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castration and behaviour

"Will castration improve his behaviour?”

I have a two-year-old male Rottweiler who is becoming more boisterous, not listening to commands, and is now humping my younger, neutered Jack Russell Terrier. I am considering having him castrated, but will this make a difference to his behaviour?

Paul Manktelow advises...

Castration of dogs involves the removal of the testicles, one of the main testosterone-producing organs. This therefore reduces the level of testosterone produced. Testosterone-fuelled behaviours include dominance, aggression and an increased sex drive. Castration can therefore reduce these behaviours, although the effectiveness does depend on the age at which it is done.

It is most effective when performed before one year of age because after this, testosterone-fuelled behaviours have often become learned habits, and therefore won’t necessarily be diminished by castration. The best method of control at this stage is behavioural training, which can be done by you or with help from a professional behaviourist or dog trainer. Castration will also promote important health benefits. It completely prevents the development of testicular tumours, and greatly reduces the risks of developing prostate problems, such as prostate enlargement, cysts or infection. Both testicular and prostate diseases are very common in older, unneutered males.

Furthermore, castration also reduces the risk of tumours developing around the rectum, as their growth is stimulated by testosterone. Castration is always recommended for the health benefits it provides, and sometimes for the subsequent behavioural effects. I would suggest you make an appointment with your vet to discuss this further.