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Will my dog hate me after neutering or spaying?

Dogs tend to live in the moment, and likely do not have the awareness, and certainly not the obsession, that humans have with sexuality. A dog will not likely know what has happened during surgery and won’t notice anything different.  In the old days, a razor blade was used and probably no pain relief was offered. That may have made a dog fearful of the human that did it for a few days, but in today’s world, it is doubtful your dog would feel any different towards you.

Will my dog hate me after neutering or spaying?

One of the many great things about dogs is that they hold no grudges. Dogs don’t “hate” anyone. If a dog does get aggressive towards a person, it is because they feel threatened or are scared at a given moment. They will remember if someone physically hurt them, and might try to get away from them the next time they see that person. Even then, it’s not really that the dog is mad at the person.

Dogs are very different than humans when it comes to sex. Dogs may not even have an awareness of sexuality.  Sex is a matter of hormones for dogs, and they most likely do not think of it unless that happens. The female dog gets in “heat” at certain times biologically, and male dogs respond to that. That is probably the only time that a dog thinks about sex.

If a dog is spayed or neutered, that just does not happen, so the dog is probably not even aware anything has happened. Your dog won’t be upset with you because they won’t think you did anything.

When to neuter

Generally, it is better to have this procedure done when the dog is very young. This can be done as early as eight weeks, but many vets recommend waiting until at least three or four months of age. If you do it while they are younger, it is a simpler and safer procedure. 

Will my dog hate me after I get them neutered or spayed?

There is a slight difference in the question when it comes to who is responsible for the dog being spayed or neutered. Your dog would probably not know who was responsible for what happened. You take them to the vet,  and the vet does the spaying or neutering. As far as the dog knows, it was the vet that did it, so the dog won’t be mad at you. Chances are he won’t be mad at the vet either.

Your dog may feel a little pain for a day or two after the procedure. Female dogs have to be put to sleep because it does involve somewhat invasive surgery.  Both males and females may be a little uncomfortable for a few days, but they likely do not know what has happened.

A dog being mad at you is just one of several myths surrounding the spaying and neutering of dogs. Another myth is the level of pain your dog will experience. The pain is minor and they do not realize it is happening while it is happening.

Here are some more myths related to the spaying and neutering of dogs.

  • The dog won’t be a good watchdog afterward. The procedure will not affect your dog’s abilities or endurance in any way. The dog’s natural instinct to protect his house will not change. Things like this are affected more by their environment, genetics, and training.
  • The dog will get lazy or fat. This is true for any dog as the dog gets older. Dogs who are neutered or spayed do not tend to want to roam around as much, and so may not use as much energy. Any dog will overeat though if given the opportunity.  Dog owners control whether a dog gets fat.
  • The dog will stay immature is another myth that is the opposite of the getting fat one. It does eliminate the testosterone in a male dog, but the dog will continue to develop mentally and physically at a normal rate.
  • I’ll be able to find homes for the puppies is another one. Maybe you will, but that will keep that many dogs from being adopted from a crowded animal shelter. Overpopulation is already a big problem.
  • It’s better to let a female dog have a litter first is one that is flatly not true. Females that are not neutered have a greater risk of mammary cancer and infections. Males have less risk of prostate issues if they are neutered.  

Does a dog’s personality change after neutering or spaying?

A dog’s personality will not change as a result of spaying or neutering. There may be some changes in behavior, but you will have the same dog after surgery that you had before. Their level of training and obedience should also stay the same. While this change would seem major to us, it is not that major to a dog.  For humans, it might be traumatic, but for a dog, it is just something that is not there anymore. Whether they remember it or think about it is not known, but it is doubtful.

There is a difference between a dog doing something from his nature and a habit he or she has picked up.  Your neutered dog is less likely to roam or to try to get outside the fence in your backyard.   Even so, if the dog has a  long-time habit of getting outside to roam, he may still do that because it is fun. It is not related to the neutering at all in this case. The decrease in the level of roaming can also be affected by the breed of dog.

Neutering is not a magical fix for bad behavior. It can make some dogs less aggressive, but if the dog is used to being aggressive, it won’t likely stop because he was neutered. If a dog gets a reaction out of a person or another animal by being aggressive, they may continue that because they like it.

Behavioral training – whether by yourself or with a professional trainer – is the best way to change behavior. Having the dog in training at the same time as he is neutered would probably give the best results. The chemicals in the body causing aggression would be easier to deal with as the habit of aggression would be worked on at the same time.

Do dogs realize they have been neutered or spayed?

We cannot be sure about this, but it is very likely that dogs do not realize they have been spayed or neutered. Any sexual activity is activated by hormones, and sex is just an instinctual physical act. 

Once the female has been spayed, she will no longer get in heat, and no longer have the scent that attracts male dogs for mating. While we don’t know for sure what dogs think about, it is very likely that it is something that is not in their conscious minds anymore.

The same is true for male dogs. They don’t have the testosterone and don’t react to the scent of a female dog in heat the same way. They no longer have that reaction, so it is likely not in their conscious minds.

Dogs tend to live in the moment. They are always in “now,” so without any chemical reactions going on in their body, they have nothing to respond to. The spayed female is not in heat, not giving off the scent to attract a male dog. The male dog does not smell the scent because it isn’t there, and does not react to it. 

Dogs may sit around thinking about eating or chasing a squirrel, but they are not sitting around thinking about sex. Dogs may not even be aware of what sex they are, and they don’t really have sexuality. Because of this, animal experts believe a dog will not realize he or she has been spayed or neutered.

How much does a dog’s behavior change after neutering or spaying?

There could be some behavioral changes as a result of spaying or neutering, and most of them are good. The dog’s personality or disposition will not change, but there are some changes that happen in the body that affect behavior.

The younger the dog, the fewer behavior changes will be noticed. Males tend to have more behavior changes than females. A neutered male is not likely to hump other people or objects, for instance.

Here are some changes you may notice:

  • Males will likely wander off less, and mark objects with their urine less than they used to. Aggression may be reduced if they were aggressive before, but that may not be to a large degree.
  • Females are more likely to be less active and exhibit no other real changes in behavior.
  • The activity levels of males can also be lowered. This is less active on their own. Both males and females are going to be just as willing to play with you and go for walks as they were before.
  • The dog’s appetite may increase. Combining that with being a little less naturally active, you have a recipe for a fat dog. It is up to pet owners to control the amount of food a dog has to prevent them from getting fat.

So your dog is not going to be upset with you for having him or her spayed or neutered. They won’t be sad about it, and very likely will not even know what happened once the small amount of pain subsides. 

Why get your pet neutered or spayed?

There are some positives and negatives to consider, and most animal experts agree the positive outweighs the bad. Pet overpopulation is the main reason dog experts say you should have this procedure done. The SPCA estimates 17 million dogs and cats were turned over to animal shelters last year. Only about one of every 10 is adopted, so this means the vast majority are destroyed.  There are too many dogs and cats already, so it may not make sense to add to the problem.

Spaying makes for a cleaner dog. A female dog will no longer have a bloody discharge a few times a year. Those bloody discharges can stain your furniture and create smells in your house.

Spaying keeps dogs healthier. Spayed or neutered dogs have fewer health problems. While there may be some minor health risks associated with the procedure, the health benefits far outweigh the negatives. The same is true for male dogs that are neutered.

A spayed or neutered dog will be calmer because they will not have the drive to mate. Male dogs probably won’t roam as much, and female dogs won’t have those times of year when they are aggressive. In