Many dog owners often discuss the pros and cons of spaying/neutering their dogs, especially those who are facing aggression problems. Here are some of the advantages of neutering your dog explained by professional dog trainer Daniel Stevens.
Neutering Your Dog To Curb Aggression
My dog, Bello is making a lot of progress, thanks primarily to the techniques I have acquired reading your work, but I still have a question.
Bello is extremely friendly both with my old friends and with people I have met recently. If he understands that the person in front of him is a friend, then everything is fine. But he still shows aggressiveness toward people he considers dangerous. It might be a drunkard on the boardwalk or a homeless man on the main avenue, or simply someone who stops to pet him. Until a few months ago, he would just lie on his back and let anyone pet him, and enjoy it very much. Now he’s growing more and more selective about who can approach him. On the other hand, he’s very patient with some other people. For instance, one of the men who helps the super in this building was running in the hallway one day and literally fell on Bello. Bello didn’t react in any way to that. And today a teenage boy was about to run him over with his bicycle on the sidewalk where we were walking. Again, Bello didn’t react at all, although I was walking him on a long leash, so he could very well have jumped and attacked the teenager.
Thinking back to all the cases in which Bello’s aggressive behavior was triggered, I realized that most of the people who had tried to pet him had dogs of their own (and the others may also have had dogs, though I have no way to tell). Could this be the reason? Now I think so, especially because Bello let them approach and pet him, sitting patiently for a few seconds before he turned aggressive.
In addition to drunk or homeless people and to people who own dogs, Bello is also (naturally, I guess) aggressive towards other male dogs, especially if they are new to his surroundings.
Although all of this is being curbed, I’m writing with one specific question in mind. Should Bello be neutered? I have read what you wrote in your book, so I should know what your position is. However, I’d like to know what you mean when you say that neutering doesn’t help in some cases.
I’m very torn over this, and unfortunately I should make a decision as soon as possible, given that Bello is already 18 months old. In principle, I am disinclined to do it, perhaps because in Italy people usually don’t fix their dogs (as far as I know). In addition, Bello is so happy and healthy, and I’m afraid that all of that might change.
On the other hand, Bello’s vet keeps urging me to do it. According to him, Bello will be healthier and much more manageable. Do you agree? I don’t plan to mate him, so this is not an issue at all. What I want to know is, in those cases in which neutering doesn’t work 100%, does aggressiveness in male dogs still decrease? And what about their roaming instinct? Will I be able, in time, to let him off the leash without worrying that he might get into a bad fight or, even worse, that he might run after a female dog in heat and be hit by a car? Also, I’m planning to take Bello to Italy again in December as well as in the years to come. Do you think that his being neutered will make those trips easier? Finally, is it really true that a neutered dog that eats well and exercises will not get lazy and overweight? Can Bello still be as beautiful, healthy, and happy as he has been so far?
I thank you in advance and await your response.
Dog Trainer Reply:
Thanks for your email. It sounds as though you are doing a great job with Bello, and it’s obvious that you are a very caring dog owner.
As you have probably guessed, we here at SitStayFetch are very much Pro-Neutering. Neutering will help with a number of behavioral problems such as aggressiveness towards other dogs, and roaming etc.
Often people, particularly men, are hesitant to have this procedure done. They tend to think about how they would feel in the same situation, but you have to remember that dog’s do not think like people do – mating is purely instinct for them.
I will list some of the reasons why we believe in neutering dogs.
- For population control. There are too many dogs without homes. You just need to go to your local shelter to see how many – Males generally make much better pets when neutered.
- Males will usually lose the urge to roam. I have seen statistics that state that 90% of dogs that roam will stop after neutering.
- Dogs will be less likely to urine mark.
- Males are usually less aggressive towards other dogs (60% less according to statistics I have seen).
- They are less dominant with their own families.
- Prevents testicular cancer and prostate problems later in life.
- They are 70% less likely to mount other dogs or people.
Despite popular theory, neutering does not affect your dog’s weight – too much food and not enough exercise is usually the cause!!
If I were you, I would have Bello neutered, for at least one, if not all of the above reasons.
Make sure that you are using the Alpha Techniques to teach Bello that you are the Top Dog. In the wild, the Alpha determines how the pack will react to different situations, and if Bello sees that you are comfortable about being approached by strangers, then he should follow suit. Carry treats, and praise and reward Bello for positive interactions. Remember to remain calm yourself – if you tighten his leash, he will think that you are afraid of the approaching stranger, so is more likely to be aggressive. If he is aggressive, reprimand him by squirting him with cold water, and growling a guttural growl.
Good luck with your decision Alberto, and please let me know how you progress.
Yours For Great Success With Your Dog,
If you’re interested in getting a more detailed look at how to deal with your dog’s issues, then you should check out Secrets to Dog Training page now.