Mumsnet does not check the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you're worried about your pet's health, please speak to a vet or qualified professional.
This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
Best age to get a dog neutered ?(13 Posts)
Am I the only one confused about the best age to get my dog neutered ?
Vet says “ from 6 months” but ‘tinternet comes up with all sorts of reasons to do it later .
Anyone got a simple digest of the pros and cons at different ages ?
No such luck! I’m trying to figure this out too. My dog is 7 months. I found this which strongly suggests not neutering before they’ve finished growing and seems to be backed up by studies, but I have no idea if it’s a reputable study or not
I believe it depends on the breed. Some larger breeds are recommended to wait until 18-24 months before neutering as the hormones help strengthen their bones, once they've physically stopped growing. Speak to a reputable breeder or contact the relevant breed club.
Trouble is that this article suggests that it’s not proven that neutering is ever good for them, but I do want my puppy neutered eventually as it reduces the risk of him running off after a bitch and getting lost/on the road. He shot off yesterday to reach a girl friend - she has been in season but he hadn’t reacted to that last week, and this week she is no longer in season but when I caught up he was trying to hump her. He just caught her scent and and went flying across the whole park and paid no attention to recall at all; if she’d been on the other side of a road he’d have done the same thing.
I investigated the research out there and what I could find was that studies of certain breeds (much larger than mine) had showed that early neutering could negatively affect the growth plates. There is also an opinion that if your dog is showing fear aggression/nervousness that the lack of testosterone might make it worse.
Based on that and with discussions with my vet we were happy to neuter when mine (working cocker) was fully grown. I was going to leave it until 12 months of age but for other reasons we went at 10.5 months of age.
You will be hard pressed to find a consensus as some people arbitrarily state 18-24 months for any dog and others are never at all 😁. Personally I searched for all the studies I could find that were not just opinions and then discussed it with my vet.
BiteyShark, did you notice any changes in your dog afterwards?
MaryLennox we didn't see any issues from the actual neutering but also he wasn't showing any behaviours that are said to be helped by it. We did it as he goes to daycare etc and didn't want any issues with him mixing with other dogs.
For the advice about fear he was a confident dog so again I would say no but the problem is that he ended up having to be admitted for many days about 1-2 months after neutering for a severe illness and he became very fearful after that. However I am convinced his fear was due to the illness experience rather than neutering making anything worse as he was confident before and after neutering and it was only after the admission for illness did he show any change in behaviour.
I was advised to neuter my dog once he could cock his leg to pee, which he started doing at 9 months but I still left it until he was over a year old, to make sure he was mature enough.
Friends neutered their dog at 7 months on vet advice and the dog acted like a puppy for at least another 4 years.
Whereas my dog was very settled and calm.
If you can, try and leave it until the dog is older but I understand people doing it earlier if their dog is being a nuisance.
Our vet recommended eighteen months - he's a beagle so medium sized. Apparently it gives them a chance to mature and helps with joint development.
He's certainly calmed down a lot since being done but whether that's down to neutering or age, I couldn't say!
He's two next month and generally pretty great
It helps to know what testosterone does:
- it is responsible for limiting bone growth/length. Dogs neutered early with tend to have longer, finer bones. Dogs not neutered or neutered after they are fully mature will have shorter and thicker bones. Shorter and thicker bones may well be stronger so large breeds, especially benefit from being allowed their full bone maturity before neutering.
- it raises confidence levels but it lowers the threshold for aggression. Aggression is massively complex and multifactorial but, in thoery, this would mean a neutered dog gets anxious more easily than an intact one but that an intact one requires less provocation to use aggression than a neutered one. How this manifests itself in reality is too hard to say - because of the many, many, many variables to aggressive response. However, one way to interret this might be to say that you might wait longer to neuter a fearful or nervous dog, just in case.
- it stimulates some sexual behaviours such as roaming and marking. These are the behaviours most likely affected/reduced by neutering so you might choose to neauter a dog who displayed these excessivly earlier than on that one that doesn't.
- dogs neutered early have higher instances on bone cancers
- dogs left intact after about 5 years old have higher instances of prostate cancer
So, the answer for when's best is a tricky one but somewhere between 2-4 years would appear to cover most bases.
Our Goldie was 16 months
He certainly calmed down afterwards
I'm on my phone so can't link but there is a good summary of pros and cons on the skeptvet website.
The vet began suggesting I neuter my bitch when she was six months old. I declined: I wouldn't neuter a bitch until 18mo/2yrs or even later, because I want my dogs to be mentally mature. We had a dog neutered far too early once, and it did his temperament no favours at all.