I had a recent experience where several, frankly, hostile people berated me for having an intact dog. One woman stated to my face that she was shocked to learn that I had brought an aggressive intact male dog with me to an event where “nice” dogs would be at risk. She hadn’t met my dog. He’s not aggressive, at all. He is stable and social and very appropriate. He’s friendly, he’s confident but also pretty soft. He’ll offer every possible calming signal or cut off cue if he’s trapped and cant get away and has never displayed aggressively with another dog. She was correct he is intact. What I learned about each of those people was that they didn’t know anything about dogs or behavior other then a lot of silly pet dog mythology. They also didn’t stop to learn that my dog wasn’t there to interact with the “nice” dogs since I didn’t trust the “nice” dog owners to have any control over their dogs. The nice dogs were mostly nice except a few who turned out not to be so nice to each other. Seriously not so nice.
I understand the risk factor of socializing my intact dog with altered dogs who may have low levels of real training. Many of those dogs haven’t been socialized to an intact dog, and may react with aggressive behavior. Just like dogs who are aggressive towards flat faced dogs, or hyper dogs or whatever. Owners often are really just misinformed or don’t know better or they allow this because they view the intact dog as the problem rather then facing the work of training their dogs to behave in a polite manner with other dogs. Or even just making the effort to manage the behavior. Don’t have control over your dog? Put them on leash and move along. My 2 adult male rescue dogs are both altered, they were both jerks to intact male dogs when i first got them. But I WORKED with them to modify that behavior because its NOT ACCEPTABLE. In short I trained my dogs. I made an effort to socialize them to intact dogs. If they acted like idiots they lost freedom. I didn’t stand there like a helpless blubbering moron. Because I want to live a full life with my dogs and have them be happy stable “nice” dogs.
Heres the cold hard truth. I am not neutering my dog. He is a lovely dog. He’s not done growing. He is a shining example of why his breed was created. I also know that every scientific study done on spay/neuter surgery shows that it is detrimental to the dogs health: Joint issues, abnormal structure, displyasia, thyroid problems, incontinence…. and to their temperament. Contrary to popular folklore dogs who are spayed/neutered show an increase in behavioral problems. “A recent report of the American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation reported significantly more behavioral problems in spayed and neutered bitches and dogs. The most commonly observed behavioral problem in spayed females was fearful behavior and the most common problem in males was aggression.”
I understand why we sell a pr campaign that loads on a lot of total misinformation. We tell people it will make their dogs healthier and better behaved. We tell the public that because we need for most dogs to be spayed/neutered. We need to cut down on over population. We cant deny that most people even the super well meaning ones have little if any control over their dogs behavior on or off leash. But anyone who wants to claim some kind of expertise on dog behavior should be informed enough to have read the science.
I could wait for him to stop growing and neuter him then. But Im not going to, because I dont need to. I understand the risks. Hes already been attacked by aggressive neutered males with sloppy owners. Im not a fan of dog parks anyway for any of my dogs. Hes got a ton of pet dog friends to socialize with, pitbulls, goldens, labs, a lot of herding dogs and so on, all of them altered & none of them want to hurt him.
I can and will keep all of my dogs safe at the classes I teach. In in the classes I take with my dogs I can avoid the yahoos’ who need their dog to be their dick. They always fade away anyway because anyone who is serious about training doesn’t allow their dog to be a problem for another team. Anyone who is serious about training doesnt want their dog to be unstable either.
I’ve never had a real problem at an event, trial or workshop with people who are at the level where they are actually competing with their dogs.
So educate yourself. Show me that your dog is trained. Make your own choice and allow me to make mine. Then we can talk. Or you can just go talk amongst yourselves.
Pet sterilization laws raise health concerns
As legislators push for more mandatory spay and neuter laws for pets, critics are crying foul over research showing that such surgeries may raise health risks in dogs