Neuter early or not?? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 43 (permalink) Old 06-17-2010, 02:26 PM Thread Starter
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Neuter early or not??

Jake has been going to the vet at PetSmart for his basic puppy care while I found the right vet, well through the grapevine I was referred to a vet about 45 minutes from me, she has tons of experience with the breed. Yesterday I made an appointment for her to meet Jake and I and get her opinions on him and her philosophies. The vet at PetSmart says neuter at 6 months and the other vet said wait to a year, if not a tad longer if I can. I find this whole subject mesmerizing. Why is it so hard for there to be a better timeline then that? Six months to at least a year is quite the range. I have read countless posts and find I am chasing my own tail.....can everyone weigh in? Those of you who neutered EARLY and those who WAITED?


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post #2 of 43 (permalink) Old 06-17-2010, 02:28 PM
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I just got Sinister neutered eactly 2 weeks ago he is 15 months old.

He is 27 1/2 at the shoulders and he weighed in at 77 pounds.


Sinister ~ black male GSD 3.11.09
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post #3 of 43 (permalink) Old 06-17-2010, 02:30 PM
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We neutered early. Ace got the snip at 6 months. Vet suggested and we took her advice. I think this is a black and white subject. Don't seem to find much gray...
MY BF has a problem with male dogs that go around marking every thing in site. Ace is 17 months and he still doesn't raise his leg. Not sure if the neuter did that or not....


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post #4 of 43 (permalink) Old 06-17-2010, 02:31 PM
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My breeder has in her contract for limited reg. to alter at 8-12 months for males. Everything I read indicates waiting at least a year if you can.

Now, I still don't know how long to wait since one testicle never dropped. That is another topic I would guess.


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post #5 of 43 (permalink) Old 06-17-2010, 02:35 PM
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I never had a problem with Sinister marking, I didn't have any aggression issues or behavioral issues with him either.


Sinister ~ black male GSD 3.11.09
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post #6 of 43 (permalink) Old 06-17-2010, 02:48 PM
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I read that it is best to wait until a dog is physically mature, around 2 years. I read that the removal of hormones before a dog is done growing can cause harm to it's bones and increase it's chances of getting bone cancer, esp larger breeds. I am going to wait to neuter my GSD pup until he is 2 years. Perhaps someone else has found some useful information? Google "dangers of neutering too young" and see if you get any good info. Overall, what I read stated that for males, waiting until physically mature or not neutering at all is safer in regards to percentages of cancers, disease, etc. than it would be to neuter. Do alot of reserach and make the decision that is right by you!

This article helped me make my decision: good luck!
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post #7 of 43 (permalink) Old 06-17-2010, 02:49 PM
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This is not, IMO, a topic about aggression or marking. Yes, if your dog is aggressive, neutering might be something to consider as part of the solution, but it's not a solution by itself. For what it's worth, my intact male at 8 years old still rarely lifts his leg (and he's been bred). My three year old neutered dog marks everything. If you talk to enough people you can find every permutation.

Early neutering is for me, a health issue. Now, first and foremost if you can't control your dog and keep him from breeding, then neuter as soon as you can. But if you can and are willing to guarantee a dog will never be bred accidently, I am a firm believer in waiting until at least two years old.

Here's why: Nature gave dogs hormones for more reasons than breeding. They are used to help a dog grow and mature the way he's supposed to. Dogs (especially males) neutered young do tend to grow taller and lankier than males allowed to grow naturally. I've seen it over and over, especially with males. I can pick them out usually. In addition to growing taller and thiner, this leads to increase risk of things like ACL and CCL tears. I know many people who have had soft tissue injuries on dogs neutered young. Of course it happens on intact dogs too, but I find there is an increased risk with early spay/neuter.

I will also add that the earlier you spay/neuter, the bigger an issue this is. If someone wants to neuter at a year (as opposed to the two years I prefer) I don't think that makes much of a difference. If someone neuters at 8 weeks (yes people do) as opposed to 2 years, the difference is much bigger.

The following article has probably been posted many times but it's one I find to be accurate in terms of what I observe: Canine Sports Productions: Early Spay-Neuter Considerations for the Canine Athlete

I should add that for my personal dogs, I have decided I will never neuter another male unless I have a medical reason to do so. What my dog went through when he was neutered was not worth it to me.

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post #8 of 43 (permalink) Old 06-17-2010, 02:51 PM
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If you neuter before they are mature, there is a chance that he won't grow proportionately because the testosterone isn't being released. Have you ever seen a male GSD with a small head or feminine looking? It's because he was neutered too early. It also increses the risk of bone cancer and bone diseases if large breed dogs are neutered before maturity. I had a male GSD that was never neutered. He didn't wander, showed no marking behavior in the house, and was never aggressive. He lived until he was 12 years old. I don't plan on neutering Wolfie either.

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post #9 of 43 (permalink) Old 06-17-2010, 03:25 PM
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I have to make that decision myself. Lakota is 5 months now. I just recently met a vet, a young woman who believes in early spay/nueter, mainly for cancer issues. Lakota looks so tiny to me, compared to my big 125lb babies, I couldn't imagine getting her spayed now. Apache my male was just over a year & Kiya was about 20 months old. I am opting toward waiting till the 1 year mark. With all the info out ther I feel that you gather all the information you can then make what you feel is the best decission for you & your pet.
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post #10 of 43 (permalink) Old 06-17-2010, 03:49 PM
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What is her scientific basis for early neutering because of cancer? I have only been able to find studies possibly indicating just the opposite.

I neutered a male with a retained testicle at 2 years old. The vet advised allowing him to reach maturity.

Our current male to remain intact.
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