The behavioral changes of neutering neutering a male dog are described in this article. Evidence-based medicine suggests that there is a complexity to the different guidelines for age of neutering depending on the breed of dog and it’s behaviour. The age also depends on where you obtained your dog. There will be less roaming and escaping from home. (One study in Golden retrievers is currently being undertaken). There are, however, some exceptions to this rule which is why it is always important to discuss the neutering of any individual dog with their vet. You need to consult with a vet who knows large breeds. Let’s also not forget that patient genetics and the environment play a huge and often forgotten role in the development of many of these disease and behavioural processes. The best age to neuter is a controversial subject which may vary with breed and size of your dog. Seromas and infections at the incision site would not be uncommon, though they can largely be prevented with the use of Elizabethan collars and good hygiene. Many of the studies relating to timing of desexing are retrospective – meaning that they are assessing data from the past. ThePets is an informational website that features articles written by qualified For the vast majority of smaller dogs, I am happy for them to be neutered at 6 to 9 months of age or prior to puberty if in a shelter situation. Anxious and aggressive behaviour from these breeds can be disastrous in our society(4). Veterinary experts recommend that for larger breeds, it is better to wait until they have achieved full-skeletal maturity. When it comes to the right age to neuter your dog, you can be pretty sure you’ll find some conflicting answers. Pet Food Finder, and search for After administering anesthesia to numb the dog, the veterinarian will work to remove the testicles. Is this due to age because we know castration results in a longer life-span? She is a fellow of the British Veterinary Association and specializing in animal medicine. There are no hard and fast rules and together with your vet we can determine the best option for your dog. Will prevent testicular cancer and can decrease risk of prostate problems such as prostatitis (inflammation/infection) and benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlargement) that are due to hormones. Neutering can result in some health benefits. This procedure is significantly more involved than removing a male’s testicles. While this may seem like a straight forward question, it is actually far from it! The best age to neuter a male dog: It is important to know at what age dogs are castrated because it is the age at which the operation will be performed that can affect the further condition of the pet. The ideal age to get your male golden neutered is around one year just after sexual maturity. They say neutering them this early causes them to grow taller and not fill out. While still a major surgery, it is not as complex as a spay in a healthy, normal male dog… There are several health issues an unneutered dog is more likely to suffer from, including Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia, Prostatic abscesses and Testicular cancers. Her expertise is in equine, small animal and mixed practice as well as pharmaceutical consultancy. Large or giant breeds, it may be more appropriate to delay neutering, however consideration needs to be given regarding behaviour and ability of the owner to care for these dogs. When to Spay or Neuter Your Pet For dogs: While the traditional age for neutering is six to nine months, puppies as young as eight weeks old can be neutered as long as they’re healthy. For large dogs that are very prone to orthopedic injury/diseases we now recommend waiting to neuter until 9-18 months of age. giant breed vs small breed, The behaviour of your dog – is he showing signs of aggression vs anxiousness, Your ability to keep your dog from roaming and subsequent consequences i.e. Ehrlichiosis in Dogs: Is Your Dog At Risk Of This Tick-Borne Disease? It is not necessary to neuter your dog prior to sexually maturity to avoid testicular cancer. Will prevent some types of hernias and tumours of the anus. Some veterinary behaviorists believe that neutering a very submissive dog early can be a negative as they never receive the confidence boost that puberty and testosterone can give them. While six months may be the perfect time for one dog, performing the procedure at two years of age may actually be better for another. Just quickly, when we talk about a neutered dog we are referring to a male dog that has had his testicles removed. We have a huge problem with unwanted and stray dogs. A very important consideration when deciding when to neuter your dog is what their behaviour is like. (2). Unlike females, males show the greatest aggression and attraction during puberty. Again, the evidence is still variable for this topic. Sure, neutering is not easy to answer to all problems, as we wish it could be. But, it is not that easy. I’m often asked what the best age is to spay and neuter a dog – and the real answer is, it depends! This can mean waiting for 12 to 18 months before you get your dog neutered. Certain larger dogs should not be castrated before the age of one as this can increase the risk of cranial cruciate ligament disease, hip dysplasia, and lymphoma. As long as you choose the right time to neuter your dog, the benefits outweigh the risk. Further prospective studies are required to answer this question. Reduces to zero chances of an accidental mating and unwanted pregnancy. In some countries, this may also be referred to as castration. They should be neutered before 15 months of age. Owners will always be talked through the potential risks and will be asked to sign a consent form. Neutering can prevent tumors, ease behavioral problems, and, of course, prevent unwanted puppies, the ASPCA reports. Recently, we have heard breeders and others say this age is too young for large-breed dogs. Bottom line, it is best to talk with your vet or with one of our online vets about your individual situation. Although male dogs can’t reproduce after neutering, they may still exhibit breeding instincts such as humping. Though these procedures can be done on puppies as young as a few months old, dog owners should consult with their veterinarian to determine the best age to spay or neuter their pet. Should I have my male dog castrated; The risks of neutering your dog. While this is generally a good thing as there are too many dogs in the world, a well-bred and good-tempered male may be the right candidate to breed from, so it is always worth considering. You can learn more about our When selecting food for your pet, use The best age to neuter a Goldendoodle is between the ages of 4 to 9 months. One thing we are sure about is that once an intact dog is displaying aggressive behaviour, neutering will unlikely result in any change in that behaviour (5). The most important question to ask yourself is, “are you able to keep your dog confined so that they are unable to escape?”. Large or giant dog breeds should be at least 2 years old. Having said this, we need to consider many factors other than age, including a dog’s situation, breed and size. This is utter rubbish and though dogs may be a bit quiet for a day or two, they will soon return to normal in no time. Another recent study showed that dogs spayed or neutered before 5 1/2 months had a significantly higher incidence of hip dysplasia than those spayed or neutered after 5 1/2 months of age, although it should be noted that in this study there were no standard criteria for the diagnosis of hip dysplasia. Most have been males neutered at about 6 months. Obesity is more common in neutered males, perhaps due to the reduced sex hormone levels and a slowdown in metabolism. When he got his annual exam and shots, the vet said to leave him unneutered until he was two years old as “large-boned dogs get cancer if they are neutered before then.” Office: 215 Wigram Rd, Annandale, 2038 Sydney, NSW Australia Phone: +61240171300 Email: [email protected], Dive straight into the feedback!Login below and you can start commenting using your own user instantly. There is a difference between the terms neuter and spay.The term neuter is used when speaking of a surgical procedure that removes a male dog’s testicles thus rendering them unable to reproduce.On the other hand, the term spay is used to describe the surgical procedure for female dogs. Unless the dog has a retained testicle (a condition known as cryptorchidism), a neuter procedure does not enter the abdominal cavity. The Ideal Age For Male Golden Retrievers. In general, neutering before the age of one is a good idea and the benefits will outweigh the risks. A cryptorchid dog should definitely be neutered. Breed size i.e. You will prevent unwanted pregnancy and lower the risk of over-population. More info. There are several benefits to performing a castration surgery: A frequent concern is that a dog ‘won’t be himself’ after being castrated and their personality will change. Still, neutering or not a dog should be a conscious choice made by the owner with proper vets consultation. This is a very long answer to what most people think is a great question that only needs a short answer. Neutering is non-reversible, so owners need to be aware that a castrated male can never be bred from and won’t be able to produce pups. There really is no one size fits all answer to the question of when you should neuter your dog. If you ask your veterinarian at what age it is best to spay or neuter your dog or cat, most will probably have an answer of between the ages of 6-9 months (or for simplicity, under 1 year of age), with an emphasis on spaying female pets before their first heat cycle. Vet Clinics Locator. The AKC Canine Health Foundation and its donors are also supporting studies that explore how spay/neuter may produce adverse health effects in an effort to develop treatment and prevention strategies. Honestly, the statistics make my head hurt and much of the information on the net has not interpreted the findings accurately. The exact age depends on many factors, including the vet’s advice and dog’s age of puberty. Your dog will roam less – and this means less risk of accidents such as being hit by a car or getting into fights with other dogs. A neuter procedure, or castration, removes the testicles from a male dog. There are some downsides to neutering your dog unnecessarily including susceptibility to certain cancers among others. In many parts of the world, due to cultural or economic prohibitions, bitches and dogs are not spayed or castrated unless they have reproductive tract disease. The age to neuter dogs ranges from puppyhood onward, although traditionally dogs have been neutered between the ages of 6 to 9 months. Although the term neutering applies to both male and female dogs, it’s most commonly used for castration, a surgical process to remove a male dog’s testicles. We do know that desexing does increase lifespan and as a result, the risk of developing conditions like cancer may be higher (1) and have little relevance to desexing. Once marking of territory starts, it is unlikely to stop. It is a surgical procedure that can only be performed by a veterinarian in a fully-equipped clinic. One of the most commonly asked questions is when is it too late to neuter a dog. Again, there is no easy or correct answer and as much as I hate to say “it all depends”! Our male is 18 months old and was neutered at 6 months. In summary, the effects of neutering on dog behaviour require more study as the majority of the studies are producing conflicting results. But deciding when … Neutering can be carried out very young, before the first season in females but some vets will also advise waiting until after a season or longer. While this is a routine procedure that is the ‘bread and butter’ of the vet industry, every anesthetic and surgery does carry an inherent risk. Copyright 2014 - 2020 YourVetOnline | All Rights Reserved |, Testimonials- Pet Owners Share Their Online Vet Love. This is not an inevitability and can be prevented with the correct diet and exercise. In recent years there have been newer recommendations put out for large breed dogs, including Golden Retrievers, on when to spay and neuter. There will be less marking of territory – again this is very dependent on the timing of neutering. You are in a race against time. Does It Have A Cold? veterinarians and professional writers. Also, she has been the Woman magazine resident vet for the past two years and writes a regular column for them, focusing on pets and their health. This means a surgery under a general anesthetic. As a general rule of thumb, it is recommended that a male is castrated at about six months of age, just before puberty. injury, unwanted matings. This leads to an increase in bone length (your dog may grow very tall) and can lead to joint problems for some dogs. You need to be very sure of your ability to control and socialise these dogs appropriately. The risk of developing hip dysplasia and cranial cruciate disease may also increase with pre-puberty desexing(3). The timing depends on what age they can expect to hit puberty. During spay surgery, a female dog's reproductive organs - called the ovaries - are removed. Again, we need to remember that genetics and exercise do play a large role in the development of these conditions. If neutered early enough, they don’t tend to stop every few seconds to mark their territory either! Let’s take a look at the benefits and risks of these surgeries and what, if any, is the best time to schedule the snip or spay. In the past, I would have quickly replied “oh around 6-9 mths old would be best”, but now, with studies looking at the relationship between neutering and health of our dogs, that advice may well be regarded as obsolete. One important fact to remember is that our pets are living longer lives, just like us. This eliminates the risk of cancer. In contrast, spaying a dog is the process of removing a bitch’s ovaries and uterus so that she is unable to have puppies. Testosterone-driven behaviors (such as humping) can indeed be reduced, a positive thing for most! If your property is not fenced, if you want to let your dog roam and be ‘off leash’ then you need to have your dog neutered sooner rather than later. Though rare, I have had a few owners who have regretted having the surgery performed when a few years down the line they would like to breed from their male. This research provides veterinarians and dog owners with data-based information regarding the best age for neutering any individual dog. Large breed male dogs after they hit puberty can be very strong, aggressive and very difficult to control. Dr. Linda Simon is a veterinary surgeon working with seven years of experience. Castrating eliminates the production of testosterone, which can improve some dogs’ behavior, especially those with testosterone-driven vices such as dog to dog aggression, humping, and urine marking. I am 47 until recently (with new research) I would spay or neuter my dogs male or females at 4 to 6 months. There appears to be a bit of a change in neutering recommendations for dogs, especially large breeds. Neutering can affect the behavior of a male Goldendoodle once the procedure is done when they are too young. Neutering is the removal of both testicles. Some people are surprised to discover that there are risks to neutering a dog. This better allows for reproduction control in animals no longer capable of or not considered desirable for breeding, and eliminates behaviors and physical changes re… Anesthesia and surgery carry a slightly higher risk in very young dogs, especially in small breeds who are less able to regulate their temperature and blood sugars. It’s also sometimes advised to wait until maturity for male dogs, particularly of larger breeds. Interestingly, most studies find that males can safely be neutered any time from 8 weeks of age (though most vets will give them a few more months to grow and mature). We have had Great Danes for several years. While vets do everything they can to keep dogs comfortable afterward (such as providing pain relief and prescribing strict rest), dogs can feel moderate discomfort for a few days after the procedure, and some may be a little bruised and swollen. This is even more important with our large or giant breeds. Dog Time describes neutering as a procedure that eliminates the capability of the male dog to breed or procreate.. Why Should You Wait to Neuter Your Dog? While dogs can of course be neutered at any age after the testicles have descended, leaving it until a dog is fully mature to have them neutered can cause problems. We therefore need to ask – Are these study results due to the dog being sterilised? Let’s also not forget that a roaming dog may end up in your local Pound resulting in a fine to regain possession. Disclosure: our content is free because we may earn a commission when you click or make a purchase using our site. What age should I neuter my dog? Just quickly, when we talk about a neutered dog we are referring to a male dog that has had his testicles removed. My personal bias on this topic is that we still have a lot to learn and we need to make our decisions based on the individual animal and the family it lives in. They can become pregnant as early as 5 or 6 months old and most dogs can produce two litters a year. Dogs are generally neutered from the age of around six months onwards, although the American and Australian trend of neutering even younger than this is becoming more common in the UK. the clinic to treat your pet using Often on the very day they turned four months old. We also don’t know important facts like behaviour, vaccination status, weight, and age of desexing. Or is it just a function of getting old? Those that are neutered don’t have that ‘drive’ to follow the scent of a female. What is the best age to neuter a male dog? There are currently many unwanted dogs in rehoming centers, and young, healthy dogs are being put to sleep every day because of the lack of homes available. A male dog can be neutered once he’s eight weeks old, but that doesn’t mean you should schedule his neuter for the day he turns eight weeks. Female Boston Terriers neutered at the standard six months of age, for example, had no increased risk of joint disorders or cancers compared with intact dogs, but male Boston Terriers neutered before a year of age had significantly increased risks. The decision on when to neuter your dog depends on their sex and breed. This is especially important in multi-pet households. There are some other cancers that may be more likely in the castrated dog, but the evidence is lacking. A male dog can be neutered any time after eight weeks of age. When deciding the best time to neuter your dog, it’s important to consider the following: Neutering prior to puberty (<6 months) results in the removal of hormone influence on physeal growth plates resulting in delayed closure. Best Age To Neuter Or Spay A Dog I was writing to ask about the right time to neuter a Lab male. Risks that go beyond the basic risk of surgery and anesthesia. In reality, there is no ‘one size fits all’, and each dog should really be assessed as an individual. The general consensus is that the best age to neuter a small to medium-sized male dog is after they are at least 1 year old. Neutering dogs is common but several pet owners have a lot of questions to ask. The Best Age to Spay/Neuter Your Belgian Malinois (Male and Female ) When it comes to spaying your female Belgian Malinois of neutering your male Belgian Malinois, it’s always important not to delay this process. Neutering reduces the risk of perianal fistula. They don’t have as much of a desire to roam, and they won’t seek out and pester a female in season. Interestingly, most studies find that males can safely be neutered any time from 8 weeks of age (though most vets will give them a few more months to grow and mature). Spaying or neutering puppies is the responsible way to care for your pet and it's important to know when to do it. The Best Age to Spay or Neuter your Pet. However, this depends on the age of the dog. In general, neutering before the age of one is a good idea and the benefits will outweigh the risks. On the other hand, there have been several good studies done to look at different potential complications from early neutering (as early as 6 weeks of age) that have found no adverse effects other than slightly longer legs and less “masculine” muscle development. There is no universal reply. However, owners should be aware that castration is not a panacea, and most dogs with behavioral disorders require specific programs and a lot of training. If neutered prior to development of sexual characteristics then marking won’t occur. Note! Most are back to normal within the week. Neutering can actually cause more aggression and problems. When should I neuter my male dog? For city dogs, the advantages probably outweigh the disadvantages of neutering but not necessarily for those who live beyond the suburban sprawl. If neutering is done too early or too late, the risks get higher and the benefits lower. Small dogs do not have as many orthopedic issues, therefore it is fine to neuter them on the younger side at 6-12 months of age. Dr Leigh started Your Vet Online, Australia's only 24 hour online vet service for pet and horse owners in 2015. Female pups mature more quickly than you may think. editorial process. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0061082, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2045340, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18598150, https://www.rspca.org.au/sites/default/files/RSPCA%20Australia%20Annual%20Statistics%20final%202016-2017.pdf, https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fvets.2018.00018/full. However, in the United States, virtually all bitches and dogs are rendered sterile by surgery at some point in their life. 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