When Should You Neuter a German Shepherd? The Best Time To Neuter

German shepherds are one of the most popular breeds in America, with an estimated 1.53 million living in homes across the country as of 2016. However, many people don’t realize that it is important to spay or neuter your pet at an appropriate age to avoid unwanted litter and keep them healthy. In this blog post, I am going to answer when you should neuter a german shepherd so you can make sure your pup stays happy and healthy! As always, please consult with your veterinarian for advice about your own dog’s specific needs.

So how old is too young?

And what’s the best time frame?

What are the benefits of neutering a german shepherd puppy?

Find out all this information with this blog post!

When Should You Neuter a German Shepherd?

Neutering is a surgical procedure for animals that involves removing the gonads and testicles from a male dog. This helps prevent unwanted pregnancies, decreases aggression in males, and prevents some cancers of the prostate gland. It can also decrease roaming behavior which increases safety. Neutered dogs are also less likely to bite people or other animals which means they are more suitable as pets if you have children or live in an area with lots of wildlife.

It’s important to neuter your German Shepherd before they reach sexual maturity. Male German Shepherds are sexually mature at 6 months, while females can be fertile as early as 4 months old.

The average age of a female is 1 year and 3 months, with males reaching this point around 2 years and 9 months old. If you wait too long to neuter your dog, it will be more expensive because the vet may have to do surgery on them instead of just an outpatient procedure which costs less than $150.

The American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals recommends neutering your german shepherd at about six months old but there may be advantages to waiting until he’s older than one year old such as preventing bone cancer later on in life. Talk with your veterinarian about when would be best for your specific dog!

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Now that we’ve talked about when you should neuter a German Shepherd, let’s talk about why…


Preventing unwanted pregnancies keeps pet owners from having puppies at an irresponsible age which is easier on both the dog as well as their owner who doesn’t want another mouth to feed or if they need space for other pets. Neutering your pup when they are young can also help prevent them from wandering in search of a mate, which is dangerous for the dog and puts it at risk of being hit by cars or attacked by strangers.

Neutering Procedure

The neutering procedure consists of removing one testicle with an incision in front of their scrotum, as well as some hair follicles around the wound to decrease infection risks and any resulting odor. This surgery takes about 20 minutes on average but puppies have fewer complications than older dogs when undergoing this operation so it’s usually not a problem.


Your vet will give you specific instructions after your puppy has been neutered such as no running or playing until healed since that may lead to infection and when they can come back to the vet for booster shots. They may also recommend some medications like antibiotics or pain medication when your pup goes in for surgery. Make sure you follow these instructions carefully so that nothing goes wrong!

Health Risks Associated with Neutering Before One Year

Neutering your German Shepherd is the removal of their reproductive organs. The benefits include a less active dog, a decreased risk for some cancers, and an overall healthier animal.

However, there are many problems that can arise when neutering before 1 year old. 

One issue is an increased risk of urinary tract infections as well as prostate cancer in dogs neutered before six months old.

Another issue is obesity; after being neutered, the weight gain often accelerates because they are no longer burning up calories to reproduce and hunt for food like they would have if not neutered.

The third Issue is Neutering your pet before they reach one year of age can cause a closure of the growth plate in their bones. This is often not an issue for smaller breeds, but German Shepherds are at risk due to their larger bone size. 

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This can result in a variety of health problems, such as Arthritis, Hip Dysplasia, and more. 

These consequences should be considered carefully before making this decision with your veterinarian.

When Is It Too Late To Neuter?

The question of when to neuter a german shepherd is a common one and there are many different answers. For most dogs, the best time to neuter them would be before they reach sexual maturity (around six months old).

However, we always recommend neutering german shepherds when they are at least 12 months old.

Researchers suggest that anytime between 12-18 Months’ Timeframe will be considered as a good time for Neutering.

However, this is not always possible in all cases. Some vets will perform the procedure on dogs as old as two years old if they have been deemed healthy enough for surgery by their veterinarian.

What Is Spaying?

Spaying is a surgical procedure that prevents female pets from reproducing by removing their reproductive organs (ovaries and uterus). Female animals have two ovaries that produce eggs in an ovary sac called a follicle. These eggs are released when a female animal is in heat.

For dogs, this means they are unable to get pregnant and deliver puppies.

Pros and Cons of Spaying German Shepherds

If you’re a German Shepherd owner, it’s likely that you’ve heard at some point in your life what the pros and cons of spaying are.

The great thing is that if you’re reading this blog post, then maybe it can help answer any questions or concerns you might have about spaying a GSD.  

Spaying prevents dogs from going into heat which can lead to serious health problems like pyometra and mammary tumors.

It also helps reduce the risk for breast cancer by up to ninety percent. Additionally, there are no behavioral differences between neutered males and females- they both behave the same way!

The only disadvantage to spaying is that it can lead to weight gain when they are no longer hunting for food or burning energy.

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Also, when there isn’t pregnancy and delivery of puppies, the hormone estrogen will decrease as well which may make your German Shepherd more aggressive than normal.

Lastly, when you neuter a dog before six months(for small breeds) or One year (for Large Breeds like German Shepherd) old, there is an increased risk for urinary tract infections as well as prostate cancer in dogs.

Will Neutering A German Shepherd Calm Him Down?

Neutering a German Shepherd may not actually calm him down.

There are many mixed opinions on whether neutering makes a dog calmer or more aggressive, but the truth is that it’s impossible to say definitively what will happen in any given case.

Neutering your male pup might have an adverse effect on his personality, or he could become even more mellow and relaxed than before.

It’s important to understand that neutering is just one of many factors that can contribute to how a dog behaves and interacts with their environment.

It’s also important to remember when you’re looking for when should you neuter a german shepherd that there are more health benefits of Neutering your German Shepherd than just the reduction in behavior.

Neutered males will be less likely to fight with other male dogs and they can’t pass along any diseases through mating.  

They’ll also have reduced chances of developing prostate cancers, pyometra, mammary tumors, perineal hernias, or testicular cancer as well.

Lastly, spaying female animals before their first heat cycle prevent unwanted pregnancies which lowers the risk for breast cancer by up to ninety percent! 

The best way for you to know if neutering your German shepherd will make him calmer is by consulting your veterinarian

Final Thoughts

Neutering your german shepherd when they are young can help prevent many unwanted litters and make them more pleasant to live with.

It has been found that German shepherds neutered before the age of 1 have a significantly higher risk of cranial cruciate ligament tears or ruptures, and it’s recommended to neuter sometime between 18-24 months.

If you have any questions about when should you neuter a German Shepherd, feel free to leave it in the comments below! I’ll be sure to get back ASAP.

Photo of author

Immad Amir

Immad has a black Labrador who is his first child. With no prior experience of how to take care of his pooch, Immad started researching about what dogs love to eat. This blog is a journal of all the research Immad has done regarding a pet's diet.
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