The Dog and Cat Management Board (the Board) supports the desexing of companion dogs. Research indicates1 that desexing brings a number of benefits for dogs, dog owners, and the community. Desexed dogs are better behaved which creates a strong bond between the dog and owner. Desexed dogs have reduced reactivity, are less territorial, and are more sociable. Desexing companion dogs reduces incidences of wandering and aggression, which also reduces the risk of dog-related injury to people and other animals. Desexing prevents unwanted litters and reduces the likelihood that pets will be relinquished to shelters due to behavioural issues. This results in fewer dogs being euthanised. Desexed dogs will, on average, live longer and healthier lives, with a reduced risk of some cancers, and other diseases of the reproductive organs.
The Board recommends that all companion dogs are desexed. This approach will reduce incidences of dog aggression and the risk of dog attacks in our community. In any desexing arrangements, exemptions should be made e.g. for breeding stock, show dogs, working farm dogs, and where desexing presents a health risk determined by a veterinarian. The Board will continue to actively promote desexing as a key aspect of responsible dog ownership and educate the community to increase the number of desexed dogs in South Australia.
1Gershman, K., Sacks, J., & Wright, J. (1994). Which dogs bite? A case-control study of risk factors. Pediatrics, 93(6): 913-917. Goddard, ME (2010).
Genetics of dog behaviour and breeding programs to improve canine welfare, Building Better Dogs Seminar, Monash University.
Overall, K., & Love, M. (2001). Dog bites to humans - demography, epidemiology, injury, and risk. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 218: 1923-1933.
Shuler, C., DeBess, E., Lapidus, J., & Hedberg, K. (2008). Canine and human factors related to dog bite injuries. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 22: 542-546.
The Dog and Cat Management Board (the Board) supports mandatory microchipping of companion dogs and cats. Microchipping is the most effective form of permanent identification which imparts accountability on owners and breeders and assists the recovery of pets should they become lost or injured.
The Board will continue to promote the use of microchips in permanently identifying dogs and cats and the importance of keeping details current in an accredited registry.
The Dog and Cat Management Board (the Board) believes a commitment to positive reinforcement training is an aspect of being a responsible dog owner. The Board does not condone training methods that cause a dog to feel pain, fear, aggression or anxiety.