If there is something I do not regret to have done regarding my dog, is to neuter him. I find it bizarre to hear some people condemn breeders and their clients and lecture others on how many dogs are unwanted in crowded shelters, all while owning a full dog.
I have to admit, I was one of them but not of a loud type that was lecturing people around. I kept my beliefs to myself without making too much fuss over it.
So, apart from keeping dogs overpopulation under control, what can a dog and its owner gain from this procedure? Here is a comprehensive list of benefits.
1 – You won’t lose your dog.
If you own an entire dog, especially a male, the chances of your dog running away are much higher.
If you are a man, you may have noticed how many companies try to put their hands into your wallet through sex: “Do you want to be successful with women? Use this deodorant, razor, aftershave, drive this car, buy this perfume etc.”. Marketers know well how heavily the sex impulse affects the male brain and dogs are not different.
A male dog that smells pheromones of a female in season will become unmanageable and unresponsive. The dog will do anything and take any available chances to run off seeking for the bitch in season. He can travel long distances to find her as female pheromones can travel long distances.
Even bitches will attempt to escape and mate when they are ready. Like a male, a bitch will look for her mate but for her, it won’t be difficult. Probably male dogs are already roaming around and the “fortunate” owner will have to deal with a litter of unplanned puppies.
Owners of unspayed bitches are a little bit “better off” than owners of unneutered males as owners of females have to worry only 2 or 3 predictable times a year. But, for the owner of the male dog, it’s a permanent chance of losing the dog as the male is sexually active all year long. Any scent of pheromones can cause him to run off unpredictably.
Not only you can end up losing your pet but you are also held legally accountable for damages to third parties done by your dog. Also, consider that your dog may get run over by a car and killed while wandering around.
2 – Fewer dogfights.
Male competition for mating is common for many species of the animal kingdom including dogs.
An entire male is more at risk of dogfights with other males, especially if there are females around due to a high level of testosterone. High testosterone will have a big impact on the dog’s assertiveness towards other dogs, and consequently, he will not only compete for mating but for whatever they consider their resources (territory, food, toys, bed, owner etc).
This does not mean that a neutered dog will not get into trouble with other dogs. Neutered dogs still have this chances but much lower (if a dog has confidence problems, it is advisable to consult your veterinary as the consequent lack of testosterone may affect the dog’s insecurity even further.)
This concept of a territorial and competitive behaviour is common for males and females.
Even bitches can compete with other females for mating and can be very protective of resources. Yet, not as much as males due to a difference in hormones. However, unspayed bitches can have hormonal swings and can become more irritated on certain occasions. But anyway, unwanted litters are the major concern for owners of females.
3 – The dog will be easier to train.
In order to train your dog and him or her respond to your commands, the dog needs to be focused on you. Dogs that are too busy competing or protecting their resources or if they smell pheromones or in season are completely out of focus. That will make training more complicated and, in the latest case, impossible.
4 – Better health.
Entire dogs of both genders are at risk of life-threatening complications. Males can face the possibility of testicular and prostate cancer while females are at risk of uterine infection. In both cases, surgery is necessary to save the dog’s life with no certainty of success.
In general, these problems may appear when the pet becomes a senior dog. The older the dog gets, the more dangerous it is for him or her to be anaesthetized for the operation as he or she may not survive. In my family, we have a dog that is about to turn 17. She cannot be operated if needed as she will not survive the operation. However, despite that, she still rocks it for her age.
Anyway, by neutering or spaying your dog you do not need to worry about the two health problems previously mentioned.
In conclusion, your dog will not spend its life thinking what’s happened to him or her. They have the ability to live in the moment (an ability that we as humans should learn as well). They will continue to be your affectionate, happy, jolly pets and you will have fewer concerns.
As a first-time dog owner, I was reluctant to do so. Now my only regret is not to have done it earlier.
It will be great to hear from you, ladies and gents. What do you think about spaying and neutering? And if you spayed or neutered your dog, do you think it has improved your dog’s life?
Feel free to leave a comment below.
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Also, if you like the topic of dogs, please check my book ‘Before You Get a Dog’ by Simone Burani. You will find the essential knowledge written in simple language to have a great time with your pet.