Male dog neutering, known as castration, is the surgical removal of a male dog’s testicles for the purposes of canine population control, medical health benefit, genetic-disease control and behavioral modification. Considered to be a basic component of responsible pet ownership, the neutering of male dogs is a common surgical procedure that is performed by most veterinary clinics all over the world.
There are many reasons why veterinarians and pet advocacy groups recommend the neutering of entire male dogs. Many of these reasons are listed below, however the list is by no means exhaustive.
- The prevention of unwanted litters: Pet overpopulation and the dumping of unwanted litters of puppies is an all-too-common side effect of irresponsible pet ownership. Every year, thousands of unwanted puppies and older dogs are dumped on the street (where they ultimately end up dying from neglect or finding their way into pounds and shelters). Many of these animals do not get adopted and need to be euthanased. This sad waste of healthy life can be reduced by not letting pet dogs breed indiscriminately and one way of preventing any accidental, unwanted breeding from occurring is through the routine neutering of all non-stud male dogs.
- The reduction of stray and feral animal populations: By having companion dogs neutered, they are unable to go out and mate with feral or stray bitches and get them pregnant. This results in fewer litters of stray and feral dogs being born which benefits not just those unwanted puppies, but society in general.
- To reduce the spread of inferior genetic traits, genetic diseases and congenital deformities: Dog breeding is not merely the production of puppies, it is the transferral of genes and genetic traits from one generation to the next. Pet owners and breeders should desex male dogs that have conformational and temperamental traits which are unfavourable or faulty to the breed as a whole to reduce the spread of these defects further down the generations. Male dogs with heritable genetic diseases and congenital defects/deformities should also be desexed to reduce the spread of these genetic diseases to their offspring.
- The prevention or reduction of testicular diseases: It is difficult to contract a testicular disease if you have no testicles. Neutering prevents dogs from contracting a range of diseases and disorders which may otherwise occur.
- The prevention or reduction of testosterone-induced diseases: Dogs can suffer from a range of diseases and medical conditions that are directly associated with high blood testosterone levels. Desexing removes the main source of testosterone in the animal’s body (the testes), which not only prevents the onset of these diseases but can even help to control or cure these diseases if they are already present.
- The prevention or reduction of testosterone-mediated behavioural problems: The testicles produce testosterone: the hormone that makes male animals look and act like male animals.
- Entire dogs are likely to be more aggressive, more dominant and prone to male-to-male aggression than neutered animals. They tend to exhibit sexualised behaviours including: aroused interest in females; mounting and/or mating of females; mounting and humping inanimate objects (including toys, chair-legs and human legs) and complete erection of the penis when excited. They are more prone to displaying often masculine territorial behaviours such as the guarding resources (food, bones, territory, people) and marking of territory with urine and faeces. Additionally, entire male animals are more likely to leave their yards and roam the countryside looking for females and trouble.
When is it best to neuter a dog.
Current recommendations are that male dogs are neutered around 5-7 months of age and older. At this age the Testes should be fully developed and can be removed in a 15 minute operation. The dog recover quickly and be up and about again within 24 hours.
Be a responsible dog owner, get your male dogs castrated.