The Effectiveness of Canine Neuteringby Lisa McQuerrey
If you’re not planning to breed your male dog, neutering him, or surgically eliminating his ability to reproduce, is the responsible thing to do. You'll help improve your dog’s health and protect him against certain ailments. Neutering will have a positive impact on your pup’s behavior, not to mention helps to reduce the number of unwanted pets populating animal shelters.
Surgical neutering involves removing your dog’s testes while he's under general anesthesia. The successful removal of the testes is 100 percent effective at preventing unintentional breeding. A nonsurgical approach to sterilization called zinc neutering involves a testicular injection of zinc gluconate and arginine. According to the San Francisco SPCA and CBS News, the process is 99 percent effective in preventing breeding. With zinc nutering, the dog’s testosterone production levels do not change as they do with traditional surgical neutering. Concurrently, behavioral issues associated with canine testosterone are not diminished.
Pet Population Reduction
According to the ASPCA, the average fertile female dog produces as many as six puppies annually, and the cost of spaying or neutering a dog is less than the cost of raising a litter of puppies for a year. Neutering your male dog is an effective deterrent against creating unwanted puppies that may end up euthanized or in shelters.
Unaltered males who have not been surgically neutered will roam far and wide in search of females in heat. Their biological urge can surpass any training you have instilled, as the natural instinct to breed is a strong one. Surgical neutering generally diminishes the male's interest in a female in estrus and is therefore an effective deterrent against jumping fences, digging under gates and otherwise escaping confines in pursuit of receptive females. According to a Purdue University Extension report by Jessica Belen and Colleen M. Brady, surgical neutering is 90 percent effective in reducing this mate-seeking behavior.
Aggression, Mounting and Marking
Male dogs who have not been surgically altered may show aggression toward other male dogs they consider competition for females. This can lead to altercations and fights. According to Belen and Brady's Purdue Extension report, surgically neutered dogs are 50 percent to 70 percent less likely to get into dog fights; to mount other dogs, people or objects; or to mark. Neutering can be an effective deterrent against indoor urination.
Puppies who are surgically neutered are 100 percent effectively protected from testicular cancer and may be less susceptible to some forms of prostate issues, hernias and anal tumors. Generally, dogs who have been neutered have a reduced urge to roam, which protects them from accidental injury that can result from running into traffic or getting into tangles with wild animals.
- Purdue University: Benefits of Castration in Male Dogs
- Brown University: Spay and Neuter Your Pets
- University of Illinois: No Excuse Not to Spay or Neuter
- Vet Street: Neutering for Dogs and Cats
- San Francisco SPCA: Non-Surgical Sterilization
- CBS: New Non-Surgical Procedure "Zeutering" Offers Alternative to Neutering for Dogs
- ASPCA: Pet Statistics
- George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images