First veterinary visit (6-8 weeks of age)
Second veterinary visit (9-11 weeks of age)
Third veterinary visit (12-14 weeks of age)
Fourth veterinary visit (15-17 weeks of age)
Neuter, or castration, is typically performed at similar ages to females. If we neuter before puberty, around 6 months of age, we can prevent a lot of the behavioral complications that occur by owning an intact male dog. This includes dominance and territorial behavior, leg-lifting /urine marking behavior (especially inside the house), and resistance to appropriate training. However, if we allow males to go through puberty, it appears as though the testosterone offers some level of protection to the ACL in a similar fashion to females who experience estrogen. A typical neuter is done between 6-18 months of age depending on each dog’s individual behavior, breed, and owner’s desire.
Spay, or ovariohysterectomy, is typically performed either just before or just after the first heat cycle. When performed before the first heat cycle, usually around 6 months of age, we minimize her lifetime risk of mammary (breast) cancer. If we choose to allow the female to have 1 heat cycle then we increase her risk of breast cancer, but in trade we reduce some risk of orthopedic injuries later in life, including ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) injuries.