Neutering a German Shepherd could help to reduce hormone-related behavioral disorders such as hostility and running off from the home. To reduce the possibility of cancer and joint diseases, neutering surgery is safe to conduct after the canine has reached the age of one year.

When to Neuter a German Shepherd Dog?

Male German Shepherds could get neutered as soon as they turn eight weeks of age, with the average age being approximately six months.

Most people choose to neuter their dogs at the age of six months since that is when they develop sexual maturity. They can mate at this age, and the hormonal changes start to take place.

According to a study conducted by experts at the University of California-Davis, about 8.62 percent of German Shepherd males neutered at one year of age experienced joint issues, compared to 20.83 percent of dogs that got neutered at less than six months of age. [1]

The researchers recommend neutering a male German Shepherd when he is about 16-18 months of age or a minimum of 12 months old.

Did you Know?

Male German shepherd dogs reach full sexual maturity by 12-15 months. [2]

German Shepherd Dog Neutering and Related Joint Issues

Neuter Age Hip Dysplasia (%) CCL Injury (%) Elbow Dysplasia (%) At least one (%)
< 6 months 8.7 12.5 4.35 20.83
6 – 11 months 5.45 8.33 5.26 16.36
1 year 3.45 1.64 3.33 8.64
2-8 years 2.22 1.03 1.01 4.49
Intact 4.72 0.66 1.75 6.59

The table shows how the findings of their research according to their age and kind of illness. [3]

Although the possibility of joint diseases is least if neutered between the ages of 2 and 8; but, the perks of neutering would be ineffective by that time. As a result, neutering at the age of one year old is by far the best option.

German Shepherd Dog Neutering and Related Cancers

Neuter Age LSA (%) MCT (%) HSA (%) OSA (%)
< 6 months 4.17 0 0 0
6- 11 months 0 0 0 0
1 year 1.64 0 0 0
2-8 years 1 0 0 1
2-8 years 1.55 0.44 0.66 0.22

This table shows the findings of their research by age and cancer type.

The Research Addressed The Following Categories Of Dog Cancer:

Lymphosarcoma (LSA) – Cancer of cells and lymphatic tissues that usually affects the lymphatic system, the digestive system, bone marrow, the kidney, and the liver.

Mast Cell Tumor (MCT) – Tumors that damage the skin.

Hemangiosarcoma (HSA) – Tumors that most often attack the liver and kidney.

Osteosarcoma (OSA) – Tumors that damage the bones.

According to the findings, neutering between the ages of 6 and 11 months is perhaps the most effective way to avoid dog cancer. Neutering at the age of one year is a secondary option.

Based on the findings, neutering your German Shepherd about the age of one year is the ideal way to reduce the possibility of cancer and joint diseases. [4]

Should I Neuter My German Shepherd Dog?

Neutering Advantages:

    1. Health Benefits of Neutering
    2. Perineal Hernias
    3. Behavioral Benefits of Neutering
    4. Prostate Disease
    5. Lifestyle Benefits
    6. Genetic Diseases

1: Health Benefits of Neutering

As per the Animal Cancer Foundation, approximately 6 million pet canines in the United States suffer from cancer every year. [5]

Also, according to a 2008 research featured in the Journal of Comparative Pathology, 27% of non-neutered canines acquire at least one testicles tumor. [6]

Testicles tumors account for 90% of dog tumors connected to the male reproductive organs, according to the National Canine Cancer Foundation’s study. [7]

In addition to avoiding testicles, cancers, and tumors, neutering your German Shepherd will protect him from prostatic issues as he matures. It also prevents your GSD from having chronic medical diseases.

Did you Know?

Neutering is often considered to lower the likelihood of diabetes and perineum fistulas. [8]

2: Perineal Hernias

While canines can have a variety of hernias, but perineal hernias are more common in dogs that are usually healthy. These hernias develop when tissues in a canine’s stomach shift and herniate via a compromised pelvic region. Hernias could be full of fluids, fat, or even a canine’s bladder.

While surgery can treat perineal hernias; but, prevention is a better option, which could be performed by neutering rather than allowing a hernia to grow. [9]

3: Behavioral Benefits of Neutering

Most German Shepherd families decide to neuter their dogs due to behavioral problems.

Adult dogs that have not got neutered will have a strong desire to mate on a frequent basis. In addition, all-male canines will do anything to go to a female dog in heat, whose smell they can detect from a long distance.

They may also run away from home if they detect the smell of a female German shepherd in heat. They’re more likely to get involved in accidents or conflicts if this happens.

Male canines that have not got neutered are often more prone to engage in negative behaviors such as urine markings, mounting, and humping. All of these things are connected to hormone changes, particularly when their reproductive organs mature.

4: Prostate disease

The prostate disease may affect canines the same way it does people. When a canine is not neutered, he might suffer from abscesses, tumors, or overall enlargement of the testicles. Prostate problems will never occur if a canine got neutered.

There would also be a significant reduction in the likelihood of an expanded prostate. If they do develop an expanded prostate, they are more likely to have problems during urination and bowel motions.

Did you Know?

Prostate disease impacts four out of every five dogs above 5 years of age. [10]

5: Lifestyle Benefits

When it comes to neutering your canine, there are some lifestyle factors to keep in mind.

Many locations will not allow a canine that is not neutered. If you have to travel with your pet on a plane or send your canine to dog care, for instance, many facilities will not permit your canine to enroll unless he is neutered.

Consider neutering your canine if such situations come your way.

6: Genetic diseases

Neutering could also help to keep unhealthy genetics from spreading. If a canine is born with less ideal genetics, and he mates and transmits those genetics, then it could end with more dogs with similar genes.

It covers problems such as hip dysplasia and cryptorchidism. So, although your canine is adorable and the ideal companion for you, neutering would protect his genetics from getting passed down to any pups if he does have a biological disorder that adversely affects his wellbeing. [11]

Neutering Disadvantages:

  1. Reproduction
  2. Aggression
  3. Bone Development
  4. More Prone To Suffer From Dementia
  5. Higher Risk of Hypothyroidism
  6. Increased Risk of Urinary Incontinence

1: Reproduction

The most apparent downside of neutering your canine is that after the treatment, he would not be able to become a father. Although having puppies from your furry friend is a fantastic dream, but it also comes with a lot of responsibilities.

It is advisable to leave dog breeding to the experts. Also, there are many canines in shelters that require permanent adoption.

As per the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), about 3.3 million canines visit US animal shelters each year 25% are purebred dogs, with most of them being German Shepherds. [12]

2: Aggression

According to popular perception, neutering German Shepherds prevents them from becoming hostile.

This widespread concept has been viewed positively and anecdotally accepted for centuries. Whereas, a study done by experts at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine reveals that this is not the case.

Neutered dogs were more prone to become hostile toward humans and other animals, according to research called “Non-reproductive Effects of Spaying and Neutering on Behavior in Dogs.” [13]

Dogs were also shown to be extremely scared and vulnerable to handling. Aggressiveness does not start simply because a canine got neutered. After all, it all originates from genetics, surroundings, and training.

3: Bone Development

According to a survey conducted by experts at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, neutered adult canines are more prone to develop a severe ACL injury, which is a tissue that links the femoral and the knee. [14]

Male canines that got neutered were quite susceptible to being violent toward humans and other dogs. While their size is impressive, it is considered that it is the root of their tendency for ACL damage as well as elbow and hip problems.

A healthy diet and lifestyle could give enough protection against such problems throughout their lives.

Did you Know?

German Shepherds are vulnerable to hip dysplasia because of their size

4: More Prone To Suffer From Dementia

When a German shepherd becomes mature, he gets more prone to develop a neurological condition identical to dementia. It’s called geriatric cognitive impairment, and those who have it have a hard time seeing familiar locations and individuals, such as their family and house. They may also lose all of their previous training memories, like potty training. [15]

But, keeping your GSD in good health reduces the likelihood of their developing geriatric cognitive impairment.

5: Higher Risk of Hypothyroidism

German shepherds who got neutered are far more prone to develop hypothyroidism. If their thyroid levels are low, they are likely to gain pounds and become inactive. [16]

That implies you’ll have to take some precautions towards your pet’s nutrition as well as how much training they are receiving in order to avoid them from gaining extra weight.

6: Increased Risk of Urinary Incontinence

In specific cases, neutering your dog might lead to a higher risk of urine incontinence; although, it is a rare case.

Urinary incontinence is most commonly caused by neutering your canine before his bladder has fully grown. As a result, the bladder does not become powerful enough. [17]


Neutering your GSD can provide a number of physical and behavioral advantages. But, it is crucial that you also have a thorough knowledge of the risk associated, and the age criteria must be followed before deciding to proceed with the surgery.

Since neutering is unchangeable, be sure you know everything in detail. Consult your vet in order to acquire in-depth knowledge that could help you make the right decision for your pet’s health.