APRIL 2009 

HI THERE,

I found this piece on the Internet and I thought this was so well-said that it is worth repeating.

TEN WORST EXCUSES NOT TO SPAY OR NEUTER A PET

1. Just one litter and then we'll have Fluffy spayed. (Studies show that virtually the entire pet overpopulation stems from the "just one litter" mentality)
2. My dog doesn't run loose, so he doesn't need to be fixed. (Murphy's Law says otherwise)
3. We always find homes for the kittens. (And that means that an equal number of kittens at the pound will be killed)
4. I want the children to witness the miracle of birth. (Rent a video)
5. My dog is so cute and unique there should be more of her. (The shelters and pounds are full of cute and unique dogs, most with only a few days to live)
6. It's not natural. (There hasn't been anything "natural" about dogs since we began to develop breeds thousands of years ago)
7. I just couldn't look my dog in the eye if I had him castrated. (Watch it, you're anthropomorphizing)
8. A female dog or cat should have at least one litter for health reasons. (Medically, factually and ethically indefensible)
9. Neutering my dog will make him fat and lazy. (Too much food and not enough exercise make a dog fat and lazy)
10. Fixing my pet will change its personality. (The main influences on an animal's personality are the kindness and care with which it is raised)

WHY SPAY OR NEUTER A PET

What can we expect to see if our dogs are sterilized?

Castration of the male
Castrating a male dog is likely to have a significant effect on his mind, as the male puppy's brain is "masculinized" near birth by a surge of the male hormone, testosterone. If, by castration, his testosterone levels are reduced, you are likely to see the following changes:

- Less aggression towards other male dogs
- Less inclination to try to dominate the owner or other members of the family
- Less urine marking inside the house
- Less inclination to mount other dogs, teddy bears or visitors
- Less inclination to roam away from home.

Castration will not make the dog calmer or less destructive or better with children. Neither will it decrease excessive activity or influence his abilities as a guard dog. Castration will simply alter his aggression towards other dogs and dominance over the owner. It also limits the possibility of prostate cancer.

Spaying the female
Spaying the female does not result in any significant behavioural changes. The reason for spaying is quite simply to prevent them from coming into season (twice a year) and prevent them from conceiving. A bitch in oestrus tends to attract unwanted male dog interest, and the males will attempt anything to cover her - believe me, no fence will keep them out.

It is untrue that a bitch must first have a litter before she is spayed - there are enough unwanted dogs/puppies in the world, don't aggravate the situation. Spaying also to an extent prevents cancer in the bitch.

The golden rule
A responsible pet owner will have his animals sterilized as soon as possible. (Take note - I'm talking about pet owners, not registered breeders or the show-dog-fraternity.)

If you do decide to breed with your dog, keep the following in mind:

- Breed only from registered dogs - their character and genetic problems are easier predictable than those of cross-breeds.
- Breed for temperament. A pet should not be aggressive, or you'll be looking for trouble.
- If you want to show the dog, breed according to the desired breed standards.
- Don't try to breed aggressive guard dogs as pets - rather get an alarm system to secure your property.