The decision to desex your dog (or not) is one which every majority of owners will face. This guide will assist you to make the best choice for your dog, your family, and you. Together, we will explore common myths around desexing and outline the benefits of each choice.
So, what are the myths?
1) Myth #1 Your dog’s behaviour will instantly improve
There is a common misconception that having a male dog desexed will ‘calm’ it down. Unfortunately, a quick trip to the vet is not going to replace the hard work of training. Your dogs excitement is also likely to be breed specific and some dogs for example your working breeds are going to have more energy than others regardless of their desexed status.
From my own experience as a trainer and employee of board and train facilities, I can tell you that of the dogs I have trained, there was no notable difference in results based on whether the dog was desexed or not. I have worked with aggressive/reactive dogs who were both entire and desexed.
Myth #2 – It is the only socially responsible decision to get your dog desexed
This thought is often skewed towards female dogs who have the potential to carry and give birth to litters and those puppies add to the already overrun rescue facilities we have.
Animal rescue facilities do an amazing job despite often being pushed to the brink resource and space-wise. Therefore, if there is a potential that your female dog will be mixing with male dogs unsupervised and you are not in a position to look after puppies, please do desex your dog.
However, if you are confident your dog will not be in those environments and you have invested in obedience training, which means you have a reliable recall, a ‘leave it’ or another command which will stop your dog. Alternatively, if you are interested in responsible breeding, not desexing your dog could be the right choice.
Other things to consider if your choice to desex your dog
A procedure to desex your dog can cost between $300 -$600+ and will often fall at a time when you may have incurred many additional costs in recently purchasing your dog.
Whilst, it may seem like a big hit – please do consider the costs which may be associated should puppies result.
Many Not for Profit organisations such as National Desexing Network offer subsidised desexing which may be a suitable option if you are struggling to meet the cost.
Whilst a common procedure, your dog’s desexing does still pose risks as any medical procedure does. These can range from minor infections to a heightened risk of urinary incontinence in females. For some breeds, bone cancer and orthopedic disease are more commonplace in neutered dogs.
If you do decide to desex, do your research on side effects that could be associated with your dog’s breed, pick a skilled Vetnerian and follow all post-procedure advice given.
Overall, there is much conflicting advice and the important thing to remember is the decision is yours to make for your dog. As a dog training professional, I have had one of my dogs desexed and not the other for a variety of mainly breed-specific reasons.
Looking for more dog training tips?
Recently adopted a rescue dog? Or perhaps you are thinking about welcoming a rescue dog into your home but are concerned about how your toddler and the animal may get along? In this article, we will dive into the benefits of children growing up with dogs whilst also...
Going away for this Christmas holiday and wondering where do leave your dog? After too many years of lockdowns and missed holidays, many people are going away this holiday period. This increased level of demand for a well-deserved break means many dog owners are...
Save money on your dogs' care The average dog in Australia costs its owner $3,000 in the first year and $1,500 every subsequent year. Now, this figure may come as no surprise to dog owners but with the cost of living going up, many of us are already feeling the pinch...