To Castrate or not to Castrate a Dog Who Decides??
When Archie our Clumberdoodle was a puppy, I really wanted him castrated, but my husband Steve was dead against it. However when Archie had his yearly inoculations we had a discussion with the Vet regarding castration and he said that it was an unnecessary operation and would recommend it only being done if we were having problems with Archie.
We had experienced no problems, as he was not aggressive towards other male dogs and although he preferred the bitches to the males he never showed any sexual interest towards them. He had also never (apart from once on our young nephew when he was playing in the garden) dry humped his bedding, toys or people. However that all appeared to change in July 2020 (read the post by clicking the link – Archie could become a daddy).
The following weeks when we were out walking on a few occasions he came across bitches off leads in public areas who were on heat and Archie became very interested. He had obviously matured (now 31/2) and naturally had one thing on his mind and all obedience went out of the window and he was only interested in one thing and to try and catch him and the bitch was almost impossible. Had they been on a lead then it would have been a lot easier. He didn’t manage to “do the deed” but desperately wanted to have a repeat of his escapades with Bella.
Also if there was a bitch on heat out walking, his nose would suddenly sniff the air and he decided he wanted to find out where this lovely aroma was coming from and run after it. I became worried as if he ran off with recall now not an option he could end up on a road somewhere and causing an accident.
Now if you are easily embarrassed as I go into sexual detail then I suggest that you do skip this paragraph and move onto the next.
One afternoon he was asleep in his bed and his back end started gyrating. Steve looked at me and said that Archie was obviously having a naughty dream. Before he got too energetic Steve called his name, Archie woke up in a start but was obviously at the vinegar stroke in his dream and his “red retractable rocket” appeared and so too did the semen shooting all over his bed. Well we were shocked and we looked at each other and said “is now the time to think of castration” as he has obviously got a taste of humping properly.
So a phonecall to the Vet ensued and I had a long conversation with one of the Nurses. During the conversation she did alert me to the fact that a dog could become nervous aggressive after the castration as the testosterone levels drop. So if they were naturally nervous the testosterone helps to make them feel braver in challenging circumstances. Now Arche can be nervous with people he does not know, but has never shown any signs of aggression and usually just barks and backs away. However with people he does know he is a really happy go lucky dog and full of energy and play.
This was a hard decision to make as I did no want him to be nervous aggressive but made the appointment as we weighed up that him now being so interested in the bitches in season and the worry of him running off was a chance we were willing to take. Although I have to say that Steve was still not 100% in favour.
An appointment was made for 27th October at 8.10 a.m. and Steve drove Archie and I down to the Vet. With Covid we had to wait in the car until a Nurse came out. She went through some paperwork and then asked if we would like Archie to have a blood test prior to the operation. Having an anaesthetic is always a risk as organs can fail during an operation when it is too late and can result in death. This was always a worry that Steve had so we decided to pay the extra and have this done for peace of mind.
I had some additional questions, including “could he go upstairs” as he sleeps in our bedroom. Stairs were okay as long as he didn’t run up them and just took it steady but jumping up on furniture and beds was a no, no. So we decided to get the stair gate down from the attic and we would take it in turns to sleep downstairs on the sofa for a couple of days.
Another question was, “would he want his tea tonight?”. The Nurse said not his normal tea but something light like chicken, or scrambled eggs or rice. As Archie is allergic to chicken, it would have to be scrambled eggs and rice. As I was short on eggs and rice we stopped off at a local shop on the way home to stock up.
Once the paperwork was signed and all my additional questions answered, it was time for Archie to be let out of the car and go in to the surgery. Well this did not go well, he jumped out only to met with a strange lady that he had never seen before wearing a mask under a full face mask. I handed the lead to her, but Archie was having none of it and he made it clear that he was not going anywhere. He tried his hardest to back himself under the car and refused to move. At this point, I took the lead from the Nurse which he was very happy about and I led him to the door, where she then took over and took him inside.
He was now safely inside and we went back home hoping that we would receive a phone call around lunchtime to give him time to come around after the op and for them to check that everything had gone well and we could pick him up.
Well just before 10.00 a.m the phone rang, and I knew straight away it was the Vets, but thought it was to tell us there had been a problem with the blood test. Steve answered and it was the actual Vet who was going to perform the op. He said that the Nurses had alerted him that Archie was very agitated and was barking and getting really worked up. (Well naturally, he obviously knew what was about to happen and he was not happy). He had a chat with Steve and said that he really was not prepared to go through with the castration, as he was very worried that as Archie was showing signs of severe anxiety that this would result in him being aggressive afterwards (my big fear). He said that once the op was done and a dog became nervous aggressive there was nothing they could do.
He said the choice was ours but he really advised us against it. There was another way and that was to have a chemical castration where the dogs have an implant which lasts for about 6 months. This reduces the testosterone just like the op so this would give some indication what the dog’s temperament would be like and you could then decide whether to operate or not. He asked why we wanted to have Archie castrated and he did say that him being interested in females on heat and running off were far easier to control than an aggressive dog.
At this stage we decided to take his advice and perhaps think about the chemical implant. So at 10.15 a.m. we were back to the Vets to pick Archie up. A Nurse brought him out to the car and he went absolutely mad and naturally so pleased to see us as you can imagine. He did have a bandage around his front leg ( a yellow one with pink pigs) where they put the drip in for the blood test (and all ready for an anaesthetic) but apart from that nothing else had changed and his nuts were still intact.
Archie showing off his bandage
To Castrate or not to Castrate a Dog Who Decides?
The answer to my question in the heading, we did not decide Archie did!!!!
So he got his way, the stair gate was not needed, the eggs and rice not needed and we thought that we would put on weight with no walking for a few days, but our daily walk is still on. I just hope that he does not come across many more females on heat out walking, if he does then we will just have to try our best to control him.
I was contacted by a lady who was looking for an unneutered Clumberdoodle for her Clumberdoodle bitch, which I declined, but perhaps he could become a stud dog after all!!!!