NEUTER OR NOT
The castration of the male dog is a common topic in dog conversations. Opinions are, as always, different and sometimes confusing. There are those who would like to castrate everyone and everything, and those who consider it a counter-nature act that should never be done.
Vets very often do not help to solve the problem. Not because of bad faith or because they want to earn something with the operation, but simply because they deal with the problem only from a medical point of view and they are themselves in the whirlwind of opinions on the behavioral aspects on which very often they have some shortcoming
We try to understand when it is appropriate to do so and when it is not absolutely necessary.
WHY DO IT
An undoubted advantage is that it eliminates the risk of prostate and testicular diseases, which are very frequent in older dogs. This is perhaps the main reason why you should choose to castrate your dog, i.e., a health problem or a real risk that he may become ill.
Another hypothesis in which it would be correct to do so is that of the dog absolutely “obsessed” with hormonal urges that lead him to want to try to mate with all the little dogs he meets on the street. In these cases castration would help him to relax considerably, taking away much of the stimulus to mate and reducing to zero the chances that he could procreate.
In parallel to this, it would also avoid the so-called “love getaways”, i.e. dogs that run away from the gardens in search of the dog in heat 2 km from where they live, often digging holes. In this case, however, it would be good to make sure that this is the real reason for the escape, and it is not always the case. Castration would solve the problem only if it is actually “love escapes”, while it would leave the problem intact in other cases.
There are many reasons not to do so, especially because we humans have a tendency to believe that castrating the dog can solve all our problems.
To begin with, there is absolutely no point in castrating an aggressive dog in the hope that it will calm down. There may indeed be an improvement in his behavior, but only because the cause of his aggressiveness was related to sexuality. In other cases it is absolutely useless. A dog that is not well socialised will have problems relating to other dogs regardless of whether it is castrated or not.
Even if it is of sexual origin, castration may not work if the animosity towards a particular dog is too deep-rooted, that is: two male dogs of two friends hate each other. Even if they were neutered, they would both continue to fight in the same way.
It is not appropriate to castrate the dog even in the case of excessive and indiscriminate “riding”. In fact, it is not necessarily due to sexual desire, but it may have its raison d’être in your dog’s desire to control the outside world. The result is not guaranteed.
It is absolutely not true that the neutered dog becomes:
Apathetic and unhappy: Some mood swings can be caused by us. If our vision has changed (poor thing… he won’t be happy… he surely misses it), the dog will try to adapt to the new vision we have of him. Treat your neutered dog exactly as before and he will behave normally.
Fat: this is not necessarily the case, but to prevent it, it is good to adjust the feeding after the operation. In some cases the metabolism actually changes after castration. Get advice from your vet on the most appropriate diet.
Depressed: definitely not. He doesn’t know what he is missing, he only knows that the uncontrollable desire he had before is no longer there. He lives more peacefully, without existential crises or doubts about his virility. He’ll feel exactly the same as before, without the frantic thrust of testosterone.