Redefining Canine Care: The Surprising Science Behind Neutering Rottweilers

Rottweiler Dog

A study by VetCompass Australia on Rottweilers found that neutering before one year of age reduces lifespan by up to one-and-a-half years in males and one year in females compared to intact dogs.

Owners of a popular dog breed are being encouraged to keep their pet pooch in tip-top condition after a James Cook University study found Rottweilers could suffer from reduced lifespan after the snip.

A recent analysis of available clinical records collated by VetCompass Australia of 3085 intact and 4100 neutered Rottweilers from July 1994 to June 2021 found those dogs neutered before one year of age had a shortened lifespan of one-and-a-half years in males and one year in females when compared to their intact counterparts.

Dogs neutered before the age of four-and-a-half years produced similar results.

Surprising Findings on Neutering

“Most other studies have found that neutering dogs increases their longevity but ours is one of the first that went against that,” study lead author and JCU Senior Lecturer in Veterinary Reproduction Dr. Carolynne Joone said.

“It was a bit of a shock when that wasn’t what we found. We were fortunate with the data we had because we could determine when a dog was desexed and when they died.”

Despite the findings, Dr. Joone strongly encouraged owners to desex their dog, suggesting that owners should focus on managing their dog’s weight gain which was common after the procedure.

“There are serious consequences for not neutering a dog, such as the risk of a life-threatening uterus infection known as Pyometra, mammary tumors, and unwanted puppies,” she said.

“There’s a strong suspicion that the reduced lifespan is more to do with weight issues than the neutering itself, so I would encourage owners to go ahead and neuter their dog but make sure you keep it at a good, healthy weight.”

Further Research and Health Considerations

While it is currently unknown if there is an optimal age to neuter a Rottweiler that does not impact their lifespan, the study noted several factors that could influence the lifespan of a dog, including genetic predisposition, nutrition, exercise, healthcare, and environmental factors.

Screening for genetic disorders and selecting healthy breeding pairs may also help reduce the prevalence of hereditary health conditions in Rottweilers and help boost their longevity.

Dr. Joone said she now wanted to expand her study to other popular dog breeds, such as Greyhounds and Golden Retrievers, to see if the results could be replicated.

Reference: “The effect of neuter status on longevity in the Rottweiler dog” by Carolynne J. Joonè, and Dmitry A. Konovalov, 19 October 2023, Scientific Reports.
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-023-45128-w

JCU Senior Lecturer in Information Technology Dr Dmitry Konovalov was a co-author on the study.

8 Comments on "Redefining Canine Care: The Surprising Science Behind Neutering Rottweilers"

  1. Grew up on a farm. We never snipped our boys whether dogs, horses or donkeys. Raised them right and they were all fine. Our big appaloosa stud was the gentlest giant around kids.

  2. FrequentFlyer | March 13, 2024 at 7:53 am | Reply

    I’m not against fixing your dog because there are times and scenarios where is truly needed.

    But saying not fixing your dog is bad for their health; thats just outright bulls***.
    Love the propaganda machine.

    Our natural design, by God, is the way everything in the universe was meant to be. Changing that design is NEVER better than what God intended.

  3. FrequentFlyer | March 13, 2024 at 7:54 am | Reply

    Just made a huge post and it never showed up.

    I used the G_d word, wondering if that was why.

    • FrequentFlyer | March 13, 2024 at 7:55 am | Reply

      Yep this site is censoring posts even if they dont use bad language.

      • Use G*d instead and post away.
        Also, copy your replay with Ctrl-C before hitting post to save yourself a bunch of typing.

    • Colin Collins | March 13, 2024 at 2:43 pm | Reply

      Hi, the comment was caught in the spam filter due to containing profanity. The word God is definitely not censored

      • FrequentFlyer | March 14, 2024 at 6:35 am | Reply

        Odd because my post did not contain profanity.
        Maybe another word I used is considered profanity.

        Maybe if the spam filter let users know which words, or why the post is not listed would be helpful.

        • Colin Collins | March 14, 2024 at 3:38 pm | Reply

          You used the word bulls*** (uncensored) which was why it got caught it the filter. Most comments that get caught in the filter too aren’t removed too – they are simply just manually approved after being checked (typically within ~24 hrs). Your comment for example is now on the article even though it wasn’t there immediately.

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