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6 reasons why you should neuter your dog

Doggy Dan says neuter your dog

Moses, my 6-month old puppy, recently spent a couple of hours at the vets being de-sexed. It wasn’t a difficult decision at all, here’s why.

The hormone testosterone that’s generated by the entire male (that is the word given for male dogs who are not de-sexed) is what drives the male dog to reproduce. When this act or function of reproduction is not possible due to the fact that they are not free to roam and find a female who is available, the levels can easily build up to unnaturally high levels.

As humans we can end up creating difficult environments for our dogs without realising it – we place our dogs in situations they are unable to solve on their own. These high hormone levels build up, and without a way to bring them down the excessive testosterone produces behavioral changes that are often based around frustration and aggression.

6 good reasons to neuter your dog

Here are some of the most common issues owners face when they don’t neuter.

1. Dog aggression

Entire male dogs will generally end up in more trouble, especially with other male dogs. If two male dogs meet who are both entire then there is an even higher chance of trouble. It’s interesting that human boxers who wish to become more aggressive will often abstain for a period of time before a fight in order to build up their testosterone levels.

2. Marking

Dogs who are not neutered tend to mark inside and outside the house far more than dogs who are neutered. So if your dog is peeing on everything he can cock his leg on, neutering may very well help.

3. Females on heat

If there is a female in heat in the neighbourhood then he will be gone. Gone, as in out of your property to find her and make a date.

4. Unwanted attention

If your dog is entire then some dogs (not all but certainly more than you would want) will target yours in an attack. I have met many people who have stated quite clearly that their dog will not tolerate entire males. This is regardless of how your own dog behaves. Even if they are not attacked they can attract far more attention from other dogs than if they were neutered.

5. Access into Doggy Day Cares

You can attend doggy day cares and kennels with a neutered dog. Many such facilities will simply not allow dogs who are entire. I fully understand why, having seen the carnage that they cause for the very reasons I have listed above!

 6. Stopping unwanted puppies

Neutering your dog is a small part that you can play to stop the huge number of unwanted dogs that are brought into this world.

Please neuter your dog

 

So why run the risk of any of these issues associated with NOT neutering? The operation itself is cheap, straight-forward and over-and-done with within a few hours. Moses was right as rain the very next day and is still growing into a magnificent dog.

Generally speaking I would suggest that you get your dog neutered before 8-months of age as this is when things can really start to go wrong. Of course if you have an entire male dog and have never experienced any of these issues then congratulations, well done, and hats off to you. I am not saying that any of the above is guaranteed to happen, it’s simply more likely to. So why risk it?

Oh, and one other thing… if you are a responsible dog breeder then keeping your dog entire certainly makes a lot of sense 🙂

Please do the right thing…

Cheers

Doggy Dan Signature .

.Neuter is cuter dogs

Doggy Dan

Doggy Dan is the founder of The Online Dog Trainer, a wildly successful online training program for dog owners. His goal is to continue to share his unique approach to dog training with like-minded people who wish to make a difference in the world of dogs. His training methods focus on creating and building the connection between dogs and dog owners, and are shared and used around the world.

22 Responses

  1. Hi Dan

    I have recently signed up and this is the first thing I have come across that is so very out of date and simply not reflecting the current thinking. In Scandinavia neutering a male is considered abuse. While cultures are different I find your article misrepresents the science on this and I live in UK. Neutering a male or female before they mature predisposes to multiple serious health problems down the line – none of which you mention. I would urge you and your readers to take a look at this before considering neutering males at all in SOME breeds and certainly not until maturity in others.

    http://www.naiaonline.org/pdfs/LongTermHealthEffectsOfSpayNeuterInDogs.pdf

  2. Hi Mary,
    firstly many thanks for your comment, and sending through the link. It has got me thinking which is always a good thing! The biggest issue that many countries are facing is too many dogs and not enough responsible owners. (This is probably not the case in Scandinavia but is the reality in many other countries) The result is the death of 100,000’s dogs every year for one reason or another. The main cause of this is unplanned pregnancies and then lots of puppies who are quickly handed out to anyone who fancies one on the day. With no planning and often no resources this often leads to untrained and unsocial dogs who end up being put to sleep. I found the article interesting however the 6 main reasons for neutering a male dog in my opinion still justifies the operation. Certainly good to keep learning – I am all ears so please keep firing anything through that you think I may find of interest…All the best and no doubt speak again soon 🙂
    Cheers Dan

  3. I understand where you are coming from and the fact that you make the points in the context that you do is understandable. On the other hand, its all about convenience for the owner (eg doggy day care access) and no balance about the health issues. In some breeds Sarcoma is an early killer. In a giant breed this might shorten an already short life. In my breed spay/neuter gives a profuse double coat (on top of what already exists) so dogs overheat in summer. This leads to less walk, social activity and training = bored, overweight animals!
    Responsible owners need the full picture to make an informed decision, Advocating early spay and neuter across the board caters solely to the lowest common denominator at the expense of health.
    My aim is to have responsive well trained dogs too but not at the expense of health 🙂

  4. Hi Mary, I think we are both wanting the same thing 🙂 For me the serious issue worldwide of unwanted dogs and the dire consequences is the biggest issue facing dogs. I look forward to continually learning though…I am very open minded so any ideas please keep firing them through…all the best and thanks for a very interesting and thought provoking point, Dan

  5. I agree Dan, I have seen first hand when I volunteered at a Council shelter for 3 years the major loss of life because of the lack of de-sexing. In New Zealand we have a lot of healthy dogs being PTS because of irresponsible people not getting them de-sexed. Also running a doggy day care I see the behavioural issue of unneutered dogs, which can be hard to change once they develop. Socialisation is key in a dogs upbringing so owners can happily take them to dog parks, beaches, doggy day cares etc – then they get a full, interesting life. We’re lucky we don’t have a major problem with dogs overheating as have access to lots of great beaches. They is a lot of research and views out there so my suggestion is that readers do their research then make a decision that feels right to them.

  6. I have read that de-sexing any dog may impact future bone growth and development, especially if we de-sex our very young dogs. Do you replace any of the lost hormones?

    1. Hi Jeannette, I have not read about that, I certainly have not read about replacing lost hormones. I have worked with thousands of healthy dogs who were neutered at 8 months. If you have any information about this to the contrary then please feel free to share. I am always happy to learn more. I think that this is one area where we are making the best of a tricky situation. Dogs that are not spayed and neutered will end up in more trouble long term. If there was another option then I would certainly consider it. Interesting point that you raise Jeanette, regards Dan

  7. To advocate blanket neutering of dogs not used for breeding is irresponsible without pointing out the issues caused by the practice. In some breeds, Salukis for example, neutering the entire male leads to a radical change in the coat which causes overheating It also causes a change in the metabolism which creates excessive weight so for male Salukis it is a life shortening thing. It is the responsibility of the owner to control their dog and your argument that the entire dog will seek out bitches in seasin in the neighbourhood is spurious. Salukis have to be walked on a lead at all times, By their nature and breeding, possible 10.000 years as a breed, the oldest breed of dog in the world, they are pure hunters and will go after targets so require very secure accomodation. More Salukis meet an early death in road traffic accidents than die early of disease. This is common in sighthounds.
    Also there is an interesting article here (http://www.yourpurebredpuppy.com/health/articles/neutering-male-dog.html)showing a balanced view of the pros and cons of neutering. Salkukis have heart problems inherrent in the breed because of their development of a large heart and genetic make up. Neutering stops a hormone which is believed counters the disease hermangiosarcoma (Heart cancer)
    Jeanette is absolutley right the decision is not as clear cut as you seem to think.

  8. Dan, Kudos to you for promoting pet neutering. According to the SPCA, 70,000 puppies and kittens are born every day in the United States and 10,000 human babies. So each person gets 7 animals; not going to happen. Clearly, this is a problem. In a perfect world, not ours, everyone would protect their animals from unwanted litters. I see animals all the time that people have dropped off out here in the country. If no one helps them, they become shy of people quickly and then there is no help to be had. I have had most of my animals neutered over the past 20 years and have NEVER had any problems with them afterwards. I’m sure there may be problems with animals neutered before a year old, but don’t let them breed if you wait to have them neutered. The overpopulation problem is causing more harm to animals than the neutering problem. Example from the humane society: In the 70’s 12-20 million animals were euthanized yearly, because of responsible people neutering their pets that number has decreased to 2.7 million. This is still too much, but it is directly related to people being responsible enough to neuter their pets. There is currently no perfect solution except neutering. Maybe birth control for animals someday…. Be informed and think of what will become of the animals that you are allowing to come into the world after they leave your care.

    1. Hi Cathy,
      thanks for your comment. The statistics that you mention should be reason for anyone thinking of breeding to think twice 🙂 We really do have enough dogs in the world. Millions are being put to sleep and if you chose to bring more in then the chances are…some dogs will lose their chance at being adopted. Think again. Think twice…and then chose to adopt 🙂
      Regards, Dan

  9. Hi Dan
    I’m taking my twenty month old labradoodle to be neutered tomorrow. I have been very confused by contradictory advice but your post has really helped. Percy is generally well behaved but I found at training classes things would go well until a female returned after a season and he would become frantic. Also, other male dogs are definitely becoming increasingly hostile towards him and I’ve had a few close scrapes. Your advice has really helped – in an ideal world I wouldn’t dream of tampering with nature but I can’t help feeling that modern, urban environments make demands on our dogs that nature never intended.

    With thanks for your clear, no nonsense advice,

    Jane

    1. Hi Jane,
      thanks for your comment. Yes I agree in an ideal world we would not need to tamper with nature at all. However in the dog world we have created I feel that neutering is certainly a necessity as you are experiencing. To help with his socialising, meeting and greeting and generally calming him down have you taken a look at my video website http://www.theonlinedogtrainer.com This will help heaps 🙂
      All the best, Doggy Dan

  10. We’ve just had our dog (14 months old) neutered, and we’re not regretting it yet. He’s calmer already, at home and on walks, and much less aggressive when meeting other dogs. We waited till 1 year, as I understood that neutering too early might cause health problems due to immaturity. The vet thinks that he will have a lower chance of prostate cancer too. I don’t buy the ‘abuse’ argument – I’ve reached the conclusion that not to neuter is unfair to them too if they are never going to be allowed to breed.

    1. Hi Alice,
      I agree that it is not ideal to have to neuter I would love everything to be as it is in the wild but that is not really an option! Not neutering would result in a lot more serious issues for sure. Like another increase in unwanted puppies. Dan

  11. Hi Dan! Here in Taiwan, there’s a massive problem with stray dogs, and every single animal organisation advocates neutering dogs, or at the very least CNR (catch, neuter, return) as shelters are full to bursting point.

    I got my boy dog when he was already neutered, and I’ve never, ever had any issues with him marking objects in the house. The only aggression he ever shows is if boisterous young entire male dogs try to dominance hump him, and even then, he won’t attack them, rather just bark or growl to get them to quit it. He’s never had any problem with females, nor with neutered males.

    As for my girl, she came into heat a mere two days after I adopted her! She was anxious, peeing EVERYWHERE in the house, and straining on the leash to get to any male dog possible (there were a couple of close calls!) She’d also been adopted and then returned to the shelter TWICE before I got her, due to behaviour issues and excessive barking. After she came out of heat and I had her neutered, she was like a new dog. She has only peed in the house since then when I haven’t taken her cues that she needs to go out (so not her fault), and I don’t need to worry about any male dogs knocking her up, either. Overall, she’s more affectionate and relaxed since she’s been neutered, and I barely hear a bark from her now other than when she’s playing with other dogs in the park.

    So to sum up this freakishly long comment: neuter your pets, people! And if you can’t neuter for health reasons (as some people have mentioned above) then, well, you’d better train them well!

    1. Hi Tom,
      thanks for taking the time. Yep…I have found that some dogs and bitches do calm down after being spayed and neutered, and of course they attract less attention! They’re all different however its good to hear that things are going well for you and your dog now 🙂
      All the best, and thanks for sharing. Dan

  12. I had no idea that having a spayed or neutered pet could affect your chances of getting into doggy day cares. I can also see why that would influence the daycare’s ability to care for your pet and others. You can never predict whether or not a dog will attack another. Thanks for the post!

    1. Yep, it sure does…maybe not all of them but certainly most will check if your dog is neutered after 8 months of age. I have seen some interesting situations with dogs who were not… Like the day an un-neutered Chihuahua was allowed in who was 2 years old and the poor dog got so much attention from all the other males it was fascinating to say the least!

  13. Thanks for this helpful post on why you should neuter your dog. I think that it makes a lot of sense to have your dogs neutered if you don’t plan on breeding them. I would not want to have my dogs be unhappy because they are enclosed in my backyard without being able to find a mate. I have also just noticed that my dogs that are neutered are easier to control. Thanks for the help!

    1. Yes, whilst working at a large Doggy Day care with a pack of around 30 dogs witnessed an entire male become like a honey pot to the other males. He was a lovely little male Chihuahua who was really hassled by the other dogs simply because he was entire. The dogs were fascinated and it certainly charged the whole pack up. Very interesting dynamics and certainly can cause a few more issues. With some dogs it will really trigger a different behavior / response. Dan

  14. It’s interesting to know that neutering your pets can actually help them behave and avoid aggression problems. My pet husky is quite an aggressive dog and it can get worse at times. He keeps on digging under the fences and pee wherever he feels like it. I think I’m going to consider having him neuter so he can behave in the way I want him to be. Also, this will help him avoid injuries that he keeps on getting from fighting with other pets in the neighbor. It’ll be better if I can make him stay at home.

    1. Hi Sam,
      I always advise dog owners to take a bit of a two-pronged approach when it comes to a dog’s behaviour and whether or not they should have their dog neutered to try and calm things down. Relying solely on having a dog neutered to solve behavioural issues is often not as successful as owners would like…..in that in doing so it doesn’t just magically result in a well behaved dog! There are actually really important pieces of information that you can give your dog to solve many of the issues you mentioned above and so it’s important not to misdiagnose the cause of these issues. For example if he is escaping from your home, mainly when you are out, then this is a common behaviour associated with Separation Anxiety. Before you make any big decisions, and to gather a little more information about your dog’s behaviour, maybe take a look at my website TheOnlineDogTrainer.com …its a $1USD trial for 3 days…all the best Doggy Dan

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