Neutering may well be traumatic. Surgery is stressful and recovery can be
painful. A dog’s gonads produce sex hormones, and removing them can cause
behavioral changes, especially a reduction in mounting, marking, and
aggression. But just because neutering alters sexual behavior doesn’t mean
that it causes a crisis of sexual identity. As the Humane Society explains in an
online guide to spaying and neutering, “Pets don’t have any concept of sexual
identity or ego.” And behavioral changes don’t necessarily equal distress.
Miller says that he finds neutering to be “a creepy, creepy thing. You’re
modifying your dog, you’re kind of playing God.” But Neuticles don’t
unmodify the animal—they merely add a second alteration on top of the first.
Though I have yet to find any peer-reviewed research on whether Neuticles
can prevent neutering-related trauma in dogs, a study of monkeys provides a
hint. Scientists studying the effects of monkey castration used Neuticles as a
control—after removing the testicles of half the animals, they inserted silicon
imposters. That way, all the male monkeys would continue to look identical to
the other members of their social group. However, the prosthetic balls didn’t
prevent the neutered primates from behaving more submissively than their
intact counterparts. The finding suggests that it’s the absence of hormones,
not some sexual identity crisis that results from looking like a eunuch, that
causes behavioral changes in neutered animals. And Neuticles don’t restore a
male dog’s normal hormone levels, nor do they spare him the trauma of the
surgery itself.


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