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Do Male Dogs Change After Being Neutered?



Reviewed By: Dr. Joel Robertson

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Neutering is a common procedure for male dogs, often recommended by veterinarians to promote health and manage behavior.

However, many dog owners wonder about the effects of this operation on their furry friend’s behavior and personality.

Neutering can indeed induce changes in a male dog’s behavior, which can range from a decrease in aggression to a reduced desire to roam.

Understanding these changes can help dog owners make informed decisions and ensure their pet’s well-being post-procedure.

Male dogs undergo behavioral and physical changes after being neutered, which can include a decrease in aggression, reduced sexual drive and roaming behaviors, and an altered risk profile for certain health conditions.

Do Male Dogs Change After Being Neutered?

Do Male Dogs Change After Being Neutered

Male dogs often undergo behavioral and physical changes after being neutered, including a decrease in aggression, reduced sexual drive, and less desire to roam.

Neutering involves the removal of a male dog’s testicles, leading to a significant reduction in testosterone levels.

Testosterone, a hormone produced in large quantities in the testicles, plays a significant role in driving behaviors such as aggression, sexual activities, and the desire to roam.

When a dog is neutered, the source of this hormone is significantly reduced, leading to a decrease in these behaviors.

From my personal experience as a veterinarian, I’ve observed these changes in many of my canine patients post-neutering.

For instance, a previously aggressive German Shepherd I treated became noticeably calmer and easier to handle post-neutering.

His owners reported a significant decrease in territorial marking and roaming behaviors, aligning with the typical changes expected after this procedure.

Common Behavioral Changes Seen In Neutered Male Dogs

Do Male Dogs Change After Being Neutered

Behavioral changes are often observed in male dogs after they have been neutered due to the significant decrease in testosterone levels.

These changes can range from reduced aggression and sexual drive to decreased desire to roam.

Reduced Aggression

Post-neutering, male dogs typically exhibit less aggressive behavior. The decrease in testosterone levels curbs dominance and territorial behaviors, making the dog more sociable and less prone to engaging in fights with other dogs.

Decreased Roaming Behavior

Neutered dogs are less likely to wander away from home. The absence of the mating urge, which is driven by testosterone, significantly decreases their desire to roam, reducing the risk of dogs getting lost or encountering accidents due to escape attempts.

Changes in Sexual Behavior

Sexual behaviors such as mounting and marking territory often decrease in male dogs after neutering. With testosterone levels reduced, the dog’s urge to mate subsides, leading to calmer, more manageable behaviors.

Alterations in Urination Habits

Neutering can also alter a dog’s urination habits. Intact males often mark their territories by urinating in multiple spots. This behavior, driven by the urge to assert dominance or attract females, usually decreases after neutering.

Changes in Social Behavior

Do Male Dogs Change After Being Neutered

Post-neutering, dogs often become more sociable and less competitive, as the hormonal drive for dominance is reduced. This can lead to improved interactions with both humans and other dogs says Santa Cruz Pets.

Variations in Energy Levels and Activity

Some owners observe a decrease in their dog’s energy levels and activity after neutering. This could be attributed to the reduction in testosterone, which can influence activity levels.

Appetite and Weight Management

Neutered dogs may experience changes in appetite and weight. With a potential decrease in metabolism after neutering, dogs may gain weight more easily, necessitating careful monitoring and adjustment of diet and exercise.

Risk of Hormonal Changes

Neutering involves a significant decrease in testosterone levels, which can lead to certain hormonal changes. These changes can influence a dog’s behavior and physical condition, and may require monitoring and management says VCA Hospitals.

Reduction in Risk of Certain Health Issues

Neutering reduces the risk of certain health issues such as testicular cancer and prostate problems. This can contribute to overall improved health and longevity for the dog.

Individual Variability in Responses

It’s important to note that each dog is unique, and the extent of behavioral change post-neutering can vary from one dog to another. Some dogs may exhibit significant changes, while others may show only minor alterations in behavior says PubMed.

What Should Dog Owners Consider Before Deciding To Neuter Their Male Dogs?

Before deciding to neuter their male dogs, owners should consider several factors including the dog’s age, breed, health condition, potential behavioral changes, and the risk of certain diseases.

Dog’s Age

The age at which a dog should be neutered can influence their health and development. For small breeds, neutering can be considered after six months of age.

However, for large breed dogs, it may be recommended to wait until they are at least one year old. This is because early neutering in large breeds could potentially lead to joint problems.

Breed-Specific Considerations

Certain breeds may have specific health considerations related to neutering. For example, some breeds may be more prone to certain types of cancers or joint issues if neutered before their growth plates have closed.

It’s essential to consult with a veterinarian who is knowledgeable about your specific breed’s health predispositions says PetMD.

Health Condition

The overall health of the dog should also be evaluated before deciding on neutering. Dogs with certain health conditions might face increased risks during surgery or recovery. A thorough health check-up can help identify any potential issues.

Behavioral Changes

Neutering often leads to behavioral changes in dogs due to the decrease in testosterone levels. These can include reduced aggression, decreased sexual behaviors, and less desire to roam.

While these changes are generally positive, each dog is unique and the extent of change can vary.

Risk of Certain Diseases

Neutering can reduce the risk of certain health problems like testicular cancer and prostate issues. However, neutered dogs may be more prone to other health issues such as obesity due to changes in metabolism.


Q: Is it true that male dogs experience personality changes after being neutered?

A: Yes, it is common for male dogs to experience changes in behavior and temperament after being neutered, such as decreased aggression and territorial behavior.

Q: What are the benefits of neutering your dog?

A: Neutering your dog can help reduce the risk of certain health issues, control population, and decrease certain behavioral problems such as marking and aggression.

Q: When is the best time to neuter a male dog?

A: The best time to neuter a male dog is typically around six to nine months of age, but it is best to consult with a veterinarian to determine the best timing for your specific dog.

Q: Does neutering a male dog have any impact on its interaction with other dogs?

A: Neutering can lead to a decrease in aggressive behavior and improve your dog’s social interaction with other dogs, but individual experiences may vary.

Q: Can neutering a male dog affect its energy levels?

A: Neutering can lead to a decrease in certain hormone-related behaviors, which may result in a reduction in energy levels and a calmer demeanor in some male dogs.

Q: Will neutering my dog affect its ability to be trained?

A: Neutering can potentially make training easier due to reduced hormone-driven behaviors, but it is important to continue consistent training and socialization regardless of neutering status.

Q: Are there any potential negative effects of neutering a male dog?

A: While neutering has many benefits, there are potential risks such as weight gain and an increased risk of certain health issues, so it’s important to discuss these with a veterinarian.

Q: Can neutering a male dog change its relationship with its owner?

A: Neutering can lead to a decrease in certain dominant behaviors, which may result in a closer and more affectionate bond with the owner in some male dogs.

Q: Do neutered male dogs still display mating behaviors?

A: Neutering reduces or eliminates mating behaviors such as roaming and mounting in most male dogs, however, individual experiences may vary.

Conclusion and final thoughts

In conclusion, male dogs do typically experience changes after being neutered. The most noticeable physical change is the removal of their testicles.

From a behavioral perspective, alterations can be seen in areas such as aggression, sexual drive, and roaming behaviors.

Post-neutering, dogs often exhibit a decrease in aggressive tendencies, a reduction in sexual behaviors, and less desire to roam.

These changes are primarily attributed to the significant decrease in testosterone levels following the procedure.

Please take the time and leave a comment below if this article helped you, or you have any additional questions.

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