This article is addressed to all owners of male dogs which are not yet neutered (= castrated). It is especially addressed to those owners who are themselves male.


by Pam Green (copyright 1994)

This article is addressed to all owners of male dogs which are not yet neutered (= castrated). It is especially addressed to those owners who are themselves male. While there has been a growing awareness of and acceptance of the desirability and necessity of spaying for all pet bitches, there is less acceptance of the benefits and necessity of neutering for all pet male dogs. Male humans seem particularly resistant, often wincing and crossing their legs at mere mention of the subject. While I address men, most of these reasons would have equal validity for women too.


Breathes there a man with soul so dead that he has no compassion for all the innocent and unfortunate dogs (and cats) who are murdered daily in this nations pounds and "shelters" because the supply of sound temperamented , sweet natured, healthy, and totally adoption-worthy dogs (and cats) so vastly out-numbers the responsible adoptive homes ???

I challenge you to visit your local pound or humane "shelter" today, meet each dog and pet and play with it, and make notes of the special qualities of each individual. Be sure to make special note of how many puppies (and kittens) are there. Then return a week later to learn which of these dogs were lucky enough to be adopted and which were "euthanized" = killed because no one adopted them. Ask the pound staff how many nice adoptable dogs and cats they had to kill during the past year ?. How many puppies and kittens ? You might also ask what their percentage of compliance with their spay / neuter requirement has been this year?

By any measure the toll of unnescessary death is appalling !!! Each of those murdered misbegotten mutt puppies and adults were sired by someone's unneutered male dog, often someone's purebred unneutered male dog. And definitely each of the many murdered purebred dogs was sired by someone's unneutered purebred dog , and often someone's "show champion" purebred unneutered purebred dog.

So don't tell yourself that your male dog isn't part of the problem. As long as he is not neutered he has the potential to sire an accidental litter of death row puppies. You can no more effectively tell your male dog, "Always wear a rubber !" than you can tell your bitch or your neighbor's bitch "If you can't be good, be careful !" Dogs do get loose, despite their owners' best intentions and best precautions, and it only takes a few minutes of freedom for a male to find and mate a bitch. And there is , so far , no injectable or implantable male dog long term contraceptive.

Also don't tell yourself that your male is such a super dog that the breed desperately needs his genes, transmitted by lawful mating with an excellent bitch of his own breed. Unless he has veterinary clearance for the various genetic health problems that may afflict his breed (eg hip dysplasia, heritable eye problems, various heritable bleeding disorders, etc etc) and has earned those obedience and working (eg herding, tracking, hunting, or other) titles that are appropriate to his breed, he is definitely NOT a breeding candidate. Even if he has got the foregoing, don't expect owners of equally well qualified bitches --- or indeed any bitches at all --- to beat a path to your door unless he has also got that coveted beauty contest "Champion" title . And if a bitch is bred to him, can you ensure that the resulting puppies are sold or otherwise entrusted only to people who will provide a responsible home for the pup's entire lifetime? It's the bitch's owner who usually controls who gets the puppies, but that does not mean that yu do not share moral responsibility.

Neutered means never having to say you're sorry.


While some parents think their children ought to witness the "miracle of birth" by seeing a litter born ( while denying them the sight and knowledge of the "miracle of death" of those same puppies at the pound ), isn't it really more important that your children learn about the RESPONSIBILITIES of parenthood and learn to appreciate the "miracle of birth prevention" ??? Let's face it, while in the canine and feline species sex almost invariably results in birth, most human sex is NOT so intended and had better NOT result in any birth. Your kids need to know that birth = parenthood = serious responsibility. Whether you believe in abstinence or in contraception, you surely want your kids to understand that it is immoral and irresponsible to create a life unless they intend to fulfill parental responsibility to raise, educate, and cherish that life. You can present your decision to neuter and spay your pets as either a means of ensured abstinence or as a means of ensured contraception. Either way it's a message to them not to cause or risk an unwanted creation of life, be that life canine, feline, or human.


If you obtained your pet form a responsible breeder, your purchase contract almost certainly contains a spay / neuter promise. These promises are legally enforceable, and a serious breeder just might take you to court for non-compliance. If you obtained your pet from a pound, shelter, or a breed rescue, then it is a certainty that your contract includes a promise to spay or neuter. In many counties , the promise to the pound or shelter can be enforced by a painfully large fine and by re-posession of the dog. Rescuers will reclaim the dog if not promptly altered.

Besides, you know perfectly well that breaking a promise is not an honorable thing to do. Your self-respect should ensure your compliance.


Guys , cast your mind back to your teens when you were constantly horny. Remember that special someone who continually teased and flirted and petted, but who never actually came across ? Remember how that felt? Do you really want to inflict that on your dog? The male dog in an urban environment is constantly subjected to the scent of bitches in season. Air-borne "in heat" scents travel for miles on the wind and urine-borne estrus scent soaks into the ground as the bitch marks here there and everywhere and calls out to every passing male. So your city male dog is constantly tormented and never requited --- unless of course you are giving him hand jobs six times a day. The rural male dog is less often assaulted, but it's still too often, especially when you add the effects of coyote bitches to those of domestic dog bitches. And coyote bitches will lure male dogs off into the bushes where the rest of the pack can kill the unfortunate victim of lust.

The neutered male is spared the frustration and the torment.


Under the impetus of lust inspired by the scent of an in heat bitch, a normally stay-at-home male dog gets the strong urge to leave home and seek out the bitch. Such a male may well find himself inspired to climb tall fences, or dig beneath them, or to break through doors and windows of the house, and go a-roaming. In an urban environment, such excursions often result in severe injury or death from close encounters of the automotive vehicular kind. In a rural environment, while cars are fewer, sheep and cattle ranchers armed with rifles and shotguns and eager to shoot all stray dogs as menaces to livestock . In all environments, the owner of a high quality purebred bitch who finds a stray intact male sniffing about is likely to take hostile action , such as sending him to the nearest pound , or taking him to the vet for castration , or castrating him with a kitchen knife, or blowing him away with a shotgun and burying the carcass.

The neutered male is spared the risk of such lust inspired excursions.


The intact male is subject to a number of ailments which do not afflict the neutered male. Ask your vet about or read up on prostate enlargement, prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and peri-anal tumors. All very unpleasant and possibly lethal. (Update note : it is currently unclear whether or not intact males have a higher rate of prostate cancer than do neutered males; however the other risks mentioned are much higher for the intact male.) Additionally, dogs are subject to venereally transmitted diseases. The principal one is Brucellosis, which will render your male sterile and cause abortion and sterility in any bitch he mates. It can make him extremely sick and can even kill him.


Testosterone aggravates a number of undesirable behavioral tendencies : deliberate leg-lifting or "marking" indoors, sexual advances towards inappropriate objects (ranging from table legs to your Aunt Minnie's legs), aggressive behavior by your male against other male dogs and , even more, by other males initiated against your male (which can result in fights yielding serious injury and serious vet bills), and general willingness to duke it out with you for position of pack leader (which can result in serious bites). Also , as mentioned above, escaping and roaming is heavily fueled by testosterone.

To clarify the male - male fight issue, the scent of testosterone on your male dog will inspire other males to initiate fights against him. Even if your male is himself very peacefully inclined, being intact makes him a target. Just think of it as a teenaged boy walking around the city unknowingly wearing "gang colors" : sooner or later he wanders into the wrongh part of town and is attacked.

Testosterone is not needed and is not helpful for the sort of beneficial self-assertiveness or aggressive attitude and action needed for effective performance as a watchdog or guard-dog, personal protection dog, herding dog, or hunting dog; these aggressions are inspired by territorial instincts or by predatory instincts rather than by hormones.


Finally, guys, here's a little bonus. You probably already know that an attractive, pleasant natured, well-behaved dog can be a wonderful lure to attract attention from women. Just go walking your nice dog at dog walking time or , better yet, sign up for dog training classes. You'll meet plenty of gals and their dogs. The ratio of guys to gals at dog events is just fantastically in your favor !

But do you realize that these women are likely to judge you partly according to your dog ?? Your dog is a reflection of the sort of person you are. By your choice of a dog (pup or adopted adult) and by the manner in you train him and live with him, you eventually create the dog you deserve and want, the dog who truly reflects your inmost soul. If your dog is confident and friendly, it shows that you are probably an affectionate and confident person. If your dog is well trained and cheerful about it, it says that you can teach without being a bully or abusive. And if your dog is neutered, it does NOT say that you are also neutered . Yeah, guys , I know that that is the secret fear that keeps some of you from neutering your dogs. On the contrary , if your dog is neutered it tells the ladies that you are a man who is totally secure in his sexual identity : you don't need a "butchy" dog to make up for a deficiency in yourself. A neutered dog also tells a woman that you take parental responsibilities , responsibility for creating life or abstaining from doing so, very seriously. Whether she herself intends to have children or intends to avoid same, she will prefer to date a man who takes these issues seriously. A neutered dog tells her that you accept that the male is just as responsible as the female. It tells her that she can hope that if she goes to bed with you , you will be willing to take your share of the responsibilities for "biological risk reduction" (ie contraception and AIDS risk reduction) in the encounter.

In conclusion, neuter your dog for the sake of his own welfare and happiness and for the sake of reducing the canine overpopulation tragedy, and incidentally you may get an extra reward in your personal life as well.


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site author Pam Green copyright 2003
created 4/12/03 revised ?/?/03
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