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Even in this age of information, I am often amused by the number old wives tales that are still counted as true among so many. Let's endeavor here to set the record straight once and for all.

Old Wives Tale #1: If i neuter my male it will calm him down!

The answer is...No it won't. Now, I don't know what your definition of calming down is or what your definition of being over active is, but one thing is for sure...removing his testicles will not accomplish anything to calm your dog down. If your dog is overly active, it is either in the breeding or in the raising. Working dogs tend to be much more active than showline dogs, for example and if you are raising your puppy to constantly "play ball," that will also increase what we call, "drive," and so your puppy will be very rambunctious, indeed. Further, if your dog is aggressive, removing his testicales will not solve that problem. That problem is either caused by poor breeding or the way the dog was raised.

Old Wives Tale #2: If I neuter my male, he won't roam.

Again, the answer here is "NO." The prevailing thought here is that by neutering your dog, you are taking away his urge to have sex and therefore he won't go wandering off to find himself a lady of the night. This is laughable on its face. Now just think to yourself for a moment...does your dog lay around the house thinking about how he hasn't be laid in some time so he's thinking that he will take a stroll around the neighborhood to see if there might be a young female willing to give him a twirl? You're laughing at that thought. I know you are. I can hear you. Of course we all know that is just silly nonsense. The real answer is that a dog only roams the neighborhood because he has a bad owner. Almost all dogs will roam if left to their own devices and not properly trained on where their boundaries are. This is where the old saying (and true saying I might add) comes in: "There are no bad dogs, only bad owners."

Old Wives Tale #3: I'll neuter my male to prevent him from getting testicular cancer.

Once again....NO! All I can tell you here is that after more than 20 years of breeding German Shepherds, owning many intact males and selling many, many more of them....Never one...Not a single, solitary one....has ever had testicular cancer.

Neutering a male is necessary only if the male is mono or cryptorchid. Only if they are one of these could the testicale become a problem, but if the male has two testicales that has descended into the scrotum, then it is just unnecessary surgery to have him neutered and may even be detrimental to his overall health.

Old Wives Tale #4: My female will be healthier if I let her have one litter of puppies.

NO again! All that will happen is that she will have given birth to a litter of puppies and that is just irresponsible. Now, I do have to add here that there is some evidence that letting a female go through one heat cycle is beneficiary to the female, but then, how beneficial is up for debate. One thing I do recommend is not to spay your female until she around seven months old. If you want to avoid the unpleasant mess that goes along with a female in heat, wait until then. Maiden females do not go into their first heat until around 8 months of age. So waiting until just 7 months before spaying should be ok.

Old Wives Tale #5: Females make better pets/ Males make better pets!

The answer is that the only difference between a male and a female is around 25 pounds. Males and females are both the same. One does not offer more protection or love or is smarter than the other. This only comes down to a matter of preference, and that is all.

So, there you have it. The top 5. Oh, there are more, but maybe for another time. How did you do? Did you believe any of these old wives tales to be true? Then I hope you've learned something.

Maybe next time we'll talk about "Old Wives," but that subject is sure to land me in the dog house!!!

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