The quick answer to that question is that it's up to you! If you've read up on the pro's and con's of having your male dog neutered and you still wish to leave him intact then that's great, go for it! This decision is a very personal one and for some dog owners the decision is a no brainer and for others they wrestle with the idea and find it hard to know what to do for the best.
Here's my thoughts on the matter. I won't go into the medical implications at all as there's lots of information on Google regarding that and I'd just be rehashing stuff from other websites.
Coastal Dog Walkers have been walking dogs for 5 years now and to begin with we'd take on any dog, any breed, any temperament and we wouldn't give any real consideration to whether a male dog was intact or not. In hindsight this was a little naive as over time we began to notice one thing that had not crossed our minds when we started out; intact males can attract trouble from other male dogs.
Allow me to explain and expand on that statement. Some of the loveliest dogs we've ever walked have been intact male dogs, in fact the first dogs we ever took on was a fantastic Labrador called Lewis. He was THE most gentle and loving dog and you could walk him with any other dog and he'd never be any bother. However as time passed we noticed that on occasion another male dog would get very agitated in Lewis's company or a dog that we walked past would react to him in an aggressive manner. Lewis never instigated any of this behavior and never even reacted to it as he was always super chilled. We thought it was odd but never really put two and two together.
Over the next couple of years we took on other intact male dogs and on occasion we had similar experiences with all of them, i.e. for no reason apparent to us another male would just act up and be aggressive towards them for no apparent reason.
We then spoke to some dog behaviourist colleagues and did a bit of Googling and suddenly everything fell into place - non neutered male dogs can sometimes provoke an unwanted response from a neutered male dog. The exact reasons for this seem to be open to discussion but in our experience this unwanted behavior toward uncastrated males is a very real thing.
As a consequence we no longer take on new clients with male dogs who are intact, the only exception to that is puppies who in time will have the operation usually at around 6 to 8 months old. For us it's just not worth the inherent risk. As a North Shields dog walker we are responsible for a lot of your dogs and our underlying thought in everything we do is always your dog's safety.
On a personal note I'd like to add that our own dog Buzz and his predecessor Elwood were both castrated, they were both rescue dogs and the rescue centres usually always give their male dogs the snip before rehoming them but even if they hadn't we would have put both dogs in for the operation - after all no one wants a humpy dog around the house!
We'd love to hear your thoughts - is your dog intact? What have been your experiences if you have an intact male dog?
This is Lewis by the way. Still my favourite Labrador x
Tilly has been awarded the coveted prize for dog of the month (August 2019). Tilly has only been with us since early June so it's great to see a relatively new dog win this coveted prize!
Tilly is an older girl, (don't worry Tilly I won't give your age away). She's a Bichon Frise X Yorkshire Terrier and has the cutest little face. She settled in very quickly and has continued to gain in confidence in the 3 months she's been on board. She's a brilliant dog for a dog walker to have on board as she's just one of those dogs that's happy to mix with any of the other pooches in the pack, she gets on well with everyone, human or canine.
Well done Tilly, i'll drop your prize and certificate off later this week.
Coastal Dog Walkers
Welcome to the occasional ramblings of a North Shields dog walker.