Are you wondering what the pros and cons of neutering your german shepherd are? In this article, not only are you going to find out all the pros and cons, but you’ll also learn everything there is to know about neutering your german shepherd as well!
So keep reading to find out!
Neutering A German Shepherd – Pros And Cons
There are many pros and cons to neutering your german shepherd. Of course, the best thing you can do to figure out whether it’s right for your pup is to consult your breeder and vet. However, here are some of the most important factors that you’ll need to weigh up.
Advantages Of Neutering A German Shepherd
There are tons of beneficial reasons you should neuter your german shepherd. But remember, there are also going to be some downsides as well. So before deciding whether it’s right for you or not make sure you look at the disadvantages as well.
It Decreases Some Sex Related Behavior
One of the biggest benefits of neutering your german shepherd is that it’s going to decrease some sex-related behavior. For example, it’s been found that when german shepherds have had the snip, they’re less likely to mark their scent or stray away from you and roam.
This also includes humping as well, which can be a very annoying sexual behavior!
They’re Less Likely To Recieve Aggression From Other Males
Once your german shepherd has been neutered, they’re not going to give off the same pheromones as they did before. This means, they’re not going to be seen as a threat by other dogs, so it’s less likely they’ll end up being attacked.
It Removes The Chance Of Testicular Cancer
This is an obvious one, but without testicles, you’re going to remove the chance of your german shepherd getting testicular cancer.
While testicular cancer is relatively uncommon and easy to treat. If you don’t notice it quickly enough it can often spread. So it’s nice to know you can remove the chances of it happening altogether!
Reduces The Chance Of Prostate Disorders
It also greatly reduces the chance of prostate disease in german shepherds as well. Prostate disease is common, especially in older german shepherds, however, you can greatly lower the chance by getting them neutered.
As well as reducing the risk of prostate disease, it’s going to help reduce the risk of perianal tumors and perineal hernias as well!
There’s also going to be a massively decreased risk of an enlarged prostate which affects 4 out of 5 males over the age of 5. If they suffer from an enlarged prostate it often means they’ll end up having trouble passing urine and have difficulty with their bowel movements as well.
A Decreased Risk Of Perianal Fistula
If you haven’t heard of perianal fistula, don’t worry, neither had I until very recently. Perianal fistula is when painful boils appear around your dog’s anus.
They can be hard to treat, and extremely uncomfortable for your pup. However, the chances of suffering from them decrease once your pup has been neutered.
Unfortunately, they do tend to be more common amongst german shepherds over other dogs as well.
They Won’t Chase Females
If your male is still intact, when they smell another dog in heat, they’ll try to do everything they can to get to them. This can often result in them ending up in dangerous situations as well as escaping your house.
It’s not uncommon for german shepherds to injure themselves running into traffic or falling from great heights because of this.
It Can Be Cost-Effective
Due to the increased chances of aggression from other dogs, an increased risk of certain diseases, and increased danger of putting themselves in dangerous situations, neutering your dog can often work out cheaper in the long run.
(Check out these 14 great mind games for german shepherds!)
What Are The Disadvantages Of Neutering Your German Shepherd?
Although there are many great benefits to neutering your german shepherd, there are also some disadvantages you should be aware of. Here’s the other side of neutering that you need to be aware of.
They’re At A Higher Risk Of Hemangiosarcoma
Hemangiosarcoma is a particularly aggressive type of cancer that can affect all dogs. However, it’s been found that dogs (male and female) are at an increased risk of suffering from it if they get neutered or spayed too early.
It’s believed that the sex hormones that come from staying intact help prevent hemangiosarcoma.
They Are More Likely To Suffer From ‘Dementia’
As a german shepherd gets older, they’re often more likely to suffer from a disease of the brain similar to dementia. It’s known as geriatric cognitive impairment, and when they suffer from it, they often see places and people such as your family and home unfamiliar. They can also forget all the training they’ve had such as potty training as well.
However, when you keep your german shepherd intact, you’re going to help reduce the chance of them suffering from geriatric cognitive impairment.
(Find out the important reasons you may not want to shave your german shepherd.)
It Doesn’t Always Change Their Behavior
While there are lots of reported cases of certain behavior improving after a german shepherd has been neutered, it doesn’t mean it’s going to happen every time.
You may get your pup neutered only to find that they’re still acting in the exact same way afterward.
This is especially common if they have learned behaviors. For example, if your german shepherd always marks their territory, even after being neutered, they may still continue doing this.
A Slightly Increased Risk Of Urinary Incontinence
In some circumstances neutering your german shepherd can increase the chance of urinary incontinence, however, fortunately, the chances of this happening are relatively low.
Urinary incontinence normally occurs when neutering takes place before your german shepherd’s bladder has developed properly. This ends up causing the bladder to not grow strong enough.
Their Coat Can Often Be Affected
When your german shepherd gets neutered it can often have an effect on their coat and how it looks.
While the coat can change, it doesn’t mean that they’ll be unhealthy. They’ll still be just as healthy as before.
An Increased Risk Of Hypothyroidism
When german shepherds are neutered, they’re more likely to suffer from hypothyroidism. If they suffer from low levels of thyroids, then typically, they’ll begin to become overweight and lethargic.
This means, that you’re going to have to pay extra attention to your dog’s diet and how much exercise they’re getting to make sure they don’t gain too much weight.
Risk Of Complications
With any surgery, there’s always a risk of complications and even death. Although, fortunately, the risk of death is extremely low. The chances of your german shepherd dying from being neutered or other complications are between 0.1% and 2% which is low for operations.
They’ll Never Be Able To Have Puppies
And of course, your german shepherd will never be able to have puppies. If you’re not planning on ever breeding them then this doesn’t matter. However, if your pup is from a good line, then they may be in higher demand for breeding.
How Will Neutering Affect Your German Shepherds Behavior
Contrary to popular belief, neutering isn’t going to calm down your german shepherd. It will only help reduce common sex-based behaviors. Primarily, you’ll notice your german shepherd is a lot less likely to mount things or mark their territory.
The only other part of them that may be affected is their weight. However, if you’re paying attention to what you’re feeding them and how much exercise they get, then they’ll normally stay at a good weight.
Will Neutering A German Shepherd Stunt Their Growth?
Contrary to popular belief, neutering your german shepherd isn’t going to stunt their growth. In fact, it might even do the opposite.
Studies have found that when you neuter your german shepherd to early it can affect their growth plates (the areas of tissue near the end of the bones). When neutered too early, these plates can grow larger than normal, causing your pup to become bigger than average.
You may think this sounds good, but it can often result in joint issues later on in life. And this is even more common in large breeds like german shepherds.
Will Neutering A German Shepherd Reduce Aggression?
A lot of people neuter their german shepherd because they think it can reduce their aggression. And up until very recently, many researchers believed this to be true. However, now they think this may not be the case.
It’s been found that german shepherds that have been neutered can often be more aggressive to strangers that try to approach their house. And it wasn’t just people either. Other animals and dogs also caused neutered dogs to become more aggressive on average.
And if they weren’t acting aggressively, sometimes their fear-based behavior was seen to increase. Once again, this was more likely to happen around strangers, but it also happens when they’re put into new situations or they’re around objects they’ve never seen before.
They also appeared to show other types of undesirable behavior as well, such as eating poop and rolling in it. And lastly, they were often more excitable. (Find out what to do if your dog is eating poop.)
So it does appear that in some cases, aggression, fear, excitement and unwanted behavior would increase after being neutered. This is one of the reasons it’s so important to consult your vet before neutering to see if it’s right for your pup.
(Do you ever wonder if your german shepherd likes to cuddle?)
When Should You Neuter A German Shepherd?
The time people say to neuter your german shepherd can vary massively from 2-6 months to 1 year. However, it’s important to remember that all dogs are different, so when you should neuter your dog depends on them.
The best way to know for sure is to consult your vet and breeder and see what they say. With that being said, I personally wouldn’t neuter my dog until they were at least 1 year old.
Should You Neuter A German Shepherd With Retained Testicles?
Retained testicles are testicles that never dropdown. They often end up staying in your german shepherd’s abdomen. These testicles don’t tend to produce sperm, however, they do still release hormones into your german shepherd.
One of the biggest problems with retained testicles is there’s no way of knowing if something has gone wrong with them. For example, if they develop cancer, it can be extremely hard to spot. For this reason, it’s often better to get them removed.
(Does your german shepherd have floppy ears? Find out if it’s normal!)
As you can see, there are many pros and cons to neutering your german shepherd, and there’s a lot of factors that need to be considered. If you’re not sure whether to neuter your german shepherd or not, your best bet is to always consult a vet first!
With that being said, here are some of the main things you’re going to need to remember.
- The benefits of neutering your german shepherd include a decrease in sex-related behavior, less likely to receive aggression, there’s no chance of testicular cancer, the chance of prostate disorders are reduced, there’s a decreased risk of perianal fistula, they won’t chase females, and it can often be cost-effective.
- The disadvantages of neutering include the fact they’re at an increased risk of hemangiosarcoma, they’re more likely to suffer from geriatric cognitive impairment, it doesn’t always change their behavior, there’s a slight increase in the chance of urinary incontinence, their coat can be affected, there’s an increased risk of hypothyroidism, there’s a risk of complications, and of course, they’ll never be able to have puppies.
- Neutering won’t change any of your german shepherd’s behavior, apart from sex-based behavior such as mounting and marking their territory.
- Neutering your german shepherd won’t stunt their growth, and may actually cause them to grow bigger. However, this extra growth can have a negative impact on their joints.
- Instead of decreasing aggression in your german shepherd, neutering has often been seen to increase aggression as well as excitability, fear and unwanted behaviors.
- The best time to neuter your german shepherd depends on the individual. That’s why it’s always best to ask your vet.
- Lastly, if your german shepherd has retained testicles, it’s normally better to get them removed.
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