We have been working a lot with shetland sheepdogs or shelties for many years. Through all of our experiences, we discovered a lot of the various traits and characteristics of shetland sheepdogs or shelties.
When Should A Sheltie Be Neutered?
It is recommended that Shetland sheepdogs be neutered between four and nine months old. However, this is one of those situations where a consult with your vet is your best option because your Sheltie may need a different schedule for neutering.
We know that dogs needed to be neutered for a whole host of different reasons. Some of these reasons include the positive outcomes such as not impregnating other females, if you are not looking to have any puppies coming your way, and to reduce the chance of testicular diseases.
We are going to get into some frequently asked questions and give you everything you need to know about shetland sheepdogs or shelties and the details around their neutering!
Why Does A Sheltie / Shetland Sheepdog Need to Be Neutered?
By neutering your sheltie or shetland sheepdog, you are granting them more health and opportunities long term. Neutering refers to the surgical removal of the testicles.
This procedure rids your sheltie or shetland sheepdog’s ability to get females pregnant and it also greatly reduces the risk of developing reproductive organ diseases. This means that your sheltie or shetland sheepdog will have a longer, healthier life compared to if they were not neutered.
Should I Really Neuter My Sheltie / Shetland Sheepdog?
Although this is your decision as a dog owner, the Humane Society states that around three million unwanted dogs are put down every year in US shelters.
That equates to approximately one dog per every ten seconds. Typically, these dogs are the unplanned children of family pets. In order to help do your part in preventing this from happening, you can neuter your sheltie or shetland sheepdog.
Also, it is important to remember that neutering is a very normal and routine procedure or process for dogs. It is considered to be one of the most responsible options and decisions that pet owners can make for the livelihood of their dog.
To highlight the importance, rescue shelters actually pay to neuter all of the dogs when they are given another home. With this, they are helping prevent other dogs that were unplanned from having to be put down.
In addition to all this as well, it is incredibly important to recognize the health benefits that exist with neutering your sheltie or shetland sheepdog. The health benefits include lengthening the span of your sheltie or shetland sheepdog.
Can I Do Anything as a Dog Owner to Lengthen My Sheltie Or Shetland Sheepdog’s Life?
The quick and easy answer is yes! Further, the answer relates to neutering your sheltie or shetland sheepdog!
By neutering, you are giving your sheltie or shetland an exponentially higher chance at a longer and healthier life. So long as you are okay with your sheltie or shetland sheepdog not reproducing, neutering them is definitely the way to go!
What Does It Mean for My Sheltie / Shetland Sheepdog to Be Intact?
An intact sheltie or shetland sheepdog is simply a sheltie or shetland sheepdog that has not been neutered. This again increases the chance of your shetland sheepdog or sheltie reproducing in an unplanned fashion with other females. It also increases the chances of your sheltie or shetland sheepdog developing diseases, which can in turn decrease their lifespan.
Is It Okay if I Don’t Neuter My Sheltie / Shetland Sheepdog?
Technically, it is okay not to neuter your sheltie or shetland sheepdog since it is your decision to make as a dog owner. However, the most responsible decision to make for your sheltie or shetland sheepdog is to neuter them in order to prevent future dogs from having to be put down due to lack of homes for dogs as well as decreasing the risk of disease for your dog.
Intact shetland sheepdogs or shelties, which means shetland sheepdogs or shelties that have not been neutered, typically develop more aggressive personalities compared to those that were neutered as adults. This is because of the higher testosterone levels in their bodies. Intact shetland sheepdogs or shelties are also more likely to get into fights with other dogs.
Generally, intact shetland sheepdogs or shelties are also more motivated to roam and escape in search of females since they are inclined to reproduce biologically. During these searches and escapes, your sheltie or shetland sheepdog also runs the risk of getting lost as well as getting hit by moving vehicles.
Regardless of how much you try to keep your sheltie or shetland sheepdog indoors or safe, your dog will still be aware of females that are within a several mile radius of them. You can thank pheromones for that. You have to be hyper aware of your dog’s location in these cases if they are not neutered.
Would I Be Cruel to Neuter My Sheltie / Shetland Sheepdog?
Many people think that it may be cruel to neuter their sheltie or shetland sheepdog because in essence they are “de-sexing” their dog. They think in an empathetic fashion and say that it would be cruel for somebody else to “de-sex” them against their will, as it would be a violation of their rates. So the real question remains: How do we justify neutering somebody that we love?
It is important to recognize and remember that our shelties or shetland sheepdogs are members of our family, but they are ultimately pets and not people.
Often, we find ourselves treating our shelties or shetland sheepdogs like our own children, but our shetland sheepdogs or shelties will not grow up and leave us to live independent lives. They are domestic animals that will not find partners, get married, and move out to have families of their own.
What Are the Pros of Neutering My Sheltie / Shetland Sheepdog?
There are many pros or benefits to neutering your sheltie or shetland sheepdog. Apart from saving or preventing the horrible euthanasia of literally millions of unwanted dogs each year, neutering has plenty of health benefits for your sheltie or shetland sheepdog as an individual.
First, by neutering your sheltie or shetland sheepdog, you are preventing them from ever getting testicular cancer. By castrating or removing the testicles of your sheltie or shetland sheepdog, you are completely eliminating or eradicating the chance of your sheltie or shetland sheepdog developing or getting testicular cancer.
With dogs that are not neutered, testicular cancer is actually very common, especially as they age and get older. Treatments for testicular cancer involve castration and chemotherapy at times as well if the cancer has spread.
Second, by neutering your sheltie or shetland sheepdog, you are reducing their risk of prostate problems in general. Greater than 80% of intact dogs develop prostate diseases at some point. These diseases include cysts, infection, and benign enlargement, which all relate to testosterone presence in dogs.
If your dog is neutered, they are less likely to contract these venereal diseases as well as tumors of the penis that are related to breeding. Dogs with neutering history demonstrate stronger immunity causing them to catch less infectious diseases.
Third, by neutering your sheltie or shetland sheepdog, you are actually reducing their aggression long term. Since your dog will have less testosterone in their system, they will have a less aggressive personality long term. This means that they will be getting into less fights with other dogs, including bigger dogs, which means that you are reducing their risk of serious injury.
Fourth, by neutering your sheltie or shetland sheepdog, you are reducing their risk of hernias. Perianal hernias are very common in older dogs that have not been neutered.
Because testosterone weakens the muscles around the anus, the area where the prostate, colon, and bladder poke through the abdominal cavity can have a hernia. By neutering your shetland sheepdog or sheltie, their muscles stay strong with the lessened testosterone meaning that you are in essence dramatically decreasing the risk of hernia development for your sheltie.
Fifth, by neutering your sheltie or shetland sheepdog, you are reducing their risk of perianal tumors. These tumors grow around the anus and can be either benign or malignant.
These tumors tend to be stimulated by testosterone and can occur in intact dogs that are more than seven years old. The treatment for these tumors include surgery and the tumors themselves need to be detected early in order to stop or prevent them from recurring. Both hernias and perianal tumors are incredibly, extremely, exceptionally rare in dogs that have been neutered.
Sixth, by neutering your sheltie or shetland sheepdog, you are reducing their risk of roaming. This means that your sheltie or shetland sheepdog’s desire to roam and mate will lessen incredibly.
By reducing this desire or biological need, your sheltie or shetland sheepdog will not be inclined to leave home as often and will in essence decrease their risk of getting hit by cars or moving vehicles or getting lost in the wild. They will stay at home with you because they no longer have this testosterone-driven need to leave.