This is the first study of castration effects on the working ability of dogs.
Hormones influence the social behaviour of dogs. Castration of male dogs induces a reduction of testosterone and has been shown to affect social behaviours associated with aggression and reproduction. Changes in social behaviour could be critical in working dogs, which should be well trainable and behave reliably. It is currently unknown whether and how castration may affect the working ability of dogs. Besides surgical castration, chemical castration using a hormonal implant offers a possibility to castrate dogs temporarily. In the present study, we chemically castrated male Swiss military dogs and assessed their working abilities in comparison to intact males in a standard behavioural test series for Swiss military dogs (obedience, protection of the handler against an attacker, search of a hidden person in a building, reaction to social environment during a city walk). Chemical castration in Swiss military dogs had no measurable effect on any of the test situations in comparison to intact males.
Applied Animal Behaviour Science
No evidence for detrimental effect of chemical castration on working ability in Swiss military dogs
Gfrerer, Taborsky, and Würbel, “No Evidence for Detrimental Effect of Chemical Castration on Working Ability in Swiss Military Dogs.”Powell, Lauren et al. Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research , Volume 0 , Issue 0 ,