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When to Spay or Neuter a Bernese Mountain Dog: Expert Tips!

Jessica Kim

By Jessica Kim

bernese mountain dog with collar sitting on long grass

It can be a bit unclear as to when it’s the right time for dogs to get spayed or neutered, as different dog breeds age at varying rates. In general, smaller dogs can get spayed or neutered earlier than larger breeds and have these procedures as soon as 6 months old. However, when it comes to the Bernese Mountain Dog, it may be better to wait until it’s about 12-18 months old.

The recommended age to spay and neuter Bernese Mountain Dogs does vary due to several different factors. So, owners must stay well-informed about this breed’s physical health and development to ensure that their dogs get spayed or neutered at the right time.

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The Importance of Spaying or Neutering a Bernese Mountain Dog

Spaying and neutering are recommended by many professionals due to their many benefits. First, they reduce pet overpopulation and the probability of many dogs becoming homeless. Spaying also has medical benefits for pets as it may be able to reduce the risk of malignant tumors and uterine infections (pyometra) in 50% of female dogs. Neutering can also reduce the possibility of testicular/prostatic cancer.

Spaying and neutering may also reduce aggressive and destructive behaviors often associated with hormone cycles. Dogs are less likely to urine-mark in the house, as well as less likely to roam and run away from home.

While spaying and neutering isn’t, by all means, a quick fix for physical and behavioral improvement, they can help to some extent. So, if you don’t have any specific reasons for keeping a dog reproductively intact, such as for breeding purposes, it’s highly recommended to complete these procedures for your dog.

bernese mountain dog running in the yard
Image by: Rita_Kochmarjova, Shutterstock

What Happens If You Spay or Neuter a Bernese Mountain Dog Too Early?

Concerns of increased risks of health issues revolve around spaying and neutering dogs too early. Early sterilization can disrupt the growth and development of young dogs and may hurt a dog’s orthopedic health. One study indicates that early sterilization may have links to dogs developing hip dysplasia and other joint disorders. However, more thorough research must be completed to draw more concrete conclusions.

More recent research also reveals that spaying and neutering may reduce the risk of cancers for only certain dog breeds. So, not all dogs share the same level of benefits from neutering and spaying.

Since Bernese Mountain Dogs are a breed prone to developing cancer and hip dysplasia later on in life, spaying and neutering are serious options to consider. Timing of these procedures is also important as some breeds may have a higher risk of developing hip dysplasia due to early spaying and neutering.

bernese mountain dog standing in the meadow
Image Credit: SubertT, Shutterstock

When To Spay or Neuter a Bernese Mountain Dog

Since Bernese Mountain Dogs tend to mature slower than many other dog breeds, it’s most likely that your Bernese Mountain Dog will be ready for spaying or neutering when it’s at least 12 months old. However, some Bernese Mountain Dogs can reach sexual maturity as early as 8 months old.

For large breed dogs, like the Bernese Mountain Dog, veterinarians may be willing to wait for female dogs to complete their first heat cycle before spaying them. Male Bernese Mountain Dogs can be neutered later than females, and you can wait until your dog reaches 18 months old. Some veterinarians may also recommend waiting until a male Bernese Mountain Dog reaches 2 years old.

The best way to determine the right time to spay or neuter your Bernese Mountain Dog is to establish a good relationship with your veterinarian with clear communication. Your veterinarian can help you determine when your Bernese Mountain Dog is ready for the procedure.

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The appropriate age to spay or neuter a Bernese Mountain Dog ranges from 8 months to 2 years. The range is large due to the varying pace at which Bernese Mountain Dogs can reach sexual maturity and a stage where the procedures won’t negatively affect their growth and development.

Spaying and neutering can yield positive or negative results based on the timing of these procedures. So, make sure to invest in finding a reputable veterinarian that will work with you to determine when the timing is right for your particular Bernese Mountain Dog.

Featured Image Credit: Enna8982, Shutterstock

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