Neutering Your Male Dog
Throughout my pet parent years, I have had more male dogs than I have had females, and personally, I just like male dogs better. It's got nothing to do with males dogs being more this or that than female dogs, because you can find females that are just as territorial as males can get. Just like people, you've got different personalities for different dogs, and you just can't say that all male dogs are this and all female dogs are that.
But, as for why I like males dogs better, I just do. Plain and simple, but when it comes to male dogs the one thing that I make sure of is that they get neutered. It's a necessary procedure in my opinion.
The one thing that I find funny is men and male dogs. For some reason men just don't want their male companion neutered. It apparently takes away their manhood... *Shakes head and rolls eyes*
Personally, they look so much more attractive without the balls dangling as they walk, but there are many logical reasons to have your male dog neutered. Below, you'll find information about when, why, and how.
When to Neuter a Male Dog
Male dogs can be safely neutered as early as 8 weeks, although it is safer to wait until the puppy is at least 6 months old. Unlike the more involved process of spaying a female dog, neutering a male dog is less involved becuase the parts involved in the procedure are right below the skin rather than inside the abdomen.
If you have your male dog neutered before he is 6 months old, you can prevent an unwanted pregnancy, roaming, and hormone related aggression between other dogs. By neutering your dog, you will reduce testosterone related aggression and concerns, in general. You will also be reducing the risk of an enlarged prostate later in life.
Just remember that neutering your dog will not necessarily 100% take away your dog's want to roam, or have trisks with other dogs. It will just reduce the likelihood. Also, remember that the longer you wait to neuter your dog, the less likely that it will truly affect his behavior, but in more cases neutering an adult dog will truly affect a problem dog for the better.
There is no guarantee that neutering the dog will reduce aggression, the want to roam, or any other behavioral problems you may be experiencing with your dog. There is a good possibility that it will help the problems, but there's no guarantee. Just remember if you're having behavioral problems with your dog, have him neutered in conjunction with behavioral training and obedience in order for optimum results.
Neutered French Bulldog
What's the Process of Neutering a Dog
There are two different methods of neutering a male dog- 1) surgical and 2) injections of Neutersol.
Surgical method of neutering a male dog:
The male puppy, or dog, will be put under general anesthesia, and his heartbeat, breathing, and sometimes blood pressure will be monitored by machines.
After the dog is fully anesthetized, he will be placed on his back on a heated surgical table. The hair in front of the small area where the scrotum meets the sheath of the penis is shaved, and the skin is cleaned with a surgical scrub.
The vet will make an incision that's about .5 to 1.5 inches long, depending on the size of the testicles. He will pull each testicle through the incision, clamp and tie off the attached vessel, cut the vessel, and remove the testicle.
The skin of the incision will be closed with either sutures or surgical glue.
The anesthesia will be turned off, and the male dog will be watched until he is fully awake. He will then be moved to a recovery cage.
Dog neutering via injections:
If your male puppy is between the ages of 3 and 10 months old, you can have him neutered using injections of the sterilizing solution, Neutersol.
The Neutersol is injected directly into the testicle while the puppy is awake. The manufacturer of Neutersol claims that "most" puppies don't find the injections painful, but that they may experience vomiting and diarrhea.
The biggest drawback to Neutersol is that the dog can still product some testosterone- up to 50% of normal levels- which means that the dog may still be inclined to roam in search for females and get into fights with other males.
Also, with the residual testosterone level, it puts your dog at higher risk of developing enlarged prostate later in life than he had been surgically neutered.
Can I have my dog neutered and him keep his testicles?
Although, vets can perform a vasectomy without removing the testicles, most of them aren't skilled enough to do so. Plus, if you have the vasectomy and leave the testicles, you aren't eliminating testosterone production, which means that your dog may still roam, fight, and develop an enlarged prostate when older.
What Happens After the Procedure
Because neutering a male dog is not as involved as spaying a female dog, your dog will probably get to go home the same day of the procedure. And, more than likely, he'll probably act the same and completely normal the day after the surgery.
But, you still want to try to keep the dog calm until his sutures or the glue is settled, which means walks on leashes and no roughhousing with other dogs or people. You want to try to keep your dog calm for 7 to 14 days.
Most dogs will leave the incision alone after the surgery, but if he licks excessively at the area, you'll want to put an Elizabethan collar on him until he loses interest in the incision or until it has healed.
* Note- A recently neutered male can still inpregnant a female dog for up to 2-3 weeks after the procedure.
What are the risks of neutering your dog?
Because vets typically perform a pre-surgical exam on the dog, usually you will find that there are very few complications or risks for neutering your dog because if your vet does not think that your dog is healthy enough for the procedure, he will not perform the procedure.
Anytime a dog is anesthetized, there is risk that he could have a serious and unpredictable anesthetic reaction, but these complciations are very rare in young, healthy dogs.
In healthy dogs, the main complication that you may encounter would be a skin irritation at the incision site.
But, for the most part, the chances are that your puppy will bounce back from his surgery as if nothing had happened.
Fake Dog Testicles
Because so many men do not want to have their male dogs neutered, there are options. Or if you just really like the look of male dogs with "balls," so to speak, you have options. But, in terms of the dog, he'll still be a male dog with out without the testicles, and he won't care either way if he has them dragging behind him or not.
You option is purchasing Neuticles, which are artificial testicles. Typically, the fake testicles are implanted while the vet is surgically neutering the dog. You will usually have options as to the size and the texture of the Neuticals so that you can get them as realistic as you want.
Just remember that there is really no reason other than for aesthetics to have Neuticals implanted in your dog's scrotal sac.
Male Dog Neutering Myths
Ok, here's a quick list of common myths about neutering your dog, and the basic gist as to why they're just not true.
- The dog will be mad at you because he won't have a sexual encounter with female dog. Your dog won't care either way, and he surely won't be mad at you. Reproduction is nothing more than animal instinct, and sexual behavior is stimulated by pure hormone. Plus, it's not like your dog is fantasizing about it.
- The dog will be sad. Neutering your dog will not affect his temperament in terms of happy or sad. Neutering him will not upset the dog becuase he no longer has a heavy scrotal sac dragging behind him. Most dogs don't even notice the change even right after surgery.
- He won't be a good watchdog anymore. Although you are eliminating the testosterone running through his body, having him neutered will not affect the dogs stamina, strength, or determination. Having your dog neutered is never going to affect your dog's natural instinct to protect his family and home. Your dog's want to protect will be affected by environment, training, and genetics, versus hormones.
- The dog will get fat and lazy. This is so true of any dog neutered or not... Although, sometimes neutered males can be more susceptible, but you should make sure to keep up walking and exercising him. If you stop exercising and start feeding him more, then he'll definitely become overweight. He may not want to roam as much after the surgery, but that doesn't mean that you should ever stop exercising the dog regularly.
- It's plain unnatural. If you think about it, the environment that you have your dog in is unnatural. I mean they lay on couches, watch squirrels on tv, and eat dry food out of a bowl.
- He'll feel less like a man. Remember your dog is still an animal, and animals have absolutely no concept of sexuality or ego. It's all instinct to them, and he won't suffer an emotional reaction or identity crisis afterwards.
- My dog's purebred, so he doesn't need to be neutered. Unless you plan on breeding the dog, you should have hime neutered. The fact that he's purebred versus a mix doesn't change the fact that there are already millions of dogs in shelters and hundreds of thousands euthanized annually.
- It's too expensive. It's all going to depend on the size and age of the dog, but neutering a male dog is generally less expensive than you think. If you aren't ready for all the bills that accompany responsible pet ownership, consider a fish. Plus think about it, the price of preventing an unwanted litter is near priceless because at that point you or someone else has to pay for the pregnant female, dog/puppy food, more toys and chews, and find homes for the pups, versus a simple neuter.
- But won't he be a puppy forever? Or Won't my older dog revert to puppyhood? Nope. This is probably my most favorite myth. I've seen so many older dogs not affected by the neutering. Remember you're only eliminating the testosterone, you're not taking years off the dog's life or stunting him in place. For the most pat, your puppy will age mentally the same being neutered and not being neutered.
Disclaimer: Please be aware that the advice in this article should in no way replace that of a licensed veterinarian. If you have any concerns or questions, you should consult a veterinarian.