What effect does gonadectomy (surgical removal of sex organs) have on your dog? We had Biggie neutered when he was around one. He had way too much energy, and we couldn’t control him. He would constantly hump anything in sight, and when on walks, he would always slip his harness to go chase after other animals. Biggie never wanted to bite these animals, but he would aggressively go after them. So, it was an easy decision to get him neutered; all of these undesirable behaviors would go away after we took his cojones. At least, that’s what we thought. In reality, fixing him may have done more harm than help. There has long been a misconception that neutering dogs will decrease aggression and other behavioral problems; we were one of the many families who fell for this.
A 2018 study helped shed light on the ineffectiveness and harms of gonadectomy. A group of scientists sent a questionnaire to 15,370 dog owners. The survey asked if the dog was fixed, the age of the gonadectomy, and the aggression level towards familiar people, strangers, and other dogs, after the gonadectomy. The results clearly showed that gonadectomy had no positive effect on dog behavior or aggression levels. In fact, it showed that dogs neutered between seven and twelve months are 22% more likely to exhibit signs of aggression toward strangers than dogs that are intact. (Farhoody et al., 2018). Although, it’s not entirely clear why this is.
So, next time you think about getting your dog neutered or spayed, remember that other than birth control, there is no added benefit to getting your dog fixed.

Farhoody, P., Mallawaarachchi, I., Tarwater, P. M., Serpell, J. A., Duffy, D. L., & Zink, C. (2018). Aggression toward familiar people, strangers, and conspecifics in gonadectomized and intact dogs. Frontiers. 5(18), https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fvets.2018.00018/fullĀ