When is the best time to neuter a male puppy and what are the pros and cons to neutering?

Original Question: I would like to know your opinion about neutering male puppies. My son has a 5 month old French Bulldog and is questioning things like: What age is best? If done too early, does it interfere with development and growth of ligaments, etc? What are the risks if not neutered and benefits if done? Thanks so very much" - Joanne

When is the best time to neuter a male puppy and what are the pros and cons to neutering? Mar 1, 2018

Hi Joanne,

Most vets would recommend neutering at 6 months.

There was a recent study that looked at the risk of cruciate ligament rupture and age of neutering and they found that the risk was decreased if the neutering occurred at 12 months rather than 6. I looked at this study closely and feel it wasn’t too reliable, but more so, it was really for large breed dogs and not smaller breeds like French Bulldogs.

Neutering is a personal decision.  There are some negative behaviors that can development in dogs that are not neutered but keep in mind that they can be trained out of them if necessary.  Neutering earlier than 12-14 months will mildly decrease their full growth potential.  Neutering will eliminate the risk of testicular cancer in the future and greatly reduce the risks of many prostate diseases later in life.

Here’s my recommendation. It’s fine to wait until 12 months. I would do it sooner if any undesirable behaviors start to develop like humping, aggression or urinating in the house.

I hope this helps!

Dr. Clayton Greenway

Disclaimer: healthcareforpets.com and its team of veterinarians and clinicians do not endorse any products, services, or recommended advice. All advice presented by our veterinarians, clinicians, tools, resources, etc is not meant to replace a regular physical exam and consultation with your primary veterinarian or other clinicians. We always encourage you to seek medical advice from your regular veterinarian.

Related Q&A

  • Do you recommend a stool test for my dog who is on a raw food diet?
  • Answered by: Dennis Chmiel, DVM, MBA
  • Nov 25, 2020
  • Do small or large breed dogs have more problems with their teeth?
  • Answered by: Jeanne Perrone, MS, CVT, VTS (Dentistry)
  • Sep 5, 2020
  • How do dogs contract leptospirosis and how can it be prevented?
  • Answered by: Dr. Alex Avery, BVSc
  • Jun 21, 2019
  • What is the best diet to feed a dog?
  • Answered by: Dr. Alex Avery, BVSc
  • Jun 21, 2019