Dogs Trust

Neutering Myths

Dog Tales with Andrea Hayes returns to TV3 on Thursday, the 14th of September at 8:30pm!

The first episode features Blossom the Lurcher give birth to the largest litter of puppies we have ever seen in our Rehoming Centre, so we think it is very important to talk about neutering to prevent further unplanned and often unwanted litters of puppies in Ireland.

Many myths and old wives’ tales exist around the subject of neutering, such as dogs will gain weight, the procedure will change a dog’s personality or it is best to allow a female dog to have a litter or a first heat.

Can litters of puppies have different fathers?

Yes! As female dogs release multiple eggs during ovulation, if they mate with more than one male dog whilst in oestrus (heat/season), they can produce puppies from different fathers. 

Is it expensive to have my dog neutered?

The cost of having your dog neutered is usually dependant on your dog’s size. Neutering prevents the unnecessary costs of unplanned pregnancies and raising puppies. 

Will it change my dog’s personality?

Neutering may encourage calmer, more predictable behaviour – helping to make the dog a more suitable family pet. It may also help reduce aggressive and unwanted sexual behaviour, preventing fighting, mounting and destructive behaviours. Dogs that have been neutered are also less likely to mark their territory or stray. Female dogs usually come into season for about three weeks, twice a year. Whilst in season she may act strangely – trying to run away in search of a mate and will need to be kept away from male dogs. Male dogs’ behaviour can also change greatly when a local female dog is in season –they may be desperate to escape, even running onto busy roads or jumping from high windows.

My dog is a pedigree – I will have no problem getting homes for his/her offspring!

There are lots of unwanted pedigree dogs in pounds and shelters around Ireland right now looking for homes. Neutering is a humane way to reduce the stray dog population, preventing thousands of unwanted puppies being born each year, that may be cruelly abandoned or needlessly destroyed.

Pregnancy can cause significant health risks to your dog, causing her discomfort and to behave oddly. Neutering your dog also avoids the inconvenience and mess of having seasons.

Neutering can reduce the risk of some cancers developing in later life for both male and female dogs. It also prevents females suffering from potentially fatal womb infections known as pyometras.

Is it not best to let my female dog have her first heat or a litter of puppies before she is spayed?

There are no health-related reasons for waiting until after her first season before spaying. It is often in the first season that female dogs get ‘caught’ as their owners haven’t realised they were in season!

Will my dog get fat if I have him/her neutered?

Dogs will not put on weight if they are fed sensibly and get enough exercise and your vet or vet nurse will discuss this with you when your dog is being discharged from their practice after neutering.

To find out more about neutering, please click here.