Dog Training

7 Advantages & disadvantages of castration in male dog

Do you also have a male dog? Then, just like me, you will eventually be faced with the decision of whether neutering him makes sense....

That is why I have chosen for this article Advice from veterinarian Emin Jasarevic obtained. Note: This article is written for the german country. Also, I have talked to dog owners whose male dog has had a neutering.

Castration in male dog
Table of contents

The decision for or against neutering is very important and should be well considered

What is castration?

A Castration is a surgical procedure under anesthesia by removing the gonads of a dog. In males it is the testicles, in a bitch the ovaries.

On the other hand, in the case of a Sterilization the fallopian tubes in the bitch and the vas deferens in the male are cut. 

Both interventions stop fertility.

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What do laws and animal welfare say about it?

The welfare of animals is associated with the Animal Protection Act regulated. 

According to this, paragraph 1 states that no pain, suffering or harm may be inflicted on an animal without reasonable cause.

Paragraphs 5 and 6 regulate interventions on animals. Accordingly, the law prohibits the amputation of body parts in vertebrates without medical reason. 

That is, a dog owner may not out of sheer convenience, decide to have his dog neutered. 

There must be a valid reason for neutering that could possibly improve your dog's quality of life. 

Only your veterinarian may decide this. The procedure itself may also only be performed by a veterinarian.

Advantages of castration

1. behavioral disorders

Some dog owners decide to neuter their male dog because the male dog's behavior is causing problems. These behavioral problems are mostly the following:

  • Aggressiveness towards other dogs or even people
  • Hyperactivity
  • Anxiety
  • Sexual behavior of the male dog (straying, yowling, restlessness, loss of appetite, urinating, jumping up)
  • Disobedience

Unfortunately, castration is not a secret remedy for such behavioral disorders.

The chances that such behavioral disorders will subside or disappear completely can be good. However, this also depends strongly on the upbringing.

Misbehavior learned in the meantime will most likely not subside even after neutering. The operation promises only a possible improvement of misbehavior controlled by sexual hormones. Some male dogs have extreme sexual behavior. If there is a bitch in heat in the close vicinity of the male dog, he becomes particularly sensitive.

He could be Refuse food, constantly howl and thus disturb the neighborhood or run away. Here, neutering can actually be helpful by decreasing the sex drive.

Whether a castration could be helpful at the undesirable behavior of your dog, you can try this first - after consultation with your veterinarian - with a so-called "castration chip".

This chip is implanted. It simulates with certain hormones, so to speak, a castration. This gives you the opportunity to track whether your dog actually changes his behavior for the better. Afterwards you can decide whether a castration is useful or not. 

2. reproductive control

The reproductive control through castration plays a subordinate role in Germany. This is not the case everywhere in the EU. Especially in countries where there are still many street dogs, the first priority in castration is reproductive control.

If you also have a female dog in your household, it is better to ask your veterinarian here for advice on how to avoid this without immediately thinking about spaying. 

3. medical causes

Various medical reasons can make castration indispensable. 

A castration can even save the life of your male dog. Especially with the following diseases, a castration is an inevitable procedure:

  1. Hormone-related hypersexuality or hormone imbalances.
    Male hormone imbalances or even hypersexuality can be an enormous burden for your male dog and can greatly affect his quality of life.

    Some male dogs refuse to eat when they are in heat, howl and are very restless. They can also be very aggressive towards other males at such times.

    Some hormonal disorders in males, such as hyperestrogenism, can even lead to tumors. In hyperestrogenism, there is an overproduction of female hormones. Other males may even find the castrated male attractive all at once.

  2. Cryptorchidism
    Cryptorchidism is a Positional anomaly of the testis. The testis is temporarily or permanently outside the scrotum. That is, it may be located in the abdominal cavity or in the inguinal canal. The cause is incomplete descent of the testis. These testicles may be prone to tumorous degeneration.

  3. Prostate diseases 
    Prostate diseases generally appear in older males. This is usually a benign enlargement of the prostate.

    If the prostate is advanced in size, defecation may be more difficult and painful. A bloody fluid may also emerge from the urethra or the urine itself may be bloody.
    Castration generally reduces the size of the prostate gland quickly, as the effect of male sex hormones is removed.

  4. Testicular tumors 
    Testicular tumors have different types and mostly occur in older male dogs. Not all testicular tumors are malignant. Whether malignant or not, castration is usually recommended here.

Disadvantages of castration (risks)

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You must remember that neutering is a surgical procedure that your veterinarian will perform under anesthesia. Any surgical procedure in which a living being is under anesthesia involves risks. Especially when the age is advanced.

The castration itself can also have undesirable consequences. It can lead to Post-surgical bleeding in the scrotum come. Coagulation disorders can lead to increased bleeding.

A Licking the wound can lead to infections of the wound and thus poor wound healing.

Therefore, please discuss the risks thoroughly with your veterinarian. You can prevent many of these risks with proper precautions.

After castration, there is a risk of a Weight gain. In males the weight gain is not as pronounced as in females. 

The sex hormones regulate appetite and metabolism. After castration, the effect of these hormones falls away. Thus, a neutered dog has more appetite, but also lower energy needs.

This risk is avoidable. You can provide your male dog with more exercise and change his diet. You are welcome to this topic also our page "Food for neutered dogs" visit

In some breeds of dogs, after neutering, it can lead to Coat changes come. Thus, a strong growth of the undercoat can be observed in long-haired breeds. However, these statements are based more on experience than on scientific surveys.


At what age should be castrated?

At what age a male dog should be neutered depends on many circumstances, the reasons and risk factors. So it is not possible to give a blanket answer on this.

Male dogs younger than one year should not be neutered. Because there are reports that neutered young dogs behave more aggressively after surgery.

In general, the male should be fully grown. The male dog needs his sexual hormones also for his development. Neutering too early could affect the healthy development of his body. Also his social behavior with other dogs could deteriorate.

In principle, neutering can be done at any age. 

In older animals, surgery is associated with a higher risk of anesthesia, especially when additional risk factors, such as obesity or heart disease, are present.


What should I consider before the surgery?

You should have one day before and at least one day after the surgery date Take vacation. After surgery, someone should definitely be with him for the next 24 hours and keep him well under observation until he perks up again.

  • Before the surgery your dog must sober be. Therefore, do not give him anything to eat 12 hours before the surgery. However, he should always have his drinking water ready. Shortly before the surgery, it would be good if you take your dog for a short "pee".
  • Prepare in your apartment a Resting place for your darling before. The area should be quiet and calm. Here he can relax afterwards.
  • Remember that your friend will have difficulty keeping his balance for a while after he wakes up from anesthesia. Remove any objects in the environment that he could injure himself on while tumbling. Also, he should not have the opportunity to jump on the sofa and the like.
  • It would be good if at home no visit would be, especially people he does not know or like.
  • For the transport after the surgery, you should have for your loved one a comfortable place to lie in the car or in the transport box prepare. Pad the square with absorbent material out. Because he may urinate after the surgery or vomit due to the anesthesia.

What do I have to pay attention to after the surgery?

It would be good if you accompanied by a person when picking upwho your dog also knows as a reference person. Alone, the transport might be difficult for you.

  • During the ride home drive very carefully and avoid bumpy roads.
  • Take your dog immediately to his place of rest. It would be good if you darken the room or area.
  • Quiet is the order of the day! Dogs are usually sensitive to noise after anesthesia.
  • If your dog is used to stay in the dog crate and there is enough space, you can leave him in the box. But leave his door open. So you can check easier if he is already lively enough.
  • You should give your dog only give food again after he is really lively. This is usually eight to twelve hours after surgery. The food should be light and well tolerated. He must always have water.
  • Avoid in the following days long walks with him. Keep him out always on the leash. So you can also better determine his pace. Also, do not play with him. Too much activity can strain the wound.
  • Avoid contact with other dogsuntil his wound has healed.
  • Your dog must not lick his wound. He might try to tug or nibble at the suture. Here it is best if you give him a Neck brace put it down. He may resist it at first and try to get rid of it. With a little patience he will get used to it. The important thing is that he can't touch his wound.
  • Until the wound is healed, you should always keep your darling watch well. How is the healing process of the wound progressing? What is its behavior?
  • If you notice anything strange, contact your veterinary practice immediately.

Alternative to castration

The best known alternative to castration is the Hormone chip, which is also called chemical castration. The exact name of the chip is called Suprelorin implant.

It contains the hormone deslorelin, which stimulates the testicles of the male. However, the hormones are released in a lower dose. This reduces the activity in the testicles.

Thus, sexual drive and reproductive ability are inhibited.

The chip has an effect for six to twelve months. It takes about six weeks for the implantation to take full effect.

No surgery is performed for the insertion of the chip. Also, anesthesia is not necessary. A syringe is used to implant the drug under the skin of the male dog. After the effective period, the chip decomposes by itself in the body.

Chemical neutering can also cause coat changes, weight gain, low activity.

After the six to twelve month period of action, the male's hormone levels return to normal. So he becomes procreative again.

The hormone chip can also be a decision-making aid for surgical castration.

Whether the chip promotes tumor diseases has not been proven. 

There are also chemical injections and tablets that have a similar effect. However, their effective time is shorter, so they must be administered about every six weeks.

Recommendation from the vet

As long as your male dog does not suffer from a disease, you can try a chemical castration first, in order to be able to decide afterwards more clearly whether a surgical castration is meaningful.

Please keep in mind that you cannot reverse a surgical castration.

Either way, surgical neutering will mean "change" for both your pet and you. Not only at home or in his diet, but also outside:

His peers, who already know him, will react differently to him at the beginning, because he will smell completely different after the procedure.

Therefore, you should take your time in making the decision and not act hastily.

It might be a good idea to get additional advice from a second veterinarian or a behavioral therapist.

Examined by the veterinarian Emin Jasarevic
Examined by the veterinarian Emin Jasarevic

I am a veterinarian and writer on animal health topics. Animals are my passion and it is my personal concern to create medically accurate articles and videos to inform pet owners as much as possible.

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