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Can a Neutered Dog Still Mate? Explained - PawSafe

Can a Neutered Dog Still Mate? Explained

Photo of Tamsin De La Harpe

Written by Tamsin De La Harpe

can a neutered dog still mate

Neutering is common among pet owners to help control the pet population, but can a neutered dog still mate? Neutering involves removing the testicles in male dogs and the ovaries and uterus in female dogs, but it mainly refers to removing male testicles. 

Neutering will also reduce territorial marking and save you from rushing to odor eliminators if your dog marks the house. It is important to note that neutering may not affect a dog’s ability to perform other behaviors associated with mating, such as mounting or humping. 

In the following paragraphs, we will explore whether neutered dogs still mate and what behaviors they maintain. We have consulted canine experts like Sarah White in her book High Quality, High-volume Spay and Neuter for a complete guide on the mating topic. 

You can check out our article on signs your dog needs to be neutered if you still have a puppy yet to undergo the procedure. Unlike spaying, which is more complicated in surgery and recovery, neutering is pretty straightforward. However, dogs still need anesthesia for neutering. 

However, neutering does not prevent a male dog from exhibiting sexual behavior, such as mounting or humping. These behaviors are instinctual and may continue even after the dog has been neutered.

In summary, a neutered dog cannot mate or reproduce. While it may take some time for his sexual behavior to change after the procedure, neutering ultimately eliminates a male dog’s ability to reproduce.

Fun fact: Male dogs aren’t considered sterile for a few weeks after neutering. Although male dogs are technically sterile after neuter, they have dormant or leftover sperm that may take some time to die off. After this, they are completely infertile.

You may also like:

Signs Your Male Dog Wants to Mate

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Littermate Syndrome: Why You Should Never Adopt Two Puppies At Once

Understanding Neutering in Dogs

Neutering is a common surgical procedure performed on dogs to prevent them from reproducing. It is a form of sterilization that involves removing the testicles in male dogs, rendering them infertile. 

There are several benefits to neutering dogs beyond preventing unwanted litters.

  • Neutering can reduce the risk of certain types of cancer in both male and female dogs. 
  • It can also reduce the risk of some behavioral issues, such as aggression and roaming. 
  • Additionally, neutering can help reduce the number of dogs that end up in shelters or on the streets

However, several studies have shown that early neutering (below six months for small and 12 for large) increases the risk for cancers like lymphoma, mast cell tumors, hemangiosarcoma, osteosarcoma, and joint issues. We therefore recommend waiting until your dog attains physical maturity for a neuter. 

It is important to note that neutering does not entirely eliminate certain behaviors. While the dog will no longer be able to reproduce, they may still exhibit sexual behaviors, such as playful humping or mounting. 

These behaviors are often driven by other factors, such as social or environmental cues, rather than the dog’s reproductive hormones. Our article on why dogs hump pillows goes into non-sexual reasons for humping.

Can a Neutered Dog Still Have Balls?

Neutering, by definition, is the removal of a dog’s testicles. They can not, therefore, still have their balls. If a male dog appears to have balls after neutering, that is probably swelling after surgery, and it will subside after a few days.

 There are other modes of canine sterilization, like “zeutering” where a solution of zinc gluconate and L-arginine kills existing sperm. In this case, a sterilized dog will keep his balls. Additionally, vasectomies exist, where the tube connecting the testicles and the outside is cut. However, both these techniques are uncommon, and the dog is not said to be neutered.

In a 2018 CNBC article, it was reported that Gregg Miller became wealthy through his invention of “Neuticles,” which are artificial testicles for dogs. These prosthetic implants are often used after a dog has been neutered, ostensibly to help the dog maintain its natural appearance. The implants are made from FDA-approved materials and come in various sizes to fit different breeds. Opinions on the necessity or ethics of this practice vary; some see it as a vanity project for the owners, while others argue it could help ease a pet’s transition post-surgery.

Physical Capability of a Neutered Dog

Can a Neutered Dog Still Ejaculate?

Theoretically speaking, a neutered dog can still ejaculate. However, the ejaculate will not contain any sperm and only prostatic fluid. Additionally, since neutered dogs lack the sexual drive needed for them to ejaculate after sexual activity, ejaculation is highly unlikely.  

Can a Neutered Dog Still Get Stuck or Lock with a Female?

In theory, neutered dogs can still lock with a female since a neuter takes away their testicles, not their penis. However, they do not produce testosterone, they do not experience the same level of sexual arousal as intact dogs and are therefore less likely to engage in this behavior.

Locking, known as “tying” or “knotting” occurs when the male dog’s penis swells inside the female dog’s vagina, which can make it difficult for the dogs to separate.

Can a Neutered Dog Impregnate a Female Dog?

No, a neutered dog cannot impregnate a female dog since the testicles, which produce sperm, are removed during the neutering procedure. Without testicles, the male dog cannot produce sperm and, therefore, cannot fertilize a female dog’s eggs.

However, remember that neutering does not immediately render a dog sterile. It may take several weeks or even months for the remaining sperm to be cleared from the dog’s system, so it is still possible for a neutered dog to impregnate a female dog during this time.

Related:

Can Dogs Get Pregnant when not in heat?

Warning signs after a dog is spayed

Behavioral Changes After Neutering

While neutering has several benefits, it can also cause behavioral changes in dogs. In this section, we will discuss some of the common behavioral changes that occur after neutering.

Can a Neutered Dog Still Have Sexual Urges?

Yes, a neutered dog can still have sexual urges, but the intensity of these urges may be reduced. Neutering removes the source of testosterone, the hormone responsible for driving sexual behavior in male dogs. As a result, neutered dogs may have less desire to mate, but they may still exhibit some sexual behaviors, such as mounting and humping.

Will a Neutered Dog Still be Attracted to a Female in Heat?

Neutered dogs are unlikely to be attracted to a female in heat, and they are less likely to act on any attraction. Without the influence of testosterone, neutered dogs are less interested in mating and may exhibit less aggressive behavior toward other dogs.

Will a Neutered Dog Still Mount a Female on Heat?

Neutered dogs may still mount a female on heat, but the behavior is more likely to be a dominant or playful display rather than a sexual one. Mounting behavior is not always related to sexual behavior in dogs and may be used to assert dominance, to play or due to stress.

Health Implications of Neutering

Neutering, also known as castration, is a surgical procedure that involves the removal of a male dog’s testicles. While this procedure is often done to prevent unwanted litters, it also has several health implications for dogs.

One of the main benefits of neutering is that it can reduce the risk of certain types of cancer in dogs, such as testicular and prostate cancer. Neutered dogs are also less likely to develop some behavioral issues, such as aggression and roaming.

However, neutering can also have some negative health implications for dogs. For example, neutered dogs are at a higher risk of developing certain types of cancer, such as bone cancer, and are more prone to obesity. Neutered dogs may also be more susceptible to certain types of infections, such as urinary tract infections.

It is vital for dog owners to discuss the potential health implications of neutering with their veterinarian before making a decision. Veterinarians can provide guidance on the best age to neuter a dog and any potential risks associated with the procedure.

While neutering can have positive and negative health implications for dogs, it is an important decision that should be made in consultation with a veterinarian. However, the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages.

Managing a Neutered Dog’s Behaviour

Neutering a dog can have a significant impact on his behavior. While neutering can reduce the likelihood of certain behaviors like roaming and aggression, it is not a guarantee that all behavioral issues will be resolved. Here are some tips for managing a neutered dog’s behavior:

Provide Plenty of Exercise

A neutered dog may be less likely to roam, but they still need plenty of exercise to keep them healthy and happy. Regular walks and playtime can help reduce stress and anxiety, which can lead to unwanted behaviors.

Establish a Routine

Dogs thrive on routine, and neutered dogs are no exception. Establishing a consistent routine for feeding, exercise, and playtime can help reduce stress and anxiety, which can lead to unwanted behaviors.

Use Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement training can be an effective way to manage a neutered dog’s behavior. Rewarding good behavior with treats or praise can encourage them to repeat the behavior in the future.

Consider Professional Training

If a neutered dog is exhibiting problem behaviors, it may be beneficial to seek the help of a professional dog trainer. A trainer can provide guidance on how to manage the behavior and work with the dog to modify their behavior.

Provide Mental Stimulation

In addition to physical exercise, a neutered dog also needs mental stimulation to stay healthy and happy. Puzzle toys and interactive games can provide mental stimulation and help reduce stress and anxiety.

Help, My Male Dog is Neutered but Still Trying to Mate!

Even after neutering, some male dogs may continue to exhibit mating behavior. This can be concerning for pet owners who may wonder if their dog’s neutering was successful or if there is an underlying medical issue.

Mating behavior, like mounting and humping, is actually often completely sex unrelated. Dogs can hump other things, dogs, or people due to play, stress, excitement, urinary issues, and attention seeking. 

If your neutered male dog is still humping, it’s essential to redirect his behavior and discourage it. This can be done by distracting him with commands and giving him toys or treats as a reward. 

In some cases, a neutered male dog may continue to exhibit mating behavior due to an underlying medical issue. This can include conditions such as adrenal gland tumors or testicular remnants. If you are concerned about your dog’s behavior, it’s crucial to consult with your veterinarian to rule out any medical issues.

Overall, it’s essential to understand that neutering does not guarantee that your male dog will stop exhibiting mounting behavior. However, with proper training and supervision, you can help redirect his behavior and prevent unwanted mating.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can a neutered dog still hump?

Yes, neutered dogs can still hump. Humping is a natural behavior in dogs and is not always related to sexual behavior. Humping can be a sign of excitement, stress, or anxiety. Neutering may reduce the frequency of humping, but it will not eliminate the behavior entirely.

Do neutered dogs still try to mate?

Neutered dogs may still try to mate, but they cannot reproduce. They may also fight with other males if there is a female on heat nearby.  Neutering removes the testicles in male dogs, which reduces the production of hormones that drive sexual behavior. However, some neutered dogs may still have a slight urge to mate, especially if they were not neutered at an early age.

Can a spayed dog still get pregnant?

No, a spayed dog cannot get pregnant. Spaying involves the removal of the ovaries and uterus in female dogs, which eliminates their ability to reproduce. Spaying also reduces the risk of certain health problems, such as uterine infections and breast cancer.

Can a male dog hurt a spayed female?

Yes, a male dog can still hurt a spayed female. Sexual behavior in dogs can be rough and aggressive, and it can cause injury to both dogs involved. It is vital to supervise dogs during interactions to prevent any aggressive behavior that could lead to injury.

Can a neutered dog be reversed?

Neutering is a permanent procedure, and it cannot be reversed. Once a male dog is neutered, his testicles are removed, and he will no longer be able to reproduce. It is crucial to consider the decision to neuter carefully and consult a veterinarian to ensure it is the right choice for your dog.

Final Thoughts

While neutering a dog may decrease their desire to mate, it does not completely eliminate the possibility of them attempting to do so. Neutered dogs may still exhibit mating behaviors and may even mount other dogs or objects. However, these behaviors are typically not accompanied by the same hormonal drive and aggression as intact dogs.

Meet Your Experts

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Tamsin De La Harpe

Author

Tamsin de la Harpe has nearly two decades of experience with dogs in rescue, training, and behavior modification with fearful and aggressive dogs. She has worked closely with veterinarians and various kennels, building up extensive medical knowledge and an understanding of canine health and physiology. She also spent two years in the animal sciences as a canine nutrition researcher, focusing on longevity and holistic healthcare for our four-legged companions. Tamsin currently keeps a busy homestead with an assortment of rescue dogs and three Bullmastiffs.

Tamsin de la Harpe has nearly two decades of experience with dogs in rescue, training, and behavior modification with fearful and aggressive dogs. She has worked closely with veterinarians and various kennels, building up extensive medical knowledge and an understanding of canine health and physiology. She also spent two years in the animal sciences as a canine nutrition researcher, focusing on longevity and holistic healthcare for our four-legged companions. Tamsin currently keeps a busy homestead with an assortment of rescue dogs and three Bullmastiffs.