Do Dogs Change After Castration
Edward R. Forte
November 25, 2021
Training & Behavior
Many male animals are neutered (castrated) as a best practice for health and handling.Much research has been done about the health and behavioral impacts of castration in pet dogs.Neutering may also be associated with an increased risk of some musculoskeletal disorders and cancers, when done before a given age.This not only minimizes the risk of unplanned litters, but also may offer behavioral benefits.Puberty and adolescence are the time when animals transition from youth to sexual maturity.However, further research is needed before any firm conclusions can be drawn in this situation.Neutering was historically considered a crucial part of therapy for all dogs displaying unwanted aggression. .
Do Male Dogs Change after Being Neutered?
Neutering is a reasonably safe process; however, you can expect sharp changes in your dog’s attitude right when you bring them home from the procedure.This can cause you as the owner because the last thing you want is a bunch of pups running around that you now have to take care of or go through the hassle of finding a safe home.Neutering is very effective for reducing your male dog’s sexual appetite; however, it can also activate other behavioral symptoms in them that you may not expect.One of the most well-known adverse effects of having your male dog neutered is that they will often become more aggressive.While male dogs who are neutered do experience an increase in aggressive behaviors right after the procedure, neutering can make them much less aggressive over time.Other changes to expect in your male dog after being neutered.Q: Do male dogs get aggressive after being neutered?Now you know how male dogs change after being neutered. .
What to Expect After Neutering or Spaying Your Dog
Now that you’ve decided to spay or neuter your dog, it’s crucial you know what to expect after the surgery itself.After all, spaying and neutering is the veterinarian’s job, the aftercare is all yours!Caring for your pet during the first overnight period (if he or she doesn’t stay over at your vet’s), monitoring the incision, and making sure she or he doesn’t traumatize the area are the three most crucial concerns for any owner who needs to know what to expect after spaying or neutering their dog.What to Expect the First Night After a Spay or Neuter.Keep an eye out for bleeding or excessive weeping from the incision site.Swelling of the incision, particularly if it’s bulging.Keep a close eye on your dog if you remove the recovery collar for eating or walking.In general, larger, older dogs experience a longer recovery period.For these, it often takes two to three days for dogs to return to their normal selves after a spay and one to two for a neuter.In many instances, older dogs (over six) can take up to a week to feel completely better after a spay or neuter surgery.In general, smaller dogs recover more quickly.Behavior and Other Long-term Changes After Spaying and Neutering.Activity levels may be reduced in both males and females after spaying and neutering, but this is by no means certain in all dogs. .
Can I calm my dog down by having him neutered?
In general, however, neutering will have no effect on your dog’s personality, but it may influence his mood and make some behaviours more or less likely.However, this process is poorly understood, and there isn’t much we can do about it anyway!Testosterone leads to an increased sense of self-confidence; this is usually expressed as: Increased risk taking - which is one of the reasons that entire male dogs are more likely to be involved in road traffic accidents.This is important, because it suggests that entire dogs are LESS likely to undergo fear-based aggression than their neutered counterparts.This is characteristic of all adolescent males, but in our dogs it tends to be particularly unwanted!We mainly see this expressed as: Roaming - wandering off looking for bitches in heat to mate with.This is potentially dangerous, especially if there are busy roads between him and his intended.Sexual behaviours (especially if you don’t let him go out to find a bitch).The trouble is that testosterone does not cause behaviours in adolescent or adult dogs - it simply makes them more likely to occur.Castration may make him slightly lazier, but don’t expect it to have any effect on adolescent enthusiasm or rowdy behaviour either!Your vets can refer you to a behaviourist if needed; and if they think castration may help, there is now a reversible implant that has all the same effects (lasting for 6 or 12 months) so you can “try it out” without the need for surgery. .
Everything you wanted ...
There is a lot more to this subject than many think.All too often, male dogs are castrated because of the belief that it will calm them down or prevent the development of aggression; however, it is not as simple as that.Here are some facts about testosterone and how it affects behaviour:.It is at this time they are most likely to be the target of competitive aggression from other male dogs.Testosterone can increase sexual behaviours (sexually based humping, mating, marking, roaming - looking for a mate).Testosterone levels can increase risks of age related prostate issues in later life (Wilson, 2011).There are some recent studies that concluded other forms of cancer were more likely in castrated dogs.However, since these studies were conducted on animals already suffering from cancers, the sample was biased.Eventually, after a week or so, the pituitary gland stops trying to send these chemical messages.Any form of fear aggression (castration could make this WORSE by reducing confidence).Timidity (castration could lead to onset of fear aggression by reducing confidence).If you are having your dog castrated for a behavioural reason, or if your dog is timid/fearful, it is wise to seek the guidance of a qualified behaviourist to help to assess whether castration could help or make the situation worse.If you do decide to go ahead with castration, it is most likely that you will still need to modify this behaviour with the help of a behaviourist as this could have become a learned behaviour.However, immediately after implantation, testosterone levels will rise for a few weeks before dropping.You should discuss with your vet how they can offset this testosterone increase for a few weeks.From this time, you can monitor the behaviours to determine if castration would be helpful or detrimental.It is advisable to work with a behaviourist during this time in case difficulties are encountered.Without properly assessing a dog, castration could actually make some behaviour problems worse.(2010) Do androgens play a beneficial role in the regulation of vascular tone?Testosterone is positively associated with risk taking in the Iowa Gambling Task. .
How Will Spaying Change My Dog?
At Anasazi Animal Clinic in Gilbert, we’re happy to answer any questions you may have about spay surgery.Millions of healthy dogs and cats are humanely put down each year in the United States simply because there aren’t enough homes to go around.There are significant medical benefits to be gained from spaying your dog, including the prevention of cancer, infection, and disease.If your dog has already had her first heat, it’s not too late.Although they are uncommon in dogs, some breeds may be genetically predisposed to developing ovarian and uterine tumors.Spaying your dog completely eliminates the possibility of her developing ovarian or uterine cancer.Carrying and giving birth to puppies can be very stressful on a dog’s body.At this time, female dogs produce a surge of the hormone estrogen and begin their reproductive cycle, which leads to estrus, or “heat.” When in heat, a female dog will be receptive to breeding with males.However, female dogs may experience changes in behaviors associated with the heat cycle after spaying.Spaying your dog will eliminate frequent urination and bloody discharge, both of which may occur during her heat cycle.If your dog has been exhibiting these habits for months or years, they might persist even after spaying.In fact, each heat cycle your dog experiences increases her risk of developing serious medical conditions.Two things that do lead to a better-behaved dog are proper obedience training and regular exercise.If you have a puppy, keep in mind that maturity may lead to calmer behavior as well.Some people think that spaying a dog will get rid of all her behavior problems.The effects of spaying largely depend on your dog’s individual personality, physiology, and history.Although spaying can remedy hormonal behavior problems, it’s not a quick fix that will instantly transform your dog into an angelic companion.Although spaying is beneficial in many ways, there are a few potential effects to be aware of:.This could be caused by a decrease in estrogen and oxytocin, both of which may have calming, anti-anxiety effects.At least one study found a slightly higher risk in dogs who were less than three months of age when spayed.Physiological changes after spaying may affect your dog’s metabolism and appetite, making her prone to weight gain.However, knowing whether surgery is right for your dog requires a visit with an experienced vet.At Anasazi Animal Clinic in Gilbert, AZ, we provide a variety of affordable surgical services. .
Five myths commonly associated with neutering in dogs
This article identifies five of these myths and indicates that: neutering is very unlikely to make dogs calmer; castration will not improve all problem behaviours in male dogs; pseudopregnancies can occur in spayed as well as entire bitches; delmadi-none (Tardak) is not a reliable indicator of the behavioural effects of castration; neutering can have negative as well as positive effects on the incidence of health problems in dogs.However there are some myths associated with neutering that are fairly widely accepted by veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses in practice as well as amongst pet owners but that do not necessarily reflect the current understanding of how sex hormones and neutering affect health and behaviour in dogs.This can be problematic because although castration will improve some problem behaviours it is often more effective alongside behaviour modification, and in some dogs castration can potentially have adverse behavioural effects.Circulating testosterone can also increase the likelihood of dogs being very distracted by other dogs or showing signs of high arousal and frustration, particularly around bitches in season.Also, some of these behaviours can have other causes (e.g.Therefore castration can potentially reduce the likelihood of a male dog showing aggression in response to threats, although in animals that are already showing aggression this effect is only likely to be significant if combined with a comprehensive behaviour modification plan to address the dog's underlying emotional state and the triggers that cause him to show aggression.Although in many cases castration will either have a beneficial effect on behaviour or no effect at all, there are a couple of ways in which castration can potentially cause or exacerbate problem behaviours in dogs.Before castration these effects may have been masked by testosterone.In theory pre-pubertal castration should reduce the incidence of problem behaviours in male dogs that are directly influenced by testosterone.Myth 3: Tardak reliably indicates the behavioural effect of castration It can sometimes be difficult to predict what effect castration might have on an individual dog's behaviour.For example, in a dog that is showing aggression because it is fearful, circulating testosterone can potentially increase the likelihood of the dog showing aggression in response to threats, but removing testosterone could further increase its fearfulness.So while Tardak can be extremely useful for short-term suppression of testosterone-related behaviours, such as frustration in response to an in-season bitch, it is not necessarily a good indicator of the behavioural effect of castration.It is also important to be aware that Suprelorin implants are not licensed for use either to influence problematic testosterone behaviours in dogs or to assess the potential effectiveness of castration, so their use in any of these situations is off-label.While more research is needed into this, dispelling some of the more common myths associated with neutering, and particularly how it affects behaviour in dogs, should help us to make the most appropriate decisions for individual dogs and their owners.In male dogs castration can be beneficial in reducing the risk of developing problem behaviours that are directly influenced by testosterone, but in dogs that are already showing testosterone-related behaviour problems, castration is likely to be more effective if done alongside a behaviour modification programme to address learned and any other non-hormonal aspects of the behaviour.Post-spay pseudopregnancy should be considered as a possible cause of sudden behaviour changes, including increased aggression, after bitches are spayed.Although some of these bitches also have enlarged mammary glands and milk production these are not always present and if they are not there is a risk that the behaviour changes may not be recognised as a hormonally-related problem.Pseudopregnancy in spayed bitches will usually respond to cabergoline (Harvey et al, 1999) although, as in entire bitches, a course of 2 weeks or longer may be needed to completely resolve the behavioural signs. .
Are There Behavior Changes When Dogs Are Spayed or Neutered
According to two large sample investigations, there appear to be some surprising and undesirable behavior changes in dogs who are spayed or neutered.If you believe many of the websites maintained by a number of humane societies and veterinary groups, the spaying or neutering of dogs seems to be a solution for many behavioral problems.My interest in the question of possible behavior changes associated with spaying and neutering was rekindled when I had a pair of European visitors, who were quite amazed at the number of dogs in North America who were spayed or neutered.A Swedish study found that 99 percent of the dogs in their sample were not neutered.Ultimately my search of the scientific literature uncovered two studies that appeared to be soundly designed, which used a similar methodology, collected data from a large number of dogs, and directly addressed the issue of behavior changes as a result of spaying and neutering.Both of these studies used the Canine Behavioral Assessment and Research Questionnaire (usually abbreviated as the C-BARQ) which was developed by Serpell and his associates.The Duffy and Serpell study tested two different samples, one of 1,552 dogs and the other of 3,593 dogs.Given that one of the accepted behavioral reasons for spaying and neutering is to reduce aggression, the distressing results of these studies are that spayed and neutered dogs actually show considerably more aggression.One slight difference between males and females is that for male dogs the age at which they are neutered makes no difference in the increase of aggression relative to intact dogs, however, for females early spaying (before the dog is one year of age) causes a considerably larger increase in aggression relative to later spaying.Considering that one of the reasons recommended for spaying and neutering dogs is to correct a range of canine behavior problems, Duffy and Serpell's conclusions expose this to be a myth when they say, "For most behaviors, spaying/neutering was associated with worse behavior, contrary to conventional wisdom.". .
How long will my dog be in pain after neutering?
While you may not feel like it at the moment, going through the potentially emotional process of having your dog spayed or neutered is worth it, both for you as a loving pet parent, and for your beloved pet.Spay and neuter surgeries are common veterinary medical procedures that most vets get lots of experience performing.These surgeries are considered very safe for most dogs and cats.In many places, both surgeries may be referred to as 'neutering' or being 'fixed'.Here are a few things that you can do to help comfort your dog after neutering:.How long will my dog be in pain after neutering or spaying?The next day your pet should begin behaving more like themselves and be showing little sign of pain.Spaying your female dog is somewhat more involved than neutering males, however, it should take about the same amount of time to recover from either of these surgeries.Some pain medications that work for humans are poisonous to dogs. .