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When To Spay A German Shepherd

The Best Time To Neuter Or Spay A German Shepherd

When to spay or neuter your dog with German Shepherd Man

There are many veterinary organizations that support neutering or spaying of German shepherds. However, they admit that there are risks in the procedure.

Thats precisely why they try to recommend pet owners the best age to neuter or spay a German shepherd.

Depending on the age of a German shepherd when it was neutered or spayed, they may have higher or fewer chances of developing health issues.

How Can You Tell How Big A German Shepherd Will Get

Not all German Shepherds are built alike because not all of them are bred alike. While most GSDs reach their full height by the third year, you cannot sit in suspense wondering what your dogs final size will be. Fortunately, you dont have to.

You can tell how big a German Shepherd will get by first considering the parents genetic makeup and looking at the parents size. You can also refer to a GSD growth chart and check for consistent lag or lead. Additionally, paw size can be an indication of future size, although this is unreliable.

If your dog has consistently been an inch shorter than the charts standard, then you can assume he will be an inch shorter than the charts projected final size.

This also applies to the weight category as well. If your dog is a few lbs over the standard weight, he might weigh as much more by the third year. Weight fluctuates even past the complete development, though.

And that brings us to the alternative scenario: what if your dog is not consistently smaller or bigger than the projected growth chart?

If you notice that your dog is an inch smaller at one stage and half an inch smaller at the next, chances are, your dog is experiencing regular growth spurts as any other German Shepherd except that he is shorter by a set percentage.

In that case, you should refer to the percentage of full weight or height in the German Shepherd growth chart. The chart says that a GSD is at his 50% height by 4 months, for example.;

Here they are

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:

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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.

Friendly Disclaimer; are not veterinarians, or animal professionals/experts. Information provided is for;informational purposes only it;is not a substitute for professional or qualified advice.

The information is based on either our own thorough research, and/or own experiences, as a means of free speech.

You should always;consult your own veterinarian, animal expert, or health care professional and follow their advice before;making decisions on all matters.

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

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Why You Should Neuter Your German Shepherd At A Year

When Should You Spay Or Neuter A German Shepherd ...

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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Things To Keep In Mind When Exercising A Young Gsd

  • Spread activity throughout the day Bruce Lee once said, I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times. When you make a single session small enough, you can afford to repeat the session throughout the day with enough consistency to make an impact. Add steps to your little puppys day without making it a Rocky training montage.;
  • Avoid high places The growth plates section makes it self-evident that you should keep your dog from jumping. So definitely no skipping rope for your chubby best friend.;
  • Play seeking gamesDetection exercises allow you to sneak in extra steps while also helping your GSD develop better cognition. Interestingly, such games also decrease running speed as dogs are more deliberate in processing where the hidden prize is.

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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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Female German Shepherd Dog Health Issues And Testing

There are some health issues that both male and female GSDs share in common. These issues include hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, cardiac issues, eye issues, autoimmune thyroiditis, and degenerative myelopathy. Only hip and elbow dysplasia are currently required tests for reputable breeders, with the remainder being optional health tests.

How Old Should My German Shepherd Dog Be When I Neuter Him

#6 Spay & Neuter Recommendations | Gill German Shepherds & Police K9 Academy

The question of how old your dog should be when he is neutered is one that experts are divided on.

Some insist that your german shepherd should be neutered before puberty so that he wont develop any of the bad habits that come with reaching a certain age.

Other experts suggest that there can be problems associated with neutering your dog too early. According to the American Kennel Club, there have been findings that show that dogs neutered before puberty may end up shy and insecure.

Several large, long-term studies agree and indicate that very early dog neutering is not a good idea. Psychology Today detailed several negative effects of neutering, such as increased aggression and anxiety.

Neutering also did not resolve many bad behaviors, but instead made them worse. The younger the dog at neutering, the more problematic the behaviors were.

The best thing to do is to talk to your pets veterinarian and discuss any concerns you may have. Your dogs vet knows him the best, so he should be able to discuss with you his thoughts for when to neuter your dog and why you should do so at that age.

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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.

Can Spaying Or Neutering Harm My German Shepherd

While there are many benefits to neutering your German Shepherd, it is also very important to acknowledge and understand the risks involved with having your GSD undergo this procedure. The risks associated with spaying or neutering your GSD are primarily centered around the age at which the dog is spayed or neutered.

In a recent study conducted at the University of California, Davis resulted in the finding that when a German Shepherd is spayed or neutered before one year of age, that the risk of the dog developing joint disorders triples.

The pool of dogs analyzed consisted of 1,170 German Shepherds that were either neutered, spayed, or intact. The study took place of 14.5 years, and was intended to search for joint disorders that had been previously associated with spaying and neutering.

The finding was that 7% of intact male GSDs were diagnosed with at least one joint disorder, while males neutered before the age of 1 had a joint disorder rate of 21%. The corresponding number for intact females was 5% versus 16%. This is a tremendous disparity and should be viewed as very statistically significant.

Dr. Benjamin Hart, the lead researcher at UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, stated:

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The German Shepherd Personality And Temperament

Your GSD of either gender is very intelligent. This is one of the most intelligent of all dog breeds! Your German shepherd has an incredibly strong work ethic with tremendous drive and focus while on the job.

Your GSD will bond strongly with at least one and perhaps several family members. To your GSD, you are your dogs life!

Your GSD is far too intelligent and sensitive to tolerate anything but positive training methods that focus on delivering praise, playtime, pets, and treats in response to well-learned tasks and commands. Negative training will likely increase this breeds tendency towards aggression or hostility when poorly handled.

Are There Any Risks To Spaying Or Neutering

When Should You Spay Or Neuter A German Shepherd ...

Like I said earlier, any surgery carries risks, even a spay or neuter, but the chances of complications are very small in healthy animals. While pet insurance does not cover the spaying or neutering procedure itself , if there are health complications that arise as a result of the procedure, they may be eligible for coverage.

One last note about spayed dogs: they are more likely to develop urinary incontinence later in life. This has nothing to do with the age at which they were spayed, as previously thought, but the chances of hormone responsive incontinence are higher in spayed females than in intact females. Generally, the condition responds very well to medication, and does not pose a serious health threat.

To make a very long story short, having your pet spayed or neutered should be a question of WHEN, not IF. The best age to have your pet spayed or neutered depends heavily on your petâs size, breed and lifestyle. Talk to your veterinarian to determine the best time for your family, and then follow through.

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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.

What Is The Best Age To Neuter German Shepherds

Whether you call it;neuter,;spay,;castrate;or;desex, the right time to get it done in dogs is a subject of much debate. This is because it varies from breed to breed. Recently, a study was published on the best age for neutering in German Shepherds.

While the paper isnt perfect , it does provide the first evidence for German Shepherds on choosing a time of desexing with the fewest health problems. The study compared dogs neutered at different ages for their rates of:



There was a higher rate of UI reported in the females spayed up to one year of age.

Pictured here are the results of a larger study by the same research centre which show similar effects of desexing on CCL and HD in the German Shepherd.

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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

Will Neutering A German Shepherd Stunt Their Growth

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

Contrary to popular belief, neutering your german shepherd isnt going to stunt their growth. In fact, it might even do the opposite.

Studies have found that when you neuter your german shepherd to early it can affect their growth plates . When neutered too early, these plates can grow larger than normal, causing your pup to become bigger than average.

You may think this sounds good, but it can often result in joint issues later on in life. And this is even more common in large breeds like german shepherds.

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When To Spay A Femalepuppy

Conventional beliefs state that female German Shepherds should be spayed before they go into first heat, around 6 months of age.

This is because studies have shown that spaying at this time would practically eliminate the risk of breast cancer and the uterine infection called pyometra.

However, there are various other factors to consider before making the decision to spay.

Spaying of German Shepherd Dogs and Female-Specific Illnesses ;

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.

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.

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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