Should You Neuter Your Boerboel?

boerboel neuterNeutering male dogs has been a bone of contention for many years, and never is this truer than with big breed dogs with the potential for aggression like the Boerboel. The debate extends from not only if you should neuter, but to when, if you so decide, is the best time. The decision about when to neuter should be made in consultation with your breeder and vet. Consideration should be given to the pros and cons of the procedure itself as there is always a risk with any medical procedure requiring anesthetic. While neutering does provide some protection from prostate cancers and the like, it does not change a dog’s core personality. Neutering will not make him more docile or less prone to protect you – those traits are nurtured through your relationship with your dog. Neutering has, by some, long been thought of as a “cure” for aggression, but in my opinion aggression speaks more to the type and nature of the training and upbringing your dog has received. Further to this, an intact male boerboel who knows his place in the pack should never ever be a problem. With human pack members an intact male should never present a challenge. It is only when un-neutered males are allowed alpha status that the potential for complications arise. As far as other animals go, introducing new pack members should be done responsibly to avoid any dominance issues and the pecking order must be established early on. It is up to the humans to teach a new puppy his place in the pack as they have alpha status. If you are considering a second male puppy with an older boerboel, you should ensure that there is enough of an age gap between the two male dogs that they will not fight for dominance. This applies to any breed, not just the boerboels.


Benefits vs Risks of Neutering Your Boerboel

Studies into the benefits and risk of neutering on behavior have yielded mixed results with no definitive conclusions being able to be drawn. There are two core considerations when deciding to neuter. If he is going to have access to any bitches on heat and you are not willing or able to assume the responsibility of caring for puppies, then most certainly neutering is the responsible choice. Furthermore, if keeping him intact is going to make you nervous and wary of him, where you are constantly expecting trouble, then you should also strongly consider the procedure. Remember he will sense your uncertainty intuitively and this may cause him to behave differently. Outside of this, any behavioral and/or dominance issues would present themselves whether he was neutered or not. I have to emphatically state that neutering is NOT a magical and immediate cure for behavioral issues – that unfortunately goes to upbringing and training. The bottom line is, he is your dog – you need to weigh up the benefits against the risks with reference to your own set of circumstances when deciding whether to neuter.