When I took my dog to the vet for the first time, the vet said he would grow between 80 and 100 pounds, then recommended he be neutered to prevent him from mating if he ever escaped. I do not believe in neutering, but it wasn't my choice, it was down to my whole family to decide, and I lost in a 4 to 1 vote. He was neutered. The vet said that this would not affect him in any way, reduce his odds of cancer, and keep him calm (quick update: he has not had cancer, he constantly licks where his testicles once were, and he is not calm at all, barking, jumping, growling at strangers etc.) anyway, he only grew to 60 pounds, 20 pounds under what the vet had said he would minimum. He is three years old now, so he is an adult dog. When he was neutered, he was about 9 months old. I feel sorry for him, as now his bloodline is doomed to die with him, and I was lied to. We never went to that vet again. Recently, our new vet said that because he was neutered so early, he may not have had enough hormones in him to grow to a proper size. He told us that Gerbian Shepskies are naturally large dogs who should not weigh under 70 pounds in males. He added while Gizmo is 100% healthy and will likely live a long and happy life as long as we keep taking good care of him. But while I trust this vet more than I did our last one, I'm not 100% sure if the statement "Not enough hormones" is accurate.

TR; DR: did being neutered young (9 mo) cause my dog to not grow enough?

1 Answer 1


No. It is extremely unlikely that getting your dog neutered at 9 months affected your dog's growth or reduced it's quality of life. Here's why:

Age to neuter: 6 to 9 months is the most common age to get your dog neutered, but it can depend on the dog breed. I would say for your breed of dog, 9 months is a safe age.

Growth and growth estimates: There is no indication that neutering has ever stunted a dog's growth. In fact, there seems to be a commonly cited study that showed an indication of dogs growing more after being neutered, occasionally leading to joint disorders. The hormones don't tell the dog to grow, they tell the dog to stop growing. Because your dog didn't grow as large as you thought, I don't think this is a concern for you, in relation to neutering.

Estimates on dog growth are always a best guess, based on breed and sex. There are any number of factors that relate to a dog's growth. According the Gerberian Shepsky site, that breed's average weight is 44-88lbs. This seems like your dog is actually a good size for it's breed.

Loss of testicles: Your dog doesn't know the difference. A dog cannot rationalize that it cannot reproduce. Just like a pet that loses a limb or an eye, they just get on with their life. It may look like he licks where his testicles used to be, but that's just a common dog action. Most, if not all, dogs will lick at their groin.

Behavior: Neutering has been shown to reduce sexual aggression, unwanted urination, and other types of behavior - not necessarily to reduce the behavior you're describing here. There are so many other factors that go into the dog's behavior. This includes breed, care, training, and environment. If your dog is acting aggressively (jumping, growling) or being hyperactive, I would look into training.

While it does come down to personal choice, spaying and neutering pets is extremely important. Unless you are a professional breeder, breeding specific types of dogs for specific purposes, it is very beneficial and responsible to get your pets fixed.

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