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    Neutering your dog: When do dogs reach puberty? To neuter or not to neuter? More >

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The neutering conversation.

Neutering your dog.

When do dogs reach puberty?

Puppies normally reach puberty any time from six months old and they’ll have just the same problems with ‘raging hormones’ that any teenage human might have. If you find your dog’s behaviour challenging as he gets older you can find help at your vet or a specialist training centre. Despite some advice you may hear, this behaviour will not automatically be resolved by neutering. Try not to worry – it soon passes!

At puberty a bitch will start to be ‘in season’ for around three weeks, every six months (and are fertile during this time). If you decide not to neuter her this will continue throughout her life. When she’s in season she should not be taken outside (other than in the garden) or allowed to mix with male dogs.

As male dogs reach puberty they start cocking their legs and you may observe an increased interest in other dogs as well as increased independence, ‘mounting’ behaviour and ‘macho’ behaviour with dogs and people.

To neuter or not to neuter?

Unless you are going to breed from your dog, you should consider neutering. This has some health and behavioural benefits, but there are downsides too so you should discuss these in detail with your vet. Whatever you decide, you can rest assured that both male and female dogs still make affectionate and home-loving pets after being neutered.

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