There’s no doubt that spaying changes the behavior of your dog. People tend to spay their dogs to prevent them from breeding. This prevents the dog from giving birth to any puppies that might not be able to be properly raised. However, it’s important to understand female dog behavior after spaying.
Normally, dogs become overloaded with hormones when they reach sexual maturity. Just like people, dogs become overburdened with estrogen. This makes them extremely aroused. They begin dedicating time and effort to seeking a mate.
Female dogs have cycles of arousal referred to as being in heat. Spaying your dog gets rid of these cycles but also changes some of the other behaviors in your dog. Most people believe that these changes in behavior are positive. Research studies, however, disagree with this idea.
Changes in Female Dog Behavior After Spaying
There are a number of things that you might notice your dog doing differently after they are spayed. Surely you can imagine that if your reproductive organs were suddenly removed, you’d probably act a bit differently yourself.
Short-Term Changes in Behavior
You may notice a few changes in behavior shortly after taking your dog home from being spayed. These behaviors may include:
- Lack of energy, lethargy
- Difficulty concentrating, confusion, stumbling around, or acting high (most likely a result of the anesthetic)
- Changes in appetite, eating more or less
- Acting more anxious or upset
- Becoming more clingy, increased separation anxiety
- Difficulty controlling their urination
These problems are, more often than not, caused by drugs used by the vet. They’ll probably go away after a day.
Long-Term Changes in Female Dog Behavior After Spaying
These changes occur because your dog had their sexual organs removed. As such, you can expect significant changes in their hormonal health.
It’s important to note that there is a lot of misinformation regarding spaying and neutering. Very few studies actually focus on the effects of spaying dogs. And yet, most people seem to believe that spaying makes dogs better, happier, less aggressive companions.
According to two of the only studies done, this isn’t the case. These studies looked at more than 20,000 dogs and found shocking results. These results contradict what people often say about spaying their dogs.
- According to the study, dogs become more aggressive after being spayed.
- Dogs become more fearful after being spayed.
- They become more sensitive to touch.
- Dogs become more excitable.
According to these two comprehensive studies, there weren’t a lot of positive behavioral changes. In fact, the only notable positive is that dogs mark their territory with their urine less.
These studies suggest that dogs don’t actually enjoy being spayed as much as we think they do. However, in the interest of not giving birth to puppies that won’t be cared for properly, we continue spaying and neutering our dogs.
In summary, many changes occur in female dog behavior after they are spayed. According to popular culture, these changes are positive. However, according to the only studies ever done on post-spay dog behavior, the changes often tend to distress the dog.
In an ideal world, we would hear the truth puppy training guides. Unfortunately, it’s easier to convince ourselves that our dogs enjoy the removal of their sex organs! Common sense says this isn’t the case. Regardless, keep your dog happy and healthy up until and including their last moments.