Unless your male dachshund is destined to be a stud -- literally -- getting him neutered as soon as physically appropriate will make him less challenging companion. There is some debate in the veterinary community as to what age is the best for this procedure to occur.
At Sexual Maturity
While 6 months of age is the standard most veterinarians use to determine when a male dog should be castrated, that benchmark is being challenged. Some clinics allow the surgery as early as 8 weeks. Veterinarians report the surgical procedure is easier to perform before the sexual organs fully develop and that recovery times are shorter.
Better Behaved Boys
Male dogs with intact sexual organs are sexually driven. For dogs, this means fighting with other male dogs to defend their territory and an insatiable drive to seek out and hook up with females. A male dog driven sexually isn't all that interested in hanging out and interacting with humans who simply cannot and should not fulfill his sexual needs. Thus if you are truly interested in developing a fulfilling relationship from a human perspective, taking away a male dog's sex drive will accomplish that goal. Plus, it will reduce -- not completely eliminate -- but will reduce the male's desire to mark his territory by peeing all over everything.
For those still cringing at the idea of altering what Mother Nature gave your male dachshund, consider a few facts regarding the population of homeless pets: according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, of the 5 to 7 million companion animals (dogs and cats) entering shelters each year, 3 to 4 million are euthanized. The ASPCA estimates 60 percent of shelter dogs are killed rather than adopted.
While the cost of this procedure varies from clinic to clinic, on average getting a male dog neutered will cost $50 to $175 at a private practice. The variance is related to the dog's weight and the anesthesia necessary to properly sedate the animal during the procedure. Several organizations do offer lower cost neuter programs. Many municipalities offer spay and neuter programs through government animal-control programs. Referrals for discounted neuter programs are available online at spayusa.org, ASPCA.org and paw-rescue.org.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.
Amy M. Armstrong is a former community news journalist with more than 15 years of experience writing features and covering school districts. She has received more than 40 awards for excellence in journalism and photography. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Washington State University. Armstrong grew up on a dairy farm in western Washington and wrote agricultural news while in college.