Do Dogs Act Weird After Neutering? Behaviors Explained
Alex Vicente • Updated on October 2, 2022
Neutering your dog has several benefits, but before you get to the benefits you’ll have to deal with a sudden mood change in your dog. Fortunately, the mood swings do not last long and your dog will be back to normal quickly. So, if you just brought your dog home after neutering, these are the changes you can expect off the bat.
Your dog will act weird after neutering. The side effects vary but can range from aggression, anxiety, depression, and sometimes even clinginess. When you neuter your dog, you are affecting his internal hormones and this can cause confusion or a decrease in activity and motivation.
Most dog owners choose to neuter their dogs early on in their life. If you are worried about the potential side effects, you can take solace in knowing that they are only temporary. In this article, you will get an idea of what to expect your dog to act like after being neutered, as well as learn a few signs to look out for after the process is done.
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How Will Your Dog Act After Being Neutered
Your dog’s mood after being neutered will vary, but you can expect an immediate mood change after the process is done. Your dog will likely be in a cone to prevent them from licking their neutered area. The cone is another factor to consider in your dog’s overall mood. Your dog’s discomfort will affect its energy and anxiety.
Your dog will likely be confused at first and will wonder why they feel so different. Dogs act differently and parts of their pre-neutered personality might still appear during the healing process. As an owner, some of these temporary mood swings might be hard to handle, but you need to let your dog overcome them.
This article will break down specific behavior you might experience from your dog post-neuter, but it is important to have an understanding of the signs you should look out for. The following is a list of common moods by recently neutered dogs:
Dogs have ways of communicating with their owners. You’ll be able to get a read on dog’s sudden change of mood by the way they communicate with you using their eyes and vocal expressions. This is where the previous personality of the dog might come into play for some owners. You can also expect new personality traits post-neuter.
Anxiety and Depression
Before being neutered, your dog has active hormones that cause him to be more active especially sexually. After being neutered, this sexual drive will suddenly start to dissipate, which will confuse your dog and make him anxious. High levels of anxiety will lead to depression and your dog might refuse to partake in regular activities.
You might notice that your dog refuses to eat or drink water. They will spend most of the day laying down on their belly looking sad. Owners typically hate seeing their dog in a sad state, but this is a case where you have to gradually let your dog come into its own and regain its energy and confidence. Once the wounds heal, the mood will change.
Although your dog might seem sad and depressed when you are around, they might feel comfortable in their alone time. This is rare, but some dogs want to be left alone after being neutered. Dogs will take this time to eat, drink, and walk around. Dogs use this process to get comfortable with their surroundings and get back to their routine.
Though it is sad to see your dog in a depressed state, this mood will not last very long. Owners can keep their dog’s spirits up by making sure they feel comfortable and loved. This is a confusing time for your dog, but being around familiar surroundings and getting back to normal routines can help speed up the healing process.
Anger is a mood that derives from confusion for most dogs. The pain and soreness combined with the cone on its neck will cause the dog to lash out and be aggressive. Aggression also stems from the breed of your dog. If your dog is part of a breed that is aggressive by nature, controlling the anger might be difficult.
The list above shows some of the more aggressive breeds of dogs. Even if your dog is well trained, neutering might bring back some of its repressed aggression. If this is the case, you will want to make sure to manage the aggression to prevent it from getting out of hand and causing harm to anyone.
You can do anything from providing your dog with calming treats to taking them on walks or runs to tire themselves out and release that pent-up anger and frustration. While depression and anxiety are the hardest moods for dog owners to see on their pet, anger is the most unwanted mood owners hope to avoid.
Confusion and Clinginess
Confusion will lead to anxiety and anxiety will lead to your dog being extra clingy. They will feel a sense of security the more they are with you. Separation from your dog when they want to constantly be around you might lead to sadness or depression. You may not be able to be with your dog 24/7, but you should still spend time with them.
If you reciprocate the love and cater to your dog during this confusing time, it might have lasting effects once the neutered wounds are healed and your dog starts getting back to normal. Your dog might become clingier than they were before and rely on you to nurture them through even the most mundane of situations.
Moreover, if you do not cater to your dog’s clingy needs, you may see a bit of resentment and self-reliance from your dog after its wounds heal. The way you go about helping your dog through this confusing time might have lasting effects on its personality. If you do not want the weird mood change to stick, tread lightly post-neuter.
Benefits of Neutering
Despite the mood swings and changes in personality, neutering your dog will benefit your pet in many ways. Some of the biggest reasons owners neuter their dogs are:
- A healthier and longer life
- A propensity to decrease a wide-range of dog cancers
- A happier and less aggressive dog
Your dog will benefit in several ways after being neutered. The mood swings will not last long and your dog should be back to being a happier and healthier version of themselves soon after the neuter wounds heal. After healing, the scars will barely be noticeable and your dog will look as beautiful and elegant as ever.
The Bottom Line
Yes, your dog will start to act weird after neutering. Moods will vary based on factors such as the breed and personality of the dog. Some of the possible moods you will see out of your dog include anxiety, depression, anger, confusion, and clinginess. The mood swings are temporary and your dog will regain its personality soon after healing.
The healing process is different for some dogs and owners should monitor their dogs and make sure their mood does not have lasting effects. The way you go about nurturing your dog during this confusing time might affect its personality and dependency on you permanently.
Despite the personality swings and side effects, neutering your dog is a must and it will bring long-term benefits for your dog. Make sure you handle the healing process well and you will have a healthy and fun-loving dog in no time!