When Should a Golden Retriever Be Neutered? Age, pros, and cons


Timing can play a huge role in the consequences of neutering your dog, which is why you should know exactly when you should do it and why you should do it at this age.

So, when should a golden retriever be neutered? You should neuter your male golden retriever one year after their sexual maturity and neuter your female golden retrievers 8-10 months after their first heat cycle.  

We all want the best for our dogs and neutering your dog is a very important subject, so keep reading to learn more about and to know what is the right thing to do? 

The difference between Neutering and Spaying

Scientifically speaking, neutering is the correct term and spaying is not entirely accurate. However, neutering is now used commonly for males and spaying is used for females.

Here are the main differences between neutering and spaying:

NeuteringSpaying
Neutering is removing the testicles of your male dog. Spaying is removing the uterus and ovaries of your female dog. 
Prevents testicular cancer It offers lifelong health benefits for your female dog.
Neutering your dog will prevent them from escaping to find a mate.It will help your dog to be less aggressive and to focus on their family instead of urinating and yawning to attract males.

When should you neuter your male golden retriever? 

Golden retrievers playing on the ground to illustrate when should a golden retriever be neutered

The perfect age to neuter your male golden retriever is around one year after they reach sexual maturity.

When you neuter your golden at such a young age, you increase their chances of enjoying its benefits while decreasing their chances of suffering from any side effects.

By neutering your golden, you are eliminating their need to find a mate, which is the root cause for many behaviors such as aggression, domination, and escaping. You can learn more about golden retrievers’ aggression here and about how to stop your golden retriever from running away here.

It also provides major health benefits for your male dog and it significantly reduces their risk of testicular cancer. Learn more about this in the sources section below.

Some vets recommend waiting for two years before you neuter your dog, but the only problem with that recommendation is that neutering your dog after two years will not make any difference in your dog’s behavior before it’s done and it may take them longer to re-adjust.

However, if they are not displaying the aggressive behaviors connected to mating, then you can wait for two years without much worry.

You can always consult their vet if they should do it at that age or not considering that they know your dog’s medical history.

When should you neuter your female golden retriever? 

The perfect age to neuter your female dog is around 8-10 months after their first heat cycle because their sexual hormones have a very important role in helping them grow in the proper way.

Some of the female golden retrievers can go into their heat early, even before they’re six months of age, so in that time make sure to look after your dog to notice any sudden changes in their behaviors that indicate they are looking for a mate.

By now you must have noticed that male and female golden retrievers don’t reach maturity at the same age, and you can learn about all the differences between male vs female golden retrievers here. There are 19 of them, and you should know most if not all of them to understand what your dog is going through at every stage.

The Pros and Cons of Neutering Your Golden Retriever 

Neutering your golden retriever is a self-conflict we all go through and I’ve always found that the best way to make a difficult decision is by making a pros and cons list, so let me help you by telling you the pros and cons of neutering or spaying your golden retriever. 

The Pros of Neutering Your Golden Retriever 

Here are the pros of neutering your golden retriever

First, neutering your male golden retriever 

  • Reduces the level of your male golden retriever’s aggression.
  • Neutered dogs are more gentle and affectionate 
  • They will try to escape to find a mate 
  • Their prostate health will be better 
  • They will not chase a female in heat 
  • You will avoid the whole “mark my territory” part
  • They will be calmer 
  •  They are less likely to hump objects, other pets, and people’s legs.
  • Neutering them will reduce the chance of having anal fistula ( a condition that develops carbuncles around their anus
  • It will control your dog’s breeding 

Pros of neutering your female golden retriever

  • Reduction of their heat period 
  • Your female golden and house will be cleaner 
  • They will be calmer 
  • Reduces the risk of your female golden retriever getting breast cancer.

The Cons of Neutering Your Golden Retriever

Here are the cons of neutering your golden retriever;

First, the cons of neutering your male golden retriever 

  • Neutering your dog will triple the risk of obesity 
  • Neutered dogs could develop bone cancer 
  • Weight gain 
  • If the neuter surgery has gone wrong, your dog will be at high risk of hip dysplasia 
  • 1 in every 5 dogs may suffer from anesthesia after the surgery 
  • They will be at high risk of developing dementia (canine version )
  • The chance of having hypothyroidism will be high 
  • If the surgery was done at the wrong age it will cause more health issues

Cons of spaying your female dog

  • They may lose hair 
  • The spaying could lead to vaginal infection or urinating tract infections 
  • If the spaying was done at the wrong age, it may cause more health problems 
  • One of the side effects of spaying your golden retriever is low thyroid level which will result in weight gain and obesity 
  • Spaying your golden retriever increases the risk of deadly canine cancers such as hemangiosarcoma (which is usually protected by their female canine’s reproductive organs)
  • If the spaying surgery was done wrong, it could risk your dog’s health with more problems such as bone cancer, urinary incontinence, and uneven bone growth.

How long does it take a male dog to recover from neutering? 

Just like humans, your male dog will mostly take fourteen days to heal and they will not be able to do any activity for about a month.

How do dogs do after they get neutered?

If your dog was aggressive before the surgery, they will not be after the surgery, they will also urinate less “the mark my territory thing” but there won’t be any fundamental personality changes beyond that.

Do dogs cry after being neutered? 

Your dog may cry or whine after surgery and it will resolve after the surgery in a few hours and it may happen again in their first walks after the surgery. They may stumble, and they will need long hours of rest, also anesthesia may last in your dog’s system for up to 72 hours.

Can a dog be left alone after neutering?

Yes, your dog can be left alone after the neutering surgery but for short periods and it’s not necessary to stay up all night next to your dog because most dogs like some quiet time by themselves after the surgery so they can sleep better.

However, if you are sure that your dog will lick their stitches then it will be better to keep an eye on them and make sure that you will not lick the stitches or even come near them.

Where should my dog sleep after being neutered? 

It’s better if they sleep on comfy bedding in a quiet place, and make sure that the room temperature will be ideal. It’s recommended that the light in the room they are staying in is dim light.

If you have other dogs, pets, or children make sure to keep them away from your dog and nobody wakes them up because they need to rest. 

How long after neutering before you can take your dog out for a walk?

Do not take them for a walk until their next checkup, keep them rested for 28-48 hours after the surgery and you can do a gentle exercise in the backyard.

Conclusion: Should You Neuter Your Golden Retriever? 

Yes, you should neuter your golden retriever. Neutering your golden retriever has more health benefits than risks, and it can help your golden retriever live a longer, happier life with fewer health problems.

However, you should definitely choose the right time to neuter your golden retriever as doing it when they’re too old or too young for it can result in serious health problems.

You should consult with your vet and make sure that it’s 100% safe for your dog to be neutered and do it only if you are absolutely sure of the process.

Neutering your golden retriever is one of the proven ways to help your golden live a longer, happier life, but there are many more ways as well. You can learn how to make your golden retriever live longer here. I have discussed over 20 ways in this post, so make sure to check it out and follow the tips discussed there.

Related Questions 

Will Neutering my male golden retriever calm him down? 

No, neutering your male dog will not calm him down, but if their hyperactive behavior is down to hormones then neutering your male golden retriever should help to calm them down, however, even if neutering them calmed them down a little bit they will also need your help to calm them down.

You can learn 3 ways that will actually calm down your hyper golden retriever here along with a few expert tips that I truly believe can help.

Will my dog be mad at me for neutering him?

No, your dog won’t be mad at you for neutering them and it will not affect their emotional factor, most neutered dogs do not notice that “something” is missing even right away after the surgery, they’ll feel lighter because they don’t have a heavy scrotal sac they’re dragging anymore.

Do male dogs change after being neutered?

Yes, the male dogs will change after being neutered, their behavioral problems will be reduced or will disappear, male dogs will often change more than female dogs do after neutering, 74% of male dogs will change after the surgery compared to only 59% of female dogs.

Sources

Neutering health effects more severe for golden retrievers than Labradors

Do Spayed and Neutered Dogs Get Cancer More Often?

Spay/neuter and the association with cancer in dogs: part three

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