Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Need Another Reason?

Why does Butch pull my arm off when I take him for a walk??  Why does Rover urinate on EVERYTHING?  Why doesn't Fifi pay attention to me when I give a command outside our home?  Why do Fido and Fluffy keep escaping my yard and running away?

If you have asked yourself any of the above questions, then perhaps it's time to re-examine the reasons why you have not yet had your dog spayed or neutered.  Not only does spaying or neutering your pet cut down on reproductive diseases, it also can have a major influence on your pet's ability to remain obedient.  Intact (non-spayed/neutered) pets are more hormonally driven when not properly trained, and the properly trained pet has a higher attention span when she/he is spayed or neutered.  Make sense?

Dogs who are spayed or neutered tend to be more loyal and devoted to their owners, more obedient, and far less likely to run off than intact animals.  In our experience, as many as 80-90% of the dogs and cats hit by cars are intact.  Intact animals are also at higher risk for aggressive tendencies.  75% of dog bites to humans are from intact dogs.

This is not to say that intact animals are incapable of being well-behaved.  I can personally vouch for that, since I am an exhibitor at dog shows.  However, the pet owner who finds his/her dog incapable of walking NICELY on a leash without pulling, wandering, sniffing everything, marking everything, and mounting other dogs regardless of sex, age, or hormonal status, should take a serious look at other factors (besides lack of training) that may be  inhibiting your dog's ability to be a canine good citizen in public. 

Although the outrageous pet population is a major factor influencing recommendations to neuter by veterinarians and their staff, it is certainly not the only reason.  First and foremost, it's due to the health benefits.  The second reason is population control.  In the end, it will make it easier for you to raise a calm, obedient family member.

Stephanie Severson, CVT

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