Early Spay & Neuter



Early Spey and Neuter has become a very emotive topic

Early spey and neuter has been one of the requirements of the Australian Labradoodle since the association formed in 1998 as part of The ALA commitment to protect the Australian labradoodle breed.

Not only does the ALA support and practice early spey and neuter, but many local RSPCA/Animal Humane Societies encourage this practice. These animal rescue organizations have been taking in unwanted litters and early spay and neutering young puppies before they go to new homes for decades now.

There is a paucity of data on the comparison between dogs desexed at around 5- 6 months of age, (the traditional age), versus those who have undergone paediatric desexing.

Many factors other than neuter status are involved in the development of all health conditions, and the specific age at which an animal is neutered, if at all, does not guarantee that individual will or will not experience any particular health problem. Neutering is one of many factors interacting in a complex and imperfectly predictable way to influence health and placing excessive importance on this single factor should be avoided. Extrapolating findings of some breed specific findings to all breeds of dogs should also be avoided, as predisposition to some conditions is higher in some breeds than others and therefore cannot be applied across the broader dog population.

It cannot be assumed that you can extrapolate findings from one breed to other breeds, or to the general population of dogs as a whole, since studies from a single breed often have conflicting results when compared to findings from studies of other breeds or the general dog population. Certain types of cancer (or other diseases/conditions) naturally occur more frequently in certain breeds than in others. Therefore, studies examining the effects of gonadectomy in a specific breed are only applicable to other dogs of the same breed. Studies that examine the population as a whole can typically be applied to the entire population of animals, recognizing that some breeds may respond differently than the population as a whole.

Since longevity is increased in dogs that are gonadectomized, and since some life-threatening diseases (mammary neoplasia, pyometra, prostatic abscess, etc) can be avoided, those benefits would appear to take precedence over many of the concerns of other diseases that occur with lesser frequency.

  • Sterilized dogs and cats live longer than intact dog and cats.
  • Sterilized dogs have a higher incidence of certain rare cancers, immune diseases and, in some breeds, orthopedic conditions, but a lower incidence of more common diseases such as mammary cancer or pyometra.
  • Intact dogs are more likely to die of infections and trauma

Although female dogs that are spayed are at greater risk for urethral sphincter-mechanism incompetence, which can result in urinary incontinence, than are intact female dogs, there is no significant difference in the age at the time of ovariohysterectomy between continent and incontinent dogs being identified- ie no difference between 2 months of age, 6 months of age,2 years of age or 5 years of age.

There is the potential for increased health risks with every choice. Delaying neutering or leaving animals intact will raise some risks while reducing others, and the optimal outcome for any individual will never be predictable. Additionally, many factors other than neuter status are involved in the development of all health conditions, and the specific age at which an animal is neutered, if at all, does not guarantee that individual will, or will not, experience any particular health problem. Like most medical interventions, neutering is one of many factors interacting in a complex and imperfectly predictable way to influence health.


Early Spey and Neuter protects the breed

So that it continues to develop, with only the very top quality dogs able to continue in the development of the breed. We believe that one of the reasons the Australian Labradoodle has had such worldwide success can be attributed to the desexing of pet quality puppies. Because of this the continued development of the breed over the past 25 years has been through top quality stock being used by reputable breeders.

By requiring our breeders to desex pet quality puppies we are making our breeders responsible for only selecting the very best Australian Labradoodles to leave entire and breed on from. It prevents a proliferation of non breed standard labradoodles being bred irresponsibly without regard to temperament, health testing or quality.

We believe that through signing our Breeders Code of Ethics, which requires Early spey and neuter, our breeders are demonstrating their dedication to the Australian Labradoodle Breed and it’s well-being for the future. Our Accredited Breeders are willing to incurring the extra expense of Early spey and neuter because they believe this is the best way to ensure the very best future and development of the Australian Labradoodle breed.

Many breeds in the past that have become popular have had inexperienced breeders or puppy farms start breeding dogs who are not breeding quality to fulfill the public demand. What this has done is created a large number of dogs for the demand but at the expense of the breed itself and the families receiving those puppies. The results are devastating with a large increase of genetic defects and unstable temperaments which arise due to non-breeding quality dogs being bred on by breeders who are inexperienced and make bad breeding choices.


Early Spey and Neuter is now mandated in some States and councils

In some districts dogs must be sterilised prior to 3 months of age so that they can be registered.


Frankston city council, Kingston city council and Brimbank Council require all puppies over 3 months of age to be desexed as part of their registration process

South Australia


Desexing is compulsory in SA for all dogs and cats born after 1 July 2018. Cats and dogs have to be desexed by the age of six months, or within 28 days of when you take possession of a new animal. The new desexing law is aimed at reducing the number of unwanted dogs and cats that end up in shelters every year.

Australian Capital Territory


It is a strict liability offence under the Domestic Animals Act 2000 to own a dog which has not been desexed, unless the dog is less than six months old.

New South Wales


There is currently no legislation in NSW prescribing the age after which a cat or dog may be desexed. However, in order to obtain the discounted lifetime registration fee a cat or dog must be desexed from the age of 6 months.


Australian Veterinary Association has a policy paper on early age desexing

Veterinarians must decide the appropriate age of desexing based on current scientific evidence, and consideration of the animal’s weight, vaccination status, health status and ability to withstand major surgery. At the veterinary practitioner’s discretion, desexing can be performed from as early as 8 weeks of age and at a minimum of 1kg bodyweight.