We have a 12 week old cockapoo - at what age should she be spayed?

Asked by Member 518639 on Oct 19th 2007 in Spaying & Neutering
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Six months is what most vets will recommend.

Puppies in shelters are fixed at much younger ages, usually because of the laws that require dogs to be sterlizied prior to being adopted.

My personal opinion is that anything younger than six months is not ideal, but check with your vet to see if he/she agrees.

Jack answered on 10/19/07. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 2 Report this answer


Many vets these days perform pediatric spay or neuter surgeries. That means, the surgery is done at an extremely young age, sometimes as soon as 8 or 10 weeks old. These vets say that there are health benefits, the pet heals faster, and so on.

However, many vets recommend not to have females spayed or males neutered until they are fully grown. In small breeds, as young as 6 months, in large breeds it's often recommended to wait longer, until about a year of age.

The reasoning behind this is that spaying and neutering too early can interfere with the dog's normal growth and hormone development, which can cause health issues. In some breeds, being fixed at a very early ages tends to the dogs growing overly large and leggy because of the change in hormones.

I would wait until your pup is at least 6 months old and have her spayed prior to her first heat, or shortly thereafter.

Abby answered on 10/19/07. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


As has been said, around six months is often considered ideal, though many shelters have the operation performed much sooner out of necessity.

I have never heard that early neuters result in large/leggy dogs, nor could I find reference to that on the internet, though of course that does not mean it couldn't be true.

Spaying before the dog's first heat can greatly reduce chances of some diseases, such as breast cancer.

Online at a page of, I found a study reported in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, which stated:
"With the exception of infectious diseases, prepubertal gonadectomy may be safely performed in dogs without concern for increased incidence of physical or behavioral problems during at least a 4-year period after gonadectomy,"
which says that spaying before the a dog's first heat may increase risk of infectious diseases, but nothing else.

Thank you for spaying your dog!

Annie answered on 10/20/07. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer