Every dog owner has the question “When should I Get My Doodle Dog Neutered??” Some owners may even decide against it altogether. You may have a lot of questions about this topic. And we are here to answer most of them for you.
Why Should I Spay/Neuter?
If you are not sold on the idea of spaying or neutering your dog, maybe we can give you a few good reasons to do it.
- Prevents unwanted pregnancies
- In some studies, it has shown it may prolong your dog’s life
- Can prevent cancer in some breeds
- Can save you money (primarily if an accidental litter occurs)
- It is easier than tracking cycles, running after loose males, and putting your dog on lockdown during heat cycles
- There can be lots of other factors in why you should spay/neuter your pet. But the most important reason is that it is responsible. If you do not spay/neuter your dog, you are risking a litter. That means vet visits, and more money put toward feeding more mouths. These litters may not even be a desired breed and end up in shelters. Spaying/neutering prevents you from becoming a backyard breeder.
What Are Spay And Neuter?
- When someone says they are spaying or neutering, it means that they are preventing them from being able to reproduce. Spaying is the sterilization process for female dogs in which they remove the ovaries and uterus. Neutering is the male sterilization process that includes removing the testicles of the dog.
- The recovery time for both of these processes depends on the age of the dog. Young females can take 2-3 days to resume regular activity, and males take 1-2. Older dogs can take up to a week before they start to act like themselves. Though they may seem better, it can take up to 2 weeks for the scar to heal completely.
What Age Should I Spay My Doodle Dog?
- This question can come up with complicated answers. While technically a spay can be done on any puppy over the age of 8 weeks, vets do not recommend this. There are many factors to consider, so this is not a simple black and white answer. And may even come up with more questions than answers.
Where Are You Getting Your Female?
Depending on where you get your Doodle from, they may already be spayed. Most shelters across the US spay and neuter all dogs before adoption, regardless of age. So, if you got your dog from a rescue, you may want to call them to ask. If it wasn’t, some will offer a free spay when you are ready.
- Some breeders will even spay their puppies before they send them home with you. Some breeders feel like this is the best way to combat backyard breeders and overpopulating shelters. While not all breeders do this, it may be worth asking. If they have not spayed your puppy, they may require in your contract that they get spayed at a certain age. These breeders will require a spay after six months, and documentation to prove it.
Vet Doodle Dog Spaying Age
- Most vets now agree that early spay ages can be detrimental to a dog’s health. While no real studies are on the subject, most vets recommend spaying at six months or after their first heat cycle. But there can be some benefit in waiting even longer to spay, especially for large breeds. We will cover that later, though.
When Do Doodle Dogs Go Into Heat?
- The growth stages of a Doodle dog varies on the breed. Smaller Doodles mature at a faster rate than larger breeds. So while a smaller breed might have their first heat cycle around six months old. A larger breed could have it after a year. Keeping an eye on your female and recognizing the signs that she may be in heat will predict the right time to spay is.
What Is The Doodle Dog Castration Age?
- Much like with females, this can be a problematic answer that varies on several factors. Like females, you will need to consider where you are getting your male, and if they are neutered. And you will have to check that your contract with your breeder does not specify neutering. If not, most vets will recommend again anytime after six months or after puberty. But, since males do not have heat cycles, we have to rely on other signs that your dogs are ready.
Male Doodle Dog Puberty Signs
- While most smaller Doodles hit puberty around the six-month mark, it can take longer for larger breeds. Large breeds tend to hit puberty around 18-24 months. If you watch your male, you may notice a few things that have hinted at puberty.
- You may have a teenage Doodle if:
- You have noticed that their testicles have dropped (usually a sign of increased testosterone)
- They have started lifting their leg to pee more
- May start to mount
- May mark their territory inside the house
- May begin to run away
- Can have increased aggression.
- Once your dog has started showing these signs, it is safe to say that they have started maturing. Most owners seek to neuter their dog at this time to prevent some of the negative behaviors that go along with it. But, more and more owners are starting to wait longer to spay and neuter their large breeds.
Why Should I Wait?
For both male and female Doodles, you may want to wait longer to get them fixed for many reasons.
- Some research has shown that while a dog is in their puberty phase, they release a growth hormone. This growth hormone can reduce the chances of larger dogs having joint dysplasia, which is very common in Doodles. For larger dogs, it may be worth it to spay and neuter after two years old to ensure they have stopped growing.
- Waiting for your dog to mature will significantly reduce the chances of having joint pains. It can also help speed up the growth process and maturity levels.
Why Should I Do It Earlier?
- For some Doodle owners, waiting could mean more trouble. Some breeds are more prone to reproductive cancer and mammary cancer than others. For these dogs, the longer they go without a spay or neuter, the higher their chances are to develop them. For females, each passing heat will increase their chances of cancer. And for males, neutering after 18 months can increase their risks of testicular cancer. But, this is only for dogs that are already prone to developing these cancers. Not all dogs fall into this category.
When In Doubt…
- Ask a vet or reputable breeder. If you are still conflicted about what age is appropriate, ask the professionals. Your breeder might have an excellent answer for you depending on breed, size, and health risks. Vets also can have a great weigh in on this matter. Between the two, you should be able to come up with an answer or even a date.
Will Spaying/Neutering Change My Dog?
- A lot of people are misinformed when it comes to this. The number one reason males are neutered before females are because of misbehavior. An owner may think that if they neuter their male, they will stop mounting, marking, hyperactivity, or being aggressive. But, in reality, these behaviors are such a small part of sexual maturity. Most of these also come from mental maturing processes.
- Your dog might still have mounting issues due to territorial habits, assertion, or excitement. Marking can be from anxiety or territorial issues with other dogs. And hyperactivity and aggression are more personality traits that need redirecting. Neutering is not a quick fix for bad behavior.
- Your dog will still be the same as you know and love. It might just take a little recovery to get there.
Reasons Not To Spay/Neuter
- While spaying/neutering is entirely your choice. The only real reason not to fix your dog is for breeding purposes, which we do not advocate for. If you wish to become a breeder yourself, we recommend you do so responsibly.
That means having:
- A proper facility that is clean and out of harsh weather
- Licensing to do it within your county/state
- Health screen on all dogs you wish to breed and trusted vet
- Real knowledge about the breed
- And a hefty saving to take care of all medical costs
- These are the very least that you have to have in most states to become a breeder. If you can not get all of these, then breeding probably isn’t for you. Keep in mind that there is a lot more to breeding and not taken lightly. You will need to do extensive homework on the subject before becoming a breeder.
Since Doodle dog growth stages vary from breed to breed, it is hard when spaying/neutering is right. Always take into consideration health risks, age, and rate of growth before fixing your Doodle. You, as the owner, will know when it is time. And if you ever have questions, talk to a trusted veterinarian.
Below is a Pinterest friendly photo…. so you can pin it to your Doodle Board!!