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

9503 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.
There are several physical medical reasons for speutering. Spaying a female can decrease her chances of developing 'breast' cancer - the percentage goes down to almost 0 if she is spayed before the first heat. It can also completely eliminate the chances of her deveoping uterine or ovarian cancer, and pyometra (a very serious infection of the uterous, which can be deadly and is extremely costly to treat). Neutering a male dog can decrease the chances of him developing prostate disease, and completely eliminate the chances of testicular cancer.

As for the behavioral problems that are supposedly solved by speutering, many of those things CAN be dealt with through training, but some cannot. Female dogs have mood swings just like some women do, and can become cranky and even aggressive when they are in heat. Bitches in heat are not fun to deal with - why do you think the term is used for certain women?! :lol: The inclination to roam is also something that can't really be trained out. When a male dog smells a female in heat (and he can do so for miles!), he is going to do all he can do to get to her. Sometimes he can cause injury to himself in the process. One of my trainer's dogs was so frustrated that he licked his front paws completely bloody raw because the bitch in the kennel next to him was coming in to heat (they didn't realize she was in heat at first). Also, statistics prove that intact dogs are more likely to bite; most of the dog bites you hear about in the news are from unneutered males.

Is this an arguement for speutering? Yes and no. I do not feel that anyone on this board needs to be fussed at or lectured for having intact dogs. Jak is intact, and will remain so until he is at least 2 years old, but will be neutered at around that time if he isn't suitable for breeding, or when he becomes too old to be bred. My other dog was spayed at 2.5 months old. She is a mixed breed. I have no experience breeding dogs, and no desire to have a female with puppies. No reason to keep her intact at all. The average pet owner, however, should not own an intact animal, in my opinion. There is absolutely no reason at all for average people to own or breed an intact animal just because. That's where our overpopulation problem stems from, and I'm sure you all are well aware of this. Shelters and rescues that don't speuter their animals before they are adopted are a BIG peeve of mine, as are breeders who sell their animals to pet homes but require that the animal be bred at least once before the new owner is allowed to speuter it.
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I was simply responding to the "obvious medical reasons" statement - pointing a few of them out. I also wasn't referring to the studies about medical issues in my post; I was referring to the many studies that prove that intact animals are involved in more dog bite incidents.

I've always had speutered animals; Jak is the first intact animal I've ever had. He's also the first purebred animal I've ever had. None of my previous animals ever developed problems from being speutered. I'm a firm believer in spay/neuter for pets, because of the reasons that many of you guys have stated! Honestly I think everyone here is on the same page when it comes to speutering.

NOTE: Male dogs aren't the only ones who will wander to find a mate. Females will come to your intact male as well, and dogs can be very creative when it comes to finding a way to breed! :twisted: How else do you think people end up with basset hound or corgi shepherds?! :lol:

Jenni W., your comment about doing vassectomies in dogs instead of castration got me wondering. What about Neutersol? Is the risk the same with it? It's an injection that renders the dog sterile, but does not get rid of the testicles OR the hormones. As a result, it doesn't do squat about behavioral problems if that's a reason why a person is neutering their dog, but it does prevent the dog from impregnating a female.

I'm leary of anything implanted in a person's (or dog's) body as a contraceptive. I've heard bad things about the ones used for women - like they can cause severe infections and even end up making some women unable to have children ever. :?
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:lol: :lol: Jeff, you can bring humor into anything, can't you?

I've read that article about the bones and growing too tall and all. It is very interesting. Glad you posted it!

About the humping, when we first got Jak, he would "air hump" when he got overly excited, but that only lasted about 3 weeks or so. He also tried to hump my husband a couple of times, and occasionally he'll try to hump Gypsy, but he's never tried to hump me.

My boy doesn't hump anything... maybe that'll change one day but I doubt it, he salivates when he smells female urine though
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

I've heard that speutering before age 2 can affect drives too, Stacia. No one's really commented on that yet, though.
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