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When Should You Spay A Female German Shepherd

Discuss With Your Veterinarian

Male vs Female German Shepherd – Which one should you get | The BEST German Shepherd to get

In light of the spay and neuter study along with the general care of a dog, there are things to consider and perhaps discuss with your veterinarian. These include:

  • Does your dog have the potential for orthopedic concerns, and if so, would spaying or neutering increase the risk?
  • Whats involved with caring for a female dog that is in heat or a fully intact male, and is that feasible with your lifestyle?

When Should I Have My German Shepherd Spayed Or Neutered

Whilst recommendations vary, vets typically suggest that you should have your German Shepherd spayed or neutered between the ages of four and nine months. There are various reasons for such a broad timeframe, although some vets suggest that timing can have positive effects on your German Shepherds behaviour, dependent on their sex.

Although there is no 100% definite answer, it is often suggested that you should have your male German Shepherd neutered after he has reached the age of puberty. This is thought to have long-term health benefits, as well as helping to prevent behavioural traits, such as marking and aggression.

For female German Shepherds, there is no dead set answer as to when you should have them spayed. Whilst some recommend spaying before first heat , others suggest that this can increase the risk of mammary tumours. We would always recommend consulting your vet for a personalised opinion.

Some studies have said that spaying and castration can prolong the life of dogs and possibly reduce future problems later on in life. Castrating a male reduces the risk of prostate and testicilar cancer.

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Male German Shepherd Temperament

Male German Shepherds will try to dominate you more as they wish to be the leader of the pack. Therefore you will need more confidence with a male dog as he may try to take advantage of your weakness. You will need to be very firm and show good leadership with a male. In a nutshell, they can be bossy!

Males tend to be more aggressive and territorial and are therefore used more as police dogs. However, you can still get a shy male or a territorial female, and both sexes can turn out to be excellent police dogs! Remember that the most influential factors are how you raise them, treat them, and the environment that you provide for them.

With that being said, the average male German Shepherd differs somewhat from the average female. Below are five differences to determine whether you should get a male or female German Shepherd, particularly if you are a first-time owner:

  • Males are more aggressive than females.
  • Females are more affectionate and welcoming than males.
  • Males are more dominating than females.
  • Males are bigger and stronger than females.
  • Since theyre bigger, males need more food and space than females.

So lets now delve deeper and look at some specific questions you may have when deciding whether to get a male or female German Shepherd

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At What Age Should You Spay Or Neuter Your Pet

This is a question that we get asked a lot and we wanted to address all the different factors involved in making this decision for your pet.

Have a look at the terminology that is commonly used:

The female surgery is usually called a spay, the medical name is ovariohysterectomy. You would call a female dog that has had the procedure a spayed female. If she has not been spayed she would be called an intact female.

The male surgery is usually called a neuter or castration the medical name is orchidectomy. You would call a male dog that has had the procedure a neutered male. If he has not been neutered he would be called an intact male.

First let’s acknowledge that we know for certain from many studies that spaying and neutering is strongly associated with an increased lifespan. This increased life expectancy happens because even though spaying and neutering increases the risk of certain issues , it substantially decreases the risk of death from many more causes .

So there is no question that spaying and neutering is beneficial to the health of most pets. The question is – at what age should it be done? The answer, unfortunately, is not simple.

This post is going to get a little long and involved as we wanted to address all the factors involved. A brief summary with our recommendations is at the bottom for those more inclined to scroll through the technical stuff.

Let’s take a look at the individual issues for which we have data:


Orthopedic Problems


Socialization And Training For A Female Gsd

Deciding whether to spay or neuter your German Shepherd is ...

The female GSD is likely to respond really well to socialization and training that includes her entire family, even small children. Everyone in the family should play a part in feeding and training your new pup. This will go a long way towards developing her tendency to bond closely with each family and guard each person equally.

While a female German shepherd is lighter and shorter than her male counterpart in most cases, she will still be strong from the get-go! Choosing the right collar and lead system will help you and everyone in your family reinforce desired behaviors on the leash and minimize errors and distractions.

Female German shepherds will need plenty of early socialization with young children in the family and with other family pets. Young children in particular will need to be supervised at all times in interactions with your female GSD puppy! This is for everyones safety. Children may be unintentionally rougher with a puppy that can be easily tolerated and this can lead to preventable incidents.

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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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The study population was 51 intact males, 72 neutered males, 87 intact females, and 76 spayed females, for a sample size of 286 cases. For males and females left intact, the occurrences of one or more joint disorders were just 4 and 1 percent, respectively, and for both sexes neutering was not associated with any increase in this measure. The occurrences of cancers in intact males were 2 percent and zero for intact females. For both sexes neutering was not associated with any increase in this measure. The occurrence of MC in females left intact was zero. The occurrence of PYO was 2 percent in intact females. There was no occurrence of UI in spayed females. Lacking a noticeable occurrence of increased joint disorders or cancers in neutered males or females, those wishing to neuter should decide on the appropriate age.

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Are Male Or Female German Shepherds More Affectionate

If you have young children and other pets, you may be wondering about the friendliness of the dog you choose. So, are male or female German Shepherds more affectionate?

Female German Shepherds are more affectionate, friendly, and welcoming pets than males. This instinct occurs because females tend to be more nurturing, gentle, compassionate, and sensitive. Males have stronger defensive instincts, and they are less likely to welcome outsiders.

Introducing friends and family should be done when the dog is a young puppy. Socialization is so important!

What To Expect As Your German Shepherd Turns Six Months Old

Male vs Female German Shepherd – Which One Should You buy?

German Shepherds are really smart, strong dogs, which can mean they are a handful to raise and train as they grow up and get bigger.

If you are caring for a German Shepherd puppy right now or have ever done so in the past, you already know this!

One of the biggest areas of anxiety for first-time German Shepherd owners is whether what they are experiencing with their dog is normal or not.

For example, is it normal for a six-month-old German Shepherd puppy to be biting everything in sight? How about if six-month-old GSD puppy whines and barks a lot?

What about appetite, portion size, and treats for a 6 month old German Shepherd? When should you transition to adult dog food and an adult dog portion size?

And what about that all-important question should you get your GSD spayed or neutered and, if so, when should you do it?

These are all intelligent questions that caring dog owners typically ask. So if you are wondering what the answers are, you are not alone and you are about to find out in the sections to follow here.

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What Are The Disadvantages Of Neutering Your German Shepherd

Although there are many great benefits to neutering your german shepherd, there are also some disadvantages you should be aware of. Heres the other side of neutering that you need to be aware of.

Theyre At A Higher Risk Of Hemangiosarcoma

Hemangiosarcoma is a particularly aggressive type of cancer that can affect all dogs. However, its been found that dogs are at an increased risk of suffering from it if they get neutered or spayed too early.

Its believed that the sex hormones that come from staying intact help prevent hemangiosarcoma.

They Are More Likely To Suffer From Dementia

As a german shepherd gets older, theyre often more likely to suffer from a disease of the brain similar to dementia. Its known as geriatric cognitive impairment, and when they suffer from it, they often see places and people such as your family and home unfamiliar. They can also forget all the training theyve had such as potty training as well.

However, when you keep your german shepherd intact, youre going to help reduce the chance of them suffering from geriatric cognitive impairment.

It Doesnt Always Change Their Behavior

While there are lots of reported cases of certain behavior improving after a german shepherd has been neutered, it doesnt mean its going to happen every time.

You may get your pup neutered only to find that theyre still acting in the exact same way afterward.

A Slightly Increased Risk Of Urinary Incontinence

Their Coat Can Often Be Affected

Risk Of Complications

Why You Should Neuter Your German Shepherd At A Year

When I decided to neuter my German Shepherd, I was unsure of when to neuter them. The decision shouldnt be taken lightly as it can have a considerable impact on how they develop throughout his life.

So I conducted some research on the best age to neuter him. I found that it is healthiest to neuter my German Shepherd between 18 and 24 months old.

One of the greatest concerns of neutering before the age of one is the risk of cranial cruciate ligament ruptures or tears. I further read that while neutering is a serious decisión for any pet owner, the American Veterinarian Medical Association supports the procedure.

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Recovery From Neutering Or Spaying

The recovery process after you neuter or spay a German shepherd is the same as with an injury.

You avoid physical activities. You let them rest and so on.

However, there are pointers to be followed after the neutering or spaying of a German shepherd. Its important to follow this strictly to help your dog heal in the most proper way.

  • Prepare a quiet place for your dog to rest, preferably inside the house. Restrict their interactions with other dogs as it may encourage physical activity.
  • A neutered/spayed German shepherd needs at least a month of no activity. Putting physical strain during recovery may result in complications.
  • Monitor your German shepherds opening from the surgery. Check for unusual characteristics such as swelling, bruising, and more. If you notice an abnormality, ensure that you reach out to your vet.
  • German shepherds are active dogs and can sometimes be unpredictable. Prevent your dog from hurting himself/herself by giving them a cone or collar.
  • Its important to find out when to take the cone off your dog after neuter/spay so you wont be stripping your pet off their freedom. The optimal number of days before you have to remove the cone is 5-8 days. However, its recommended that you wait until the stitches are removed.
  • A German shepherd that exhibits vomiting, decreased appetite, and diarrhea has a high chance of having complications. In this case, contact your vet immediately.
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When Should I Spay Or Neuter My Pet


The answer used to be easy, six months for dogs, six months for cats. No thought required. Then the shelters, concerned with the number of unwanted pets, began to promote spaying and neutering at younger ages. Their problem was real, but they didnt make this decision based on medical evidence. Problems are now emerging.

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Summary: The Best German Shepherd Spay & Neuter Times

The authors advise deferral of desexing to 2 years of age. A look at the data shows that by age 1 the risk of joint problems in males is not very different to intact males, and is at baseline in females. Therefore, desexing at age 1 seems appropriate.

Recommendation: 1 year of age for both sexes, but the decision may be based on other factors such as:

Is A Female German Shepherd A Good Choice For A Family Dog

Because of the differences noted here between male and female GSD personality and temperament, a female German shepherd may be the best choice if you are primarily seeking a pet dog or a guard dog for your family. This is because female German shepherd dogs have a stronger tendency towards guarding a group of people versus a single individual with whom the dog has developed a strong bond .

Also, numerous research studies have highlighted that female German shepherd dogs demonstrate lower overall aggression, especially in the presence of unknown persons, than do male GSD dogs. This same distinction can make a female GSD a better choice for a family member who could benefit from a service dog or a pet dog that will partner with you to do therapy dog work.

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When Should You Spay Or Neuter A German Shepherd

Its only natural to help avoid pet overpopulation, especially when youre a German shepherd pet owner. Thats precisely why neutering or spaying was introduced. But you cant deny the fact that your dog may suffer the consequences of your decision.

Its going to affect their health. This is a common theory by many researchers. If thats the case, when should you neuter or spay a German shepherd so theyll suffer no risks?

Weve always been told that theres one perfect time for neutering or spaying a German shepherd. But the reality is, technology is advancing. You cant always rely on old information. Thats why this article aims to offer you the opportunity to have up-to-date information as to when to neuter or spay a German shepherd, with the current technology in mind.

The best way to start this blog post is by defining what neutering or spaying is.

General Thoughts Across The Study

When to spay or neuter your dog with German Shepherd Man

I find it incredibly interesting that there is a breed specific deviance. Prior to this, I was very much of the camp that it was simply a case of variations for dogs of different size brackets but that appears not to be the case.

For example, a male Labrador actually have the best results when neutered at 6 months yet the females prefer a slightly older age .

So its really worth doing your research about these things. As always? Theres not quite enough information to make a totally informed decision but, you can definitely get a good idea on it.

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Problems With This Study

In the original paper, the authors appear to make some recommendations based on very limited evidence. I have published the original study data so you can see the actual numbers involved and decide for yourself.

The authors also do not mention the well-known increase in lifespan associated with desexing male and female dogs, which tends to counteract most concerns about specific cancers. The following comment in the paper is a clue that it might also have been true for this population:

Across all breeds the mean age of last entry in the record for neutered males was 5.5 years , for neutered females 5.7 years , for intact males 4.9 , and intact females 4.7

The study tries to also look at the rates of mammary cancer & pyometra in females, but cannot give an accurate assessment for two reasons:

  • the mean ages listed above are far too young to pick up most cases
  • pyometra and mammary cancer are rarely referred to university hospitals
  • Regardless of any concerns, the authors are to be applauded to bringing into focus one of the most common questions from dog owners. For the German Shepherd at least, theyve made the decision a lot easier.


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