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Are There Behavioral Changes When a Dog is Spayed or Neutered?

This compelling article written by Stanley Coren PhD., DSc, FRSC, and published February 7, 2023 begins like this...

“In North America, between 70 and 80 percent of dogs are spayed or neutered. This is done to prevent the overpopulation problem that has forced many shelters to euthanize countless dogs. It is also commonly recommended that male dogs be neutered to prevent aggression or other problematic behaviors.”

However, the article continues “Unfortunately, there is mounting scientific data suggesting that spaying or neutering may be associated with a higher probability of physical problems, and two large sample studies have suggested that these procedures may actually result in increased canine aggression, fearfulness, and over-excitability.”

Now that is an interesting way to begin an article.

But, why is Dr. Coren making that assertion? He reviewed several recent studies and concluded that it is all about the hormones. Most dog owners know that removing a dog's gonads (testicles or ovaries) removes the ability of the dog to produce hormones needed to grow out properly. Specifically, the reports found that the most important variable in predicting behavioral and health outcomes has to do with how long the dog's body had exposure to the gonadal hormones. The longer the dog keeps its gonads, the healthier, less aggressive, less fearful, and less excitable.

We invite you to read the full article here. It is really an interesting read. You can find more information on our PABS Science page.

It’s like we have been saying…Delaying the Spay is the Better Way!


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