Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Real Men Fix Their Dogs...

Orion Oaks Bark Park
It may be coincidental... But the only dog-fights I have witnessed at Oakland County Parks and Recreation (Orion Oaks Bark Park) and the Royal Oak Mark Twain Dog Park have been caused by un-neutered males! I have been a dog park regular for over ten years.

Last week- our 11-year-old German Shepherd was a victim. Our Baron made the "mistake" of sniffing around a lone snowdrift that obviously "belonged" to a giant, aggressive un-neutered Golden Retriever.  Thank god for my husband and his ability to act quickly... He and his adrenaline lifted the attacker off of Baron. If he had not been there, Baron would have had much more that a few hairline puncture wounds. Where was the dogs’ owner? Well... he stood standing, watching on the sidelines- as if at an exciting sporting event! He did nothing!

Fast forward to this week... My anger has subsided but the question of why the attack took place has not.  I have thought about that Golden Retriever and what circumstance could have made, a generally kind breed, turn so vicious. The conclusion became clear:  The dog had not been neutered.   

One of the most important behavioral advantages of neutering dogs is that the neutered dogs will tend to be less aggressive both toward other male dogs and also people. In a dog, the male hormones, of which testosterone is the most important, are responsible for the development of many behavioral patterns. When young puppies are sexually mounting their 7 and 8-week old litter mates this is because of hormone surges in their bodies. The same is true with aggressive behavior. The degree neutering has on suppressing aggression varies between animals and the age at which it is done. Its effect is greatest if it is done before one year of age. 

In addition to helping with aggressive behavior, there are other very good reasons to neuter male dogs. These reasons basically fall into one of two categories: behavioral or medical. Regardless of which category we are talking about, most of the unwanted characteristics or conditions are caused by the male hormone testosterone. 

Behavioral Advantages of Neutering
Decreased Aggression
Decreased Roaming
Increased Concentration

Medical Advantages of Neutering 
No Testicular Tumors
Improved Genetics
Fewer Hernias
Fewer Perianal Tumors
Fewer Prostate Problems

I have tried to wrap my head around the reasons that people (primarily men) leave their male dogs intact. Beyond the "I can't take his manhood away" or "You're not a man... you wouldn't understand" statements - there have been NO realistic answers.

Please... Please... Please... Unless you are a professional breeder, do what's best for your dog (and mine): Neuter your dog and allow them to enjoy a happy, healthy and non-aggressive life!

My German Shepherds:  Rudy and Baron


  1. ... and that's why Toby is getting neutered as soon as he's old enough! Not to mention the fact that like Toby and Luna, there are thousands of abandoned puppies and dogs roaming the streets. It's a tragic situation. I'm so glad Baron is OK.

  2. You are a GREAT dog owner Jen!!! I am so excited to watch your puppies grow up... they are truly blessed!