Spaying A German Shepherd – Pros And Cons (And More)

If you want to know the pros and cons of spaying a german shepherd then you’ve found the right article. After reading this you’ll be able to form a balanced opinion on whether you should or shouldn’t spay your german shepherd, when you should spay them, and how to make the process as easy as possible for them!

So keep reading to find out more!

Spaying A German Shepherd – Pros And Cons

There’s a lot of debate about whether you should or shouldn’t’ spay your german shepherd. And there are also advantages and disadvantages on both sides as well.

Only you can weigh up the decision and decide whether the risk of spaying is higher than the risk of not spaying. However, these pros and cons list should help you decide.

What Are The Advantages Of Spaying A German Shepherd?

There are many advantages that make spaying your german shepherd an excellent idea. And here they are.

Reduced Risk Of Mammary Cancer

German shepherds that are spayed before their first heat cycle are significantly less likely to suffer from mammary cancer, unlike their unspayed counterparts. In fact, it’s been found when a female’s spayed before their first cycle there’s only a 0.1% chance of mammary cancer.

And then the longer you leave your german shepherd to be spayed, the higher their chances of mammary cancer after each cycle.

After everything, german shepherds that haven’t been spayed are 7 times more likely to develop mammary cancer compared to those who have.

(Find out the important reasons you may not want to shave your german shepherd.)

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Decreased Chance Of Pyometra

If you haven’t heard of pyometra before, don’t worry, I hadn’t until a couple of years ago. Pyometra is an infection of the uterus which can often become fatal. (Unfortunately, one of my old dogs died due to complications caused by pyometra.)

German shepherds that haven’t been spayed have a 1 in 4 chance of suffering from pyometra after their last cycle.

If your dog does suffer from pyometra then you’re going to need to treat them as fast as possible as it quickly becomes life-threatening. With that being said, if you do catch it early enough, it’s likely that your german shepherd will survive.

They’ll No Longer Go Into Heat

Going away from life-threatening problems, one of the biggest benefits of spaying your german shepherd is that they’ll no longer go into heat.

This means that you won’t have to worry about a bloody discharge anymore, and you’ll be able to take them for a walk whenever. You’re not going to have to worry about the attention they’ll get from male dogs.

It Can Often Be Cost-Effective

You should also weigh up the amount of money spaying your german shepherd would cost compared to the complications that can occur from not spaying them.

While prices of spaying vary, it’s normally going to be cheaper than looking after a dog that’s become pregnant. And it’s probably going to be cheaper than looking after a german shepherd that’s got an illness related to staying intact as well.

Better Behavior

Your german shepherd will also exhibit some signs of better behavior (however it’s important to note that some behavior worsens with spaying).

The positive behavior you can expect to see from your german shepherd includes being less likely to try to escape when they’re in heat, urinating less (especially in the house), and in some cases howling.

Eliminating The Risk Of Pregnancy

The only way you can eliminate the risk of pregnancy for your pup is to spay them. If you don’t spay them then there are going to be a few weeks every year where you’ll have to keep them away from every male dog.

If you don’t, then they can get out and become pregnant. You may think this won’t happen to you, but sometimes you’ll be surprised how ingenious your pup can be to get out of the house.

False Pregnancy

Lastly, your german shepherd may show signs of a false pregnancy, which typically occurs a short while after they’ve been in heat. False pregnancy can be a scare for you and quite unpleasant for your pup (they normally feel ill and in some cases depressed).

However, luckily, false pregnancies tend to go away on their own (although you should still take them to the vets if they’re exhibiting signs.)

(Want to know 14 great mind games for your german shepherd?)

What Are The Disadvantages Of Spaying Your Female

It may seem like spaying is a great idea for your dog, however, this isn’t the case. Just like there are many advantages of spaying, there are also some disadvantages you should know about as well.

They May Suffer From Urinary Incontinence

While there isn’t a clear link between spaying and urinary incontinence, there is some evidence that suggests your german shepherd is going to have an increased chance of urinary incontinence after being spayed.

However, with the right medication, this can normally be stopped in its entirety.

An Increased Risk Of Hemangiosarcoma

Hemangiosarcoma is a type of cancer that affects many dogs. And if you spay your german shepherd you’re going to increase their risk of suffering from it.

Unfortunately, some dogs aren’t prone to hemangiosarcoma, but german shepherds can. So before spaying your pup you really need to weigh up the risks. It’s an extremely aggressive cancer, which is often fatal.

An Increased Risk Of Osteosarcoma

There’s also a link between spaying and an increased risk of osteosarcoma (bone cancer). It’s believed that the longer your german shepherd is exposed to sex hormones, the less likely it is they’ll suffer from osteosarcoma.

Osteosarcoma also becomes more prevalent in bigger breeds of dogs as well. So the size of your german shepherd combined with spaying may not be a good idea.

And if your german shepherd does have osteosarcoma, the prognosis isn’t good. It’s often fatal in dogs

An Increased Risk Of Hypothyroidism

Your german shepherd may also be more likely to suffer from hyperthyroidism after being spayed. However, the evidence for this isn’t substantial enough to call it a fact, although there may be a link.

If your german shepherd suffers from hypothyroidism, then they normally suffer from hair loss, lethargy, and obesity.

Possible Link Between Spaying And Being Overweight

Lastly, there’s a possible link that spaying your german shepherd could cause them to become overweight. However, many experts disagree on this.

And obviously, if your german shepherd does become overweight then they’re more likely to suffer from health problems.

(Have you ever noticed your german shepherd has webbed feet? Find out everything there is to know!)

Pros And Cons Recap

As you can see, there are many pros and cons associated with spaying your german shepherd. Here’s a quick recap.

  • Reduces the chances of mammary cancer.
  • Reduces the risk of pyometra.
  • You won’t have to worry about your dog going into heat.
  • It may end up saving you money.
  • They can sometimes be better behaved.
  • They won’t go through a false pregnancy.
  • And of course, they won’t get pregnant.
  • Increased risk of hemangiosarcoma.
  • Increased risk of osteosarcoma.
  • Potentially causes hypothyroidism.
  • Possibly causes urinary incontinence.

Is Spaying Your German Shepherd Risky?

Fortunately, the death rates associated with spaying your dog is quite low. It’s thought that the death rate due to spaying and complications is between 0.1-2%.

With that being said though, you should make sure your vet checks your german shepherd over before spaying them. Obviously, the risk of spaying going wrong is going to be higher if there’s something wrong with your german shepherd.

What’s The Recovery Time After Spaying?

The time it takes for your german shepherd’s incision to heal is about 14 days. However, while they should be healed within 14 days, it’s normally recommended that you don’t let your german shepherd do any exercise for about a month.

(Does your german shepherd smell? Is it normal? Read the article to find out!)

German Shepherd Spaying And Aggression – Are They Related?

It stands to reason that if your german shepherd gets spayed, then they’re not going to be as aggressive. After all, they’re no longer going to be competing for a mate, and their hormones are going to become a lot more balanced.

However, this isn’t the case at all. It’s been found with both males and females that when they’re spayed or neutered they often become more aggressive. However, when a female is spayed after one year, they’re less likely to be aggressive.

And it’s not just more aggression, females that are spayed are often found to be more excitable, fearful and harder to train as well.

So if you’re thinking about spaying your female because she’s too aggressive, you may want to give this idea a miss.

How To Make Your German Shepherd Feel Comfortable After Being Spayed

If you decide to spay your dog, then there’s going to be a certain amount of discomfort afterward for them. You can ease this by doing what you can to make their lives a bit easier.

Here are some of the main things you can do.

Setup A Quiet Place For Them

One of the best things you can do is set up a quiet place for them to rest. Make sure it’s comfortable and away from everyone. When dogs are injured they often like to be by themselves. By giving them their own space, they’re going to be able to rest stress-free until they’re better.

Give Them An Elizabethan Collar

Unfortunately, in a lot of cases, when your dog has had surgery they’re going to try and constantly lick their wounds. Because of this, it’s often best to give them an Elizabethan collar or a “cone of shame”

While they may not be as comfortable wearing one, it’s still going to be more comfortable than an infected wound.

Don’t Let Them Do Anything Too Vigorous

You should also make sure they’re not doing anything too vigorous and avoid strenuous exercise too. Generally, they should be fully healed after two weeks, however, you should always ask your vet how long you should let them rest for.

Check The Incision Daily

Although it can be a little bit uncomfortable in the short term you do need to make sure that you check the incision to make sure it hasn’t become infected.

This will only take a few seconds, but it can help you avoid a lot of discomfort for your pup later on.

(If your german shepherd has a sensitive stomach, you’ll be pleased to know it’s a lot more common than you think! Check out this helpful guide.)

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What Does It Cost To Spay Your German Shepherd

The cost of spaying a german shepherd, really depends on the vet you go to. However, on average it shouldn’t cost much more than about $300. With that being said, with the progress in surgical procedures, some places can now offer spaying at a much cheaper price.

Just remember, that when you plan on spaying your german shepherd you should choose quality over how cheap the procedure is. If you’re not sure about a veterinary clinic, choose another one.

When Should You Spay A German Shepherd

There’s no right time to decide when to spay your german shepherd, as it’s circumstantial, however, around the 1-year mark is often a good place to start looking to do it.

It can be tough to decide when to spay your german shepherd. If you do it too early you’re going to increase the chances of aggression and some illnesses, however, you may decrease the chances of some other diseases.

The best thing you can do is consult your vet or breeder, on when they think you should spay your pup and make a decision based on that.

Interested In Training Your German Shepherd The Right Way?

If you haven’t trained your German Shepherd properly, then this is the perfect time to start. Whatever bad behavior your shepherd has, whether it’s barking at night or other bad behaviors, using the right training program is the key to having an obedient and happy pup.

The training program I love and highly recommend is Brain Training For Dogs.

With Brain Training For Dogs you’ll save yourself a ton of time and effort. Instead of banging your head against the wall trying to figure out why your dog won’t listen, you’ll follow a path that has been tried, tested, and most importantly, that’s given proven results. Not to mention the fact, you’ll be able to fit the course around your schedule, not fit your schedule around a trainer or obedience class.

So instead of worrying about whether they’re going to be well-behaved or not, you’ll only have to worry about how much fun you’ll have with them!

And in most cases it’s still going to be:

  • Cheaper than hiring a professional.
  • Cheaper than replacing everything they might break.
  • And definitely cheaper than a lawsuit against you, if they decide to bite someone.

Just imagine how great it will feel to finally be able to trust your German Shepherd completely and never worry whether they’ll be naughty or not. Instead, you’ll have the peace of mind that you have a well-behaved pup, and the boundaries you set for them, will always be there, EVEN IF YOU’RE NOT. 

And the best part is it also has a 60-day money-back guarantee! So there’s no reason not to give Brain Training For Dogs a try!

So if you’re tired of your dog’s bad behavior, or how they react around other people and pooches, then give it a try! You’ll be amazed by the results!

(You can also check out a full review here, to learn exactly what the course has to offer!)


Now you know the pros and cons of spaying a german shepherd. And most importantly, that there’s a lot of things to take into consideration before doing so. Here are some of the main things you need to remember.

  • If you spay your german shepherd, the advantages are they’ll have a decreased risk of suffering from mammary cancer and pyometra, they’ll no longer go into heat, it can be cost-effective, they can be better behaved (in some circumstances), and you eliminate the risk of pregnancy and false pregnancy.
  • The disadvantages of spaying your german shepherd are that they may suffer from urinary incontinence, they’re at an increased risk of hemangiosarcoma and hypothyroidism, and there’s a possible link to being spayed and being overweight.
  • Spaying isn’t considered risky, however, 0.1-2% of all german shepherd spayed die from the operation or complications afterward.
  • The recovery time is 14 days, however, vets often tell you to give your dog more time to rest than this.
  • Although some bad behavior decreases after being spayed, aggression levels often become worse.
  • If you do spay your german shepherd, you can make them comfortable afterward by setting up a quiet place for them, giving them an Elizabethan collar, not letting them do anything too vigorous, and checking the incision daily.
  • On average spaying costs around $300 however, some can be cheaper depending on your location.
  • The best way to know when to spay your german shepherd is to ask your breeder or vet. However, personally, I wouldn’t do it before the 1-year mark.

If you liked this article then make sure you check out the rest of the website. Otherwise have a great day!


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