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Our little girl is four months old, She is meant to be a member of our family and not a show dog (though she's could :0) ) and we plan on getting into some sch and protection training. We plan on getting her fixed but I'm unsure when, I have had male dogs in the past and I know with them it's good to wait until they get a bit of testerone for their handsome manly looks but I'm not sure with females if there is any benfit to holding off, for looks or otherwise.

What do you guys think? What is a good age and what are the reasons for waiting??

Thanks everyone!
 

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I would say around 1 1/2 years old to 2 years old.
 

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Some studies say it's best to spay a female before her first heat. I think those studies say 6 months.

One thing you don't want to do is wait too late and your female become obese after her spay.
 

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IMO, when they're 18 months -2 years old is the best time so they fill out and finish growing when they're supposed to. if you follow the "studies" they'll all say at 6 months/before first heat. i personally hold to the 18 months-2 years one. it depends on what you prefer.
 

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One thing you don't want to do is wait too late and your female become obese after her spay
Females do not become obese after a spay unless you overfeed and underexercise her.
There are many threads on the subject, do research and then decide for yourself what to do.
Pros are letting her grow with her hormones intact til she is structurally mature(18-24 mos)
Cons are a slim chance of mammary cancer if you spay after a few heat cycles or pyometra and possibly getting pregnant because of owner negligence.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
For those of you who have waited, how big of a hassle is it to have an indoor dog in heat? anybody use diapers or pads and if yes do your dogs keep them on?
 

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I was just talking with a vet about this today. I spayed my last female before her first heat and she remained on the small side and immature throughout life (which had its advantages). The vet I spoke with said that they normally tell people to spay prior to the first heat because so many people are irresponsible and will end up with puppies. But, he said, it's best to let the dog grow and allow her the normal hormonal changes.
 

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My girl is almost same age as yours(CaseysGSD) my vet wants to spay her at the end of December. She will just be hitting 6 months. I wonder if I should wait until she is older now. My male was close to 2 yrs when he got neutered here recently. I have never let a female come into her first heat before spaying so I will have to do some more research on this topic.
 

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Vets always suggest 6 mos. It is to prevent unwanted litters because of irresponsible ownership. Do your research before you decide...
 

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For those of you who have waited, how big of a hassle is it to have an indoor dog in heat? anybody use diapers or pads and if yes do your dogs keep them on?

having a dog in heat is a great deal easier than a cat in heat. However, the blood drops all over the places are no fun. I'm not thrilled with MY period. I'm really not thrilled with a dogs period that lasts for about a month. ick! Shelby is our 1 year old female in her second heat right now. We didnt have her during her first heat but we did have another dog who had her heat cycle. That was not fun. Shelby is currently wearing a washable doggie diaper with a doggie pad in there. She didnt like the diaper at first because we dont have our dogs wear clothes. After a correct she's left it alone except to try and lick herself. We just have to remember to take the diaper off when she goes out to potty, replace the pad and put the diaper back on her but it works nicely. There's no blood on the floors or furniture so its a lot easier to deal with IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks everyone for all the info! If the only positive to doing it early is preventing a possible pregnancy, then I'll think I'll go with the benefits of waiting a bit as I would never have her in a situation where it would be a concern. I'm sure the doggie pads and bleeding won't be fun but as a woman I guess I have enough experience with it LOL!

Thanks again everyone for all the input and if anyone else has any opinions on the matter I would love to hear them!

On another note, I just joined a few days ago and want to tell you all that your the best!! I thought I knew a lot about dogs being that I've worked with them my whole life but turns out I've learned a few new things here everyday from you guys! What a great community.... I hope to find my place in it with all you lovely GSD owners!
 

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Thanks everyone for all the info! If the only positive to doing it early is preventing a possible pregnancy, then I'll think I'll go with the benefits of waiting a bit as I would never have her in a situation where it would be a concern. I'm sure the doggie pads and bleeding won't be fun but as a woman I guess I have enough experience with it LOL!

Thanks again everyone for all the input and if anyone else has any opinions on the matter I would love to hear them!

On another note, I just joined a few days ago and want to tell you all that your the best!! I thought I knew a lot about dogs being that I've worked with them my whole life but turns out I've learned a few new things here everyday from you guys! What a great community.... I hope to find my place in it with all you lovely GSD owners!

changing out the doggie pad is one of the few times my husband squarms. Its HILARIOUS!!!!
 

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Dealing with the mess is one thing, but what about taking the dog outside? We don't have a fenced yard and I can't imagine not being able to let Shasta off leash for 4 weeks. She and I would both go insane, I'm sure. How do you deal with that?
 

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Dealing with the mess is one thing, but what about taking the dog outside? We don't have a fenced yard and I can't imagine not being able to let Shasta off leash for 4 weeks. She and I would both go insane, I'm sure. How do you deal with that?

Shelby refuses to go outside without one of us there with her. And she doesnt go outside except to go potty unless she has the diaper on and myself or my husband is with her. We also carry what could basically amount to a club just in case anyway. Lucky for us Shelby is actually perfectly fine just hanging around in the house. The most activity i've seen from her is when we go to the dog park and then she doesnt do much either. again, it depends on what you feel you can handle.
 

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Use a long line.

I do not spay unless there is a medical issue that requires it.

I have not had issues with mammary cancer or pyometra yet, will deal with it if I have an issue.

Heat cycles are not so bad. ALL my girls wear the diaper, and do just fine with it. When they are bleeding heavily, I put a pad in the diaper and change that. Otherwise just the diaper. They have NEVER taken it off. It would not stop a male from tying with her, so it is best to keep them separated.
 

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16 months is my breeders rule of thumb.
 

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If you're going to wait to spay her and use diapers while she's in heat, I'd start getting her used to them now. I remember when we found Sania, we didn't know if she was spayed or not until she came into heat. We put a diaper on her and she spent all her time trying to get the darn thing off. She HATED it. Poor girl.
 

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Unfortunately, we have a household disagreement about when to spay. I want to avoid the heat cycle; husband wants to wait.

Unfortunately, Shasta is not content to lay around the house. She needs to burn off her (apparently boundless) energy. I don't see that happening with a couple of leashed walks around the neighborhood at my walking pace.

And she's going to need a surgery anyway to repair an umbilical hernia. Also, the vet was going to microchip at the same time. Is it mandatory to repair the hernia if it doesn't seem to bother her? (It does gross me out, though.)
 
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