When Do I Spay or Neuter My Australian Shepherd?

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Dr. Lorna Whittemore


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Now that your cute puppy is heading toward adolescence, you may find yourself thinking about when they should be spayed or neutered. The timing of spaying or neutering your Australian Shepherd will depend on several factors. The best person to discuss this with you is your veterinarian. There are several reasons why you should spay or neuter your Aussie and factors that affect timing. We’ll discuss spaying and neutering and more below.


When Should You Have Your Australian Shepherd Spayed or Neutered?

spaying stitches of a dog
Image Credit: supersaiyan3, Shutterstock

It is common in the U.S to have your male Aussie neutered at 6 months old and your female spayed 3 months after her first heat cycle. There are exceptions to these circumstances such as shelter pets that may have been sterilized younger. Some pet parents prefer to wait until their Aussies reach skeletal maturity before sterilization which could be between 12 to 15 months of age in general. Your veterinary surgery may have specific policies in place but should be willing to discuss your and your individual dog’s needs.

Why Is It Important to Spay or Neuter Your Australian Shepherd?

Whether to spay or neuter your Aussie is an important decision every pet owner must make as their pet approaches adulthood.

1. Health and Lifespan

neutering dog
Image Credit: Simon Kadula, Shutterstock

Studies have shown that dogs who are spayed or neutered have longer lifespans than those who have not been. The life expectancy of a male who has been fixed is 13.8% longer, and females who have been spayed live 26.5% longer, so if you want to keep your Aussie around for a long time, this is the best option for both of you.

Aussies who have been spayed or neutered are also said to be healthier and free or reduced risk of certain cancers such as ovarian, uterine, mammary and testicular cancers.

2. Curbs Unwanted Behavior

If you’ve ever been around a dog in heat, you already know what we’re talking about. From urine-marking to having puppies, a few behaviors can be curbed by having your Aussie spayed. Here are a few more behaviors that can be reduced with the procedure if they are hormonally driven.

  • Aggressive behavior (Certain types)
  • Excessive barking
  • Mounting
  • Roaming (Females who are in heat)
  • Howling/vocalizing/rolling
  • Other demanding behaviors

If you are looking to have your Aussie sterilized due to behavioral concerns it is best to consult with your veterinarian and a registered behaviorist first, as some problems can be worsened by sterilization.

3. To Save Money

While having your Aussie spayed or neutered to save money isn’t usually the main reason to have it done, it does stand to reason that not having the procedure will affect your budget in the long run. Caring for a pet with reproductive cancer or pyometra can cost thousands of dollars, while spaying or neutering is inexpensive.

On top of that, think of having six or seven new puppies to feed, and you’ll see the savings and an excellent reason to have your Aussie spayed or neutered when they are old enough.

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Wrap Up

While it’s each pet owner’s decision whether to have their Aussie spayed or neutered or not, statistics point toward it being the best idea. Not only is it better for the health of your Aussie, but it also cuts down on the stray population, which is steadily growing.

Featured Image Credit: Fluff Media, Shutterstock

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