While many pet owners are confident in neutering their male dogs, it’s not unusual to have questions about the process. The most common? Can a neutered dog still mate?
In short, yes. Neutered males have reduced testosterone levels, decreasing their libido, and can’t impregnate a female. But neutered dogs can still tie with females.
In today’s post, we will dive deeply into this topic. Keep reading to learn more.
What Is Neutering?
Before going any further, It’s helpful to understand what neutering does to a dog.
Neutering, aka “fixing,” refers to a surgical procedure that removes the testicles of a male dog. A fixed male dog can no longer produce sperm and therefore can’t procreate. Neutering dramatically reduces a dog’s testosterone levels, meaning that fixed dogs typically have little to no interest in mating.
The neutering process is quick, with plenty of benefits for both dog and owner. Getting your dog neutered:
- Prevents unwanted litters
- Reduces aggressiveness
- Reduces anxiety
- Can improve the dog’s health by lowering the chance of tumors and infections
Dog Neuter Explained by a Vet | The reason to neuter and reasons not to neuter
Can a Neutered Dog Still Mate?
Many owners wonder whether their neutered males can still physically have sex. The answer is yes. Your male dog probably won’t want to, but he can. His penis is still functional, so he can get an erection and tie with a female dog.
What’s more, exhibiting mating behavior is not uncommon in fixed dogs. If you see your dog humping objects or trying to mount other dogs, it’s no cause for concern. It can still be pleasurable for them, even if no procreation occurs. Some dogs even try to hump blankets or toys!
Of course, humping behavior can get pretty uncomfortable. If you want to discourage your pup from doing it, try to distract it with a toy or a command. Don’t make a big deal of the behavior, as you don’t want to encourage it inadvertently.
Is Neutering Effective?
Neutering is a highly effective way to prevent unwanted litters of puppies. Removing a dog’s testicles eliminates its ability to produce sperm, making impregnation impossible.
Pet owners should know that active sperm can linger in other parts of the male reproductive system. We call these leftovers “dormant sperm.” Your vet will advise you to be careful during this time, which lasts about a month after the procedure.
A month is a conservative estimate, as dormant sperm is viable mainly for a few days. However, it can be longer, so it’s best to play it safe. Some male dogs have fertile sperm for up to six weeks after neutering! Chances of breeding at six weeks are low, especially as most dogs’ sex drive has significantly dropped. Still, it’s essential to know the risks.
Are Neutered Dogs Attracted to Females in Heat?
Most fixed dogs have significantly less interest in females in heat than their non-fixed counterparts. However, this is not to say that they’ll be completely indifferent. The instinct to mate is ingrained in canines, and fixing a dog doesn’t permanently eliminate that instinct.
For example, if your dog comes across a female in heat, he may follow her around more than he typically would. Or he might even try to mount her or mount other objects. What’s most likely to happen is that your dog shows no interest, but any of these scenarios are possible.
You may also find that the extent of their interest looks different, especially if you had your dog fixed well into adulthood.
Do Neutered Dogs Still Ejaculate?
This question is another common query among pet owners, and the answer is yes, fixed dogs ejaculate. They can still produce prostatic fluid, but their ejaculate doesn’t contain sperm.
Myths About Neutered Dogs
Plenty of people have reservations about neutering their pets. They think they’re somehow depriving them and may have bought into one of the many myths about neutered dogs. If you’re on the fence, it’s helpful to know what’s true about dog neutering–and what’s fiction.
Their Personality Will Change
Opponents of neutering argue that it negatively impacts a dog’s personality because it can’t enjoy natural behaviors. In reality, positive personality changes come from neutering dogs. Fixed dogs are less aggressive and nervous. They also get along better with others–both canines and humans.
They Will Be Less Active
Neutering is said to cause depression, leading to a lazy, fat dog. However, the only way your dog will be fat and lazy is if you overfeed them, don’t exercise them enough, or if they have a medical condition causing these conditions.
Neutering Is Too Expensive
Vet neutering fees can vary, but it’s a money-saving investment. Fixing your dog is a one-time expense that offsets the costs of raising a litter of puppies. You can also check with your local animal welfare organizations. Many places have low-cost neutering services, so there shouldn’t be any economic reason to forego neutering.
When Should a Male Dog Be Neutered?
Male dogs can be neutered at practically any age, though there’s some variation in vet recommendations. The AAHA advises that the ideal age is somewhere between six to twelve months old, depending on the size of your dog:
- Small-breed dogs (with a projected adult weight of fewer than 45 pounds): six months
- Large-breed dogs (with a projected adult weight of more than 45 pounds): after they stop growing, which is somewhere between nine and fifteen months of age
So now you know that the answer to “Can a neutered dog still mate?” is yes. It probably won’t be interested in sex, but a fixed dog can still tie with a female and ejaculate. Provided a month has passed since neutering your male, it won’t be able to impregnate one.