The Joys of Owning an Intact Male Dog


Kyuss just turned 4 years old; he’s in his prime, he knows it, and yes, he’s intact.

I wanted to share with you just some of the joyous things I deal with, due to Kyuss being ‘all man.’

1. Smegma.
If you do not know what smegma is, I would normally suggest a Google search, but I believe you won’t want to see any of the images that pop up! Basically, smegma is the natural lubricant the body produces to keep an animal/human’s genital region clean. Neutered animals also produce smegma, however, intact animals tend to produce more. Depending on the dog, you may never even notice it, as most dogs will keep themselves clean down there without any human aid.

Kyuss is pretty good about keeping his nether regions clean, although once in a while I’ll notice a ‘drip’ that he himself hasn’t noticed, to which I will take a baby wipe to before it ends up on the floor. *blerp*

Smegma shouldn’t have a strong odour normally. Kyuss has had the occasional stink to him, and then I usually just dab a bit of over the counter thrush cream on his bits and it disappears by the next day.

2. Marking.
Kyuss loves to mark; thankfully, he never does so indoors. We have had friends visit, and their neutered male dog had pee’d on our furniture. Kyuss was quite displeased at the nerve of this ‘intruder’ and promptly urinated overtop the offending smell. Needless to say I was not happy and banished their dog outside for the remainder of the visit. That was the one, and only time Kyuss has ever marked his territory inside the house.

I’ve heard having two intact dogs, whether a male/female pair, or two males can commonly result in marking behaviour increasing indoors.

Being that we now live in a multiplex with a shared yard, Kyuss will spend hours in the yard, making sure he urinates over every spot our neighbour’s intact male dog has pee’d. He also pees over the females urine spots as well. Needles to say, he’s pretty much empty when he returns inside.

3. Mounting.
Kyuss will sometimes get overly excited at the prospect of a new friend, and yes, they can be male. It is in part due to dominance, as well as excitement and I will often have to work harder at making sure he knows his boundaries. Even as a 4 month old pup, he would get excited and hump the air while standing beside some dogs (usually male). We of course, found this hilarious as did the owners of the other dogs.

He’s never attempted to mount a person, thank goodness; I would be mortified. It’s still very embarrassing to have him mount someone elses dog. I will always apologize and remove Kyuss from the other dog if he hasn’t been removed by the dog itself. Some dogs don’t even notice, while others take great offence to the idea. Kyuss himself doesn’t like to be mounted; hypocritical much?

4. Self Pleasure.
I won’t go into detail, but yes, Kyuss likes to please himself.

5. Anxiety.
I don’t really know what to call it, but when Kyuss knows there is an intact female nearby, he will be very… irritating, to put it lightly.

We have two neighbours who keep intact females. One lives at the rear of our property, and another lives in our building. Every time these girls go into heat, Kyuss’ behaviour changes quite dramatically. When the Chihuahua girl at back goes into heat, he will spend ages at the fence. He will mark, and whine, and sniff and mark again. The photo above, is just such an occasion. (OT, you can see he’s lost a little weight from when this photo was taken. Check his most recent photo) He will also want to go outside far more often than usual; passing at the door.

The neighbours who live in our complex only recently moved in. Their female, a long-haired Chi or Chi mix, was already pregnant or had newborn pups, as they are now 5 weeks old. They also own the father who looks to be a Lhasa Apso. Every time the dogs are out in the yard together, Winnie (dad) will charge Kyuss with his hackles raised, tail in the air, barking while momma, (don’t know her name) will stand her ground, barking and growling at him. Perhaps it’s because they have young pups (who are still inside), or more likely it’s because they are ill trained. Kyuss meanwhile, isn’t very afraid of a dog who only comes up to his wrists, and goes on about his business, making over their pee after a hesitant exchange of sniffing.

Kyuss, thankfully, does not howl like I’ve heard some intact males do when they smell a female in heat. I’ve heard horror stories from breeders who keep their own studs of their male howling all night long while a bitch is in heat.

Also, Kyuss will generally eat less or not eat at all when females nearby are in heat.

6. Roaming.
Thankfully, Kyuss doesn’t wander. He’s actually very good about staying in my sight whenever off leash. Although I focused on recall from a very young age to ensure I would not lose him. People call Quebec the puppmill capital of North America for good reason. The laws used to be very lax in regard to animal cruelty and animals in general. Very recently they revised the laws, but many still say they’re not up to snuff.

Sadly, the new rules were not in time for the huge media story regarding Paws R’ Us. Many dogs, purebred or otherwise, are still often stolen right out of people’s yards and homes in this area. For this reason, Kyuss is never left unattended outside and we lock all doors and windows when we leave. (Although I don’t know anyone in their right mind who would break into our home with a 95lbs Dobermann barking at them.)

Still, roaming is a common behaviour among intact dogs. Some dogs will actively seek out females in heat if they are not kept securely confined.

7. Aggression.
Kyuss is not aggressive in the slightest. Nevertheless, he will push his limits now and then by exhibiting dominance behaviour. (head over shoulders/mounting) I’ve actually found other dogs to be more aggressive toward him without any provocation on Kyuss’ part. (don’t get me wrong, he has provoked it before) Most of these altercations occurred while he was in his “teens,” (so his hormones were probably raging,) and while we were at a dog park; which is not a favourite hangout of mine. Kyuss has never been ‘attacked’ but he has had a few dominance scuffles on occasion, where both parties were just ‘chest-beating’ for lack of better wording.  

So why do I keep Kyuss intact if I have to deal with all the fun stuff above? Well, that’s going in my next blog post. =D


  1. Ewww, boy dogs are gross ;)

    Thanks for this list, though. I don’t think many people take into account all of the details that a dog’s intactness brings to the table.

      1. Considering I’m mainly the only female in our circle of friends…..yeah. Yeah, they really are. ;)

  2. Currently, a well-known dog blogger is spreading the lie that neutering dogs at an early age has amazing health benefits, and that anyone who disagrees with him doesn’t have any data to prove him wrong.

    1. Well, I have data, lost of it. I’m actually providing a lot of links to studies done in the next post. I want to make sure I cover all bases, which is why I didn’t include it in this one.

    2. I believe I have a site bookmarked at home that lists studies giving the medical pros and cons of neutering and spaying at an early age. I will try to find it when I am home from work.

  3. We have two intact males and an intact female so it can be interesting around here. We really don’t have many of the problems you mention except the marking and I do find that some dogs are overly aggressive toward our older male without provocation. I wonder if it is because he is intact? We are waiting for our female to come into season. As I said, interesting. She barks at nothing or anything in the time leading up to her season. It can be 2 days or 2 months. Joy.

      1. Yes, once Kyuss hit his “teen” age, I stopped visiting dog parks. It was just too much of a risk. Now his hormone production has slowed he’s actually very well behaved at the dog park.
        There’s only one public ‘dog park’ (more like small field) in the area where your dog must be neutered, and it’s at the SPCA.

    1. Ouch! I’ve never had to deal with an intact female, just Kyuss. All my previous dogs have been spayed/neutered.
      I always find that other dogs are more aggressive toward Kyuss vs. a friend’s male neutered dog. They approach Kyuss differently, and almost ‘shun’ him; they tend to play differently with him as well.

  4. With a dog sanctuary in my home, all my dogs are altered unless medically compromised (one elderly Weim/Lab cross female). I had a female Beagle rescued from a pound who we weren’t sure was intact; oh, dear, she was and there was an orgy in my bedroom to which I wasn’t invited. This little Beagle only had eyes for an English Coonhound, though. I have a great photo which I took of a line of the dogs at the fence where Sweetie Pie is gazing lovingly at Scout, her chosen paramour. Drove me crazy so how y’all manage intact dogs astounds me :).

    1. Haha I bet that was an interesting sight to walk into! I’ve never had to deal with an intact female coming into heat every 6 months. I don’t know if I could deal with that lol.

  5. Conker must not know he doesn’t have any balls.

    He marks a LOT. Not inside, but ever since he hit a year and a half, he marks every bush he can on our hikes.

    Conker mounts other dogs frequently, often females. And, contrary to popular belief, this behavior often has absolutely nothing to do with “dominance”.

    Conker LOVES females in heat. He will try very hard to get at them. He does not howl, but will whine when he’s near one.

    Conker is a jerk, he really is. Most of the time he’s nervous with other dogs getting up in his face and will lash out at them, so that does not count. But every other time he’s very pushy and often does not take light corrects nicely.

    I think the “hype” about owning an intact dog, which I have had in the past, is very overrated. There are a ton of factors that can contribute to any of the behaviors that male dogs do, not just the status of their balls.

    1. My dalmatian I had as a child was a marker too. He marked EVERYTHING and was also neutered.

      He was also very dog and people aggressive, which probably had to do with the fact he was tormented as a pup.

      I completely agree with you that just because a dog is intact it doesn’t guarantee they will exibit all, or any, of the behaviours above. I’m just speaking about Kyuss specifically in this instance and what he does.

      Is it only due to him being intact? Perhaps not, but I can only compare him to my other male dogs, all of which were neutered.

  6. Great post! We run into a lot of the same problems with our neutered dogs, but it’s very interesting to read about the joys of owning an intact male dog. We were puppy sitting a spayed female Lab and she just loved to mount my neutered black male Lab. My dog used to just stand their and look at me as if to say what the heck is going on?


    1. Thanks for dropping in!
      Mounting behaviour sure is interesting. As a child I vividly remember my aunt’s toy poodle mounting my grandmothers dachshund mix. Both were spayed females!

      Have a good one!

  7. I’m sure whether a dog is intact or Speutered, they all have their ups and downs. A lot of the dogs at the dog park are neutered or spayed and they all seem to do the same things as you mentioned. I think it’s probably all behavioral.

    1. Hello!

      It very well could be. I can only compare Kyuss to the previous dogs I have owned, most of which were males.

  8. I just want to say Kyuss is a very Beautiful dog. And you photograph him very well. I wish I had your talent with a camera…

    About being intact… I have no opinion whatsoever. :) But even when Pluto is “fixed” so to speak, other dogs have shown aggression towards him. May be its his over enthusiastic nature that makes other think he’s a threat or something…

    1. Thank-you very much! I try my best to get good angles… Doberman are quite known to take horrid shots sometimes… especially with that huge honker!

      I think you may be onto something about the enthusiastic nature! Kyuss was extremely ‘ill-behaved’ when it came to introductions. He still is sometimes, stilly goof.

  9. The absolute without a doubt worst roamers we have are the spayed/neutered ones. Without exception. Maybe it’s territorial but the unspayed females stay home. The neutered males and spayed female…they’ll bolt off at the drop of a hat. One is missing now because of that. :-( Last seen in the house – no idea how he got out other than jumping out a window. Thankfully Diva (unspayed) also sticks close at home.

      1. Unfortunately no. Last seen in the living room 830-9 a.m. the 13th. No idea how he got out of the house or when…but he did as he’s been missing since. He was a rescue from a shelter about 6 years ago…and was 4-5 years then. Intended to foster but he stayed. Obviously he had a roaming habit (or he wouldn’t have been picked up as a stray) and neutering did not change that. He’d take off every chance he gets. When he was outside he’d be chained as a fence was not a deterrent.

        Have another neutered beagle X ?corgi? (long and low) and he’ll bail out a window if given the opportunity. Beagle X Basset (spayed) has no qualms about bolting at an opportunity. By contrast, Diva or Girl (unspayed) can be outside for a couple hours and do not take off. Have 2 mutts we took off the street not yet neutered – neither one takes off if they get loose. So overall – agree completely surgery is not training!

  10. Where to start? Unless medically necessary… Neutering before the dog matures (24 months) has only ill effects.
    Growth plates don’t fuse properly, bone density suffers, muscle mass suffers, anxiety, aggression, fearfulness and tumor rates up 20%.

    Common knowledge, that is, if you have been around dogs long enough and have experience training hunting dogs, especially.

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