A few days ago I found an article about spaying / neutering your dog with the following statements:
“Having a dog spayed or neutered will not change your dog’s personality …”
“… it also has many benefits for you and your dog.”
“… What neutering and spaying will do is prevent unwanted behaviours that can be dangerous to people and your dog.”
“Neutering removes the male sex hormones, which are responsible for the strong drive towards urine marking, roaming, aggression towards other males, chasing females and inappropriate mounting. In female dogs, spaying prevents their desire to roam and frequently urinate while also stopping their cyclical irritability and aggression.”
“There are many medical benefits for neutering your dog. …There are drawbacks to neutering, but these drawbacks are extremely small compared to the benefits … affect very small percentages of dogs, many of which are breeds that are already predisposed to problems.”
“If the dog is not neutered or spayed before he or she is six months old, these behaviours can still develop and be harder to stop later on.”
The dog is for sure as delighted getting cut of his testicles or taken out her uterus as we humans are! Do you remember how it feels waking up after a surgery? Do you know how it feels having pain at your sexual organ? Do you know how it feels when something of your body is missing? For all of you who answered every time with “yes”: Why would you do this to your furry friend? Just so you do not have to pay attention?
Benefits and “extremely small drawbacks”
Yes, it is the dog owner‘s responsibility to supervise his dogs. However, only the castration removes behaviour like urine marking, howling, strong restless, and refusal to eat in males and only at times that neighbour’s female is in heat, means receptive. And this is the only humane moment to decide for it; to relieve the hyper sexual male’s suffering from physical and mental stress.
The involved hormones that control unwanted behaviour are only an inferior product of the gonads.
Hunting & roaming behavior leads to escaping and straying. This Behavior is connected to stimuli – an object, quickly moving away from a dog triggers chasing & catching. The brain controls these behaviors; probably the limbic system is involved. For sure the hippocampus is relevant for spatial orientation, the important basis for straying. Sexual hormones do not control this behavior.
Ecological elimination of competitors, is not dependent on sexual hormones, but on appropriate socialization. Dogs that have not been socialized properly will more than likely show aggressions against other dogs.
Anxiety (angst), fear and stress related behavior has as a rule an indirect relationship with sexual hormones. This behavior will rather increase.
Protection behavior is often shown at the beginning of building a relationship, with the goal to keep unwanted thirds away. It is controlled by the norepinephrine and the cortisol. Also in females the testosterone will increase in the adrenal cortex if she was able to cope with a social conflict. Castration has no influence on these systems.
Hyper sexuality in males can also have different neuroscientific reasons. Aside the direct control of testosterone in the genitals this behavior is also depending on the norepinephrine system. Males can still show mounting, because of the transformation of testosterone to estradiol, and estradiol production increases in the adrenal gland after castration!
Be critical and vigilant! There are no physical benefits for your dog. Both, males and females can get fine, dull puppy like hair lateral of the torso and outside the extremities. Sometimes bilateral symmetrical loss of hair is possible. The appetite increase in both and food will be better metabolized, so they need less energy and have a disposition to adiposities if the food does not get changed. Studies of cardiac tumors in dogs showed that there was a 5 times greater risk of hemangiosarcoma, one of the three most common cancers in dogs, in spayed females than intact females and a 2.4 times greater risk in neutered dogs as compared to intact males. Spaying and neutering is associated with an increase in urinary tract cancers in dogs. Both have a 27% to 38% increased risk of adverse reactions to vaccinations.
In males the connective tissue becomes looser, the hair becomes brittle, and less water resistant and the risk of eczemas increases. Due to the lack of testosterone they don’t built as much musculature anymore and therefore need more amino acids. About 2% eventually develop prostate cancer, compared to less than 0.6% of intact males. In a study of 29 intact male dogs and 47 castrated males aged 11–14, the neutered males were significantly more likely to progress from one geriatric cognitive impairment condition (out of the four conditions – disorientation in the house or outdoors, changes in social interactions with human family members, loss of house training, and changes in the sleep-wake cycle) to two or more conditions. Neutering also has been associated with an increased likelihood of urethral sphincter incontinence in males.
In females the connective tissue becomes tighter and they built more musculature. There can be the risk of mineral lacking in the calcium-phosphorus range. There is some evidence that spaying can increase the risk of urinary incontinence, especially when done before the age of three months. Spaying in female dogs removes the production of progesterone, which is a natural calming hormone and aserotonin uplifter. Spaying may therefore escalate any observable aggressive behavior, either to humans or other dogs.
The “Bielefelder” Study shows that a castration under the age of six months has only negative consequences: Negative changing of behavior like uncertain behavior towards other dogs, increased aggression towards same sex dogs, negative influence on the physical development, and lack of mental matureness.
If the castration takes place prior to the end of the puberty it is possible that the dog has an increased period of growth, lanky bones and overall gigantism (problems with the circulatory system!!!) as only the hormone production closes the Epiphyseal plate.
Due to the lack of sexual organs the dogs’ smell changes, neutered males become attractive for intact males – intact males mount 19% of the neutered males – and females may not be recognized by intact males and get attacked.
The learning and working ability of castrated males only increases because one distraction factor has been eliminated. If the dog owner is not able to provide interesting training a castration has no influence on this ability.
Sources: Wright, Nesselrote, Miklósi, Teske, Goldschmidt, Blackshaw, Ganslosser, Feddersen-Petersen, Niepel
Read also this article: http://www.angryvet.com/neutering-and-behavior/