Does Neutering a Lab Calm Him Down? Should You Neuter Your Lab?

Neutering is a surgery that removes the testicles (in a male dog) or the uterus and ovaries (in a female dog).

It is the popular name for the medical process in which both testicles are removed in order to sterilize (make infertile) a male dog, therefore preventing its capacity to procreate.

It is the conventional method of interfering with your dog’s synthesis of sex hormones. Neutering has multiple effects, both physiological and behavioral

But does neutering a lab calm him down? Neutering a lab calms him down as it stops him from making testosterone, the male hormone, thus removing sexual impulses. Neutering a lab will reduce their vigorous tendencies, fix some aggression forms, minimize territorial behavior, and increase their risk-taking impulses, and calming them overall.

Neutering has little effect on a labrador’s personality in general, but it might affect his mood and make certain behaviors more or less likely. If you’re thinking about neutering your lab, here’s a comprehensive list of the benefits, drawbacks, and effects of neutering to help you make the right decision, so keep reading.

Does Neutering a lab Calm Him Down? 

sitting lab to show why does neutering a lab calm him down

Both testicles are removed during neutering or castration (surgical neutering for male canines). The male hormone testosterone is not produced by neutered dogs.

Neutering calms down labradors noticeably as testosterone has a wide range of impacts on them.

These effects include the production of secondary sexual features such as a deeper bark, greater muscular mass, larger bones, and a larger head during puberty, as well as behaviors such as Increasing aggression, a greater sense of self-confidence, increased risk-taking, reduced fear reaction, increased sex desire, territorial behavior, sexual behaviors, and roaming.

The answer to whether neutering your dog would ‘calm’ him is yes, but not in all the ways you expect. Obviously, neutering your pet is always a good idea. There are several health advantages, including the prevention of testicular cancer and undesired litter.

If your dog’s hyperactivity is caused by hormones, neutering him should help. Many owners report that their dog, whether male or female, relaxes more after being neutered.

While neutering your dog may assist to calm them down, it isn’t always the primary reason for a dog’s excessive behavior. You could discover that they aren’t getting enough exercise and need to vent their frustrations.

The Effects of Neutering a Labrador (what to expect after neutering your dog)

Labradors are enthusiastic breeds with uncontrollable energy, especially when they exceed the age of 9 months; many behavioral tendencies are associated directly with testosterone hormone, that is after neutering your labrador, you might notice behavioral changes including:

Less Aggression

Testosterone lowers the aggressive threshold of the dog (the level of concern before he starts acting aggressively towards other dogs or people).

Furthermore, if he gets violent, he will take longer to settle down than a neutered dog, which is why neutered dogs are calmer and less likely to become aggressive.

Flexibility and submission

In male dogs, testosterone causes a rise in self-confidence and stubbornness, which manifests itself as not listening to orders and attempting to claim the alpha role; neutered dogs, on the other hand, tend to respond to commands more and have fewer dominance difficulties with their owners.

Reduced risk-taking

Neutered dogs are less impulsive, and impulsiveness and risk-taking are two reasons why male dogs are more prone to get into fights and accidents.

Fear reaction is reduced

Fear-based aggressiveness is less common in neutered dogs than in unneutered canines.

Mildly tainted Territorial Behaviour

Urine-marking is a means for dogs to claim territories, however, this activity is substantially reduced in neutered dogs.

Lessened proneness to separation anxiety

Neutered dogs are less prone to have separation anxiety or frightened elimination.

Rescinded sex drive

It’s very unwelcome in our pets, but it is diminished in neutered dogs: Excessive sniffing, sexual arousal, offensive growling, snapping, biting, and mounting people and objects.

Less Roaming

Neutered dogs are less likely to roam off in search of females in heat. In fact, seeking a mate is one of the most common reasons why dogs run away. You can learn why labs and goldens run away here.

Sexual Behaviors

Sexual activities in dogs are totally natural and safe, but they are unwelcome and humiliating for many owners, as well as occasionally untidy. These behaviors will diminish in neutered dogs. 

If you have a golden retriever, you should check out my guide on neutering golden retrievers here as well.

Should you neuter a Labrador? 

Neutering not only has behavioral effects but health-related ones as well, it is recommended to neuter your labrador after the age of 9 to 15 months old. Neutering your lab is one of the most effective methods to guarantee that he lives a long and happy life. 

This procedure has been shown to help reduce major health risks such as:

  • Benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlarged prostate that occurs with age).
  • Prostatitis (prostate infection).
  • Hormone-related diseases such as perianal adenoma (benign tumor around the anus).
  • Testicular cancer, the second most common cancer in intact (unneutered) dogs.

The pros of neutering a lab

Neutering your labrador has many benefits associated with health and behavior, these include:

  • Reducing the incidence of prostatitis and benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlarged prostate caused by aging) (prostate infection)
  • lowering the incidence of hormone-related illnesses such as perianal adenoma (benign tumor around the anus)
  • Decreasing the possibility of getting Testicular cancer, the second most frequent malignancy in intact (unneutered) dogs, is eliminated.
  • Mildening of territorial behavior
  • Reducing fear reaction.
  • reduces sexual desires, which typically leads to a reduction in wandering behavior
  • lowers some forms of aggressiveness
  • Reducing impulsiveness and risk-taking
  • Canines who have been neutered tend to live longer than dogs who have not been neutered.
  • Separation anxiety or frightened elimination are less likely to occur.

If your Labrador has suddenly become more aggressive, it could be because they need to mate. You can check this complete guide on why some labs become suddenly aggressive for all the reasons and solutions.

The cons of neutering a lab

The other side of neutering has effects that may not be likable to us as dog owners, these cons include:

  • Lowered metabolism which contributes to obesity, caused by overfeeding and a lack of physical exercise. Obesity in neutered or intact males may be avoided by controlling your dog’s food and calorie consumption, as well as providing frequent – at least daily – activity.
  • Neutering big breed dogs before their bones have fully developed has been linked to a higher incidence of cruciate ligament tears (knee injury).
  • Early neutering has been linked to an increased likelihood of certain behaviors, such as noise phobia.
  • Post-neutering, some dogs become more anxious and aggressive as the procedure stops them from producing testosterone hormone, thus making them shy and less confident than usual all of a sudden.

You can check the sources at the end of the article.

How much does it cost to neuter a lab? 

Spaying or neutering your Labrador can cost anything from $35 to $400 depending on where you live, the clinic you choose, and the tests needed before the surgery. The cost of neutering a Labrador can spike up to $600 if the dog has underlying health issues that make the surgery more difficult.

Female spaying is often more costly than male neutering. This is due to the fact that a spay surgery is a little more difficult.

The cost can reach $600 if a dog has underlying health issues, is in heat, or requires further blood tests before surgery – this, however, is not usual, and chances are you will not fall under this category. Still, neutering your labrador, even if it costs a pretty penny, can have benefits that outweigh the drawbacks and the cost.

Related Questions 

Should I get my male lab fixed?

Yes, you should get your male labrador fixed as neutering reduces aggression, increases flexibility, and submission, lessens impulsive behavior, and halves fear response. It also taints territorial behavior and decreases separation anxiety proneness. It also rescinds sexual behaviors and sex drive.

Why is my dog more aggressive after being neutered? 

Dogs can become more aggressive after being neutered as testosterone makes dogs more confident, neutering dogs stops them from producing the hormone thus taking away their confidence, making them more anxious, and shy. You should train your dog to control his emotions after neutering.

Is Castrating your dog good? 

Castrating your dog is good for solving many behavioral issues like increased sex drive, impulsive behavior, risk-taking, fear response, and health issues like Benign prostatic hyperplasia, Prostatitis (prostate infection), Hormone-related diseases such as perianal adenoma, and Testicular cancer.

When should a male Labrador be neutered?

Large-breed dogs, such as Labradors, should be spayed or neutered after adolescence, according to the American Kennel Club’s Canine Health Foundation. This is usually between the ages of 9 and 15 months and when he or she weighs more than 45 pounds.

When does it become too late to neuter a dog?

There are no age restrictions. Male dogs can be neutered as young as five to six months old, though the precise age varies by breed, so consult your veterinarian – but don’t wait too long, as the benefits of neutering begin to diminish. There is no higher age limit as well.

Helpful Resources 

Neutering increases the risk of obesity in male dogs but not in bitches — A cross-sectional study of dog- and owner-related risk factors for obesity in Danish companion dogs

Implications of early neutering in the dog and cat.

Neutering Your Male Dog: What You Need To Know

Living with a Retriever: Recommendations and Sources

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Hey there, I'm Matt, the author behind With a deep love for dogs and a dedication to strengthening the bond between owners and their retrievers, I've created a hub of resources for enthusiasts like you. Through engaging articles, training guides, and product reviews, I aim to provide practical advice that makes a real difference in your life as a dog owner. Whether you're a seasoned pro or new to the world of retrievers, my approachable and informative writing style ensures that you'll find valuable insights. Join me on this incredible journey of discovering what makes retrievers tick, unlocking their potential, and creating an unbreakable bond with your furry companion. Let's embark on an adventure of dog ownership together. Thank you for visiting and being part of our vibrant community.

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