When To Neuter Your Pitbull – What the Latest Studies Suggest

When it comes to caring for your precious Pitbull, spaying and neutering at the right age is a hot topic. The traditional guideline was that all dogs should be sterilized before reaching six months. However, recent studies have put this into question causing much debate among pet owners – When to neuter your Pitbull?

Your Pitbull should be neutered when they have finished growing and are sexually mature. There may be individual variations, but this is usually around 12 to 18 months. Your veterinarian can help you decide the correct timing for your dog to be sterilized.

With years of experience rescuing and caring for Bully Dogs, I know just how important it is to ensure they are neutered at the ideal time. Let’s explore why this process should be handled with expert timing – so your pup can thrive in best health!

What is the Right Age To Neuter a Male Pitbull

For many years it was an accepted practice to spay and neuter all dogs, including Pitbulls, at or before six months. This view was largely motivated by welfare organizations and veterinarians trying to limit the number of unwanted dogs at shelters.

Recent research has shown that neutering at six months is not always in the dog’s best interest, especially in large-breed dogs. Pitbulls are categorized as large breed dogs, weighing, on average, 64 to 76 pounds.

Several scientific studies have shown that neutering large breed dogs before they have completed their growth leads to orthopedic problems. Conditions such as hip dysplasia and anterior cruciate ligament rupture (ACL) occur more commonly in Pitbulls neutered before one year.  

All this information may be making your head swim! The good news is that neutering your Pitbull after he has finished growing is safe and eliminates the risks mentioned here.

Pitbulls generally finish growing between 12 to 18 months. However, dogs may vary individually, depending on their bloodlines and how big they will reach maturity. Your veterinarian can help by advising you on your dog’s growth. It is safest to neuter your Pitbull between one to two years once their growth plates have closed.

The biggest watch out in my opinion is avoiding any unwanted pregnancies till they are mature enough to be de-sexed. Please, please remember that Pitbulls and bully mixes are the most common dogs in shelters and are often difficult to rehome due to the poor misconceptions and misunderstandings around these amazing animals.

There are currently 28,000 Pitbulls available for adoption on petfinder.com. Far more than the second most common dog available – the labrador retriever at 22,000. I think it is far better to neuter your Pitbull earlier to help avoid unwanted puppies in shelters.

When To Neuter Your Pitbull

What Happens When You Neuter A Pitbull?

Neutering involves the removal of the testicles. The procedure is done under a general anesthetic, and the dog feels no pain.

There are two approaches to neutering a male Pitbull. Some veterinarians use a cut by either testicle, and some make only a single incision. These incisions are small and heal quickly.

Stitches may be a tempting target for your furry friend, but licking and chewing them can lead to swelling of the wound. To discourage this behavior from occurring in the first place, many vets suggest using a cone or foam collars – they serve as protective barriers around sutured areas!  Many veterinarians use a technique to stitch the wound wherein dissolvable stitches are enclosed in the incision to prevent licking.

Neutering your male Pitbull is a simple procedure that reduces testosterone levels over several weeks. By removing the testicles, you’ll ensure that he can no longer spread his genes and father more puppies!

What Are The Advantages Of Neutering A Pitbull?

Reduced risk of certain cancers: 

  • Neutering your pitbull can reduce the risk of certain cancers, such as testicular cancer and prostate cancer. This is because the procedure removes the reproductive organs that are responsible for producing hormones that can contribute to the development of these cancers.

Reduced risk of reproductive health problems: 

  • Neutering your pitbull can also reduce the risk of reproductive health problems, such as testicular torsion. This condition can be painful and even life-threatening if left untreated.

Reduced risk of roaming and aggression

  • Intact pit bulls are more likely to roam and exhibit aggressive behavior, especially during mating season. Neutered male dogs are less attracted to female dogs in their heat cycle. This makes them less prone to escaping the property and wandering the streets. Males congregating around a female dog in season usually end up in fights, causing expensive veterinary bills.

Improved behavior: 

  • Neutering can also improve their behavior by reducing their desire to mark their territory, mount (hump) other dogs, and exhibit dominance-related behaviors. Inappropriate humping is embarrassing for the owner and unpleasant for visitors.
  • Unneutered dogs may hump people’s legs, children, soft toys, pillows, and whatever catches their fancy. This behavior is generally eliminated after neutering. We experienced this in one of our dogs Axl when he was around 7 months old and the behavior was minimized post-neuter. He would still do it on occasion but not nearly as often!

Longer lifespan: 

  • Studies have shown that spayed or neutered pets, on average, live longer than their intact counterparts. This is likely due to the reduced risk of certain health problems, such as cancer and reproductive health issues.

Why You Should Neuter Your Pitbull:

 Many owners, particularly men, are resistant to neutering their Pitbulls. There are some valid reasons to neuter that Pitbull owners should think about carefully.

One critical reason to neuter your Pitbull is to prevent the Pitbull population explosion in the USA. Welfare organizations estimate that one million Pitbulls are euthanized annually in animal shelters.

These shocking figures must make every Pittie owner horrified. It is simply not worth producing more Pitbulls that land up in shelters.

80% of Pitbulls in shelters will not find homes. The Pitbull population in the USA has become excessive. Pitbulls are not appropriate dogs for every dog owner, and many end up in the hands of inexperienced people who cannot handle the dog and must surrender it to a shelter.

Neutering has numerous health and behavioral benefits, which can also extend your dog’s life.

Are There Alternatives To Neutering Your Pitbull?

A vasectomy offers a unique solution for pet owners aiming to avoid neutering their canine companion. By cutting the duct responsible for sperm delivery, your pup can keep his testosterone-boosting testicles – while still being unable to fertilize female dogs! A vasectomy will not alter any behaviors related to testosterone such as roaming, humping and potential fighting.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will Neutering A Pitbull Calm Him Down?

Pitbulls are large breed dogs that mature slower than small breed dogs. They will have higher energy and play more until they mature, which varies between dogs but may be between two to four years.

Neutering will not affect energy levels or issues such as chewing or greeting guests exuberantly. Problematic energy levels and behavior can be managed by training and exercise.

Does neutering a pitbull affect muscle growth?

Neutering does not affect muscle growth. While some studies suggest that there is a decrease in testosterone levels after neutering, this does not necessarily mean that there will be reduced muscle growth. In fact, the quality and amount of food you provide your dog can have a greater effect on muscle development than whether or not the dog has been neutered. Additionally, exercise and activity can also provide an opportunity to build muscle mass in your Pitbull. If you are concerned about muscle growth in your dog, it’s important to talk to a veterinarian or animal nutritionist who can advise on the best course of action.

Does Neutering A Pitbull Stunt Growth?

Neutering does not stunt growth. Genetic and nutritional factors determine growth. Feeding your dog a balanced diet will help him reach his full height. On the flip side be careful of overfeeding. Overweight active young dogs put more pressure on their growth plates and joints and this can cause or increase the likelihood of arthritis later in life.

Does Neutering A Pitbull Make Them Less Aggressive?

Some studies show no difference in aggression toward familiar people and dogs when a Pitbull is neutered. One study noted a slight increase in aggression towards strangers after neutering.

Testosterone influences mating behavior, which often includes aggression towards other male dogs. Neutering removes testosterone which will reduce sexually motivated aggression.

My Final Thoughts

Neutering your Pitbull helps to reduce the number of pets who are euthanized each year. It also has health benefits for your pet, such as reducing their chances of developing reproductive cancers.

Ultimately, it’s up to you to make the best decision for your own pet and circumstances. But if you’re able to, spaying and neutering your Pitbull is highly encouraged.

Good luck! And happy pet parenting. 🙂

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Emily Andrews