It’s a common question among dog owners if neutering a dog actually helps in reducing and even eliminating aggression displays and behavior problems in dogs.
Does Neutering Help With Aggression in Dogs?
So does neutering help calm a dog down? Surely, a dog owner should be concerned at an excess of aggression in his or her pet. It’s always hard to understand why a dog that has perhaps been with a family since he was a puppy, should suddenly start displaying aggression towards family members. Usually this is caused by the dog thinking of the family as his pack and simply following his instincts in trying to increase his ranking in the hierarchy of the pack.
Now, it’s common knowledge that a neutered dog rarely displays this sort of aggression. But will neutering a dog stop aggression? The males of virtually any species show a great deal more aggression than the females, and this is all linked to the hormone testosterone. Neutering a dog greatly reduces levels of testosterone, and makes the dog a lot less aggressive not only to the members of the family, but also to other dogs as well. As a matter of fact, neutering can turn an otherwise aggressive and dominant dog into a perfectly acceptable pet.
To a great extent, aggression in male dogs is linked to their desire to dominate the people and animals around them. Neutering the dog removes this desire, and thereby reduces aggression significantly or completely.
However, you need to understand that neutering your dog will not remove bad habits that you yourself may have instilled into him. If you allowed your dog to become seriously undisciplined and disrespectful to you, then simply neutering him may not solve this problem. In this case, neutering may stop excessive aggression but it will not correct bad behavior.
But if you’ve given your dog sufficient training, and if any aggression he’s displaying seems to be rather a new thing, then yes, neutering your dog will help a lot in curbing his aggression.
When to Neuter a Dog?
However, remember that the time at which you decide to neuter your dog is also important. If you neuter a dog late in life, then he’s already imprinted a number of behaviors that have become natural and habitual to him in the course of his life. Ideally, when you neuter a dog, it should be done before he reaches maturity. Generally speaking, six to eight months is considered the ideal time in which to neuter a dog.
Benefits of Neutering a Dog
And of course it’s not merely aggression that is reduced through neutering, but also a whole range of other behaviors that neutering can help correct, as well as enhance the health and longevity of your dog.
First of all, if you have a male dog, he will lose the tendency to roam and get into fights with other animals every time he detects a female in heat. Remember that a male dog can detect a female in heat even if she is miles away, and then he will try to escape his home in order to get to her. Neutering your dog will completely remove this tendency.
Your dog will also lose his desire to urine mark his territory, to a great extent. And as for aggression, the statistics speak for themselves:
- your dog will be 60% less aggressive towards other dogs
- dominant behavior with the dog’s own family will be reduced up to 70-80%
- your dog will also be 70% less likely to display other irritating behaviors, such as mounting people
So does neutering and spaying help with aggression? It certainly does.
The best resource of information for your spay/neuter questions is of course your veterinarian. They can help inform you about your dog’s specific needs regarding the procedure and answer any pressing questions you might have.
We’ll leave you a great discussion between Dr. Becker and Dr. Valente regarding the benefits of spaying/neutering your dog.
Do you have any helpful tips or have you recently spayed/neutered your dog? Tell us about your experience in the comments below.