Possible Behavioral Changes That Occur When Your Dog is Spayed

Spaying a female dog opposed to having her give birth to litters of puppies you have to find homes for is appealing. After all, it’s what the veterinarian and animal shelters urge people to do, right? Although it is a responsible form of birth control, spaying a young dog too early can cause changes in her behavior as explored by Stanley Coren, Ph.D. and Psychology Today contributor.

Here are some of the changes in behavior your dog may display after being spayed as mentioned by Coren:

  • An increase in aggression. Animals that were closely monitored show double the amount of aggression that they had before after having surgery. They may act aggressively to humans or other animals. Some spayed dogs act aggressively to both.
  • An increase in touch sensitivity. The surgical area in particular remains especially tender. Other parts of their bodies are affected, too, and feel extra sensitive when touched, patted or petted.
  • An increase in excitability. It’s harder to calm down the dog after having her spayed. She is easily excitable because of what she has been through with her surgery. She’s not sure what to expect and wants you to let her know that everything is going to be okay.
  • An increase in fearfulness. Your usually happy pup may seem timid or scared. She may not fully understand what happened to her and think that it may happen again.

You can avoid problem behavior by refusing to spay your dog while she’s young and her body is still developing. Although veterinarians recommend spaying your pet before her first heat cycle, it’s not advisable because it could cause physical damage in her joints and change the way she behaves entirely. Rather than take a chance on traumatizing your


Also published on Medium.

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