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The Spay/Neuter Dilemma


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We received this question on the KBTF Facebook Page:

I'm wondering if you could help me or put me in touch with anyone who can. I have a 2 & 1/2 year old Male Kerry Blue and I am in two minds wether or not to have him neutered. I am wondering if the operation would help to ease his temperament (aggressive/protective traits) or indeed if it could worsen his temperament or health in any way. I really would appreciate any help you could give me on this matter.

Many thanks,


This is how our Health & Genetics Diretor answered:

I have attached some links for you to review. For many years, the focus in this country has been to spay/neuter dogs in order to have some effect on dog over population. What is healthy for the individual dog has been often overlooked. In recent years, there has been more research done in the effects of spay/neuter procedures and it is becoming clear that there are a number of drawbacks to these procedures. These articles all address the pros and cons of the issues.

The article on BlogSpot provides some statistics on behavior changes related to neutering your dog. The association of animal behavior professionals also provides their opinion on neutering and behavior.

In Europe, neutering is generally avoided by owners and trainers and not promoted by animal health authorities. In Norway, it is illegal to spay/neuter unless there is some direct health issue related to the reproductive organs.

The decision to neuter is a balancing act. You may be able to get health and genetics info from your breeder. With that info, your veterinarian may be able to help you determine what risks are most likely for your dog. You may want to ask your vet about some of the concerns listed in these articles and see what he/she says. But remember that spaying and neutering dogs creates a lot of business for veterinarians.

I believe the choice to neuter or not should be based only on what is best for your dog.

I hope this info helps. If you have other questions, please contact me at


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Today is October 25, 2016

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Ch. Tailteann's Rare Gem, bred, owned and handled by Eileen McEarchren of Ontario, Canada, wins Best in Show in Bermuda.

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