What Is Neutering?
Neutering (referred to as an orchiectomy and castration) is the practice of sterilizing male animals by eliminating the testes. The penis isn’t operated on during this process, and the outer sac that once held the testes is left in the area. Neutering is performed between the ages of 8 weeks and 6 months. However, it may be performed on older animals and long as an animal is in overall better health. Male dogs recover much more rapidly following neutering than females do from spaying since spaying is much extra invasive and results in a large incision. A neutered male isn’t considered sterile instantly following his surgery. On average, it can take about two weeks or as much as six weeks for a neutered male to be considered sterile. Pet owners have their dogs spayed and neutered for a variety of reasons. Several do so to avoid the possibility of puppies, while others do so for the health advantages these procedures can provide. Others can easily do so because the shelter they adopted the animal from legally needs them to. And others are likely just heeding the advice of the good Bob Barker. Spaying and neutering are considered a need for responsible pet ownership. But there is one more reason few people have their dogs neutered (and, to a lesser extent, spayed). They are hoping that it’ll curtail undesirable behaviors or change their pet’s personality. Neutering and spaying can indeed trigger personality changes in your pet, but these changes can vary essentially from one dog to the next. We will dive into the problem below, to try to help you know what to expect when having your dog fixed.
What Is Involved in Neutering Procedures?
Neutering is the term used to describe the procedure by which male dogs are sterilized, though it’s known as castration in some contexts. The starting of a neutering process will unfold just as a spaying procedure does. Your dog will be administered anesthesia and prepped for surgery. Your dog’s scrotum can be shaved and the entire place sterilized. At this point, an incision will be made on the front side of the scrotum, near the base of the penis. Both testicles will then be removed and the associated blood vessels and the spermatic cords will be tied off. The vet will examine the area, make sure everything looks OK, and then sew up the scrotum. The staff will then start waking your dog up, and they will monitor him for a while before releasing him back to you. As when females are spayed, you will probably be instructed to keep your boy calm for some days while he recovers.
Behavioral Changes Associated with Neutering
Though spaying and neutering procedures are very common, they’re quite important from a dog’s point of view. They will alter the hormones produced by your dog, and they can trigger several behavioral changes. However, there’s a lot of variation in these changes, and different dogs will react to the procedures in different ways. Typically, males experience good behavioral changes than females following a neutering and spaying operation, but females can experience some changes too.
Some of the most common changes include:
- Several male dogs will stop mounting or humping other dogs, their legs of the owner, and inanimate objects once they are neutered. Others will continue doing so from time to time, though the frequency of the behavior will typically drop significantly.
- Most males will become less probably to wander off in search of romance after being neutered. This may be particularly helpful for dogs who always look to be interested in escaping from the backyard and bolting when you open the door.
- Males are less likely to urinate about the home after being neutered. This does not mean that dogs who are poorly home-trained will suddenly begin waiting to go outside before tinkling, but it’ll stop the territorial marking behavior that various males exhibit.
- Some male dogs can exhibit less aggression after being neutered. However, this typically only works well if they are neutered very early in life.
- Some females can calm down a bit after being spayed, though others will act as they did before the operation.
Note that these are all long-term changes that will manifest over weeks and months following the operation. There’re short-term changes that you should expect in the hours and days following your dog’s spaying and neutering operation.
Some of the most common behavioral changes you can notice soon after bringing your dog house include:
- Confusion (your dog can importantly act stoned)
- Changes in appetite
- Mild anxiety and depression
- Increased clinginess
- Bathroom accidents
- Excessive sleepiness
Most of these kinds of issues will resolve within a day or so, but do not hesitate to contact your vet if they persist and if your dog starts displaying symptoms of an infection. This can include vomiting, pain, and swelling that does not subside or discharge from the wound.
Improvement in Behavior
Behavior may be affected by whether or not you spay and neuter your pet. One of the most obvious differences between a spayed and neutered pet and an unaltered pet is the requirement to roam. Male pets will go to great lengths to get to a female that’s in heat. This includes behavior like tunneling under fences and leaping over gates. The scent of a female in heat can carry for considerable distances making it very hard to contain a male pet that smells a female in heat. Another consideration is the impact that hormone release has on the behavior of an animal. Males, in specific, can become very dominant and bullheaded as a result of surges in testosterone. These pets can be very tough to control and train. Hormones play a role in instincts like marking behavior and shows of dominance and aggression. Various dog bites include dogs that are not fixed. Spaying and neutering can decrease these behaviors and make animals simple to manage, which can result in some frustrations for the animal.