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Spaying Or Neutering Golden Retriever: All You Need To Know

Spaying Or Neutering Golden Retriever: All You Need To Know
Spaying Or Neutering Golden Retriever

For many years now, it has been an accepted practice that the owners who weren’t interested in breeding their Goldens chose to have them neutered and spayed. The recommended time for these procedures was six months of age. However, recent research has shown that this was not good practice and that it carries significant health risks and implications. You need to understand that spaying or neutering your Golden Retriever is not a risk-free operation. However, most professionals still consider that the benefits outweigh the risks. 

Now, let us dive deeper into this subject.

What Is Spaying?

Spaying is an invasive surgery operation performed on the female Golden Retriever to remove the uterus and ovaries. Your female Golden will be unable to breed after the operation, but the downside is that the production of critical hormones will be stoped.

What Is Neutering?

Just like spaying, neutering is performed to stop unwanted breeding. This surgical castration is performed on male Golden Retrievers, usually, the dog’s testicles will be removed. However, just like spaying, this will have consequences regarding the production of critical hormones.

Spaying Or Neutering My Golden Retriever: When Is The Best Time?

Recent research has shown that the best age for neutering your Golden Retriever is 12 months and above. For female Golden Retrievers, the best option is to leave them intact. Or spay them after 12 months, but be wary about cancer.

So, What Are The Risks?

There is a worrying correlation between spaying and neutering Golden Retriever at a certain age. With some of the scariest diseases that can occur as a result.

Research from the Institute of Canine Biology has shown the dangers of performing these operations at a certain age. In the charts below, you can see the correlation between spaying and neutering Golden Retriever at a certain age. Also, you can observe the probability of orthopedic disorders and cancer in those dogs.

Spaying Or Neutering Golden Retriever
Spaying Or Neutering Golden Retriever

You can see an enormous probability that your Golden will develop some sort of orthopedic disorder or cancer if spayed or neutered too early. The risk is far greater for female Golden Retrievers. Females have a staggering chance of 14% to develop cancer even if the spaying procedure is performed at a later age (2 years to 8 years).

Spaying Or Neutering My Golden Retriever: Are There Any Other Options?

Now that you know the risks, it’s natural that you ask: Are there other, safer options? 

The answer is YES!

The most probable cause of elevated risks of developing orthopedic disorders and cancer is the lack of critical hormones in the dog’s body. So the logical step is to perform procedures that will prevent your Golden from breeding, but still, keep the production of critical hormones.


With this procedure, your female Golden will have its uterus and part of fallopian tubes removed. However, ovaries will be left intact, thus ensuring the production of body critical hormones. The downside is that there is a probability that your female will still have a breeding instinct.


Vasectomy is a procedure with which we remove the tubes that run from testicles (vas deferens) . Thus removing your male Golden’s ability to breed. However, his hormone production will be intact.

Chemical Castration

In Europe, particularly in Nordic countries such as Denmark, Sweeden, and Norway, the most common way to stop unwanted breeding is chemical castration. If you opt for this procedure, your Golden Retriever will have an injection every six months. This will decrease the levels of testosterone by 50%, thus removing breeding instinct for some time. This method is very effective. Besides, your Golden Retriever is still capable of breeding in the future if you decide you want to do that, something that is impossible with spaying and neutering.


We have tried to give you all the necessary information about the benefits and risks of spaying and neutering your Golden Retriever. If you decide to do this, it is important that you do it at the right time as the consequences for your dog could be scary. On the other hand, you always have alternatives: vasectomy, hysterectomy, or chemical castration. In the end, this should be your decision, but please take it after you educate yourself on all the benefits and risks of these procedures.  

The Goldens Club