There are already a few questions about neutering male dogs, optimal age, negative effects and benefit of chemical castration but here I'd like to know wether or not the "sniffing around" behavior of my dog will be affected.

He's a male, Brittany, 18 months, has no aggressive behavior at all (dog-dog or dog-human), I don't know if marking is excessive but in any case it never happens indoor.

So no big deal but I'm considering neutering him for these reasons:

  • he's getting the habit of mounting other dogs (male or female) or shows sexual excitation when interacting with people (mounting the leg), as I understand this will be greatly reduced by castration
  • in case he would meet a female in heat I don't want to risk anything, there are enough dogs around
  • I read that it reduces the risk of prostate cancer (I don't know if it is hormonal and hence reduced also by chemical castration or if it is only the case for true desexing)
  • chemical castration would be a first step in that direction, without being definitive

(if you think I'm wrong with these assumption please advice me)

So the main question is: I know he's a gundog, bred in part for its very keen sense of smell, but I don't know if is huge sniffing activity is not actually linked to a sexual behavior (searching for females / checking other males).

If it is a sexual behavior and if it is reduced by castration, I think it would be a very good thing for him: less excitation, so more compatible with its pet life, more attention towards me, which would mean more even more freedom and more fun (for both of us I hope) because its training would be improved and we could do more doggy sports.

Would this be improved by castration?

  • As a comment: I'm not trying to "fix" my training shortfalls by castrating him.
    – Cedric H.
    Commented May 26, 2015 at 13:09

2 Answers 2


Yes chemical castration will reduce hormone levels and therefore reduce the cancer risks, mounting, and some other behaviors associated with the hormone levels. For the sniffing in particular, it would really depend on what the sniffing is about so I can't say if it would change that specific behavior you are seeing. It takes a few weeks to months for the hormone levels to normalize after the procedure as well so it may take a little while for you to see the change.


My Golden Lab was sterilized using Zeuterin at 9.5 months. We are now needing to have him castrated at 2.5 years, due to all the annoying intact male behaviors. He sniffs and licks pee constantly,humps every dog he meets and is unable to participate in group dog play. His siblings were all neutered the traditional way and none of them have any of the annoying behaviors. I really regret not doing it the old school way in the first place. It would have saved us lots of money in training and our dog lots of frustration. I truly do not believe Zeuterin is a solution at this time!

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