How To Behave So Your Dog Behaves

Neutered Male Dogs Can Still Have Sex

9 | Posted 5/9/11

Neutered Male Dogs Can Still Have Sex

By Dr Sophia Yin, DVM

The Bali street dogs are a good example of why neutering of dogs is important. Without birth control dogs breed promiscuously leading to overpopulation, poor health, and disease. The two on the right have just copulated and are now in what's called a tie.

 

As a veterinarian, I regularly recommend that intact dogs be neutered, for one, as a means of population control. It’s a standard recommendation in the U.S. Interestingly, most clients have no qualms about fixing their female dog; however, for some men, the mention of surgery for their male dog puts them on the defensive.

Suddenly, they become more empathetic than they’ve ever been with their wife or girlfriend.

“No way. It’s too painful,” they’ll say, or “He’ll be so sad that’s he’s lost his manhood. Can we at least get testicular implants?” (By the way, yes, they can get testicular implants, they’re called “Neuticals®.” Look them up if you think your dog needs them).

Those are the standard complaints, but the funniest complaint I’ve heard came when I was working out in a boxing gym. One of the regulars had a pit bull and when I suggested neutering his eyes got wide as if I’d suggested that I wanted to neuter him.

Then he explained why he was so concerned. “But if he’s neutered, he won’t get to have sex!”

Not that his dog was having sex. The owner knew well enough to avoid letting him mate. But the idea that the dog could never have sex ever again… well, that just made him sad.

At the time I wasn’t ready with a really good answer, but an incident with my little Jack Russell Terrier two weeks ago reminded me of great one.  It reminded me that neutered dogs can indeed have sex. They just can’t make babies!

 

 

Here’s how the memory-jogging event came about.

Innocent Jonesy was checking out a little black and tan Miniature Pinscher mix that my friend, Melissa, was fostering. The previous owner had stated that the dog had been in heat several weeks ago but was out of it now. Well, according to Jonesy, she was still ripe and ready for picking.

Now, Jonesy wants to hump every visiting female and some neutered male dogs who smell pretty. And he’s knows this X-rated behavior is not allowed—at least not in my house. So sometimes he’s covert about it. If he looks interested I’ll call him over and have him lie down which he’ll do willingly, but when he thinks I’m not looking, he gives them amorous looks, sidles up next to them and thinks about helping himself. Then I have to remind him that I’m watching him like a hawk., and yes, I CAN see what he’s up to.

Now for those who quickly jump to the conclusion that his behavior must be “dominance,” let me clarify.  Jonesy always backs away when these dogs snap at him rather than attacking them like he would if his mounting was a sign that he was trying to establish higher rank. And he does exhibit this frat-boy behavior even when the female is definitely higher ranked and he knows she can kick his butt.  So this behavior is driven by his libido not a drive for high rank. In some dogs this mounting behavior can also be a displacement behavior, like a person’s nail chewing or hair twirling, performed when they are anxious in social situations or even socially inept.

Anyway, in this particular situation my friend and I weren’t paying close attention to Jonesy because we were focused on work and because even when he does try, after a couple of attempts Jonesy usually stops. But just several minutes into the visit we suddenly heard a piercing, Yelp!  Like something really bad had just happened. And it had.

Jonesy and the visitor had mated and were tied. The yelp had come from Jonesy.

 

Here’s what happened.

Jonesy thought he had struck gold, when for once, a female had stood still for him—because she WAS in estrus. But then, as Jonesy found out, the part after that was far from fun. In fact, for Jonesy it was scary. After the male inserts his male parts into the female, a gland in his penis gets large (the bulbourethral gland). As a result males cannot remove their penis immediately. So they step over the female with their hind leg so that they are butt to butt and still connected by their reproductive apparatus. The purpose is to help the males sperm stay in the female’s reproductive tract so that they can get a fighting chance to swim and meet her eggs. Ties can last 30 minutes.

Luckily for Jonesy, it only lasted 5-10 minutes for them. And when they were done, he checked himself to make sure his equipment was still there. It was. So in the future, if he wants he’ll be able to try again. But I'll be keeping my eyes on him at all times if whenever there are intact female visitors.

 

 

Although Jonesy has been neutered, that didn’t stop him from mating with this Miniature Pinscher mix who was in heat. They are shown here in a post-coital tie.

 

Your neutered dog can still have sex. The take home message here is that if you neuter your dog, don’t worry, he can still have sex - if he wants. Most likely he won’t want to. With the lower testosterone levels he won’t have a red hot libido.

But neutering doesn’t remove all sexual behaviors. That’s because the circulating testosterone in young male puppies causes brain changes that masculinize them. These changes lead to increased urination on vertical surfaces, increased exploring of the environment, and clearly in some cases, increased mounting and even mating of dogs who are in heat.

Because Jonesy has been been neutered for almost 5 years, he’s in the clear in terms of having babies. So it’s basically safe sex in that sense—although he’d need a condom to prevent transmission of infectious diseases.  For dogs who have recently been neutered it can be a different story. Sperm are created and stored in the testicles but they can live for some time in the plumbing that leads to the outside. As a result, the general rule for neutered males is to keep them away from females in heat for 30 days.

Comments Leave a Comment

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 05/10 at 02:09 PM

Dear Doctor Yin,
I am very fond of dogs and have been all my life. When I deal with my own, the neighbors or strange dogs that I encounter, I have always taken a calm ascertive approach, knowing intently what I wanted from the meeting. I assume this way of thinking was gained from my grandmother when I was a child as she kept a large collection of animals from dogs to horses, reptiles, rabbits, goats and more. My mother recalls over 15 dogs of multiple breeds, including 2 breeding pairs of german sheppards.
This last decade has seen a number of "dog experts" appear on tv, the worst in my opinion being the show on uk tv called "dog borstal". It reminds me of the appauling old woman Barbera Woodhouse, with her ridiculous methods and dangerous practices.
To date, the best I have seen and experinced is without doubt The Dog Whisperer. I say this as the show illustrates what I was taught as a child and has always yielded amazing results.
Lately, I have been doing deeper research into the aspects of canine control with the intention of working with animals full time.
I enjoyed watching the short films of you working with the dogs and getting what appears to be the desired results in minutes, albeit with a different approach.
I cant help the feeling, but my experience is screaming to me that you were missing a very primal interaction with the dogs. I can get dogs to relax and do what I want very quickly without the use of so many treats etc.
That said, I also cannot deny your results and success that you have with the animals and in the interest of the scientific method, I am very curious to learn more about you. My experiences with dogs are always silent, purely body language as I was taught yeas ago, except of course in times of play and affection when the noise can escalate. This was mirrored in the methods of Ceaser Millan years later to my suprise, with the addition of things I had never seen or thought about, but still very primal.
I was a little shocked that the primal instinct to obey is being pushed aside by a form of bribery with the treats, and yet I see it appearing to function in very little time. My concern is such, providing one can keep up a healthy balanced life and is prepared to put the real work into the primal nature and needs of dogs, problems are avoided. With the treats/bribe method, I cant stop wondering if it is so long lasting without addressing the primal need of the animal.
I would love to read your response. I dont possess all the answers and would appriciate your acumen in this regard.

Yours faithfully

Peter Mitchell.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 07/20 at 04:03 AM

Hi Peter, I understand you are in the process of researching "canine control" as you call it, and you need to continue your research; unfortunately I do not have the references at hand right now, but there are 2 important things I'd like to quickly point out, due to missunderstanding.

1- Treats are NOT used as bribes - treats are used for positive association with things the dog dislikes or fears. This method is NOT luring or bribing, it is modification of the dog's emotion in the face of what scares or bothers it.

2- There is no such thing as "primal instinct to obey". Obedience is not an instinct. Prey drive for example is instinctual, not obedience.

Good luck in your further research,

Claire

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 07/24 at 07:12 AM

hope u will be fine and enjoying good health
i want to confirm one thing with you only regarding Male Dogs sexual intercourse. have the male dogs had sexual feeling like human.
do their body structre(penis and loin)match with human body.
actually i am working on homosexuality in animals.
thanks for your co operation

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/09 at 05:43 AM

that why i wrote some article here.
http://socyberty.com/sexuality/sex-based-on-the-star-style/

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/14 at 10:35 AM

Dr Yin - Thank you for the most sensible advice I have found on the web re this subject. My two Huskies mated this time last year resulting in some gorgeous pups. However, as I did not want this again he was castrated in March 2011. Today though I have found them tied twice so far and was worried due to the conflicting info on the web. Is there a chance she could be pregnant again or am I being silly about this?
KR
John

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/25 at 06:56 PM

Yes I Have Two Dogs My Male Dog Cocoa.Was neutered over 5yrs ago,and now i have gotten a little female dog that was abandon and abused when i got her,well she came into heat and cocoa and her got stuck together a couple times in the last two days,I Know that cocoa Has been Fixed.But I was Very Worried When I seen Them Together,So I was really concerned about them having puppies,I Honestly LOve Dogs My Doggies Are All I have In My Life Right Now And 4 Of them Is enough which is why i was Asking about cocoa being fixed can he still make Babies?Thank You So Much For The Information

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/13 at 05:51 AM

HI Dr Yin at what age does staffordshire bull terriers ( males ) stop having pups, my bitch got tied with one two weeks ago but he is 6 yrs old they tied twice in 2 days should i be getting ready for pups ? look forward to hearing from you THANKS.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/13 at 12:56 PM

Michael,
I'm not sure when/if Dr. Yin will reply to you, but I just thought I'd let you know right away that a healthy 6 year old male dog can certainly have puppies. Male dogs, like male humans and most other mammal species, can theoretically reproduce until death, although the semen of a very old individual is not as viable as a younger individual. It is the female only which become completely infertile at an older age. 6 Years old is not that old, however. I think you may want to be prepared because puppies are a very likely possibilty in your near future!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/30 at 11:37 PM

Hello Dr. Yin,

Great article! I appreciate you sharing your experience and am happy to read that Jonesy got to have some fun! We have a 2 year old Yorkie-Poo named Kobe that has not been neutered. (I was against it. (I'm a guy.))

Do you think that it would be a good idea to find a female dog for him to have sex with? Is he "backed up" from not having sex. We have never seen him masturbate or hump anything and I become very worried when I put myself in his position of not being able to "release." I would be feeling anxiety, anger, sadness, depression, frustration, physical and psychological discomfort, and resentment. (toward us)

Is that what he is feeling? If yes, what should we do? (except neutering) If not, why? And how do you know?

He has become somewhat aggressive/anxious/even depressed over the last couple months. This could be attributed to several factors: we moved, took him to obedience classes, and became VERY strict with his growling and snapping. When he growls we say no and take away whatever he is protecting. When he snaps, I wrestle him down and show him that his biting is an ineffective means of reaching his goal.

Thank you in advance,

David

Add Your Own Comment:

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.