Will neutering stop marking from happening indoors?
Original Question: Hello Dr. Clayton why is my 7 month old male Shih-Tzu spraying in different parts of the house?! He does it every so often and at what age should he be before we get him neutered? - Darell
Thanks for your question.
We usually reserve the word ‘spraying’ for male cats that are backing up against a wall, raising their tail and urinating forcefully on a vertical surface. I have to assume that your Shih-Tzu is not doing that same behavior, but rather urinating inappropriately around the house.
It’s important to know that neutering alone may not solve the problem. Dogs that are intact do have a propensity for certain behaviors, such as aggression, ‘humping’, and urinating to mark their territory. Some can remain intact and never show these behaviors at all so it is quite variable. Keep in mind that the longer a behavior like this goes on, the more it becomes a ‘learned behavior.’ So even though it may start because your dog is not neutered, it will adapt this behavior over time and then even if it gets neutered the behavior can remain. What this means is you have to address this problem as soon as possible.
Many veterinarians will disagree on the right time to neuter a dog but most believe it should be around six months. There are differing opinions and you want to discuss these with your veterinarian. Performing a neuter at this time is reasonable and may help to solve the problem.
If the behavior continues after neutering you’ll have to address it a different way. I encourage you to check out our video that covers inappropriate urination in dogs and details about some tactics to employ. I also recommend that you perform a few tests with your veterinarian to make sure there is not a medical reason for the behavior. Blood work and a urine analysis will help determine if there’s an underlying medical condition, such as a urinary tract infection that could be contributing to this behavior.
Thanks for your question and good luck!
Dr. Clayton Greenway
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