(Closed) When is the best time to neuter a dog?

posted 7 years ago in Pets
Post # 17
609 posts
Busy bee

When your dog gets loose and impregnates a female, will you be taking care of the pups or sending them to the pound?

Post # 18
3196 posts
Sugar bee

I don’t see the sense in keeping him intact if you aren’t going to breed him. Our breeder prefers for people to wait until around a year old for the dog to mature proportionately, but it isn’t necessary.

If there isn’t a physical need to neuter him at a specific time, there are still very pertinent behavioral reasons to neuter your dog. Those already listed above, but also consider that places such as dog parks usually don’t allow non-altered animals in and you would be liable if anything happened and he wasn’t fixed. I had a boxer, and even neutered he was a handful, I think you should do it to be safe, rather than sorry.

Post # 19
1493 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2012

Several months ago! You keep mentioning bone cancer, but what about testicular cancer? Not neutering has a much higher risk of that than the tiny small really non-existent chance of bone cancer. My female rescue dog came to me with mammary cancer due to not being spayed. Don’t put your dog at unnecessary risk.

Post # 20
4655 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I’ve never heard of a neutered dog experiencing growth problems. Get on it asap and don’t worry about it! The sooner the better.

Post # 22
940 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 1969 - City, State

We’re waiting until our male is at least 18 months, but hopefully 2 years.  I don’t buy into the dominance/aggression theories that are out there with regards to not neutering, and we’d like him to develop naturally.  

Post # 23
2285 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: Central Park

6-12 months is optimal. I worked with an animal rescue group and we always spayed/neutered asap. This is especially iimportant for the boys who will learn to spray urine if they reach pubert intact. We’ve never had a single issue with altering at 6 months.

Post # 24
3655 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 2000

@MrsPanda99:  Some breeds DO need the hormones to fully develop bone mass. I’ve got bulldogs and that is one of those breeds. Late neutering is optimum for that sole reason.

But there are reasons for earlier neutering.

Unless he has dominance behavior problems, and assuming that you are completely responsible in not letting him breed unintentionally, I think it is ok to take the advice of those who advise to wait a while.

Testicular cancer is a real threat so you don’t want to wait too long, however.


Post # 25
501 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

Unaltered dogs, even when perfectly behaved/trained, provoke different reactions from other dogs than do neutered/spayed dogs.  If you take your dog to dog parks or live in a dog-dense area, he is likely to attract a lot of unwanted attention and may be attacked – which isn’t going to help the dominance/aggression issues you say you’ve already observed.  He also may be ineligible for many day cares and bording facilities.  My first dog was never neutered because my ex “didn’t see a reason”; he died at a very young age due to the rupture of what was most likely a hormone-driven abnormality that very likely could’ve been avoided had he been neutered.  I have read some studies concerned with early (like, under five months) neutering of giant-breed dogs – but boxers are not a giant breed, and at a year old he’s more or less fully grown anyway in terms of body frame.  Please neuter your dog, it’s really the best choice for him and the broader doggie population.

Post # 26
1369 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

I just had my boys done around a mont ago – at 1.5 years and 3 years.

Not to scare you, but my boston terrier/english bulldog mix (the 3 year old) had an undiganosed blood clotting disorder (Von Willebrands disease, which is really rare in both breeds) and almost died as a result of the surgery. I feel that if I would have had him neutered at a younger age he wouldn’t have had the strength to pull through. His blood levels were at 50 when I took him for his neuter and levels were at 25 the next day. He had to have emergency surgery because he was bleeding into his stomach.

So, I would suggest probably around 1.5 years. The surgery was a lot easier on our younger dog (even taking into consideration the bleeding problems of the younger)

Post # 27
311 posts
Helper bee

View original reply
@MrsPanda99:  Trust me it is much MUCH better to have your male dog neutered than to leave him intact for the entirety of his life. As far as growth concerns, the dog reaches 75% of his size by 8 months and then after 1 year of age spends that time filling out for another year. If you want to wait that long, then ok but I do advise getting him neutered now just to avoid possible dominance issues that become habit by age 2. If you’re worried about possible abnormalities then ask your vet for more extensive bloodwork than the usual pre-anesthic profile that should include WBC count. I’m guessing you bought him from a breeder since he isn’t neutered so I would suggest talking with them about the health history of his parents and grandparents to see if it’s needed.

Not only should neutering him reduce his dominance tendencies, but it will eliminate issues with his prostate when he’s older. My dad refused to neuter our old male dog until he was 12 and was actually bleeding from an enlarged prostate. I also work at a vet clinic and have seen quite a few males with similar issues and severe swelling in the area because they were never neutered. The surgery after the issue pops up is way more expensive than neutering him now. I think the surgery for our dog cost us $1,400 when a neuter in general costs on average $300 in my area. I also have never heard of a correlation between neutering the dog and bone cancer and have yet to see any evidence of it at my job. If you can’t find more than one research article on the subject that states the same thing, then most likely it’s not true and was invalid or very biased data. This is especially so if the article is over 10 years old, so don’t take it to heart. It’s the same thing as the “research” saying vaccines cause autism in children.

Post # 28
1051 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2011

There’s a lot of back and forth about when to neuter, but I think most breeders recommend between 1-2 years depending on the dog. I do believe that hormones are necessary for appropriate growth but not at the expense of temperament. As long as your boy is even tempered and not overly aggressive and dominant, I’d probably wait a little longer. How does he look? You’re not only looking for obvious mature growth (is he at his mature height and weight), but for mature development. Has he filled out? Are his legs and chest muscular? Depending on the breed, males should be noticeably more masculine than females. What about his skeletal system, does your vet think it’s fully mature? 

We have a female and ended up waiting until she was a little over a year. You need to make sure that you’re a responsible pet owner though, an intact dog can never be off leash etc. You need to be 100% on top of it.

Post # 29
1660 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2012

I’m an “as soon as you can after their testicles drop” kind of girl.  I see no need in waiting, there are more cons than pros in my opinion to waiting.

Post # 30
1671 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

My lab is female, I’m not sure if it’s different. (Probably.)

Our vet suggested 5 months and we took her advice. There have been no ill effects. She (the vet) said that the SPCA (that’s animal rescue where I live) usually spay and neuter at 12 weeks but she personally would never do the operation that young.

There is SO MUCH information online, both for and against. It was really hard to distinguish what was actual medicine and what was quackery, so I went straight to the source. Vets don’t usually mind talking this stuff over and answering questions.

So, maybe a second vet opinion? If I was worried and in your shoes, that’d be my next course of action.

Post # 31
2564 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

View original reply
@Fizzy8:  It is different with females, because for every heat cycle they have increases their risk of mammary cancer.  It is frequently a benign tumor but can be malignant.  With males waiting a year to neuter them is not such a big deal if you are socializing/training them properly.  I see intact males who are lovely dogs and males that were neutered as puppies that are assholes so it really depends.

The topic ‘When is the best time to neuter a dog?’ is closed to new replies.

Find Amazing Vendors