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What effect does nuetering have on a dog's temperment?

9500 Views 52 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  susan tuck
I've seen a lot of articles and messageboard replies in various places on the 'net concerning the "aggressiveness" of un-neutered dogs. It got me wondering what, if any, effect neutering has on a dog's temperment.

I have a 12 mth old un-neutered male and was told that if we were going to neuter, not to do it until after 2 years of age b/c it might affect drives. I'm not sure how true that is, either. The breeder about had a heart attack when I asked about a spay/neuter agreement during his purchase (she couldn't understand why anyone would want to sterilize a dog).

So I'm turning to you experienced dog people: is there a difference? Do you neuter your dogs? If so, at what age?
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Personally I won't neuter my male unless there's a phsyical medical reason to do so. Same goes for spaying my girl, unless there's a medical reason, I won't do it. I also feel that neutering as a puppy kinda "locks" the pups mindset in a less mature state than neutering as an adult, because all the things that the body needs to mature and develop aren't present.

My vet threw all these statistics at me about neutering reduces aggression this that n the other by this much percent n eliminates this that n the other.... I told him "if I can't fix those things with training then that would make me a crappy trainer". I don't rely on un-neccesary surgery to solve potential behavioral problems.

There are some people out there who SHOULD spay/neuter, but, IMO, most of these people are either pet people who are often not responsible or vigilant enough to keep "accidents" from happening, or the dogs have medical issues, or the dogs aren't in absolute perfect health.

These are just my opinions on the subject, everyone has their own idea on when to neuter/if to neuter... personally I don't see any need for it, neutering causes more problems than it solves in my book.
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I don't understand the wandering comment. I mean, I know dogs like to wander n find a bitch in heat even if they smell her a mile away... but come on, my dog is never out of my sight unless he's in a crate or in a fenced in back yard that I know he can't jump. My dutchie might jump the fence -- but right now I'm not worried about that, I'm more worried about her realizing she can squeeze thru the fence bars LOL, but she's in the "I follow my daddy everywhere" stage of life so she's even off leash in unfenced areas because I know that all I have to do is walk away from her n she'll be nipping at my heels in seconds.

Every issue that my vet told me will be reduced/cured by neutering can be argued with appropriate containment and training.

I also think that studies are skewed, I've said it before and I'll say it again -- lets say they take 3000 dogs for a study... how many of those 3000 people take the kind of care of their dogs that most dedicated working dog folks do? I'll be you that my dogs are healthier than at least 2000 of the dogs in the studies. They don't take into account good breeding, lifestyle or good health. I believe in letting mother nature take her course, because that's the way it's been done since the beginning of time. If I decide to breed my bitch one day I don't wanna look back and regret spaying her because some statistics said she'd get cancer if I didn't. I've known alotta people who didn't spay their bitches, n none of them developed cancer -- is it possible that I just happen to meet the 1% of unspayed dogs who don't get cancer?

I'm not being argumentative to those who believe in the studies... the studies have their validity, but I'll take my chances with my 2 healthy un-altered dogs.

And yes Jenni, most men would rather be frustrated than castrated LOL... then theres the ones that castrate themselves for fun... go figure.
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Stacia Porter said:
I was wondering exactly that about prostate cancer, Jenni! This might be TMI, but one of the reasons that neither hubby nor I is "fixed" is that the surgeries increase the liklihood of prostate cancer for him and uterine cancers for me! I was thinking that if it just cauterizing the vas deferens has that effect on human males, why wouldn't castration have that effect on dogs?
I believe that there are also psychological consequences to this in humans, but I've never had my womb removed so I couldn't say for sure... :lol:

Stacia Porter said:
I was just wondering if that weren't a myth. Does neutering actually take away sexual desire?
The theory is that if you neuter before a behavior can develop, i.e. at 5 or 6 months or whatever the reccomended age is, that the behavior will never develop -- but supposedly if you wait till the dog has developed such behaviors, i.e. at 2 years old after maturity has been hit, then the neutering won't take away the behaviors -- so from a behavioral modification standpoint, neutering is pretty useless unless done as a puppy.

Stacia Porter said:
My spayed female still has mood swings! And won't a dog still hope fences it can whehter or not its' been altered?
Training training training... I know dogs who COULD hop fences.... but because the dogs know better, they don't.

Stacia Porter said:
I do understand neutering/spaying for otherwise irresponsible owners. There are people who just should not own in tact animals. But I'm just not sure that it's better for the animal. I suppose if I also owned an in tact female I might feel differently, but since I don't :wink:
Absolutely. I also think spaying/neutering should be mandatory for stupid people, but unfortunately this is some type of human rights violation :( :lol:
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Jenni Williams said:
it's like saying that you'll never be killed in plane crash if you don't fly. :wink:
.... well why didn't someone tell me that before? Holy crap I must have flown more than 250,000 miles n only NOW people are telling me this? pfft. Some friends I have! ](*,)
Jeff Oehlsen said:
Link comes up as a File Not Found?
My boy doesn't hump anything... maybe that'll change one day but I doubt it, he salivates when he smells female urine though LOL.
Kristen Cabe said:
Jak does this too - does kind of a really quick jaw smacking thing as he's drooling all over himself. LOL! ! ! !

Ok this thread has gotten WAY off topic! LoL
OK Cujo never did the jaw smacking thing until 10 days or so ago when I got my pup... he hadn't seen the pup yet, but she's crawled all over me at the airport so I had girlie puppy scent all over me... I walk into the room n uncrate Cujo n he starts sniffing at me with his jaw quivering n starts salivating all over the place... n im like .... woah OK apparently he likes girls! LOL.
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