Neuter and semen extraction?

I’ve not heard of this procedure until now. A question was posted on the Agiledogs mailing list today asking for experience on the time of a neuter of a competition dog.

The poster indicated that her dog passed all health checks and has his “CHIC” (which I had to look up: the CHIC program, jointly sponsored by the AKC and the OFA, has four main goals: to work with parent clubs in the definition of health issues for which a central information system should be established, to establish and maintain a central health information system in a form and manner that will support research into canine disease, to provide health information to owners and breeders, to base the availability on individually identified dogs on the consent of the owner, and to establish scientifically valid criteria for the acceptance of information into the database.) The poster went on to say that the dog had reached an age of mental maturity and is starting to compete well, but he can be distracted in boyish ways.

So, she’s going to neuter the dog and extract his semen! What are we creating here: performance machines that we artificially inseminate to create more? If a dog cannot remain intact and still be a performance dog, then there’s something wrong there, either with training or the health of the dog or both. An intact dog should be able to continue to perform as well as, if not better, than a neutered one.

That’s how conventional medicine works, if a part doesn’t work right or causes problems, instead of looking at the whole picture, you hack it off. If the dog cannot focus because of hormones, then that should be addressed: not by cutting off his testicles.

The purpose of the post was because the poster was concerned about whether she should neuter the dog now, six weeks before a DAM tournament or wait a couple of months when the trialing schedule is nearing end. She could not predict the effect of neuter on focus and performance.

I respect the decision to neuter (or spay) a dog, but to extract sperm and then neuter seemed so mechanical to me.

I’m afraid I look at things far differently than most people.

This post reminds me to give a quick update on Gel’s homeopathic treatment. The remedy that he was given did not seem to offer much change in his behavior. I will circle up with the homeopath soon to re-evaluate the case. Gel’s sexuality is not out of control by any means. It’s irritating, and some of it may very well be within the norm of a male dog, but I plan to do what I can homeopathically to improve Gel’s health on a deep level. I’m certainly not going to neuter him unless I have no choice in the matter.