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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Summing It All Up: Should I Neuter My German Shepherd Or Not
If your German shepherd is hyperactive, you may need to neuter him just to be able to live with him. A large male dog that is active all the time and always seems anxious to get out, to run, or just has trouble settling down can be hard to live with.
If this describes your dog then neutering is likely needed and should help to calm him down.
However, be sure to consider the studies that indicate that automatically neutering all dogs, particularly at a very young age, can be harmful to them.
Spend time with your dog, play with him, and train him. You may find that you dont need to neuter him for him to be an awesome companion.
In this guide, we go over:
- Preparing to adopt a dog
- Dog supplies you will need
- Choosing the right dog to adopt
- & much more!
Reasons To Consider All Options Before Spaying Or Neutering A Puppy
Dr. Benjamin Hart of the University of California, Davis, has been researching the effects of spay-neuter for a decade, with support from the American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation. His first paper on the subject, published in 2013, revealed that Golden Retrievers that had been spayed or neutered had a correlation of being three or four times more likely to develop certain cancers, including lymphosarcoma and hemangiosarcoma, and also more likely to develop joint problems such as hip dysplasia and damage to the cranial cruciate ligament. The team later published data on German Shepherd Dogs and Labrador Retrievers, finding that early spaying and neutering had varying effects on these dogs likelihood to develop joint disorders, cancers, and urinary incontinence.
And when it comes to dogs weighing more than 20 kilos, the study found that the impact of early spay-neuter varies hugely across breeds and sexes. For instance, since most small dogs didnt experience higher rates of the studied cancers and joint problems, Dr. Hart conjectured that at the other end of the scale, Great Danes might suffer them at a high rate. Yet he found that the gentle giants had no increase in joint disorders after early spay-neuter. That was completely unexpected, Dr. Hart told me.
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When Is The Best Time To Spay A German Shepherd
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.
Male German Shepherds can track the scent of females in heat from long distances and are known to do whatever they can to reach them. Even if the female is well protected and inaccessible, having a female in heat may mean having to contend with the presence of lingering males.
Discuss The Caring Techniques For The German Shepherd Puppy With The Breeder:
This is also a good place to start evaluating the breeders professionalism.
Responsible breeders should be able to provide extensive information on what the German Shepherd breed requires to prosper, as well as information on potential health issues and the breeds history.
Make sure youve done your homework ahead of time so you can verify their responses.
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Do I Have To Neuter My German Shepherd
So far weve spoken about neutering quite generally, but now lets take a look at this procedure in relation to the German Shepherd breed. There is nothing that says that you have to neuter your German Shepherd, but most owners do get this procedure done. So, lets take a look at why.
There are, of course, links to resolving behavioral issues in your dog which are caused by hormones. This is quite a selling point for most German Shepherd owners as these dogs are big, heavy, and strong, so if they begin to show aggression, this can be quite scary. But it isnt only hormone-related behavioral issues that are resolved by neutering.
The neutering process is also linked with reducing the risks of a lot of genetic diseases and conditions. In particular, it completely removes the risk of testicular, ovarian, and uterine cancer as these organs are no longer there. In female dogs, neutering your dog early on in their life has also been linked with a massively reduced risk of breast cancer.
So, if you have no intention of breeding your dog, then neutering them could be good for their health. Additionally, neutering is linked with a reduced risk of perineal hernias and prostate disease, it also removes the risk of passing down bad genetics, so it is definitely something to think about.
There are plenty of no kill shelters, but they are overpopulated and simply cannot save every dog. So, if you get your dog neutered, you will be giving these dogs a chance of being saved.
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:
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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How Long Should You Wait To Spay Or Neuter Your German Shepherd Puppy
A recent American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation sponsored research study found that holding off a little while can offer long-term health benefits to your GSD puppy. How long? Until after a puppy has gone through puberty. The study found that waiting until after a dog goes through puberty can result in a benefit orthopedic health, breed-specific cancers, and provide potential behavior benefits . Additionally, it showed that spaying and neutering early increased bone growth, resulting in a taller pet, creating concern for proper joint alignment. Considered the first study of its type, and while it did have many veterinarians surprised by the results, future research is planned to further our understanding of this very important topic.
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Best Time To Spay Or Neuter A Gsd Dog
Many veterinary organizations do support the spaying and neutering of German Shepherds. But they always warn of the risks of this type of procedure. For this reason, they always advise German Shepherd owners what the recommended age for spaying or neutering is.
Depending on the age, you can reduce your German shepherds health problems. Because as mentioned above, there are many risks with this procedure, and many times, it is a problem.
German Shepherd Dogs that are neutered before the age of 1 year can cause knee problems. If you want to sterilize your German shepherd, you should first consult with your veterinarian, so you can study and learn all the most important aspects of the procedure.
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When Should A German Shepherd Be Castrated
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.
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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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Why Is My Dog More Aggressive After Being Neutered
Recently neutered male German Shepherds tend to experience a rise in aggression, but this fades over time. One of the greatest factors that determine if a male dog will become more aggressive after the procedure is the breed.
German Shepherds tend to see an increase in aggression because of the temporary hormonal imbalance caused by the neutering surgery. This results in aggressive behavior amongst breeds that may be predisposed to violent tendencies. The most obvious physical change I have observed was the removal of the male testicles, which will become barely noticeable as the incisions heal.
It is important to note there will also be beneficial tendencies over time. First, dogs are less likely to wander off and have a lower propensity to hump other dogs and humans. There will also be a reduction in sporadic urination at home and eventually less aggressive behavior.
Discuss With Your Veterinarian
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?
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Doesnt Spaying Or Neutering A Dog Prevent Behavioral Problems And Certain Kinds Of Cancer
So how and why did spaying or neutering dogs at six months come to be the norm? Population control is the most common answer. Canine cognitive scientist Dr. Alexandra Horowitz, writing in the New York Times, describes the way spaying and neutering dogs rapidly became an easy answer to the apparent problem of stray dogs and overfull shelters. But as were learning, an easy answer isnt always the best one.
For a long time, many also believed that spay-neuter could prevent behavioral problems as well as prostate and mammary cancers. But when Dr. Hart investigated these claims, he found a more complicated picture. For instance, his research revealed that neutering male dogs with aggression problems only resolved aggression in 25 to 30 percent of cases. In other words, three out of four dogs did not show an improvement in aggressive behavior after neutering alone. And significantly, those behavioral improvements were equally likely if neutering was delayed until after a dog had reached sexual maturity.
Neutering also does not prevent prostate cancer. As a matter of fact, Dr. Hart told me, based on available data, prostate cancer in males is more common in neutered than intact dogs.
When Should I Spay Or Neuter My Pet
As part of the battle against pet overpopulation, it used to be common practice to spay and neuter young pets as soon as it was safe to do so, and sterilization still is routinely performed on shelter puppies and kittens. When it comes to privately-owned pets in secure homes, here are AAHAs most recent recommendations.
- Cats: Female kittens can enter their first heat cycle as young as four months, but usually not until they are five or six months old. AAHA has endorsed the Fix Felines by Five initiative, which recommends sterilization of cats by five months of age. This recommendation prevents unwanted litters and greatly decreases mammary cancer risks in female cats as well as spraying/marking in male cats, but still allows kittens time to grow. Kittens sterilized at this age quickly bounce back from surgery.
- Dogs: According to the AAHA Canine Life Stage Guidelines, small-breed dogs should be neutered at six months of age or spayed prior to the first heat . Large-breed dogs should be neutered after growth stops, which usually is between 9 and 15 months of age. The decision on when to spay a large-breed female dog is based on many factorsyour veterinarian can help narrow down the recommended window of 5 to 15 months depending on your dogs disease risk and lifestyle.
What are the benefits of spaying or neutering my pet?
- They show or breed the animals
- Financial constraints
- Fear of anesthesia
- Lack of understanding of the benefits
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When To Neuter Your German Shepherd
There are a lot of ethical reasons to neuter your dog. Overcrowding in animal shelters is a serious issue. Each year, over 2.7 million animals are euthanized in US animal shelters alone.
Puppies are cute, but birth is taxing to a mother dog and can be fatal if the mother doesnt have the strength to take care of her litter. And most people cant afford to take care of a mothers litter and end up donating the pups to a shelter anyway.
You can end a lot of animal suffering by neutering your dog before he goes off and has children. But what is the best age to do it and are there any health risks associated with neutering?
Until recently, there was a common consensus among veterinarians and breeders that it was best to neuter a German Shepherd after 8 weeks but before 6 months.
Neutering before a dog reached full sexual maturity would cause less growth problems and would prevent deadly prostrate cancers from developing. Or so the reasoning went.
Recently, however, a new study recently published in the veterinary journal veterinary medicine and science finds convincing evidence that that might not be true.
German Shepherd dogs neutered before the age of 1, the study finds, have a significant increase of cranial cruciate ligament tears and ruptures.
The CCL is one of the most important stabilizers in a German Shepherds knee and damage to it is one of the most common causes of hind leg lameness, pain, and knee arthritis.
Will Neutering A German Shepherd Reduce Aggression
A lot of people neuter their german shepherd because they think it can reduce their aggression. And up until very recently, many researchers believed this to be true. However, now they think this may not be the case.
Its been found that german shepherds that have been neutered can often be more aggressive to strangers that try to approach their house. And it wasnt just people either. Other animals and dogs also caused neutered dogs to become more aggressive on average.
And if they werent acting aggressively, sometimes their fear-based behavior was seen to increase. Once again, this was more likely to happen around strangers, but it also happens when theyre put into new situations or theyre around objects theyve never seen before.
They also appeared to show other types of undesirable behavior as well, such as eating poop and rolling in it. And lastly, they were often more excitable.
So it does appear that in some cases, aggression, fear, excitement and unwanted behavior would increase after being neutered. This is one of the reasons its so important to consult your vet before neutering to see if its right for your pup.
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