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When To Spay A Female German Shepherd

When Should I Spay Or Neuter

When to spay or neuter your dog with German Shepherd Man

When is the Best Time to Spay or Neuter My German Shepherd?……

as a Breeder…….

I generally make it a rule to tell everyone NOT to spay or neuter their German Shepherd until they reach at least a year of age, preferrably at 14 months of age. We know that the hormones that regulate sexual activity also interact with the growth hormones and promote the closure of the growth plates ON TIME. We know that males or females that are spayed or neutered at an early age will grow SIGNIFICANTLY taller than those that are spayed later in life. Dogs that have been spayed or neutered early are typically longer limbed, lighter boned, have narrower chests and smaller skulls.

The arguments that you will hear in favor of early spay or neuter include:

The previous information was provided by Sheryle Thompson, DVM, Sequoyah Shepherds


Von Rothhaus German Shepherds 2013 | Contract

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 After Spay Does Dog Calm Down

For these, it often takes two to three days for dogs to return to their normal selves after a spay and one to two for a neuter. Dogs over three years of age may take a day or two longer to recover. In many instances, older dogs can take up to a week to feel completely better after a spay or neuter surgery.

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Anesthesia During Neutering And Spaying

During a spaying or neutering procedure, your GSD should be placed under general anesthesia meaning that your dog will be asleep because of heavy sedation. Anesthesia is a serious measure in itself, and if it is performed improperly, it can be fatal to your dog. Each year, approximately 1 in 1,000 dogs that go under general anesthesia die.

Unfortunately, not all practitioners take the proper precautions and follow correct procedures while administering anesthesia to a dog which can result in their death. Each year, approximately 1 in 1,000 dogs that go under general anesthesia die.

To make sure that your whoever is performing the procedure on our dog is doing it properly, and to give yourself peace of mind, you should discuss the procedure with the person performing it and make sure that you have clear answers to the following questions:

  • What are the most common complications that do occur during this procedure for my dog breed specifically?The team member should be able to give you specific examples of complications that have occurred in the past and how the veterinary team has handled and is prepared to handle them.
  • Can you describe the process of anesthesia that my dog will be undergoing?You will want to make sure that anesthetic will be introduced through an intravenous tube and not a mask. Also, be sure that other intravenous fluids and drugs will be on hand in case of complications.

Doesnt Spaying Or Neutering A Dog Prevent Behavioral Problems And Certain Kinds Of Cancer

Grumpy girl, post laproscopic spay

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.

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When Do Australian Shepherds Reach Their Full Weight

Australian Shepherds need about 16 months to reach their full adult weight and around a year to reach their adult height. If your Australian Shepherd puppy is younger than a year old, they likely have substantial growing left to do. After a year, you can expect them to fill out a bit more until they reach their adult weight.

How Much Does It Cost To Neuter A German Shepherd

Depending on where the procedure is performed, the cost of neutering a German Shepherd can range anywhere between $35 $300. The cost of neutering your dog will also depend on a number of different factors. These include:

  • Where you live
  • The age of your dog
  • The breed of your dog
  • The health of your dog
  • Whether your dog is obese
  • The complexity of the surgery
  • Whether your dog has diabetes
  • Whether pain medication is included
  • Where the procedure is performed
  • If pre-anesthetic blood work is performed to check liver/kidney function

Generally speaking, the cost of neutering your GSD will cost more if the procedure is performed at your veterinarians office. However, you do have a number of other low-cost options available to you. You can contact your local shelter, Humane Society, or ASPCA for lower-cost options.

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Study Finds Early Spay

For the past three decades, there has been a trend toward early spaying and neutering of dogs for reasons such as avoiding unwanted breeding and reducing some diseases such as mammary and prostate cancers. Some people believe that spaying and neutering helps to avoid behavioral problems. The impact has been dramatic, with an estimated 85 percent of dogs in the U.S.1 currently being spayed or neutered.

Breeders have an important role in helping puppy buyers determine at what age to neuter or spay their dog. They may require puppy buyers to neuter or spay their dog to avoid indiscriminate breeding, thus their recommendation is key in helping owners decide when to spay or neuter their German Shepherd Dog.

A retrospective study evaluating the long-term effects of spay-neuter surgeries in German Shepherd Dogs, published in 2016 in the journal Veterinary Medicine and Science, may change breeders views about the safest age to recommend the procedure. The study reported a significant increase in cranial cruciate ligament tears, or ruptures, in male and female German Shepherd Dogs neutered before 1 year of age, and it also noted a significantly higher incidence of urinary incontinence in female German Shepherd Dogs spayed before 1 year of age.

Altman attributes her change in perspective to the recent study in German Shepherd Dogs. The American German Shepherd Dog Charitable Foundation helped to sponsor the research, which was funded by the AKC Canine Health Foundation.

When Should I Have My German Shepherd Spayed Or Neutered

5 things to know before getting a female German Shepherd

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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What Is Spaying And Neutering And What Do They Do

We often think of neutering as a term that only applies to male dogs, but the truth is that either sex of a dog can be neutered. When referring to neutering a male dog, the specific term is castration, and for a female dog the specific terms is spaying.

In more general terms, neutering and spaying are referred to as fixing.

Is There A Wrong Age To Spay Or Neuter Dogs

Again, this is a highly individualistic issue. Shelters generally have a rule to wait until an animal is 2 months old and a weight of 2 lbs. This is a very young, very small animal, but shelters just canât hold pets until they are 6 months old to spay. Thereâs simply not room. In very young pets, we worry about keeping them safe and healthy under anesthesia during surgery.

The same goes for older pets, too. Surgery always carries a risk, and for older dogs whose health may be compromised, the risk is slightly greater. That said, Iâd still rather spay an old dog who is relatively healthy than to have to deal with an old dog who has to be spayed on an emergency basis because she has developed a uterine infection .

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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.

Recovery From Spaying Or Neutering For A German Shepherd

When to Spay

Your vet should tell you how long recovery should take, and what you need to do during the recovery/healing process.

Here are some precautions to consider by the ASPCA:

Provide your pet with a quiet place to recover indoors and away from other animals.

Prevent your pet from running and jumping for up to 2 weeks following surgery, or as long as your veterinarian recommends.

Prevent your pet from licking the incision site, which may cause infection, by using an Elizabethan collar

Avoid bathing your pet for at least 10 days after surgery.

Check the incision site daily to confirm proper healing. Redness, swelling or discharge are signs you might want to contact your vet

If your vet recommends pain medication make sure you feed them to your dog as required

One way to gauge a dogs recovery is that if the dog is comfortable and energetic enough to play, and the incision site looks healed, he or she is probably doing okay.

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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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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.

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What Might Be The Best Age To Get A German Shepherd Spayed Or Neutered Based On The Case Study Data

This is only speculation based on case study data, but it could be:

A female dog might be spayed at less than one years old if you want to decrease the risk of mammary cancer

A male dog might be neutered at older than one year old if you want to decrease the risk of Hip dysplasia

Talk to your vet about what is best for your individual dog and make the decision based on the data you provide and your vets professional opinion.

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Home û Health/Care û German Shepherd Neutering & Spaying: Info Guide

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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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How Long Does It Take For A Dog To Feel Better After Spaying

For these, it often takes two to three days for dogs to return to their normal selves after a spay and one to two for a neuter. Dogs over three years of age may take a day or two longer to recover. In many instances, older dogs can take up to a week to feel completely better after a spay or neuter surgery.

Large And Giant Breed Dogs Are Prone To Developmental Bone Diseases

It makes sense to wait until a dog, and her skeleton, is a little more mature before considering surgery. There are fewer orthopedic problems down the line if these big dogs are allowed to grow before they are spayed.

Veterinary scientists from the University of California Davis have been investigating this issue for many years. In 2014, they discovered that Golden Retrievers spayed or neutered earlier than 1 year of age had four times the number of joint disorders than those who had the surgery later. They also found Labrador Retrievers had twice the number of joint problems when sterilized before 1 year.

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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.


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