Australian Shepherd Health & Genetics Institute

Australian Shepherd Health & Genetics Institute

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Does altering affect longevity?

There is some research indicating this can be the case when the animal is neutered young.  It does not seem to be the case if the dog is altered in middle-age or later.  However, reproductive condition is only one influence on lifespan.  A dog that is physically fit and active all its life it is apt to live longer than a couch potato.  An intact animal allowed to run at large or, in the case of a bitch, bear many and frequent litters, may find its life shortened because of that.  The pros and cons of altering any specific dog need to be weighed with consideration for where and with whom it will live, any work or sport it may be involved in, and the health and behavior of the dog itself.