Neutering is an essential aspect of responsible Goldendoodle ownership for many reasons. When it comes to Goldendoodles, this routine procedure provides both health and behavioral benefits for your furry companion. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll discuss the ideal age for neutering your Goldendoodle, along with the cost, recovery process, and the impact of neutering on their overall health. Keep in mind that the decision to neuter your pet depends on various factors, so read on to gain a better understanding of this important choice.
When to Neuter a Goldendoodle?
|Recommended Neutering Age
|< 45 pounds
|Around 6 months
|> 45 pounds
|Around 9-15 months
The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) recommends neutering small breeds (below 45 pounds as an adult) around 6 months of age, and large breeds (above 45 pounds as an adult) when their growth stops, which is usually around 9-15 months.
Neutering dogs before they complete their growth can potentially lead to certain health risks, like hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and cranial cruciate ligament damage. The cancers can range from lymphoma and mast cell tumor to hemangiosarcoma and osteosarcoma.
There is a study called “Assisting Decision-Making on Age of Neutering for 35 Breeds of Dogs: Associated Joint Disorders, Cancers, and Urinary Incontinence” that notes that neutering a Goldendoodle before 1 year of age weighing more than 20 kg (44 lbs) is generally associated with an increased risk of joint disorders. For smaller dogs (those weighing less than 20 kg), no increased risks were found for joint disorders.
When to Neuter a Mini Goldendoodle?
Mini Goldendoodles should be neutered around 6 months of age.
When to Neuter a Medium Goldendoodle?
Medium Goldendoodles should be neutered around 9-15 months of age.
When to Neuter a Standard Goldendoodle?
Standard Goldendoodles should be neutered around 9-15 months of age.
Why Should You Neuter a Goldendoodle?
You should neuter a Goldendoodle because neutering provides several benefits, both health-related and behavioral:
- Health Benefits: Neutering a Goldendoodle can greatly reduce the risk of certain diseases and various forms of cancers, such as breast, uterine, and testicular and prostate cancer in males1.
- Behavioral Benefits: Neutering a Goldendoodle can also greatly reduce the prevalence of some unwanted behaviors. Male dogs that aren’t neutered tend to roam and even escape from their homes to mate, which can lead to dangerous situations. Additionally, unneutered male dogs often mark territory with urine, which can be unpleasant, especially if it happens indoors.
- Overpopulation: Neutering prevents unwanted pregnancies and thus helps to control the overpopulation of dogs in shelters and on the streets.
Positive Benefits of Neutering a Goldendoodle
There are several positive benefits of neutering a Goldendoodle.
- Reduces the Risk of Marking and Spraying: Neutering your Goldendoodle can significantly reduce their tendency to mark or spray urine to establish territory. This behavioral change can make cohabitation more pleasant and help maintain a cleaner living environment.
- Improves Behavior: Neutering has been shown to diminish aggressive behaviors, lower the chance of dominance issues, and minimize the likelihood of your Goldendoodle engaging in fights with other dogs. Such improvements in behavior lead to a more manageable and relaxed pet, paving the way for a stronger bond with you.
- Reduces the Number of Unwanted Dogs: By neutering your Goldendoodle, you play a crucial role in controlling the dog population. When fewer unwanted puppies are born, it helps reduce the number of dogs in shelters and contributes to overall animal welfare.
- Decreases Chances for Prostate Disease: Neutering reduces the chance of your Goldendoodle developing prostate disease. Prostate disease in dogs is often influenced by hormones, particularly testosterone and neutering eliminates the production of testosterone:
- Removes the Chance of Testicular Cancer: As the neutering process involves the complete removal of testicles, it eliminates any risk of testicular cancer in your Goldendoodle. This benefit holds significant importance as testicular cancer can be life-threatening if not addressed in time.
Negative Consequences of Neutering a Goldendoodle
Though neutering is generally safe and beneficial, it is still a surgical procedure and carries some potential risks.
- Hypothyroidism and Weight Gain: Neutering can cause changes in a dog’s endocrine system, leading to lower thyroid levels which can increase the risk of hypothyroidism and obesity. However, these conditions can often be managed with veterinary care and an appropriate diet1.
- Dementia and Bone Problems: Neutering is associated with an increased risk of geriatric cognitive impairment, or canine dementia. This can cause changes in behavior and memory. Additionally, if a dog is neutered too early or if the procedure is not done properly, it may increase the risk of hip dysplasia, ligament problems, and certain types of cancer like osteosarcoma.
- Risks of Anesthesia: Like any surgery, neutering requires the use of anesthesia, which carries its own risks. Some dogs may react poorly to anesthesia, and there may be health complications after the surgery, although these are usually not serious.
Does Neutering a Goldendoodle Affects its Personality?
Yes, neutering a dog can affect its personality and behavior, but the effects can be quite complex and vary between individual dogs. It’s a common belief that neutering reduces aggression and makes dogs better, more affectionate companions, but research suggests that the reality might be more nuanced.
Two large-scale studies found that neutered dogs actually showed an increase in certain behaviors, such as a 31% increase in fearfulness and 33% increase in touch sensitivity. These studies also found an increase in aggression in male dogs that have been neutered, contradicting the common belief that neutering reduces aggression. The increase in aggression was similar for both males and females, regardless of the age at which male dogs were neutered. However, for female dogs, early spaying (before one year of age) resulted in a larger increase in aggression compared to later spaying.
How Much Does It Cost to Neuter a Goldendoodle?
The cost to neuter a Goldendoodle can range from $200 to $300, although this price can vary depending on the location and specific veterinary clinic1. It’s important to note that other costs may be associated with the procedure, such as pre-operative bloodwork or post-operative care, which may increase the overall cost.
Goldendoodle Neuter Recovery
The recovery process after neutering a Goldendoodle typically takes about 14 days or 2 weeks, although some dogs might require a slightly longer recovery period. Following the surgery, it’s advised to reduce the dog’s level of physical activity, such as going for jogs or walks. However, it’s still necessary to take the dog out for bathroom breaks. You should also avoid giving your dog a bath and avoid leaving them alone right after the surgery. A follow-up veterinary exam may be necessary for the removal of the stitches and to check if your dog has healed properly
When is a Goldendoodle Done with Puberty?
Goldendoodles typically reach puberty between six and twelve months of age. This stage is marked by physical and behavioral changes such as increased size, muscle development, and the onset of marking behavior in males.
Understanding the link between puberty and the appropriate time for neutering is crucial. Ideally, neutering should be done after your Goldendoodle has reached puberty but before the development of undesirable behaviors like aggression or marking. As always, consult with your veterinarian to determine the best course of action for your specific pet.