Consider this before neutering your male dog

There are many reasons why dog owners consider neutering their male dogs. They may have behavioural issues, a bitch at home that runs occasionally or the male dog needs to be around bitches sometimes and they don't want to risk poaching.

Behavioural issues

One reason many people choose to neuter their male dog is to get rid of unwanted behaviour. However, it is important to remember that neutering is not a universal solution to behavioural problems. When you neuter a male dog, you remove much of the testosterone, a hormone that is linked to mating, but also courage and confidence in the dog. However, you are not removing all the testosterone that the male dog produces in his body. 10% of testosterone is produced in the adrenal glands and will therefore always be present in the dog's body. You can solve some behavioural problems by neutering and this is most apparent in the behaviours your male dog displays around running sticks or splashing all over the place on walks. However, it's important to point out here that whether or not you think the behaviors you want to get rid of are related to the testosterone, it's no guarantee of behavioral change.

As testosterone also has a big impact on your male dog's courage and confidence, it may be good to keep this in mind when you are considering neutering your male dog. Therefore, we recommend that you wait until your male dog is an adult and sexually mature before neutering him. By then, testosterone will have had its effect on the dog's courage. Always consult your veterinarian about the best time for your dog to be neutered.

Chemical neutering

With chemical neutering, the vet inserts a chip under the skin of the dog between the shoulder blades. The chemical castration lasts for six months or a year and when the chip stops working, the dog regains its testosterone production and can be bred. For some individuals, a chemical castration is tested first to see how the dog behaves when much of the testosterone is gone from the body. Then the dog owner has the opportunity to decide whether or not to have the male dog surgically neutered. There are no guarantees how the dog will behave under chemical or surgical neutering so consult your vet as to which of the options may be best for you.

Surgical neutering

Surgical neutering is permanent and the vet will operate to remove the male dog's scrotum. Your dog will then need a few weeks of recovery for the wound to heal.

Benefits of neutering

  • No risk of testicular tumours

  • Reduced risk of prostate disease

  • Possibly reduced problem behaviour, but not necessarily

Disadvantages of neutering

  • Impaired metabolism, a dog that is neutered may have an impaired metabolism which puts it at greater risk of obesity.

  • If you already have a very insecure individual, this can in some cases be reinforced and thus lead to problems in dog encounters for example if you have seen similar behavioural issues earlier in life that you suspect are linked to that particular issue.

  • Leaking urine, male dogs that have been neutered may also have a tendency to leak urine, i.e. unintentionally.

Before you decide to neuter your male dog, you should consider the pros and cons and then make a decision about what is right for your particular dog, you should also have a dialogue with your vet about this. There are no rights and wrongs and depending on your dog, neutering can make life a lot easier around running ticks for example but there are risks which are good to consult your vet about.

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