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lunabean's avatar

Is it true that when hyper dogs are spayed or neutered they calm down?

Asked by lunabean (625 points ) October 11th, 2009 from iPhone

People say when dogs have those surgeries and they are really hyper that they calm down afterwards. Is there any truth to this?

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19 Answers

peedub's avatar

Yes. Their hormone factories are effectively demolished.

dpworkin's avatar

I would not be so quick to conclude that a problematic dog would transform after neutering; however it is vital that you spay or neuter your domestic pets.

peedub's avatar

I wouldn’t think that a problematic dog would completely transform after neutering either, but a hyper one might.

scamp's avatar

I’ve seen dogs become less agressive after being neutered, but I would think that a good trainer would be a better solution for you.

Leanne1986's avatar

This is often the case (although not 100% of the time in my experience) but not a guaranteed cure for a hyperactive dog so if you have a dog that needs to learn a few manners please don’t rely on just getting them fixed (although as @pdworkin said this is also very important). Training is vital!

aphilotus's avatar

Even without behavioral issues, spaying and neutering your pets is very, very important. It costs cities and towns ridiculous amounts of money (tax dollars- your money) and a lot of hatred-from-PETA to collect and destroy feral animals. Yeah, you might think you can find good homes for your dog’s puppies, but you’re starting a whole damn family tree, and a bunch of those branches might end up stray.

It’s not a pretty business and no one really likes having to do it.

That’s why most spaying and neutering programs are free/cheap – it is such a long-term cost saver that it’s worth it to the town try to keep the spay/neuter rate up near 100%.

As for the hyper issue, yeah, you’re removing most of their hormone-producing organs, and that will certainly make some changes in their behavior, but as previous jellies have said, training has as much to do with hyper-active dogs as hormones and breeding.

lunabean's avatar

thanks for the answers. we definitely were intending to spay our dog from the start, to prevent puppies and not finding homes. we also are training her and developing her behaviors.

Beta_Orionis's avatar

@lunabean Not necessarily. I think it really depends on how far into their development they get spayed/neutered. I’ve known my fair share of hyper 1, 2, & 3 year olds who didn’t really settle down after being fixed. I suspect this had much to do with their owners assuming fixing would be a stand-alone solution, owners who didn’t work with their pets from the beginning to establish good habits and behavioral patterns. So it’s good that you’re training her!

as an aside, of my four dogs, one is named Luna, and while she was a puppy with a suede, squishy puppy-belly, we alternated between calling her Lunabeam and Lunabean affectionately. :D

kheredia's avatar

I have a hyper dog that I got neutered at 8 months. It did help a little but we have still had to work hard to discipline him. The breed also has a lot to do with how much energy they have. I wouldn’t count entirely on the operation to calm him down.

Buttonstc's avatar

The other thing to remember is that even with neutering, most puppies will start settling down as they mature. This is assuming that consistent training is also being done.

Some breeds are not really considered full grown until two years of age so don’t be surprised if after a year even tho he looks like an adult, he’s still more like the equivalent of a teenager ( and we all know how active those years usually are).

But as long as you persist with training, you will eventually have a well behaved dog who can be reasonably calm in most situations. It just may not be as immediate as you would hope.

One other thing that helps with any hyper dog is to be sure you take him on nice long walks. Regular exercise helps a lot to burn off some of that excess energy that pups have in such abundance. Hopefully you have a yard where you can play fetch with him also.

And hopefully you don’t have either a Dalmation, a Border Collie or a JR Terrier. They are a real challenge as they were bred to be working dogs, not for just lounging around the house. They are the closest thing I’ve seen to a perpetual motion machine :D

Dr_C's avatar

I´ve come to learn from experience with my two male dogs (not so with the female who is spayed) that after having neutered the older male (a cocker spaniel) he has calmed down dramatically but has become increasingly aggresive with non-neutered dogs (he was never aggressive before). He is constantly trying to start something with my Lab… who just shrugs it off and thinks the older dog is just playing (althought they have had some epic fights where the cocker got hurt). My vet corroborated my findings by telling me it´s common for neutered males to have difficulty socializing with non-neutered males and develop aggressive behaviour towards them.

SarasWhimsy's avatar

Personally, I’ve had more luck with it calming down cats than with it calming down dogs. BUT I haven’t seen it be 100% effective with either.

sccrowell's avatar

I was going to say, “No it doesn’t, they just get fat.” yet, that isn’t true either! I have a Miniature Dachshund as well as a Italian Greyhound. Both neutered! Dachshund FAT 22.8 lbs and Italian Greyhound approx. 18 lbs. And still hyper! Go figure… Bottom line… Depends on the breed.

rooeytoo's avatar

If the hyperactivity is the result of a sexual frenzy then it might. But training and maturity is what usually curbs it most. There are some breeds though that have that sort of mentality bred into them. Terriers tend to be very high energy most of their lives.

And I wholeheartedly join in the spay and neuter chorus. Definitely the thing to do.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

I’ve not seen it have much effect on a few male dogs I know to be hyper and I also don’t believe the changes in hormone effected these dogs that much either because they still try to hump everything in sight.

jonsblond's avatar

It didn’t calm down my blue heeler/black lab mix, but a long walk sure did.

Leanne1986's avatar

@jonsblond That’s how it should be! Too many people don’t exercise their dogs enough and then wonder why they can become destructive!

heelthis's avatar

Hi there,

We have a two year old Blue Heeler who has been neutered. The truth is that hyper breeds such as these will always be hyper. He gets plenty of physical as well as mental exercise and still is always ready to play. He has actually even gotten to the point that he gets his rabies tag in his mouth when he plays to make sure he doesn’t nip at anybody.

He does hump & nibble less but a smart energetic dog will always be a smart energetic dog. As long as the dog understands that you are the alpha he will stop playing when you make it clear to him that it is time to stop.

That was the hardest thing that we had to learn was to just be forceful enough with them that they understand that it is your house and your rules. They will learn if given the opportunity.

Jeglen_2002's avatar

I have a border collie that just won’t calm down he knocks everyone over when they visit I was told that getting him done would calm him down is this a fact . He does get long walks daily but never tires out ?

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