I have had my German Shepherd since he was a puppy of six months old. Never had issues or problems at all. He is about one year old, and he is becoming very aggressive, especially against other male dogs. The other day while walking him in the park, he ran after a stranger's female Shepherd. This behavior is something new to me; the female GSD owner mentioned that I should have him neutered to calm him down. Below is research I did to find out if neutering will help me solve this new problem.
Will Neutering My German Shepherd Calm Him Down?
Neutering German Shepherds should help calm them down unless they have behavioral issues. Depending on your dog, it takes one to several months before you see changes. The best age to neuter a German Shepherd is when they are 16-18 months old. Since neutering your German shepherd before a year can cause ruptures or cranial cruciate ligament tears.
What Is Neutering?
Neutering, also known as spaying (in female dogs), is the removal of the German shepherd’s reproductive organ.
Some people call it castration. It can be the removal of the entire reproductive organ or just a part of it. It’s commonly done to help modify a German shepherd’s behavior and control his birth. It should be done after 6 months in male German shepherd dogs.
In females, however, it should be done after 9 months. During this time, both male and female dogs won’t have reached the puberty stage, where their sex hormones begin to grow.
Risks Associated With Neutering GSD Before a Year
If you don’t want to breed your German shepherd, you might want to neuter him before a year. While it can be a good idea, it has numerous risks.
Neutering lowers testosterone in German shepherd dogs. Considering that testosterone is responsible for your dog’s sexual drive and aggressiveness, once removed, your dog is likely to have a low sexual drive. Plus, be less aggressive (though not always!).
Even so, remember that testosterone also regulates the growth of your dog. Their removal, therefore, may cause orthopedic, growth plate, and joint issues.
Let’s get deeper into it.
Have you heard that dogs that have been neutered are much larger and taller? That’s correct. Let’s explain why.
Testosterone regulates the growth of German shepherds. How? When it’s time for the growth plates to close, testosterone sends signals to them.
Their removal, therefore, means there’s no communication going on. Hence, the normal growth of your German shepherd gets tempered.
Consequently, growth plates continuously expand. The results? A taller dog with long limbs! Unfortunately, their chests are usually narrow, and their bones lighter. Hence, you end up with a tall but weak German shepherd dog.
Besides, their skull is smaller than usual. The overall health of your German shepherd dog, therefore, gets compromised when neutered before one year. Avoid it!
Neutering a GSD before one year exerts stress on his joints. Consequently, the predisposition to ligament tears.
He is also likely to suffer from arthritis. In the long last, your dog might not walk due to joint problems. Not a wise idea to neuter him at this age.
Neutering causes orthopedic problems. Sadly, orthopedic issues are permanent. With this problem, your dog suffers from disc illnesses, cruciate ligament tears, and luxating patellas.
Although Orthopedic For Animals states approximately 19 percent of German shepherds suffer from this problem, neutering increases the possibility of your dog suffering from this illness.
Is it Necessary to Neuter Your German Shepherd at 6 Months?
Several veterinary and dog owners argue that it’s okay to neuter a German shepherd at 6 months.
The reasons given include:
- It’s a sure bet against pregnancy
- Lowers chances of prostate cancer
While Dr. Sherle Thompson, who works at Sequoyah animal hospital, and is also the head of the Veterinarian Department, agrees that the above is true, he highly discourages this.
German shepherds, in most cases, only become sexually mature at 8 to 10 months. So, you can lock him up or ensure he doesn’t mate after 6 months.
Crating or leashing him could work during this time.
Like is the case with testicular tumors, German shepherds hardly suffer from prostate issues until they are old. So, neutering early make little or no change whatsoever in regard to prostate problems.
He, therefore, recommends that it’s way safer to wait until the pup is 12 months old before neutering.
Why You Should Neuter Your German Shepherd At a Year
A German shepherd is likely to have mammary tumors after each heat cycle. Fortunately, spaying a GSD before the 1st heat cycle lowers the risk of mammary tumors by more than 90 percent. Fortunately, it’s possible to treat mammary tumors as long as you detect them as soon as possible.
Besides, the side effects of hip dysplasia are far much worse than those of mammary tumors.
There are 80 percent hip dysplasia cases as opposed to mammary tumor cases, which affect only one German shepherd out of 10.
Hence, it makes sense to wait until your German shepherd is 12 to 14 months old before you can neuter him.
Is 2 Years Old Too Late to Neuter a German Shepherd Dog?
Neutering your dog at 2 years is not late. However, it would not be necessary to wait for that long not unless you want him to mate with your female German shepherd dog.
As long as he is healthy to neuter and is already one year, consider neutering him.
After all, you don’t rip lots of benefits when you neuter him at 2 years.
How Does Neutering Affect a German Shepherd? The Pros!
When you finally decide when to neuter a German shepherd dog, get ready to deal with several side effects that come with the process.
Usually, the pros are similar to those associated with spaying at an early age.
Lowers Chances of Prostate Ailments
German shepherds, especially older dogs, tend to suffer from prostate ailments.
Consequently, they will have bowel movement ailments and encounter challenges when passing urine. It can be a pain for your male dog! If, therefore, your German Shepherd dog is 5 years and above, neutering may lower the chances of getting prostate.
Aside from that, it decreases the chances of other ailments, such as perineal hernias and perianal tumors.
Lowers Behaviors Attributed to Sex
A GSD that is on heat can be difficult to manage. Keeping them home might need extra effort as they can do anything to break free to mate with a nearby dog.
Neutering eliminates these problems, and your dog becomes calm.
The urge to mate ceases.
That also eliminates temperaments issues that German shepherd dogs manifest when they are in heat. Besides, as a female GSD owner, you stop worrying about unexpected pregnancies.
Lowers Chances of Cancer
Cancers associated with breeding and pregnancies, such as testicular cancer, are better avoided through neutering or spaying.
Thankfully, testicular cancer, if detected early, is easy to treat and doesn’t spread. However, it can be a threat when not detected in time.
What are The Disadvantages of Neutering a German Shepherd Dog?
While there are many pros associated with neutering or spaying your German shepherd dog, don’t ignore the cons. Apart from the most common cons, such as excessive weight gain and inability to breed, there are more severe consequences of neutering a GSD.
Heightened Chances Of Hemangiosarcoma
Basically, all dogs are at risk of getting hemangiosarcoma cancer.
Even so, a dog’s sex hormones lower or eliminate chances of getting hemangiosarcoma cancer.
When you, therefore, neuter a German shepherd at an early stage, you increase the chances of hemangiosarcoma.
Increased Exposure to Geriatric Cognitive Impairment
German shepherds, as well as other breeds, often suffer from Geriatric Cognitive Impairment once they age. Training, such as potty training, begins to fade away from their memories.
They begin to see people they were greatly hooked to as strangers. This could significantly affect their behavior toward family members and visitors.
German shepherd dogs that haven’t been neutered are likely not to suffer from Geriatric Cognitive Impairment.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best age to neuter a male German shepherd?
Frankly, as long as your German shepherd dog is a year old, there’s no right time to neuter him. Whether you want to neuter him at 1 or 2 years, it’s all your choice. It makes no difference.
One thing, though, check the health of your GSD with your vet before neutering him. Have his blood checked, as well as his weight.
If the vet approves he is fit to be neutered, go for it.
Do dogs bark less after being neutered?
If your dog has often been barking before neutering, it’s likely he won’t bark less after being neutered. Unless if his barking was inspired by seeing a female German shepherd dog.
Is it cruel to neuter a German shepherd dog?
No, it’s not cruel to neuter a German shepherd dog. It’s only cruel to neuter him at 6 months!
How long is recovery after a German Shepherd dog is neutered?
German shepherd dog requires approximately 10 to 14 days to recover after being neutered. After 14 days, the skin incisions should be healed completely. If your dog has no complications related to the procedure, the staples and stitches should also be removed during this time.
Can I leave my German Shepherd dog home alone after neutering?
After neutering, your dog needs some time to recover. He is better off sleeping than walking everywhere with you. As such, you can leave your German shepherd dog home alone.
Only ensure that he is comfortable and in a clean place. Also, be sure that he won’t leak the stitched areas, making it hard for him to heal fast.