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          Should I spay or neuter my German Shepherd

Early Spaying and Neutering of your German Shepherd can lead to hip dysplasia, cancer and other serious health problems. 

Many folks still adhere to the old wives tales that neutering will make your dog more calm, or that it will take away the urge to “roam.” Neither of these things are true, of course. 

A calm dog has more to do with the enviornment, breeding, or whether the dog is out of working lines and just needs a job. Roaming is simply a failure of the owner to properly train their dog. 

Then there is the case most often made by animal activists that you should neuter your male to control the pet population (remember Bob Barker from The Price is Right?). Well, here again, that becomes the responsibility of the owner. Simply control your dog and you control the pet population. 

Another reason often touted is that neutering will prevent testiular cancer. I have been breeding German Shepherds for twenty years and out of the dozens and dozens of fully intact males that I have sold and raised…….not one has ever had testicular cancer. Simply not a major contributor. 

Finally, there is my favorite reason for neutering a male; “It will make him less aggressive!” No, neutering your male will not improve his temperament.  Temperament is based on two things; first, breeding and second, socialization; You need to start with a dog that is well bred on proven lines and then you need to spend the time socializing your dog. End result? You have a dog that is happy, well adjusted, and has a great temperament. 

What about my female? Well, now this is a bit of a different story, isn’t it. While not neutering your male is uneventful, there are challenges to not spaying a female. Of course, what we are talking about is that dreaded heat cycle, which lasts generally about three weeks and can be a bit messy, especially if your canine is allowed on the furniture. During that time, she will bleed and spot drops of blood on the floor or carpet. There are disposable pads that can help through this time, however, so, what does this mean. 

While a female’s heat cycle will usually occur every six months, a maiden female does not usually come into her first season until 8 months of age or so, and recognizing that keeping an intact female is just not practical because of the proximity of an un-neutered male, or family lifestyle, you need to assure that your female does not become “accidentally” impregnated. In this case we recommend that you wait as long as possible to spay, most usually seven months. 

If you live in a situation where waiting until the female is over one year of age (which means she will have gone through her first heat cycle) before spaying her as this study recommends We recommend that you wait as long as possible to spay your female. 

We have studied this issue extensively and have long advised that early neutering and spaying poses serious health risks to your German Shepherd. The following is more information from the Veterinarian School of Medicine that I think you will find interesting. It is indepth, but if you just read through it a bit, I think you will get the message that early spaying and neutering can have serious consequences and cause of a host of problems in German Shepherds.

© Kevin Schmersal 2017