Benefits Of Neutering
Your Male Dog

Basic questions about Neutering Your Male Dog:

This is not designed to tell you whether you should or should not neuter your male dog.

Rather, you will find some basic educational questions and answers that will help educate you on the benefits that neutering your male dog may provide to both you and your dog.

Confused dog

What exactly is the procedure?

When the male dog gets neutered, both of his testicles are surgically removed. The scrotum is not removed during the operation, just opened up to remove the testicles and then closed back up again.

The extra skin that this leaves soon tightens up.

This is done by a veterinarian, under anesthetic, in a sterile environment. 

Some vets routinely do other procedures while the dog is out, such as microchipping, and gastropexy, where the stomach is tacked to the abdominal wall to prevent the stomach from twisting - caused by bloat.

Recovery is generally fast, most dogs don't even notice that they no longer have any interest in lady dogs!

Should every male dog get neutered if they are not going to be bred?

It is not absolutely essential to have every non-breeding male dog undergo this operation.

Many pet dogs have a naturally occurring sex drive and without behavioral problems that were influenced by male hormones, such as leg mounting, urinating indoors (also known as 'marking'), etc.

If such dogs are supervised by their owners and kept in a fenced yard without an opportunity to breed a wandering female in heat then having them neutered is not necessary. It's your decision.

Are there any negative effects of having the male dog neutered?

We have not heard of any cases where there are problems from having male dogs neutered.

In most every case, having the surgery either improved the dog's behavior or had no apparent effect.

Neutering your male dog will never make your dog worse" if that is your concern.

What type of undesirable behavioral problems should I look for as a reason to neuter my dog?

Although a large percentage of undesirable behavior problems stems from a lack of training, there are many issues that are a result of sexual frustration.

If your dog has a habit of humping both objects and people often, then neutering your male dog would more than likely ease this situation.

Also, attempting to leave the yard and go roaming not only is a result of sexual frustration but also is quite a pain to deal with when you have to look for your dog every night. Having your dog undergo the operation can alleviate this, too.

If you adopt a dog from the SPCA or  similar organization, they routinely neuter both males and females prior to adoption. 

This prevents accidental puppies, which add to the over population of pets that end up getting euthanized. There are so many truly nice dogs that end up in pounds and shelters, why add more to it?

Are there any health benefits to having my male dog neutered?

You may want to consider the fact that veterinarians find that some male dogs develop testicular disease as they age.This includes, but is not limited to, testicular cancer.

This may or may not happen to your dog but if indeed he undergoes the surgery, testicular disease will never be an issue.

Having your male dog neutered may also help him have much lower chances for problems such as prostate glands and cancerous growths.

You are encouraged to discuss any of these ailments with your veterinarian as well as ask questions about neutering your dog.

Neutering may be common practice, but it is still serious surgery and carries risks and benefits.

Weighing them carefully will result in the best decision for you and your pet.

Neutering ('spaying' is the procedure for females) is a surgical procedure that removes the testicles. That act has a number of consequences.

Neutering, of course, removes the ability of the male to produce sperm making successful mating impossible.

At the same time, however, it causes the body to reduce testosterone and other hormones that motivate mating behavior.

Males don't get aroused, and the standard behavior is lowered or eliminated altogether.

Female dogs in heat produce a pheromone (biochemical scent) that males can sense from far away.

That induces several behaviors in the male, apart from the obvious desire to mount.

It incites males to lick the female's ears and vulva. If unable to reach the female, males will wander back and forth in her vicinity. They'll even forego food and water for long periods.

Altering the male's hormone levels by de-sexing the dog changes all that.

Males will still show an interest in a female in heat, but the reactions are very subdued.

Ear licking may still occur, but they never try to mount and arousal is very rare.

Dog neutering removes the possibility of testicular tumors and lowers the risk of prostate disease and other conditions.

These are influenced by the level of testosterone in your dog.

When the male is neutered also makes a difference.

Males neutered very early in life may never acquire certain typical attributes and behavior. Assertiveness is reduced right away.

Males neutered later may take some time for hormone levels to reduce and will have acquired some habits that may change only slowly.

Un-neutered males will mark territory by urinating on trees, lampposts and even other dogs' markings.

Intact males are more assertive and may engage in rough behavior with other, competing males, sometimes to the extent of injury.

They often engage in stereotypical (and often comical) fake mating behavior - on your leg, a pillow or other handy objects.

All those may take time to fade if males are neutered after sexual maturity.

Neutering a male has other effects that more directly impact your relationship with your male dog.

Since a female in heat gets most of the attention, your dog will become distracted and unresponsive if un-neutered.

Whining and agitation are common at those times. They're more likely to try to assert dominance, often a problem with males in any case, as many will strive for alpha status.

That makes training more difficult during those twice-yearly, three week periods.

But neutering, while a common medical procedure, is not without risks and possible drawbacks. Any surgery carries some discomfort and possible health impact. Assertive behavior can still persist despite the procedure.

And, some people will want to make the perfectly justifiable choice to mate their males with other dogs.

Since the decision is irreversible, consider it carefully.

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