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Monday, 9 December 2013

Of dogs and wolves

What’s the best way to keep a dog un-neutered and happy? If only the lead pair of wolves breed in a wolf pack, will he need to as well?

Do you have any blogs on this topic?

Thank you,

Sultana Zafar, by email


  1. need a bit more detail here - why is he unhappy?

  2. In a wolf pack the lead pair, also known as alpha, are the only ones to breed because the pack is made up as a human family with mum, dad and kids. Most of the young wolves will leave at around age 2 - 3 to form their own packs.

    Dogs are related to wolves but all the current evidence shows that behaviourally they are very different. Dogs don't form family groups and a female in season will mate with many different dogs if given the chance. The female is effectively a single parent with the male having no input on the raising of the pups, which disperse a lot younger than they would if they were wolves. Female wolves come in to season once a year and dogs usually twice.

    There are many arguments for and against neutering and you need to make up your own mind about what is best for your dog. It's only become an issue in the past 15 or so years, before that most dogs were left intact. In some countries, Norway for instance, it is illegal to desex a dog without a medical reason. They don't seem to have problems around the dogs being left intact.

    On my dog club website ( you can find scientific papers that talk about the pros and cons of spay/neuter and the effects on dogs.

    Your dog will not need to breed to keep him happy, remember that if you do decide to breed him he will be more likely to be interested in females, you are as responsible as the bitch's owner for the offspring; you should have the health tests recommended for your breed done and your dog should be healthy with no defects that the pups can inherit.

    Olwen Turns SAC.Dip - Behaviourist Cloverleaf Canine Centre