in Golden Retrievers, Labradors, Vizslas, and Rottweilers. Now, along comes more compelling research, this time pertaining to German Shepherd dogs.

German Shepherd research

Its difficult to find a dog more loyal and intelligent than a well-bred German Shepherd. Its also difficult to find a breed more prone to joint maladies. Recently published research out of the University of California, Davis explored the impacts of early neutering on the incidence of joint diseases, various cancers, and urinary incontinence in this breed.

Medical records from 1170 neutered and intact purebred German Shepherds were retrospectively evaluated throughout the first eight years of the dogs lives. The records were investigated for the incidence of joint disorders , various types of cancer , and urinary incontinence.

Study Results

Cancer: Mammary cancer was diagnosed in 4% of intact female shepherds compared with an incidence of less than 1% in dogs spayed before one year of age. No significant differences in the incidence of the other cancer types studied were discovered when intact and neutered shepherds were compared.

What about your dog?

Is your dog neutered? If so, at what age was the surgery performed?

Best wishes,

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Top Best Answers To The Question When Should I Neuter My German Shepherd Puppy

A recent study in veterinar y medicine and science suggests that it is healthiest to neuter GSD after they have reached full maturity sometime between 18 to 24 months of age. German shepherds neutered before the age of 1 have a significantly higher risk of cranial cruciate ligament tears or ruptures.

Those who are looking for an answer to the question «When should i neuter my german shepherd puppy?» often ask the followingquestions:

Behavioral Benefits Of Neutering

For many German Shepherd owners, the decision to neuter is based mainly on behavioral changes.

Unaltered adult males will regularly have the urge to mate. In fact, most male dogs will have an urge so strong that they do whatever they can to access a female in heat, the scent of which they can track from considerable distances.

When they can track the scent of a female in heat, they could go to great lengths in order to escape from home. When this happens, theyre at risk of getting into accidents or fights.

Unneutered male dogs are also more likely to adopt unwantedbehavior like urine marking, mounting, and humping. These are all linked tohormonal changes, especially as they reach sexual maturity.

However, there are also some disadvantages to consider before making the big decision.

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What Age Should You Spay Or Neuter Your German Shepherd

Studies have shown that German Shepherds have increased health risks if spayed or neutered too early.

In their latest study, they evaluated nearly 1,200 German Shepherds over a 14.5 year period. They wanted to determine if those spayed and neutered early had more or less joint disease and cancer, which cost German Shepherd pet parents on average $2,683 in 2018 according to Petplan claims data.

The results were surprising:

  • Dogs spayed or neutered before 1 year of age had three times the number of joint disorders.
  • Breast cancer was diagnosed in 4% of intact females, compared with less than 1% in females neutered before 1 year of age.
  • Instances of other cancers were not higher in the spayed and neutered dogs than in intact dogs.
  • Urinary incontinence, not diagnosed in later spayed or intact females, was observed in 7% of females neutered before 1 year of age.

The trend of several studies is becoming clearer: Early spay and neuter may increase the risk of joint disease. Other studies have shown early sterilization may also increase pet obesity and subsequent joint disease and other problems.

What Is The Size Of A Full

When to spay or neuter your dog with German Shepherd Man

An adult male German Shepherd is typically 24 to 26 inches tall, while adult female German Shepherds are 22 to 24 inches tall, according to the American Kennel Club German Shepherd Standard.

The estimated full-size varies significantly between sexes. In terms of weight, an adult male German Shepherd weighs anywhere from 75 to 90 pounds. A female German Shepherd weighs notably less at 55 to 70 pounds.

Please keep in mind that these numbers are only estimates to give you an idea of how much bigger a German Shepherd puppy may get. Some dogs will be both smaller and larger than these weight ranges when fully grown due to a variety of genetic and environmental factors.

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Female German Shepherds Sociability And Training Needs

The GSD is currently the second most popular family pet dog in America, and this is for good reason, but ongoing regular socialization and puppy training is a huge reason why! Here, when planning your GSDs sociability and training, it is wise to keep certain fundamental German shepherd dog traits in mind.

How Much Bigger Will My German Shepherd Get

There are a few ways to gauge how much bigger a German Shepherd will get.

First, check your puppy’s age. If your GSD is younger than two years old, they definitely have room to keep growing!

Another way to tell if your pup still has a lot of growing to do is their paw size. Do their paws look large compared to their legs and body? This is a classic adolescent feature of a dog, and means your pup is likely still growing!

If you bought your German Shepherd from a breeder, they should be able to give you a specific, estimated weight based on your puppys parents and past litters. Most of the time, a dog will not grow bigger than its larger parents.

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Spaying And Neutering Case Studies And Data

There are few case studies which have officially tracked dogs throughout the entirety of their life after having a spay or neutering procedure, and tracked their health and behavior.

But, Petmd put together a very interesting article by way of the AKC Canine Health Foundation, which is called When Should You Get Your Dog Spayed or Neutered?.

In this article they have data from several individual studies where they provide feedback on:

Why dogs are usually spayed or neutered at 6 months to 9 months of age

Effects of spaying or neutering on health

Effects of spaying or neutering on behavior

If you look at page 2, there are some interesting results for the German Shepherd breed when it comes to the chance of Mammary Neoplasia and Hip Dysplasia both decreasing and increasing respectively after spaying and neutering.

Leema kennels also has put together some data regarding German Shepherd spaying and neutering.

Neutering Your Male Dog Pros And Cons


By Michele Welton, Dog Trainer, Breed Selection Consultant, Author of 15 Dog Books

Puppies are adorable! But there are already too many puppies who desperately need homes. If you decide to not neuter your dog, please prevent him from breeding.

Have you been told that neutering is a must for your male dog? Absolutely necessary? All positives…. no negatives?

Also that neutering should be done as early as possible, certainly by 6 months old?

It sounds so definitive.

But current research on neutering shows that the issue is not so simple. There are a number of risks associated with neutering male dogs that pet owners are not being told about.

First, let’s look at the positives the advantages of neutering your male dog.

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Month Old German Shepherd Behavior

When it comes to 7-Month-Old German Shepherd behavior, there are some things you need to be aware of. When they are first getting to know their surroundings and people they will be in the most active state. It is a great time for you to introduce them to your family and to give them the confidence that is needed to get along with people they are not familiar with.

One of the best ways to make the transition from a puppy to an adult German Shepherd is to try to play games with them that they will enjoy playing. Try to play games with them that will challenge them. You can start by training them to sit down and stay down. This can be done by taking them to a designated area of the yard and then teaching them how to do this properly. If you want to get them to stop licking themselves, then try using a shock collar when they lick themselves, or when they are playing with other dogs.

Once you have trained them to sit, you need to create the right environment. It is very important to make sure that the environment they are in is the proper type for them. A lot of times the environment that they are in when they are puppies can make it difficult for them to interact with people, and with other dogs. As the puppies get older they will need a different environment. This is why it is so important to create the right environment for them as early as possible. This way they will have more room to move around, and get used to being around people, and other animals.


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