The role of gonadal hormones in the occurrence of objectionable behaviours in dogs and cats

Benjamin Hart, Robert A. Eckstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations

Abstract

The most common way of controlling or altering the behaviour of companion animals is through gonadectomy. Information about the behavioural effects of gonadectomy comes from extrapolation of findings from laboratory studies and from surveys of pet owners whose pets were castrated or spayed. The role of the placebo effect in the latter source of information is unknown. With these limitations in mind, both laboratory studies and pet owner surveys have provided information indicating that: (1) it is the sexually dimorphic behavioural patterns that are reduced or eliminated in males by castration; (2) not all males undergo a change in behaviour following castration; (3) experience and age at time of castration does not predict which males will be altered by castration; and (4) there are apparent species-specific differences between dogs and cats with regard to percentage of males showing a behavioural change related to castration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)331-344
Number of pages14
JournalApplied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume52
Issue number3-4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 1997

Keywords

  • Cats
  • Dogs
  • Gonadal hormones
  • Objectionable behaviour

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Animals
  • Animal Science and Zoology

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