Benefits and risks of neutering pets – what is the evidence – Behaviour

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Published 26 November 2020

While neutering can be helpful in the management of some problem behaviours, such as urine marking in the house, mounting and roaming, the effect of neutering on other behaviours is less easy to predict and careful assessment of the problem and discussion with the owners of the risks and benefits should be carried out. In cases of uncertainty it may be appropriate to consider temporary (non-surgical) hormonal control to assess the effect on behaviour.

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  • Farhoody, P. et al. (2018) Aggression toward familiar people, strangers, and conspecifics in gonadectomized and intact dogs. Frontiers in Veterinary Science, 5, p. 18.
  • McGreevy, P.D. et al. (2018) Behavioural risks in male dogs with minimal lifetime exposure to gonadal hormones may complicate population-control benefits of desexing. PLoS One, 13 (5) p. e0196284.
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  • Starling, M. et al. (2019) Behavioural risks in female dogs with minimal lifetime exposure to gonadal hormones. PLoS ONE, 14 (12), p. e0223709.
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