Did you know that spaying and neutering are two different procedures? Today we explain the influence that the former has on behavior.
If we have a dog at home, perhaps on some occasion we have thought about sterilization. This procedure can confront us with a series of doubts: for example, will our pet, after passing through the operating room, behave in the same way as a non-sterilized dog? If this is your case, you may be interested in this article.
Spaying and neutering in dogs
Before talking about the consequences and changes our dogs undergo after this type of surgery, it is good to remember the differences between the two cases.
When an unsterilized dog undergoes either of these two processes, the end result is the loss of fertility and the avoidance of “unwanted” offspring. However, these are different surgical techniques.
Sterilization is the least invasive procedure for our friend, and his intervention involves the sexual organs. In this way, the animal will become sterile, but its behavior and mating instinct will not disappear.
Castration, on the other hand, is a more complex technique, which involves the complete extraction of the gonads (ovaries or testicles). This operation, in addition to ensuring the sterility of the animal, reduces the production of sex hormones and, consequently, the possible behavior problems that derive from it.
Is a neutered dog calmer?
There are numerous studies that confirm the advisability of spaying and neutering. In addition to the benefits already mentioned, this kind of interventions reduces the risk that the animal may suffer from diseases associated with these organs, such as cancer of the uterus, prostate cancer or similar. However, at the popular level these practices are permeated with beliefs and false myths.
Spayed animals are sometimes said to have a milder and more peaceful temperament. This statement is not entirely true, but it is important to emphasize that the type of behavior that can be altered is that associated with sex hormones.
In this way, some aggressive attitudes or attitudes associated with sexual activity will become less frequent: for example, aggression between males or hysterical pregnancy in females. The behavior that the dog has acquired through learning (as well as that determined by genetic factors) is not destined to change.
Furthermore, it is also often said that an un-neutered dog has a “healthier” weight. In fact, hormonal changes lead to alterations in metabolism, which can result in a more voracious appetite.
However, thanks to a specific food for neutered animals (in this sense, you can consult your veterinarian) and daily exercise, there is no reason why a neutered dog should be overweight.
What will an unsterilized dog look like?
Now that we have given you the basics of the benefits and myths of canine neutering techniques, we need to know that, with rare exceptions, an un-neutered dog will exhibit behavior similar to that of a neutered one. The only exception will be the behavior determined by sex hormones. Some examples of this behavior can be the following:
- Territorial marking by dogs through urine, when the animal is indoors or outdoors.
- aggression between males, due to the competition for the coupling.
- Jealousy, which can sometimes lead to fleeing, with the aim of following the tracks of a female.
As we have said, the character that the dog has developed (as well as that imposed by its genetic material) is not destined to change significantly if we decide not to sterilize the animal.
So, if you are thinking of using this procedure and still have doubts, the best thing to do is that you collect as much information as possible and that you inquire directly from a professional veterinarian. Your dog will continue to be your best four-legged friend, whatever your decision.