15/07/2024

The Critters

For Nice Critters

The Pros and Cons of Neutering Your Dog

The Pros and Cons of Neutering Your Dog

What actually happens when you have your dog neutered is this:

Your dog gets unsexed.

His or her organs for producing male or female hormones are being removed.

A male dog loses his testicles and a female dog may either lose her ovaries and uterus or just her uterus.

If she is left with her ovaries she will still produce the hormones but can not have puppies.

Here is the catch:

The behavior of an animal is influenced by it’s hormones which means that the typical behavior of a male dog gets changed when he does not get his dose of testosterone anymore.

The behavioral changes in females are often less pronounced and go unnoticed.

So what do you need to expect to happen after neutering

1. Your male dog

During the op your veterinarian removes your dog’s testicles. The production of testosterone is stopped immediately but since there is still some testosterone circulating in your dog’s body you will not notice the change immediately.

This means also that he can still mate a bitch for a while.

Pro

  • After some weeks you notice that he is now less interested in female dogs, does not make a point of sniffing around their back sides anymore. He also does not wander off to meet bitches who are in season.
  • He may stop marking his territory, which means he is not as territorial as before.
  • Usually his behavior towards other males changes, he does not feel the need to impress them as much as before neither does he feel the need to establish his dominance over them.
  • It is for this reason that many vets advise owners of aggressive dogs to have them neutered as a first measure.

Con

  • Other males do not seem to recognize him as a fellow male anymore, this may have to do with the simple fact that he is not smelling like a male dog because of his lack of testosterone.
  • Due to this other males start sniffing him a lot and will hump him whenever possible. This may put your dog under great stress, specially since dominant males will really have a go at him. They will not bite but treat him like they would a female in heat.
  • This can be very disturbing to both you and your dog.
  • If you want your dog to show typical male dog behavior patterns neutering him would not be good idea.
  • Depending on the way you feed him he may put on weight since his level of activity and his metabolism rate also co-depends on his hormone status.

2. Your female dog

Pro

  • She will not come in season anymore which means you do not have to guard her twice a year.
  • There will be no more males showing up at your front gate.
  • There will be no more blood smears on your carpet.
  • Your bitch will not have false pregnancies anymore and will not develop those dangerous uterus infections which can cause her serious harm.
  • Many bitches seem a lot more lively and cheerful after having been spaid.

Con

  • Recovering from surgery may take some time.
  • Sometimes the bladder muscle gets injured during the operation which may cause her to lose small drops of urine.
  • Her metabolism rate may drop and she may put on weight.
  • Her coat may change in such a way that she has softer, more fluffy hair. This may not look as nice as her original fur.
  • Some researchers point out the danger of her being less friendly towards puppies but I have never actually experienced this happening.

In female dogs the pros of neutering seem to outweigh the cons because neutering actually protects your bitch from a very serious health danger, i.e. pyometra.

In a male dog there is no such health danger and neutering him comes at the cost of him being bullied severely by other males.

If, on the other hand, your dog is a bully himself and you feel you can not handle his behavior, neutering him may make things easier for you and the owners of other dogs.

But you need to be aware that the brain gets sexed long before birth and if your dog has really gotten into the habit of being aggressive towards others neutering alone may not make him less likely to pick fights.

To me neutering your dog is still very much a question of personal taste. Many people are happy to put up with a bitch in heat twice a year whilst others are not, just as many people wish to own an entire male instead of an unsexed one.

If you ask your heart you will surely find out what is right for you and your pooch.