Was neutering my pup at 6 months a mistake???


by Brian
(Houston, Texas)


Hi there!

Thank you so much for this site…incredibly informative and helpful.

Here is my question. I have a male rottie, he’s 2 years and 1 month now, incredibly sweet and calm demeanor, and I love him to death. But here is my question.

He’s purebred (i.e. came with papers, visited and saw his parents etc) and both were beautiful rotties with thick bodies and large heads.

Atticus (my boy) is still at that “lanky” stage…i.e. all legs and skinny head, etc. Ive been doing alot of reading online lately which says that neutering a rottie at 6 months is a MISTAKE because it stunts their muscular development (i.e. you will end up with a tall, skinny, small-headed rottie if you neuter before 1 year old, or even later)

I have 5 dogs, and always neutered around 6 months because I thought i was doing the right thing for their health and keeping down the unwanted “pup” population. But now Im worred that I may have stunted my guy’s development. He is about 25 inches right now in height which doesnt seem “unusual” but I wanted to get your thoughts on this…at a little over 2 years old, will a NEUTERED rottie continue to “fill out” or is the growth and development stage over. Ive read different things all over the place (i.e. no more growth, growth until 3-5 years, only in intact males, etc)

Any help would be greatly appreciated–just want to know for my future rotties 🙂

Hi Brian
This is a good question, and as you have found out there are a LOT of differing opinions on this, most of them expressed very strongly and usually conflicting each other totally.

I am not a veterinarian nor a professional when it comes to canine genetics, development and so on, just a Rottie owner and lover who has loved, raised and trained these dogs for decades.

I can only give you my personal take on this and my own experiences, if they help then I’m glad to share them 🙂

I have owned male Rottweilers who have been neutered prior to 6 months, and those who have remained intact throughout their journey to adulthood. In both instances my puppies grew up to be large, muscular adults. Of course they were different in lots of ways because they were from entirely different lines so their conformation, bone size, head shape, pace of development, personality etc. were not the same. However, I can’t say that I noticed that a neutered pup was ‘stunted’ in any way in terms of physical development.

In terms of how long it takes for a pup to reach adulthood, it’s very individual and tends to be genetic. One of my big males took a full 3 years + to grow into his head and legs, but he had not been neutered.

It would be helpful to see photos of your pup’s parents, and him as an 8 week old pup and again at 6 months, as that gives a good indication of bone size, conformation etc. Of course, genetics is a very complicated process, and your pup doesn’t just inherit his looks and temperament from his parents. Grandparents and all the dogs in his lineage have an effect to some degree, so a pup who has two large, muscular parents would usually mature to be somewhat similar in type, but could also grow to resemble a grandparent, uncle, cousin etc. There are no guarantees.

From the photos above it doesn’t seem as though Atticus has a particularly large frame or bone size, but it’s very difficult to judge accurately from photos, especially small ones, so I could be wrong. His skeletal framework is probably fairly much complete in terms of growth by now, but he could quite easily continue to put on weight and muscle development over the next 6 – 9 months or so.

The best thing you can do is to make sure he’s eating a premium dog food and that he gets adequate exercise, after that it’s really up to Mother Nature I’m afraid.

I realize this isn’t a definitive answer to your question, but I really don’t think that there is one at this point. There is no clear evidence either way that I am aware of, and my own experiences mirror that!

Atticus looks like a nice Rottie and he has a sweet facial expression which gives the impression of a very calm and loving temperament. His size is really of less importance than his health and personality so I wouldn’t worry too much about all of this, although I do understand your interest in this question.

Best of luck with your Rottie, enjoy him 🙂

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Aug 17, 2017

Desexing your Rottie too young NEW
by: Anonymous

I have had Rottweilers for over twenty years now. I’ve read many comments about concerns about their dogs growth and appearance when spaying or neutering them too young. The concern really should be about their “health.” Bone cancer, hip dysplasia, torn CCA ligaments and other issues develop as a result of cutting off important sex hormones needed and which play an important role in their development. Personally, I have done an about-face in regards to this issue after many hours of research. I do not spay or neuter my Rottweilers at all anymore. After two years, the male will get a vasectomy and the female will get her tubes tied. This still allows sex hormones to play a natural and needed role in their development throughout their lives. Luckily, my vet does both. I would encourage everyone to watch a youtube video on this subject Search “Dr Becker on spay and neutering” It is an eye opener and is what set me on my journey to find out the truth after losing several of my Rottweilers about the age of 7 to bone cancer. I do not believe it was merely a coincidence that the Rotties I have had neutered under a year old were the ones with the most health problems, cancer, joints, ligaments. Sex hormones are needed to close plates during their growth cycle. Deprived of these sex hormones can cause many unintended health issues. Please research “Dr. Karen Becker” and watch her video on spay and neutering. It is a great start to learn results of important studies on this subject. Good Luck to all.

Jan 07, 2016

Desexing NEW
by: Anonymous

I had my male desexed at 5 months and he grew to 55kg and had a big head and was stocky.All the other Rottie owners we met loved his size and build.he was larger than most other male rotties we met. It had no effect on his growth. feed them well high quality food we had royal canine and they will be fine

Oct 24, 2015

Rotties NEW
by: RonAnonymous

I’ve had rotts for the last 40 years, male and female.i had to put my one male down nov 23 2014. When he was 3 he was 152 pounds, his back came up to 27 inches and his head was a little higher then my wrist, and he was the first rottie that i never fixed. He lived to be 12, we bread him when he was 8 and kept a female who we fixed when she was 7 months old.she’s 4 now as tall as her father, doesnt have his head of course cause shes a femal but her head is bigger then a lot of males ive seen. She weights at 137 as of 3 months ago..one thing I’ve learned (read ) is that their size is based on what AGES the parents and grandparents were bread ! Alot people that think they know Rotties really DON’T. People would see mine and go “OMG HE MUST BE GERMAN ” NO ? DOGS ARE LIKE PEOPLE “HELLO ” IF THE DOG WAS BORN IN AMERICA THEN HE’S AMERICAN ROTT ! ONLY A DOG BORN IN GERMAN IS A GERMAN ROTT, just like where your born. The only thing German about mine is he’s German decent which ALL ROTTS are. If a person breeds the mother and or the father or grandparents to young then that’s where you get the smaller Rott from. Anytime a dogs not given time to physical mature you will get a smaller dog, and that’s why they have kennel clubs, (AKC ) trouble is breeding dogs that aren’t mature has gotten over looked by even them now. Word of advice, theres only TWO KENNEL CLUBS THERE’S THE AKC (AMERICAN KENNEL CLUB ) AND THE CKC CANADIAN KENNEL CLUB ) THOSE ARE THE ONLY TWO PERIOD ! YOU’LL HEAR SOMEONE NO THERE’S THE CKC (CONTINENTAL KENNEL CLUB ). Well thats the club where someone steals your dog od they breed to different breeds together and come up with a new breed and they register the breed. If someone steals your rott they can take pictures of her, breed her and the CKC wil give them papers, so live and learn about all facts

Apr 11, 2015

Why would you remove sexual organs of a healthy dog? How would you like it? NEW
by: Anonymous

Yes it is a mistake to neuter male dogs at such a young age, and yes you are robbing them of full potential growth. It has been proven in livestock that castrated males such as bulls, in fact lose muscle. It’s the same with nearly all mammals.

Feminists will happily tell you otherwise as they see no problem with mutilating a perfectly healthy happy dog on a whim.

Neutering a dog to prevent “behavioral problems” shows a clear laziness to actually train a dog properly. I will never neuter my dogs. Even large breeds.

I suggest that Brian does not buy more male dogs from now on. I think a bitch would be more suitable for him.

Here is a very good article for anyone that is considering neutering a dog: https://naturaldogtraining.com/blog/the-debate-over-neutering/

Feb 26, 2015

Curious NEW
by: Anonymous

I was wondering the same Atticus fill out I have a Mail rot he’s about 14 months old now very tall and lanky. (he does weigh hundred and 20 pounds so he’s a big boy) Kane was fixed at about 51/2 months. his brother from the same litter Who was not fixed has the big head like the dad and is just more muscular. after all the research I’ve done I do believe that neutering a dog early does stunt his muscular growth and had development

Jan 19, 2015

Things NEW
by: Anonymous

Did Atticus fill out. It’s been about 3 years Just wondering I neutered my Rottie at abot 5 months. He is now 13 months and he is very tall and skinny. His brother is about the same size but stocky he is not fixed

Jan 02, 2013

Same concerns! NEW
by: Anonymous

My Ruby is coming up to 6 months of age, have been looking at the pros and cons. My concern is stunting her development by spaying at such an early age.

Mar 15, 2012

Atticus NEW
by: Brian

Thank you for that information! Just to be clear, its not for vanity or pride purposes that I want a thick, stocky pooch or anything.

My primary concern is seeing alot of rottie owners/breeders screaming from the rooftops that people like me (i.e. owners who neutered their pups at 6 months) were litterally “robbing” their rotties of any potential to grow into “real males.” (i.e. you get lanky, lean, skinny head pooches who never reach their full potential). As sue pointed out, there are alot of PASSIONATE people on both sides of this issue.

When my atticus passes, i def. plan on getting another rottie. (if the wifey lets me) 🙂 I just want to make sure that neutering at that age isnt “harming” or stunting my dog’s growth/development long term. thats all. 🙂

Mar 15, 2012

Stump their growth NEW
by: Anonymous

That’s a lot of nonsense. I have had Rottweilers nearly all my life and i have desexed them before 5-6 months of age. Desexing them young is to prevent them having any behavior issues. It takes a good 3-5 years to fully develop. So i wouldn’t worry too much.
My younger Rottweiler is 22 months old and he hasn’t filled out yet. All legs and a slender head. His parents were just right not too small and not too large of structure. Why do people worry what their dog looks like. You should love him the way he is as he does not judge you on the way you look. As long he is healthy and happy what more can you ask for.

Mar 15, 2012

Atticus NEW
by: Anonymous

Hi Sue & Judy:

Thank you so much for your input. Im not too concerned about his overall weight, just wondering if he would continue to “fill out” since he’s 2 years old right now. I know every dog is different, but I just wanted to make sure that neuting the ol guy at 6 didnt have a negative impact on his growth and overal development.

Mar 15, 2012

too soon? NEW
by: Judy

Hi Brian, I can only speak for females as that’s all I’ve owned.I have spayed all three of mine @6 months of age and had 3 different sizes..One was 84 lbs,one was 167 lbs and my 14 month old is at 100lb and hoping she gets to 120lbs.I agree the pictures are hard to judge from and in future may I suggest you get down to their height/level and you will get better pics.Also take a look through the ‘rotti puppy pics’ section as some of us have sent updates each month and see if this helps give you a better idea of the different ‘lanky’ stages they go through.My Angel is in there and as you will see she is tall and still lanky.Regardless though you have a handsome dog and big is not necessarily better.Good luck with him and keep us updated 🙂

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About The Rotty lover 2159 Articles
My name is Dr. Winnie. I earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Duke University, a Masters of Science in Biology from St Georges University, and graduated from the University of Pretoria Veterinary School in South Africa. I have been an animal lover and owners all my life having owned a Rottweiler named Duke, a Pekingese named Athena and now a Bull Mastiff named George, also known as big G! I'm also an amateur equestrian and love working with horses. I'm a full-time Veterinarian in South Africa specializing in internal medicine for large breed dogs. I enjoy spending time with my husband, 2 kids and Big G in my free time. Author and Contribturor at SeniorTailWaggers, A Love of Rottweilers, DogsCatsPets and TheDogsBone