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When Do I Spay or Neuter My Bernese Mountain Dog? Vet-Reviewed Facts

Written by: Rachael Gerkensmeyer

Last Updated on July 8, 2024 by Dogster Team

veterinarians standing behind a bernese mountain dog on a table

When Do I Spay or Neuter My Bernese Mountain Dog? Vet-Reviewed Facts

VET APPROVED

Dr. Lorna Whittemore  Photo

REVIEWED & FACT-CHECKED BY

Dr. Lorna Whittemore

BVMS, MRCVS (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

Learn more »

Determining when to spay or neuter your dog can be a challenge, and the timing isn’t the same for all breeds. Small breeds can be spayed or neutered earlier than large ones because they reach sexual maturity faster. Therefore, a Bernese Mountain Dog should probably not be spayed or neutered at the same time as a Havanese would be.

Small dogs can safely be spayed or neutered at about 6 months of age, yet you should wait until your Bernese Mountain Dog is between 12 and 18 months old before spaying or neutering them, or as advised by your veterinary surgeon. There are various reasons for this, so keep reading to learn more about this important topic!

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Why Spaying or Neutering Should Be Considered for Your Bernese Mountain Dog

There are many good reasons to spay/neuter your Bernese Mountain Dog. First, doing so can reduce the overpopulation of pets in most communities throughout the United States. Spaying or neutering ensures that your dog does not procreate.

Second, spaying or neutering your Bernese Mountain Dog has a few health benefits. According to the ASPCA, female dogs that are neutered have less of a risk of developing problems such as breast tumors and uterine infections.1 For males, neutering has been shown to decrease the risk of developing prostate issues and testicular cancer.

Spaying and neutering can also curb problematic behavioral issues as time goes on. For instance, the procedures can keep a Bernese Mountain Dog from becoming aggressive toward other dogs due to territorial and reproductive reasons.

Intact males are notorious for escaping the confines of their homes or yards to try to find a female in heat to mate with. If they are neutered, they will not feel driven to do this. A neutered dog is also less likely to mount other dogs, people, and furniture and to mark their territory to warn away other males.

Finally, spaying or neutering your Bernese Mountain Dog is a great way to save money on care costs since the procedure is less expensive than caring for a litter of puppies, emergency vet visits, or reproductive tumors.

bernese mountain dog puppy being operated on by veterinarian
Image By: P.Fabian, Shutterstock

The Ideal Time for Spaying or Neutering Your Bernese Mountain Dog

It is recommended by the American Kennel Club that large-breed dogs be spayed or neutered between the ages of 12 and 18 months since it is when they reach sexual maturity. With this in mind, there is no hard-set rule about when the procedure should occur.

Some veterinarians recommend waiting until 2 years of age before neutering a male Bernese Mountain Dog (more on this below). The best time to spay or neuter a Bernese Mountain Dog will depend on the dog’s age, health status, whether they have reached sexual maturity, and whether they are prone to any specific health problems that spaying or neutering could exacerbate.

Why You Shouldn’t Spay or Neuter Your Bernese Mountain Dog Too Soon

While there is no evidence that spaying a female Bernese Mountain Dog before 12 to 18 months of age would have any negative consequences, one study indicates that neutering a male Bernese Mountain Dog before the age of 2 years can result in an increased risk of developing joint abnormalities. Another suggests that neutering too early can result in problems like hip dysplasia. Keep in mind that the science is limited regarding the timing of spaying and neutering.

So, getting the procedure done before 2 years or even 12 to 18 months does not necessarily mean that problems will develop later. If you are worried about your dog getting a female pregnant or getting pregnant herself before a year of age, talk to your veterinarian to weigh the risks and decide whether it’s appropriate to go ahead and schedule a procedure.

veterinarians examining bernese mountain dog on a table
Image By: LightField Studios, Shutterstock

Why It Is Never Too Late to Spay or Neuter Your Bernese Mountain Dog

The older your Bernese Mountain Dog is when they get spayed or neutered, the longer it will take for them to recover, and the harder the surgery is likely to be for your veterinarian. However, it is never too late to have your dog spayed or neutered if it means preventing a litter of unwanted puppies from coming to fruition and reducing the risk of reproductive tumors.

There may be some exceptions for older pups, like if your dog has a severe health problem that could be affected by the surgery. But for the most part, dogs of any age, once they are sexually mature, can undergo the surgery without risking any severe side effects or repercussions. Every dog’s situation is different, so it’s crucial to make spaying and neutering decisions under the guidance of your veterinarian.

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Conclusion

Bernese Mountain Dogs are intelligent, loyal dogs that thrive in family environments of many types. Like any other dog, they can contribute to the unwanted animal population. Luckily, we have spaying and neutering options to ensure our dogs cannot reproduce when we don’t want them to. It’s just a matter of determining the best time to perform the procedure. It seems that the consensus is between the ages of 1 and 2 years old for the Bernese Mountain Dog.


Featured Image Credit: LightField Studios, Shutterstock

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