How Long After Neutering Does a Dog’s Behavior Change?

The population of dogs in the whole world is continuously increasing. Some of them end up in a shelter, some will end being euthanized because nobody would claim or adopt them. So one solution that dog owners and vets suggest is neutering your dog. But how long after neutering does a dog’s behavior change?

How Long After Neutering Does a Dog’s Behavior Change?

After the neutering procedure, the behavior change in dogs can happen after 6 weeks. This may vary depending on the dog’s production of testosterone, the male hormone. Sometimes, neutered dogs may still show behaviors of an intact dog and attempt to mount a female dog in heat. 

Eventually, the production of this hormone will diminish and your dog will have noticeable changes. Their behavior will change and their activity level may also get reduced. No need to worry, these changes don’t mean that your dog is sick. It only implies that the surgery is effective.

Neutering your dog doesn’t just help in reducing the number of the dog population. This procedure can also prevent some kinds of cancers that are prominent in dogs that are not castrated. Getting your dog neutered can also be an indication of being a responsible owner.

A close up shot a young brown dog

Behavioral Changes in Your Dog After Neutering

After the surgery, there are several things that you need to observe and the changes that you will notice in your dog. Be reminded that not all dogs will experience all these. Some dogs may even experience very minimal change, too.

Listed below are some of the differences that you should expect in a neutered dog:

  • They will be less likely to mount in-heat female dogs, people, and objects. As a natural instinct, they may still do this sometimes and that’s perfectly fine. Your dog will not be able to get a female dog pregnant anymore.
  • They will be less likely to mark their territory by splashing their urine. They will be more disciplined when it comes to their potty area.
  • Aggression is generally reduced as well because they will no longer see other male dogs as competition anymore. Some can be more friendly to humans, too.
  • Your male dog will no longer try to escape to find a mate. 
  • Your dog may tend to sleep more than play.
  • Appetite may increase in some dogs. This is the reason why they may gain more weight aside from just sleeping all day long. Therefore, it makes exercise more necessary.
  • Roaming is also reduced and they will either stay with you on the couch or stay in their bed to sleep.
  • Some dogs become nicer after being neutered.
  • Barking is also reduced in some dogs.

You should know that any previous behavioral problems will not be resolved by neutering your dog. Castrating your dog can only diminish its sexual drive. Those behavioral changes vary from one dog to another. It is still better to talk to me if you think there’s something unusual with your pet.

Why You Should Neuter Your Dog

Dogs should be neutered to prevent unplanned litter of puppies. We know that they are really cute and it’s fun to watch them grow. However, having a pregnant dog in the house also means having big responsibilities and an additional budget for them. 

Once the puppies are born, you should also take good care of them before planning to rehome them. As a responsible breeder, the puppies should also be trained and socialized and they should have primary vaccinations as well. These things can eat both your time and money.

Aside from controlling the population, there are other health benefits your dog can experience after neutering

  • Neutering your dog can highly reduce problems in the prostate, such as cancer or tumor.
  • They are also less likely to have testicular cancer because both their testicles will be removed. 
  • Neutered male dogs have a reduced chance of acquiring perianal tumors found around the anus and testes.

When it comes to the age on when to neuter your dog, your pet’s condition and maturity also matter. Not all dogs mature and develop at the same rate. Generally, you should neuter your dog from 6 months to 2 years old. My recommendation is an important consideration.

Neutering your dog too early or too late can affect their health. They can develop cancer and other kinds of diseases and infections. They also get obese and diabetic. Behavioral problems may also arise because of this.

A dog resting on a bed after neutering procedure

How to Monitor Neuter Surgery Incision

To prevent the surgery from getting infected or getting stitched again, it is good to keep an eye on your dog. If you notice that your dog keeps licking or scratching the incision, have him wear an e-collar to prevent him from reaching the wound. 

Clean the incision regularly to prevent the overgrowth of germs and viruses. Change the bandage at least once a day. Once the incision is almost dry, do not cover it anymore with a bandage or gauze to allow the wound to dry and heal completely.

Signs that your dog’s neuter incision is infected, you may see frequent red spots or redness around the site. A discharge may also be observed. It can be white, yellowish, or blood-red. An incision can be infected if it produces a foul smell. Swelling or bulging is also unusual. Consult with your vet if any of these happens to your dog.

Conclusion

After neutering your dog, its behavioral changes may begin 6 weeks after the surgery. It includes reduced aggression, humping on female dogs and people, escaping, and roaming around. Male dogs can have different behavioral changes depending on their breed, age, and maturity.

Categories Dog

Doctor Joe Alcorn received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Colorado State University in 1981, and founded Care Animal Hospital in 1991 in Temecula, California. He is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association.