Home » Spaying and Neutering: What to Expect in Your Dog’s Behavior

Spaying and Neutering: What to Expect in Your Dog’s Behavior

Posted on October 10, 2023 by Patricia Thompson
Spaying and neutering are common surgical procedures performed on dogs to prevent them from reproducing. While these procedures offer numerous health benefits, many dog owners wonder about the potential effects on their pet’s behavior. Will your furry friend undergo behavioral changes after being spayed or neutered?

Spaying and neutering may lead to changes in behavior. Dogs spayed or neutered are less aggressive since their instinct to mate has been eliminated. It can also reduce undesirable behaviors, such as roaming, aggression, and urine marking.

Here, we will explore the behavioral aspects of spaying and neutering in dogs. We’ll shed light on what you can expect regarding changes in behavior and provide insights into responsible pet care. So, learn more about how these procedures can impact your canine companion.

Spaying and Neutering What to Expect in Your Dog's Behavior

Behavior Change In Dogs After Spaying And Neutering.

Neutering in male dogs eliminates both uterine infections and reduces the chance of testicular cancer. Additionally, spaying in females prevents breast cancer. Here are behavioral changes in neutered males and spayed female dogs.

Behavioral Changes in Neutered Males

Neutering, the surgical procedure to remove a male dog’s testicles, is a common practice in pet ownership. While the primary goal of neutering is reproductive control, many dog owners also notice behavior changes in dogs, and these are:

Reduced aggression:

Reduced aggression is one of the most common behavioral changes in neutered males. The male hormone called Testosterone plays a role in aggressive behaviors. Neutering lowers testosterone levels, leading to a calmer and less aggressive demeanor.

Decreased roaming tendencies:

Unneutered male dogs often roam in search of mates. They may attempt to breach fences or slip out of open doors to seek potential mates in the neighborhood. This behavior can put them at risk of accidents or getting lost. Neutering can reduce matting urge, making your dog less likely to escape from your yard.

Marking behavior:

Neutered males are generally less inclined to mark their territory with urine. However, some neutered males may still exhibit marking behavior, mainly if they developed the habit before being neutered.

Reduced mounting behavior:

Neutering typically decreases the frequency of mounting behavior, often seen as a display of dominance or mating interest. While neutering can reduce mounting, it may not eliminate it.

Altered playfulness:

Neutering may change your dog’s natural playfulness. Some may become more relaxed and less driven by sexual urges, while others may maintain their playful nature. These dogs may become less driven by sexual desires and engage in play activities less frequently.

Elimination of unwanted litters:

Neutering eliminates the risk of unintended breeding, preventing the birth of unwanted litters. It is not only responsible but also contributes to reducing the population of homeless pets.

Behavioral Changes in Spayed Female Dogs

Spaying a dog is a surgical procedure that involves the removal of a female dog’s ovaries and often the uterus. It offers several health benefits, such as preventing uterine infections and breast cancer. While the primary goal of spaying is reproductive control, it may also impact the dog’s behavior. Have you ever wondered how it might affect a female dog’s behavior? Here are some of the typical female dog behavior changes after spaying.

Reduced aggression:

After spaying, female dogs tend to be less aggressive, especially during their heat cycles. Heat or estrous cycles can increase irritability and aggression in unspayed females. Spaying eliminates these hormonal fluctuations related to the estrous process, resulting in a calmer furry friend. It is one of the main benefits of spaying a dog.

Elimination of heat cycles:

Spaying prevents female dogs from going into heat cycles, during which they may attract male dogs, potentially leading to behavioral issues. Spaying eliminates this aspect of their reproductive behavior.

Decreased roaming tendencies:

During their heat cycles, Unspayed female dogs may roam searching for mates. However, spaying can reduce the urge to walk. Reduced roaming can make your dog less likely to escape or wander away from home.

Diminished marking behavior:

While male and female dogs mark their territory, spaying may reduce frequency in females. A Spayed female is less likely to mark with urine, which is good practice for their owner.

Lower risk of certain behavior-related health issues:

An unspayed female dog may face mammary tumors and uterine infections (pyometra). These types of conditions have their behavioral consequences. Dogs with these health issues may exhibit discomfort, irritability, and changes in behavior. Spaying lowers the risk of mammary tumors and uterine infections, resulting in cool and calm furry friends.

Potential for weight management:

Spayed females may gain weight because they may have a lower metabolic rate. An overweight dog may respond to your voice slowly and always feel laziness. However, you can avoid this laziness by planning and executing a deity and exercise plan for your dog.

How To Maintain Your Dog’s Positive Behavior After Neutering Or Being Spayed.

Post-operative care is essential to ensure your dog’s positive behavior after being neutered or spayed. These surgical procedures can irritate your dogs, but proper care can help prevent discomfort. Here’s a guide to post-operative care for neutered or spayed dogs:

Let your dog rest:

After surgery, let your spayed dog complete bed rest. Create a quiet and comfortable space for your dogs to recover. Keep a close eye on your dog during the initial recovery period to ensure they do not lick, chew, or scratch the incision site. It can lead to infection or other complications.

Prevent physically demanding play:

Restrict your dog’s activity for a few days after surgery. Avoid jumping or running activities, which can be painful for your dog. These physical activities may make them aggressive or silent.

Gradual return to regular routine:

Gradually reintroduce your spayed dog to their routine and activities. This practice will not make them irritable and let your dog enjoy what they love to do.

Incision site care:

Check the incision site regularly for any signs of redness, swelling, discharge, or unusual odor. These signs may discomfort your dog and lead to unwanted behavior.It’s recommended to keep the incision clean and dry.

Cone or Elizabethan Collar:

Your veterinarian may provide your spayed dog with a cone or Elizabethan collar to prevent it from licking or biting the incision site. This cone will help you avoid the licking habit your dog may develop. Ensure your spayed dog wears it as directed.

This collar is a protective barrier, ensuring your dog can’t reach the surgery area with their mouth. It’s important to follow your veterinarian’s instructions closely regarding the collar’s size and how to secure it properly.

Diet and water:

Offer your dog a light, easily digestible diet for a few days after surgery. It will not make your spayed dog heavy and let them feel light and fresh all the time. Consult your vet for specific dietary recommendations.


Remember that every dog’s recovery experience may vary, and following your veterinarian’s guidelines is essential. By providing proper care and attention, you can help ensure positive behavior from your dog after being neutered or spayed. Stay with the Fast ESA letter for more information and other helpful pet tips and guides.

Posted in: Blog

About the Author

Patricia Thompson
Patricia Thompson
Patricia Thompson is a highly skilled clinical psychologist with over five years of expertise in the field. She possesses extensive knowledge and experience in using clinical guidance and providing recommendations for emotional support animals (ESAs) as a form of treatment for mental illness. Patricia's profound understanding of the therapeutic benefits of ESAs enables her to offer valuable insights and practical advice to individuals seeking emotional support. In addition to her clinical practice, Patricia also writes for Fast ESA Letter, sharing her expertise and advocating for the importance of ESAs in mental health care.


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