Influence of Gonadectomy on Canine Behavior

Animals (Basel). 2021 Feb 20;11(2):553. doi: 10.3390/ani11020553.


Due to the lack of unequivocal scientific evidence, gonadectomy's effects on dogs' behavior are still debated. Since veterinarians differ in their opinion, there may be considerable diversity in the advice received by owners. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of gonadectomy on dog behavior across time. Ninety-six dog owners (48 control dogs and 48 experimental dogs) were interviewed twice (T0 and T1, nine months later) to obtain information about their dog's behavior. No change was found in the eating behavior or weight of dogs of both groups. Compared to T0, at T1, experimental dogs were reported to show less mounting behavior, pull on the leash, and roaming behaviors. Marking behavior did not vary across time for both groups of dogs. A tendency to reduce owner-directed aggression was observed at T1 for experimental male dogs, while no change was observed for male controls. The literature reports conflicting information about the effect of gonadectomy on behavior, suggesting that further studies about this topic should be undertaken.

Keywords: behavior; dog; gonadectomy.