The Best Age To Neuter A Kelpie Sized Dog

Updated July 28, 2022

Whether you call it neuterspaycastrate or desex, the right time to get it done in dogs is a subject of much debate. This is because it varies from breed to breed. Recently, a study was published on the best age for neutering medium-sized dog breeds like Kelpies.

The study actually looked at 10-19kg crossbreeds but this data should be the closest match to a Kelpie currently available.

This paper provides the first evidence for medium-sized dog breeds on choosing a time of desexing with the fewest health problems. The study compared the dogs neutered at different ages for their rates of:

All of these have been suspected to be linked with the age of neutering. Here’s what they found (only bold values are significant, my summary to follow):

Male < 6 months0/15 (0)0/15 (0)0/15 (0)0/15 (0)
Male 6 – 11 months0/17 (0)0/17 (0)0/17 (0)0/17 (0)
Male 1 year0/39 (0)0/38 (0)0/39 (0)0/38 (0)
Male 2 – 8 years0/35 (0)1/34 (2.94)0/35 (0)1/34 (2.94)
Male Intact0/93 (0)1/92 (1.09)0/94 (0)1/92 (1.09)
Female < 6 months0/34 (0)1/33 (3.03)0/33 (0)1/32 (3.13)
Female 6 – 11 months0/59 (0)1/59 (1.69)0/61 (0)1/59 (1.69)
Female 1 year2/87 (2.3)3/87 (3.45)0/88 (0)3/87 (3.45)
Female 2 – 8 years0/58 (0)0/58 (0)0/59 (0)0/58 (0)
Female Intact2/89 (2.25)3/88 (3.41)1/90 (1.11)4/88 (4.55)
Joint disorders. For ages 1 through 11 years and for each neuter period: no significant findings.
Male < 6 months0/15 (0)0/15 (0)0/15 (0)0/15 (0)0/15 (0)
Male 6 – 11 months0/17 (0)0/16 (0)0/17 (0)0/17 (0)0/16 (0)
Male 1 year0/39 (0)1/39 (2.56)0/39 (0)0/39 (0)1/39 (2.56)
Male 2 – 8 years1/35 (2.86)0/34 (0)0/35 (0)0/35 (0)1/34 (2.94)
Male Intact2/92 (2.17)5/96 (5.21)0/94 (0)0/94 (0)7/94 (7.45)
Female < 6 months0/32 (0)0/34 (0)0/34 (0)0/34 (0)0/32 (0)
Female 6 – 11 months0/58 (0)1/60 (1.67)0/61 (0)0/61 (0)1/57 (1.75)
Female 1 year0/86 (0)1/84 (1.19)0/88 (0)0/88 (0)1/83 (1.2)
Female 2 – 8 years0/58 (0)0/57 (0)0/58 (0)0/59 (0)0/55 (0)
Female Intact2/87 (2.3)0/90 (0)0/90 (0)0/90 (0)2/87 (2.3)
Cancers. For ages 1 through 11 years and for each neuter period: no significant findings.

UI was higher in dogs under 1 year of age, but the difference was not significant.

If this table makes no sense, it’s mostly because there are no abnormal findings. Have a look at this one for Golden retrievers as a comparison. 

Summary: The Best Kelpie Spay & Neuter Times

As you can see, there is minimal evidence that health problems in medium-sized dogs like Kelpies are influenced by the age of neutering. Owners of either sex are therefore free to choose the age of desexing that suits them best.

Recommendation: 9 months for males and one year for females.

This allows for the general trend of later times with higher body weights. It is older with females as they will come into season at 7-9 months, and we want this to settle down completely before surgery.

This is so far the only science we have for the best desexing age in medium sized dogs. Your vet, breeder or online group may have a different opinion based on their experience or personal beliefs. It’s perfectly reasonable to take their advice into consideration as well.

The decision may also be based on other factors such as:

The study authors are to be applauded to bringing into focus one of the most common questions from dog owners. For Kelpies and other medium-sized dogs, they’ve made the decision a lot easier.

Related: Best Desexing Age For 39 Breeds | Desexing Choices For Dogs | Costs Of Desexing

Have something to add? Comments (if open) will appear within 24 hours.
By Andrew Spanner BVSc(Hons) MVetStud, a vet in Adelaide, Australia. Meet his team here.

3 Replies to “The Best Age To Neuter A Kelpie Sized Dog”

  1. border collie/ kelpie female 14 months 1rst heat .8 months later, no sign of heats , will it be 14 months age weird. so the suggested 1 year wouldn’t have been the best idea. believe she is a working kelpie cross as the French owner, is a sheep farmer. Don’t know if there is dingo blood (now papers say it false) but she uses her snout for lots of things,poke, inspect…nerver seen this and I have a collection of shepherds most pure or border or pyrenean and her mouth seems further back than other dogs. the 14 mo cycle is weird also her heat upset the whole male (cavalier king Charles) very little which was also odd..different smell ?

  2. Hi vet, thanks for pointing to the study done in the states. In the article, I quote,

    ‘However, in the three categories of dogs weighing 20 kg or more, neutering before 1 year generally was significantly associated with risks of one or more joint disorders above that of dogs left intact, commonly to 3 times the level of intact dogs, with sex differences in the degrees of joint disorders associated with neutering. ‘

    A male Kelpie obviously fall in the category of above 20 kg, and most bitch as well, so the study actually states there are significantly more risks associated with early spay. The article also advise at least 1 years wait for dogs breed above 20 kg.

    1. Hi Sean. This is why I included the original data so you can decide for yourself. There are many occasions where the views of the authors do not appear to align well with the data. The summaries nearly always recommend lengthier deferment than the data would suggest in my personal opinion. As for why that might be, you can guess.

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