Pros and Cons of Neutering a Bernese Mountain Dog

Zack Keithy, our author, is a certified veterinarian technician (UC Blue Ash) for over 6 years (contact him here). The articles written here are based on his expertise and experience, combined with a review by our expert vet reviewers including Dr M. Tarantino. Learn more about us here.

If you’re considering whether or not to neuter your Bernese mountain dog, there are both pros and cons to consider.

The most obvious reason for neutering is that it prevents unwanted puppies, reduces the risk of certain diseases and cancers, and makes your dog less aggressive around other dogs and humans.

Ultimately, it’s up to you whether you want to neuter your Bernese Mountain Dog or not—but if you do decide to go ahead with it, make sure you take some time beforehand to research what kind of impact it could have on your dog’s overall health!

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Dear Dog Owner

What Happens During Neutering?

The surgical removal of a male animal’s testicles is known as neutering.

This is done to improve behavior and keep reproduction from occurring.

Neutering is possible as early as 8 weeks of age, and it is an important surgery that should only be performed by a veterinarian who has previous experience with this type of procedure.

The testicles are removed during surgery so that sperm production ceases and these glands no longer produce hormones.

This means your pet will not cause any unwanted pregnancies or behavioral changes associated with testosterone production.

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Why Are Dogs Neutered?

The major justification for neutering your dog is to ensure its health and safety, but there are numerous other factors that make this the wisest course of action.

A dog’s risk of testicular cancer and prostate issues can be reduced by more than 90% by neutering it.

Additionally, it helps with issues like mounting and humping in dogs that are the result of sexual frustration.

In fact, if they haven’t been castrated, it is estimated that roughly 70% of male dogs will act aggressively against people or other dogs.

Neutered dogs are also less likely to roam away from home, which means they’re less likely to get lost or stolen, or find themselves in dangerous situations with other animals (whether wild or domestic).

Doggy says, you might be interested in this too: Should you neuter an Australian Shepherd?

Are Bernese Mountain Dogs Calmer After Being Neutered?

Are Bernese Mountain Dogs calmer after being neutered?

Your dog’s personality won’t alter if you neuter him.

Although there are a lot of other factors that might also contribute to these behaviors, it might help decrease some undesirable behaviors like roaming and marking.

To get rid of the excess energy that comes with being young, active canines, they require a lot of fun and exercise.

They still like playing, but they aren’t as animated or boisterous as they once were.

Additionally, fixed Bernese mountain dogs get along well with other household pets.

This is due to the fact that they are less hormonal and do not feel the need to engage in conflict with other animals over territorial or dominance concerns.

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Advantages of Neutering a Bernese Mountain Dog

Although neutering your dog may seem cruel, there are several advantages, and most of them are health-related.

It can be summarized as the following:

  • Increase in dog’s lifespan
  • Lowers risk of developing UTI
  • Prevent testicular cancer
  • Less likely to fight for territory and mark them
  • No unwanted pregnancies
  • Less aggressive

A study has concluded that the lifespan of dogs increased after being neutered. Its findings suggest that dogs will live an average of 13.8% in male dogs and 26.3% in females.

Prostate cancer, which can be a devastating illness in senior dogs, is less likely to develop in neutered dogs.

Additionally, having your dog neutered lowers his chance of developing an uncomfortable and painful urinary tract infection.

Additionally, it can help prevent your dog from getting testicular cancer.

A neutered dog is less prone to fight over territory and roam and challenge other male dogs while trying to mate with female dogs who are in heat.

This lowers the possibility of catching an infectious illness like canine herpes, which spreads easily during mating season.

Dogs that have been neutered will also not tend to want to mark their territory, which means they will not pee in the house purposely and leave a big mess.

Since they no longer have a strong desire to mate (and in fact are incapable of impregnating females), you will not find yourself having any unwanted pregnancies.

Lastly, your Bernese mountain dog will become less aggressive and less likely to bite and is very unlikely to present behavior such as humping at a young age.

Doggy says, consider reading this too: Pros and Cons of Neutering a Border Collie [What’s the Right Choice?]

Disadvantages of Neutering a Bernese Mountain Dog

Before making a final decision, you should carefully weigh the disadvantages of neutering your Bernese mountain dog too.

They can be summarized as follows:

  • Risk of developing joint problems
  • Change in behavior is not guaranteed
  • Might experience a change in coat’s texture
  • Inability to breed your dog anymore

The first is that having your dog neutered carries a small chance of his acquiring a joint condition.

This often happens when a dog is neutered too early in its life (before 1 year old) and is more common in large breeds.

Joint problems might include cranial cruciate ligament injuries, hip dysplasia, and elbow dysplasia.

Another disadvantage to neutering your Bernese mountain dog is that a change of behavior is not guaranteed.

Some dogs actually become more aggressive after the surgery, but this is the exception rather than the norm.

Thirdly, there are dog owners who have reported a change in the texture of their dog’s coat after being fixed as they experience hormonal changes.

This is not a risk to their health but might affect their appearance and is quite rare in most dogs except spaniel breeds such as the Cocker Spaniel.

And lastly, you will not be able to breed your dog, which may be an important factor for some people.

For example, if you have a purebred Bernese mountain dog and want to breed it with another purebred in order to keep its lineage alive, then you will not be able to do so if your dog is fixed.

Neutering Age for Dogs

Best age to neuter a male Bernese Mountain Dog

Most vets will recommend neutering a Bernese mountain dog between the ages of 4 to 9 months because it is before he has reached sexual maturity and when he can still be trained to be housebroken.

However, a study has found that neutering at too young an age increases the likelihood of joint problems and the development of certain cancers.

Hence, it is recommended to wait till your dog becomes at least 2 years old before neutering it.

The treatment itself takes less than 30 minutes, and if carried out properly, your dog won’t experience any pain or discomfort for the rest of its life.

Some online articles and comments advise neutering your dog before the age of six months, which is really bad advice to heed.

Your dog will be at a high risk of suffering serious adverse effects from neutering at such a young age.

If your Bernese mountain dog is neutered before the age of six months, this could hinder his height and growth as well as his capacity to create strong bones and muscles.

If you are unsure about when to neuter your dog, it’s best to discuss your options with a veterinarian who can guide you through the process.

The Risks Involved in Neutering Your Bernese Mountain Dog

An operation to neuter your dog is considered to be quite low risk, but it does not mean there is no risk at all.

The most common complication that can occur during a neuter operation is an infection, but this is easily treated with antibiotics.

There is also the chance that your dog could develop an abscess in the area where the incision was made or around his testicles.

If you notice any unusual swelling or discharge coming from this area, please contact your veterinarian immediately so they can take appropriate action.

Make sure your dog is neutered by a vet with a high success rate and who routinely sanitizes their instruments to stop the spread of bacteria.

Before bringing your dog to the clinic, you should stop by and check out the facility.

Care and Recovery After Neutering Your Dog

Most dogs will take about 2 weeks to fully recover from being neutered, although some may take a bit longer than that.

During this time, it’s important to pay attention to your dog’s health and keep an eye out for any unusual symptoms or changes.

When your dog is neutered, he’ll need plenty of fluids and rest.

You should also be aware of some weird behavior like constantly sitting after being neutered.

Make sure you are providing him with plenty of water after the surgery, and don’t be afraid to give him a few extra naps if he seems tired.

Most veterinarians will recommend giving your dog a painkiller after the surgery, and you should also be careful that he doesn’t jump or play vigorously during this recovery period.

Check out this video for more useful tips.

Is It Better to Neuter a Bernese Mountain Dog?

Ultimately, as a dog owner, it is up to you to make that choice.

It goes without saying that if you plan to breed your Bernese mountain dog, this is not an option.

Both sides will have a valid point of contention in this never-ending discussion.

As the dog’s owner, you must take a position and act in the dog’s best interests.

Do as much research as you need to while attempting to keep emotions out of the conversation.

In Conclusion: Pros and Cons of Neutering a Bernese Mountain Dog

Neutering your dog might be a serious decision for you to make, but once you do, commit to it.

Always weigh the benefits and drawbacks of neutering your dog before deciding whether or not to proceed with the procedure, so make sure you are doing it for the correct reasons.

If you’ve determined that having your dog neutered is the best decision, make sure you’re ready for the procedure, be aware of all the dangers, and show your dog a ton of affection when it gets home!

Check out other dog care tips such as dog licking after tooth extraction, how to fix east west feet in dogs, what to do if your dog eats paint, and many more!

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Zack Keithy
Zack Keithy

Hey, I'm Zack, the Chief Editor here. I was formerly a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT) for a good 6 years before moving on to greener pastures. Right now, I am still heavily involved in dog parenting duties, and it is my desire to share all our knowledge with fellow dog owners out there! Connect with me on LinkedIn, or read more about Canine Care Central!

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