When do dog’s testicles drop?

Our question this week was:

At what age do the male testicles drop in a large puppy? He was a stray so I don’t know his age…that’s what I’m trying to determine. His incisor baby teeth have just all been replaced and his testicles have just dropped….and his voice has changed (Didn’t know that dogs’ voices changed).

Also, at what age/stage should he be neutered? Thanks very much.

Nancy Mason

Answer

Hi Nancy – thanks for your email. You have a couple questions – first when do the testicles drop in a puppy and how old is he based on his teeth?

As far as when do the testicles descend in a puppy, it occurs in most puppies within 7 weeks after birth. Failure of the testes to descend into the scrotum is called cryptorchidism. We have an article on that which you may find interesting. Go to Cryptorchidism in Dogs.

As far as the teeth go, as pups begin eating solid food at 4 to 6 weeks of age, the first teeth begin to erupt. The canine teeth usually erupt at 3 to 4 weeks of age and the incisors erupt at 4 to 6 weeks. The baby premolars also erupt at 4 to 6 weeks of age.

These first teeth are temporary and are soon replaced by permanent teeth. The front teeth, incisors, are replaced with permanent teeth around 3 to 5 months of age. By 6 months, the permanent canines erupt. Permanent premolars erupt at 4 to 6 months and the molars erupt at 5 to 7 months of age.

So in summary, most dogs have all their permanent teeth around 6 months of age.

As far as when he should be neutered – anytime is probably fine. Ask your veterinarian for his preference. Some vets prefer younger (almost never too young) and others prefer around 6 months of age or even 9 months. I prefer most dogs to be neutered by the age of 6 months if possible.

An article that might be helpful to you is Developmental milestones in dogs.

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra

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