The Best Dog Foods for Shih Tzus and Yorkies : A guide for our fur babies!

The Best Dog Foods for Shih Tzus and Yorkies

The Best Dog Foods for Shih Tzus and Yorkies

Dogs are a man’s best friends and if you own a playful Shih Tzu or an affectionate Yorkie, you know how true this can be. And you will go to any length to keep your best friend healthy. A balanced diet is the first step to taking care of any pet, but with so many options available, it is hard to know where to start. Always discuss nutrition with your veterinarian because they will be able to offer guidance with your specific dog in mind.

Shih Tzu

It is always good to do your homework before a vet visit so that you know the specific questions to ask. Here are some important things to keep in mind when choosing a pet food, specifically for your small-breed Shih Tzu or Yorkie.

General Guidelines

Always look for an AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) approved brand. This ensures that the dog food meets the minimum standards of ingredient requirements for all dogs. The label on the package should refer to AAFCO directly and will often say “100% Complete and Balanced Nutrition.” Pay attention to the way that the food is advertised. According to AAFCO standards, a “beef formula” must contain at least 95% beef, but a “beef entrée” may only contain 25% beef.


Always read the ingredient label, but beware of some common misconceptions. In general, dogs need a large portion of protein, a medium portion of fat, and a small portion of carbohydrates. Some preservatives are necessary, to keep the food fresh. Natural preservatives, like tocopherol or ascorbate, are acceptable, but avoid preservatives like ethoxyquin, BHT or BHA.
Ingredients are always listed by weight, so ingredients with a large amount of moisture can be misleading because they are heavier. Similar ingredients can also be labeled as separate ingredients, so a formula that includes kibbled corn, ground corn, and flaked corn can actually contain a lot more grain than necessary. Also, keep in mind that the ingredient list tells you what the ingredients are, but does not tell you the quality of the ingredients. 

Keeping Your Pup in Mind

Once you have narrowed down the possibilities to a quality dog food brand, it is time to consider your dog’s specifications. The AAFCO monitors different nutrient levels based on the dog’s age. Just as human dietary needs change as we grow, a puppy has different needs than an adult dog. Choose a brand that has a variation for your pet’s age.

shih tzu

Individual pets may have specific dietary requirements. If your dog has allergies, you will need to find a brand without those allergens. Some dogs are allergic to chicken so a less common protein, like bison or lamb, can be substituted. But be sure to carefully read the ingredient label because a lamb formula may also include chicken fat, which your dog will react to. If you are concerned about your dog’s digestion, consider a brand with whole grains and vegetables. Very few dogs have gluten allergies, but a grain-free or gluten-free formula can help address skin sensitivities.

Small-breed dogs have different needs than large-breed dogs. Many small breeds have faster metabolisms so they need to eat more calories more often, especially as a growing puppy. Small-breed dogs that are not fed often enough can develop hypoglycemia. Small-breed dogs also tend to have smaller snouts, so they can easily choke. A small-breed formula will have smaller kibbles to prevent choking.

Shih Tzus, in particular, are known for long, fast-growing coats that distinguish their breed, but these coats can also cause skin sensitivities. For this reason, a grain-free formula rich in Vitamin A and Omega Fatty Acids are good for Shih Tzus.

Keeping Your Pup in Mind

Yorkies can suffer from a hereditary issue called a liver shunt where the blood passes directly into their system without being filtered by their liver. A diet with plant or dairy-based protein can prevent or manage this condition. Excessive fat can also cause pancreatitis in Yorkies, so look for a food low in fat.


Which Brand is Best?

Royal Canin offers breed-specific dog food formulas for both Shih Tzus and Yorkies. These formulas are both AAFCO approved and contain natural preservatives. The kibble size and shape are specifically formulated to prevent choking and dental problems based on the breed’s snout size and shape. They are both rich in Omega Fatty Acids to protect the long coats of Shih Tzus and Yorkies. The Yorkie-specific formula includes ingredients that are agreeable to a Yorkie’s sensitive digestive system. This can be purchased from any pet specialty store or through your veterinarian’s office.     At around $35/bag for a ten-pound bag, this brand is also fairly affordable.


Hill’s Healthy Advantage has a “small bites” product formulated for small breeds that includes ingredients that support healthy digestion, coats, and mobility for small dogs. However,  the cost may vary.
Blue Buffalo Life Protection formula for toy/small breeds offers a formula specific to the energy needs of small breeds like your Shih Tzu or Yorkie. They also include vital nutrients for joint health and for a healthy coat. Blue Buffalo also guarantees that it avoids potentially harmful ingredients like artificial colors or preservatives. This is one of the most convenient brands because it can be purchased at most local grocery stores or online. It is also one of the most cost-effective brands at only $26/bag for a 15-pound bag.

Ultimately, the choice of dog food is up to you, but by communicating with your veterinarian and keeping these guidelines in mind, you can ensure that your Shih Tzu or Yorkie will be happy and healthy for many years to come.


Cheap dog food : How to cut costs when purchasing high quality dog food

Is it still possible to find high-quality, inexpensive dog food?

According to many long-term dog owners, the answer to Cheap dog food is a resounding “no.” Gone are the days when you could walk into a pet store, spend a quick five dollars, and walk out with a sizable bag of food for your beloved pet. With some brands of food costing more than sixty dollars for a week’s supply, many dog owners are left scratching their heads, wondering if they should skip quality (in favor of low prices) or begrudgingly accept a higher price point for better ingredients.

high quality dog food

Indeed, the ingredients are ultimately responsible for the rise in the price of dog food. As the cost of wheat, barley, rice and corn continues to rise, so does the cost of dog food. And even though some dog food brands run promotions and offer coupons to lessen the costs of dog food, prices continue to be astronomical.

However, despite the fact that dog food prices may be unreasonable, dog owners must still purchase the best dog food possible, in order to promote the health and longevity of your furry friends. Here are some easy ways to save costs when purchasing high quality dog food.

1. Search for coupons.

Many dog food manufacturers understand that customers prefer high quality, low cost dog food. As a result, they offer easily accessible coupons. To access coupons for dog food, check the websites of both dog food manufacturers and dog food retail stores. Sometimes, you can save up to 40% on the base price of your dog’s food.

2. Try a different retailer.

The price of dog food depends largely on the retailer you purchase it from. A dog food brand that costs $60 at Store #1 might just cost $50 at Store #3. The websites of most major dog food retailers offer the ability to check prices and inventory availability, so you can find the lowest prices from the comfort of your own home.

3. Experiment with new brands.

Although switching dog food should be done carefully in order to minimize stomach upset for your furry friend, switching dog food can be an easy way to save money. To switch dog food in a safe way, feed your dog a half-and-half mixture of the old brand with the new brand. Continue the mixture for at least three days, or longer if your dog begins to show signs of intolerance, like diarrhea or vomiting.

4. Buy in bulk.

Like all products, dog food is cheaper when purchased in bulk. Buying large packages is a great way to reduce the cost of dog food over a long time period. If you’re worried about the dog food spoiling, you can always make a large purchase with a group and divide up the dog food evenly.

As you can see, buying high-quality, inexpensive dog food is a certain possibility, with a little bit of ingenuity. By working together with friends, carefully strategizing, and creating a solid plan, you will be able to provide essential nutrition for your beloved pet in a way that doesn’t break the bank.

Shih Tzu Grooming :A guide to groom your FurBaby.

The Shih Tzu is known for its regal long and shiny coat. It may be a popular look but those luxurious tresses are not easy to maintain. Some owners opt for the monthly grooming sessions. As the owner of a Shih Tzu the decision has to be made early on how the dog will be groomed. You have to ask yourself: will the hair be kept long or short? Is most of the grooming going to take place at home or will you be visiting a groomer? Find out here which option might be best for you for Shih Tzu Grooming.

Shih Tzu Grooming

What Makes the Shih Tzu Special

The Shih Tzu, a treasure since the early Chinese dynasties, is unusually strong for such a small breed; its name means “Lion Dog” and it is fitting.  Known for its adorable face, the Shih Tzu is up there on the list of most popular lap dogs and best kid-friendly dogs as they are both cuddly and active, depending on their moods and yours.  This breed also gets along well with other dogs and cats in the family.   The Shih Tzu breed definitely wins the Congeniality Award!

What Makes the Shih Tzu Special

The Shih Tzu is blessed with a beautiful double coat which comes in a variety of colors.  That beautiful coat will get matted and messy though, if left ungroomed.

Shih Tzu Grooming Styles

Shih Tzus can be groomed to look either sporty or elegantly sophisticated, and their hair can be straight or left curly.

There are seven different Shih Tzu styles:

The basic short clip “puppy cut” on a Shih Tzu gives it a sporty look and shows off its sturdy little body.   The hair is clipped down to about one to two inches throughout the body.  This puppy cut can be made a little longer if you are vigilant about daily brushing to avoid mats.  A puppy cut can be done with longer hair left on the ears to show off the silky nature of the Shih Tzu hair while keeping maintenance as low as possible.  And this cut can be further modified with even longer hair and facial hair to show off a fuller coat and body look.

Shih Tzu Grooming Styles

The hair on the face of the Shih Tzu can be rounded to form a “teddy bear cut,” while the overall length of hair on the Shih Tzu can be left either short or long.

Since the Shih Tzu has the capacity to grow long hair, a popular style for this breed is known as the “top knot.”  The hair on top of the head is left long, while the rest of the body is either short or longer.  The long hair on top is tied together to showcase the silky long hair feature, and to be fancier, it can be braided.   With this style, it is important to keep that long hair away from the face.

Moving away from the more practical cuts, the top knot style can be coupled with long hair throughout the Shih Tzu’s body in what is known as a “show cut.”   This stunning look is also high maintenance, as several brushings a day are required to prevent matting.

Shih Tzu’s body

There are, of course, may other styles for the Shih Tzu.  The hair around the eyes and chin can be trimmed while leaving the hair on the face longer to resemble a West Highland White Terrier.  Bangs are also a popular Shih Tzu look, but you will need to trim them often to keep your dog’s visibility clear.

How you groom your Shih Tzu is up to you.  It takes a year or longer for a short puppy cut to grow to a floor length coat.  And the longer the hair, the more brushing is required.

Grooming Your Dog At Home

The typical pet owner may love the signature long coat of the Shih Tzu, but cutting it shorter makes your pup easier to maintain. Long hair maintenance can get kind of pricey, that is one of the main perks of home grooming. Not only are you saving a pretty penny on the grooming bill but also on the transportation to get the little furball back and forth.

When it’s you doing the cutting, you have more control over styling just the way that you like it. Regular brushing and combing is required in between grooming. Daily maintenance is paramount to ward off a tangled coat. Home bubble baths are also a must to keep your Shih Tzu’s fur healthy.

Grooming a Shih Tzu

Keeping the clippings at home is also another way to bond with your pup. You can find that most dogs get nervous when it is time for a new hair cut. Being there for your dog during a potentially vulnerable time will inevitably bring you closer together. It can be done in the middle of the day when not much is happening around you or even late at night while you are both relaxed and comfortable. Either way, it’s a great idea to get your small dog used to being groomed on a hard surface like a table or countertop.

Shih Tzus can be full of energy so it is best to teach them good grooming habits as a puppy. It will keep the squirming down as they grow older. Take the time to use a higher surface as often as possible to get your dog more comfortable with being that distance from the floor. Constantly reassure them during this process to create a positive environment.

Shih Tzu Brushing

Perfect your home grooming routine by using one similar to the pros. Start by brushing and combing the dog to remove any loose hair from the inner and outer coat. This would also be the best time to detangle any matted hair before bathing. Much like you and I, your pup needs to be dried after bath time.

If Spot is sporting longer hair then it is best to blow it dry. It’s okay to use a brush, but only when the hair is damn. If it’s too wet you can be painful for your dog, while brushing dry hair causes it to easily break. It is best to use two types of brushes to keep the tangles away: a pin brush and a slick brush. Typically you can find a brush with both at any pet supply store. The versatile brush is used to penetrate through both the top and bottom coats to remove any matting while the slick brush smooths the top coat down and gives it that shine. Puppy combs can also be used to remove small tangles throughout the hair in conjunction with your fingers.

style your Shih Tzu

These combs also serve other purposes, they are great when used to keep the dog’s facial hair clean. Always be sure to mist with conditioning spray before brushing. If you can’t decide on which spray to use, put a small amount of regular pet conditioner in a spritzing bottle. Fill the remainder of the bottle with water. When you start brushing remember to work your way from the feet up, tackling one small section at a time. Pay special attention to the chest, neck and ears of your dog. These are areas that you might be finding more matted fur than anywhere else.

How often should I bathe my Shih Tzu

Bathing your Shih Tzu is the best time to get it all lathered up in products that will help its coat to shine. Your pup should be prancing in water and suds every three weeks unless your vet has suggested more frequent cleanings.

It’s best to avoid washing too frequently as to not to remove too much of the natural oils. However, don’t wait too long in between baths either. The longer the oils are left to build up on your Shih Tzu’s skin, the easier it becomes for the skin pores to clog. The dog can begin to scratch more frequently, smell and even have a greasier appearance.

How often should I bathe my Shih Tzu

It’s easier to give Shih Tzus a bath because of their small stature. Utilizing the kitchen sink or the bathtub as a washing station allows for easy access to all of your supplies during this process. You can usually find a bottle for spraying in both of these locations, too. That makes rinsing especially easy.

After all of your tools are set up and you’ve issued the pre-poo brushing session, plug your dog’s ears with cotton balls to keep water from getting into their ears. Water in the ears can lead to infections. Beware of stuffing the cotton too deeply, it is meant to stay shallow enough to block the water not stop a dam. Before you get started, put a slip resistant aid so that your small dog is not slipping and sliding around the entire time.

Wet the whole body, including the head, before you begin to lather. You’ll want to avoid getting anything in their eyes. Use a measuring cup to pour when you get to the facial area if it makes the water easier to manipulate. Ensure that the pre rinse has moistened the whole body before moving on. Choosing the right shampoo and conditioner duo plays a huge part in how your dog’s fur will look. Be sure to have a shampoo that removes the built up oils and whatever other dirt or debris can be found on a dog.

shih tzu

Steer clear of any shampoo with harsh low-grade ingredients listed. These things will surely strip the fur of moisture. You are even putting your pup at risk of having dry, irritated skin. Just as parabens and phosphates are not good chemicals for our skin, they can be hard to rinse from your Shih Tzu’s skin. If they ingest these chemicals it can even result in an upset stomach. Improper pH balanced shampoos can be an issue for Shih Tzu dogs. Try out something labeled specifically for sensitive skin, that should clear things up.

If the vet has let you know that your pet has some sort of allergy there are specially formulated shampoos that can still get them squeaky clean, safely. Conditioner seems like it would be an easy step to skip but when used in conjunction with shampoo it is vital to getting your dog’s hair show ready. However, there is one more step before the washing is considered complete, leave-in conditioning spritz. Using this spritz can definitely make a big difference in how your Shih Tzu looks and feels.

One of the more important functions for the spritz is to make up for any lack of moisture from the shampoo process. It can also be used as a coat refresher in between wash days, aiding in the elimination of knots and matting. Nail Clipping You may find your Shih Tzu doesn’t want to stop cuddling with the comfy drying towel after bath time, but the grooming isn’t over yet. Clipping a dog’s nails can seem like more of a tedious process than it truly is. Learning to take care of this at home saves time and money, especially because you may find that your pup’s nails are growing rather quickly due to their diet.

By this point you should make sure that your puppy is comfortable with you touching their paws during this process. Even if you have not had time to properly familiarize your Shih Tzu with this, be mindful to touch, pinch and rub their paws in your down time together. It may also be best to clip nails when your dog is relaxed or tires as you will get less resistance.

The major thing to look out for when clipping your own dog’s nails is the quick, the vein that runs through each nails. Depending upon the color of your dog’s nails you may not be able to see where the quick end and where it is safe to cut. I would recommend watching your groomer do this first or asking their suggestion on where the perfect place would be to begin clipping. There are a few kinds of clippers available the guillotine, scissors and battery powered grinder. If your dog has been groomed before, ask what style they have used before as your pup will already be familiar with the feeling and may be more comfortable.

How do I clean my dog’s ears to prevent dirty dog ears?

Inside the Shih Tzu’s ear canal is a the perfect environment for bacteria and ear mites to grow. Both of these things have the potential to lead to infection which is miserable for everyone involved.

shih tzu ear

Cleaning your pup’s ears may not be the easiest thing to do to control odor, wax buildup and overgrown hair. Gathering all of the materials before you begin can cut down on the unpleasantness for you and your pup. There are only a few supplies needed clean cotton swabs, mineral oils or ear cleaner and ear powder. Wet your cotton ball with your cleaning solution and gently wipe the ear until the cotton swab comes up clean. Be prepared for a few head shakes that will send excess liquid flying. Due to the way a Shih Tzu’s ear is configured it is very easy for debris to get caught in the hair and create a breeding ground for bacteria. Most dogs are not fond of ear hair removal because it can be uncomfortable. Sprinkle in a bit of ear powder, spreading it around the entire canal. Most of the ear hear you will be able to pull out with your fingers, but if it is more difficult tweezers can be used. Curved hemostats tend to work best for this. Be mindful not to catch any skin when you are plucking, that could slow the process down as your dog may become fearful.

Shih  Tzu Teeth Cleaning

It’s easy to think that you can bypass brushing your dog’s teeth, except when it gets a little too funky during your daily kisses. Your Shih Tzu’s dental health is a part of their overall wellbeing. A yearly cleaning with your vet is alway recommended but good oral hygiene can start with you. Start slow and use a soft toothbrush to minimize bleeding gums. Also, this should go without saying but NEVER use any toothpaste aside from those specially formulated for dogs.

Utilize treat time as a time to freshen up those teeth. Invest in higher quality dental chews and breath fresheners to give to your dog daily. These treats can help keep plaque and tartar buildup under control. They will never know that these delicious goodies are actually beneficial to them. Plus, who doesn’t like fresh breath?!

Cutting the coat of a Shih Tzu

The options are unlimited when you are cutting your own Shih Tzu’s hair. Remember, all Shih Tzu’s are not created equally. A cut that you may see on another pup might not work for yours depending upon their frame, fur thickness and a number of other factors. Most Shih Tzu owners are a fan of the cute top knot. It is relatively easy to grow out this section of hair and pull it up with a rubber band. It’s completely up to you, have one ponytail or two, maybe even a bun!

Cutting the coat of a Shih Tzu

We’ve already established that long show coats are regal but really tedious to maintain. It’s easy to opt for the short cut or get the best of both worlds by allowing the length to vary by the season. However you choose to let them sport their hair there are three methods to maintain it: clippers, scissors and shears. Two speed clippers are recommended with a variety of blades. Number 3, 4, 5, 7, 10 and/or 30 might be be best. Choosing any blade 3-7 is good for overall body trimming. Number 10 should be used when getting close to sanity areas and footpads. Clippers have a tendency to heat up quickly, to avoid burning your pooch have some blade coolant on hand. Andis is a trusted brand that generally works well for all grooming needs.

You’ve got all of the tools necessary to have the prettiest pup in town. Happy grooming!


Healthiest Small Dog Breeds: I’ll take you through some basics.

Healthiest Small Dog Breeds

If you are looking for a small dog to add to your family, cost of potential vet bills may be critical to your decision. Are some small dog breeds healthier than others? Potentially. There are a few small dog breeds that are known to be generally healthier than other breeds. What are those healthiest small dog breeds, you ask? I’ll take you through some basics.

What are the healthiest small dog breeds?

At the top of our list of healthy small dogs are Beagles.

Healthiest Small Dog Breeds

This breed is consistently at the top of popularity lists, so it is not surprising to see it on the top of healthy breed lists as well. Beagles are excellent for families because they are friendly and gentle with children. Beagles, however, have an increased potential for weight gain, so be sure to give them adequate exercise and a balanced diet.

Affenpinschers are spunky little dogs that do well living in apartments.


They are easy to take care of, and they do not shed much. They are generally quiet, but you know when they are excited. Affenpinschers are fearless and protective, so they make outstanding watchdogs. Their curiosity can get them in trouble because it is way bigger than they are. It is important to socialize Affenpinschers early in life so that they become used to people and different surroundings.

Boston Terriers are super adorable, adaptable, and dapper little fellows.

Boston Terriers

They are among the easiest dogs to groom and train. While they are prone to some health problems, the issues are easy to prevent if care is taken when they are young. They do require some attention to their diet to avoid flatulence. Overall, Boston Terriers make lovable and healthy family companions.

Pembroke Welsh Corgis are energetic canines who will love their families forever.

Pembroke Welsh Corgis

They are very intelligent and easy to train. They shed a lot, so it is best to avoid this breed if you or a family member has allergies. Like Beagles, Pembroke Welsh Corgis possibly tend to gain weight, which makes an appropriate diet and regular exercise a must.

The Shetland Sheepdog is an intelligent breed native to Scotland.

Shetland Sheepdog

They shed a lot, and may be difficult to groom. They are generally quiet dogs, but will bark if they sense strangers. Shetland Sheepdogs are energetic. They need a lot of room to exercise and play so apartment life is not recommended. If they are not mentally stimulated they may become destructive or troublesome because of their natural intelligence.

Schnoodles are a hybrid breed between Poodles and Schnauzers.


Owners often choose this breed because they are intelligent and hypoallergenic like Poodles, and they have the spunk and playfulness of a Schnauzer. These guys are very active and eager to please their owners. They are a great family dog because they react well around children.

Schnoodlesare an extremely active breed who simply love life.


They are wonderful family dogs who are great with kids. They need a lot of exercise and a balanced diet to keep their high metabolism running smoothly. They do not shed a lot and they are generally one of the healthiest breeds.

Healthiest Small Dog Breeds With Longevity

Chihuahuas are generally known for their longevity if well taken care of.


They can live up to 18 years! Chihuahuas are tiny dogs with huge personalities. They are extremely protective of their families. Despite their bad reputation, they are great with kids, and they are very friendly if socialized enough early. They shed little and they are easy to groom. It is important to maintain a daily regimen of exercise and healthy diet to prevent nutritional problems.

Havanese are native of Cuba.


They have huge hearts and very playful personalities. They are intelligent and easy to train. They are minimal shedders, but their long coats make grooming a task. Like most small dogs, Havanese have the potential to gain weight, so sufficient exercise is recommended. Havanese are known to live up to 13 years!

What is the Healthiest Dog Food for Small Breeds?

The “healthiest” food for your dog will vary depending on its nutritional needs, breed, and size. Generally speaking, small dogs need a higher caloric content per pound than larger breeds. They don’t necessarily need larger portions, it is more a matter of correct ingredients in the right amounts.

A lack of calories can result in low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia. A higher metabolism, such as those found in smaller breeds, need more calories than an average metabolism to keep the body functioning properly.

Healthiest Dog Food for Small Breeds

Most breeds require a balanced diet with protein, grains, vegetables, and fruits. Fortunately, a lot of commercial brands contain adequate ingredients for a balanced diet. The issue occurs in the portion sizes.

A common misconception is that a smaller breed requires a smaller portion throughout the day. It is important to note that some small breeds may need smaller portions, but more often throughout the day.  Different brands will have different serving suggestions. It is always important to consult with your veterinarian for the appropriate brand and diet for your dog.
Many other breeds of small dogs are inherently healthy and have longevity. To ensure good health, always adopt from reputable breeders with health records from both parents. Avoid adopting from careless breeders, puppy mills, and pet stores when possible. Make sure that living spaces are safe for your dog, and that you are using good training techniques, such as positive reinforcement.

Does Neutering a Dog Change His Personality? Know the facts!!!

Does Neutering a Dog Change His Personality


Aside from animal population control, one of the most widespread reasons in North America for de-sexing a dog is the common perspective that doing so will create positive changes in the pet’s behavior. The opinions on this subject vary widely among experts and around the world. Many veterinarians and humane specialists wish to minimize uneasiness about the possible changes by assuring you that the results are positive.  Researchers, however, are using comprehensive studies to convince you to reconsider.

Does Neutering a Dog Change His Personality

A brief perusal of the topic will demonstrate that activists for neutering want to dispel any notions that the operation could result in negative behavior. Some articles even tout that the possibility of seeing regrettable changes in your pet can be dismissed entirely as a myth. When over 56% of all dogs entering shelters are put to sleep though, you can see why one would hope to debunk any negative information surrounding this procedure.

Sterilization of animals is a very effective solution to over-population, which results in nearly 3-4 million cats and dogs being euthanized each year. This heart-breaking dilemma creates a compelling motivation to remove all fear and doubt in an owner’s mind that could prevent him from sterilizing his pet.

Common Concerns

Pet-owners may express concern that their dog will grieve the loss of his masculinity or show signs of depression over the removal of his testicles. This is not something you should worry about. “Manhood” is not a quality that dogs possess and this is merely a product of the human imagination being projected onto the animal.

Common Concerns

By neutering your dog, you are simply alleviating him of urges and tendencies that are related to a sexual need. The changes you will see are the reflections of a need that no longer needs to be met in his life.

What to Expect

Most experts agree that by taking away such a key element of hormone-regulation, you are bound to notice some alterations. In the first 24-72 hours post-surgery, any change you see will be attributed to medication and general soreness. As the anesthesia wears off, your dog may be sluggish and lethargic, but this is not permanent.

What to Expect

Many advocates of neutering will insist that any long-term changes in behavior that your pet may face will range from insignificant to entirely positive. Generally, the consensus is that the positive results you can expect in your dog’s demeanor are a good reason to sign up for the operation.

Veterinarians say that, when your dog recovers from his operation you should see a reduced desire to roam, a less-likely propensity to engage in mounting behavior, and a mitigated tendency to assert himself over another dog. Among the most positive deviations from a dog’s original demeaner is the significant decrease in territorial urine-marking. Such changes are commonly observed among professionals, and coincide with the hormonal displacement an animal will experience after having their sex-organs removed.

It Won’t Change All Bad Behavior

Pet behaviorists will caution that the hope of behavioral improvements should not be the sole factor in opting for this surgery. If behavior modification is the primary reason you are interested in the procedure for your pet, a more appropriate action would be to have your pet assessed by a veterinarian to rule out any physical or medical causes. If there are none, you should seek a professional who is certified in pet behavior. These experts can teach you how to work with your canine to achieve the best conduct possible.

It Won’t Change All Bad Behavior

A dog’s behavior can stem from a variety of influences, and if the cause isn’t rooted in his hormones, removing his sex-organs is not going to solve the delinquency. Your dog’s conduct can originate in different environmental factors, like too many dogs in the home, or not enough space to exercise. He could be acting out because of an undiagnosed illness or pain you are unaware of. If he’s misbehaving, it may be the result of learned behavior or bad habits he has acquired.  Also, just like humans, dog have their own unique personalities. Some are more naturally prone to aggression or hyperactivity than others. It’s important to note that neutering your pet will not affect attributes that are not directly caused by hormones. Any concern about his behavior should be brought to the attention of your veterinarian. They may still suggest neutering for his behavior, but it’s important that he is evaluated so all other causes can be ruled out first.

dog’s behavior

For those same organic reasons, research confirms that age matters when it comes to neutering and subsequent behavior. Veterinary observations suggest that removing sex-organs while a dog is young is preferable because doing so may prevent aggression before it forms bad habits. A dog that is older may not exhibit much change however, because his behaviors are more likely caused by habit than hormones.

Research Suggests Less Optimistic Outcomes

Despite the large number of professionals promoting neutering for good behavior, recent research suggests that the behavioral outcomes of neutering contradict common assumptions. Between two prominent studies in the United States, a total of 15,984 dogs were tested for behavioral changes in consequence of neutering. One study, published by Deborah Duffy and James Serpell, tested two groups of dogs, and another study, written by Parvene Farhoody tested a third group.

Research Suggests Less Optimistic Outcomes

Using the Canine Behavioral Assessment Research Questionnaire as a standard, both studies were strikingly consistent in the conclusions that were drawn. Each one revealed that instead of becoming less aggressive, as many pet owners assumed would be the case, these dogs became distinctly more aggressive. Dogs were one-third more likely to exhibit fearfulness and sensitivity to touch, and eight percent more likely to show increased excitability. These inferences are shocking when you consider that the prospect of positive behavior is a key point used to persuade pet-owners to spay and neuter their animals. Still, these changes could be linked to the trauma of undergoing and recovering from surgery.


When you neuter your dog, you are likely to see some type of behavioral change, but the changes will be limited to two origins; hormones and trauma. The most positive changes will occur from the former. Because of hormones, you may see more laid-back behavior, and fewer displays of sexually-driven urges and tendencies. The more negative changes like anxiety or heightened aggression may result from either origin, or both. Learned behaviors, personality, or conduct related to environmental factors will not be influenced when a dog is neutered.

Many pet owners and veterinarians observe positive changes, but the potential for negative changes does exist. In short, neutering your dog will change some of his behaviors, but not his personality.


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Patel, C. (2012, June 25). Neutering: What’s Behaviour Got To Do With It? Retrieved from Dog Star Daily:

Stanley Coren, P. D. (2017, February 22). Are There Behavior Changes When Dogs Are Spayed or Neutered? Retrieved from Psychology Today:

Welton, M. (n.d.). Neutering Your Male Dog- Pros and Cons. Retrieved from Your Purebred Puppy:

Zeltzman, P. (n.d.). What to Expect After Dog is Fixed. Retrieved from Dog Time: