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Desexing Your Dog



There is a lot of conflicting information about the issue of desexing your dog.


The traditional approach taken by nearly all vets is to say that desexing is a responsible and necessary action to take for the health of your dog.


Desexing for females involves the removal of the uterus and ovaries which prevents reproduction. For males the procedure involves the removal of both testes eliminating sperm and the main source of the male hormone, testosterone.


Full recovery from the surgical procedure takes about a week to 10 days.


Veterinarians differ as to the most appropriate age to have the procedure performed.  In the past, 6 months of age was always suggested as the best age. Today vets recommend desexing at approximately 5 months or even earlier if the Vet has the specialist equipment to perform this delicate procedure.


However, there are a growing number of canine health professionals world-wide who are publishing research which points to desexing as being quite an un-healthy action to take. They strongly suggest that dog-owners re-think the whole issue of desexing before they blindly accept the traditional approach.





  • Desexing significantly reduces the risk of particular cancers and infections from developing and guarantees that hereditary diseases and deformities are never passed on.


  • For males, desexing eliminates the risk of testicular cancer and significantly reduces prostate problems.


  • For females, desexing frees the bitch from uterine, cervix and ovarian cancers and will reduce the likelihood of mammary tumours (which can be fatal). It also means that the bitch will never suffer from pyometra which is an infection of the uterus. Pyometra can also be fatal.


  • Studies also show that desexed dogs (both male & female) actually live longer than non-desexed dogs which is a excellent reason to have your dog desexed.


  • Desexing a bitch who is a regular 'house dog' means you don't have to clean up blood spots off the floor when she's in season. And you won't have all the male dogs in the neighbourhood investigating your backyard twice a year.


  • Desexing at an early age can significantly reduce the tendency to learn 'adult' behaviours such as territorial aggression, roaming, excessive urine marking and displays of protection aggression to name just a few.


  • Desexing reduces the number of puppies born each year. This has the flow-on effect of reducing the number of abandoned and surrendered puppies at animal shelters. A bitch can produce 20 - 30 puppies per year, a male can sire hundreds.





You should never desex your dog if :


  • it weighs under 1 kg in body weight


  • your bitch is in season or pregnant


  • your dog has suffered a recent severe injury


  • or (obviously) if you intend to breed with the dog.










These are just a few articles I have found to support the argument for not desexing your dog and also some alternative measures that may be appropriate in your particular situation. Do more research for yourself. If early desexing does have an impact on your dog's health then know the facts so that you are better informed and can make better decisions on behalf of your dog.


I strongly recommend that you have an in-depth discussion with your Vet about the issue of desexing. The evidence clearly shows this issue needs more careful consideration and planning than has ever been adopted previously.


If your Vet says there is no discussion to be had, then get more advice.





It's often said that "a bitch should have at least one litter" to make her a better dog.


This is rubbish !! There is no scientific evidence to prove that a female will become a better animal mentally or physically, if she is allowed to reproduce. If the bitch suffers complications during the birthing process then she's definitely not "better off" for having been bred.


And don't start thinking that your bitch is "missing out" by not allowing her to reproduce. Dogs live in the moment. It's impossible for a dog to speculate or visualise the act of birthing and rearing puppies. They can't feel deprived of an 'event' if they have never physically or mentally experienced that specific 'event'.


In the 40 years that I have been training dogs, countless numbers of clients have said their current dog is "the best dog" ever. As a result, they want to breed with this dog so they can have a carbon-copy puppy.


They're quite shocked when I tell them that this attitude is total nonsense!


No-one can predict what genetic outcome Mother Nature will determine. The chances of reproducing a carbon-copy dog are very small. And what are you going to do with the other 10 puppies that haven't come up to your exacting standards?


Don't become a selfish breeder. You'll be producing 'unwanted puppies' just so you can have one for yourself.


When it's time to select a new puppy, you've got the entire internet at your disposal to research and view all available puppies.


Don't take a punt on breeding when you can select exactly the pup you want by going to see the litter and physically interacting with those pups before you make your selection.




Mark Murray


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