Myths about adopting male pets

When we need to rehome a male dog or cat, our hearts sink because we know he’ll probably wait a long time, especially if it is a big or ‘scary-looking’ dog. People are hesitant to adopt males due to several myths. This article busts those myths!

People believe that male pets are aggressive and will fight with other animals.

But how dominant, aggressive or calm, submissive dogs are depends on their personality, the situation, and how they’re treated and trained. Having them neutered (sterilised) – preferably at five to six months – makes an enormous difference – unneutered (unsterilised) male dogs are more likely to behave aggressively or dominantly, can be harder to train and control, and tend to run away more often. Unneutered male cats are definitely more likely to go out and fight with other cats, although this changes once neutered.”

It is also untrue that you cannot have two male pets together. It’s all down to each dog’s nature and dominance level, how strong a ‘pack leader’ you are, and whether you exercise and train them or not. When adopting an adult dog or cat of any sex, you need to discuss your needs with the welfare staff and introduce the dogs properly.

People also worry that male animals will ‘lift their leg’ (urinate) in the house. While this can happen, it isn’t the norm and, again, is far more common in unneutered males. Males sterilised early rarely do so, and at least 60% of unneutered dogs stop once they’ve been sterilised; with proper housetraining and behavioural management, almost all stop. Constantly urinating everywhere is abnormal and can due to insufficient housetraining, behaviour problems, urinary infections, or anxiety, and should be addressed by a vet or animal behaviourist.

Sterilised male pets are often more home oriented, calm and laid-back than females, especially cats. They seek out affection and are protective of their family. They’re also easy to train and more likely to follow your lead.

The bottom line is that each animal is different, with its own personality, likes and dislikes, and needs. Having male pets sterilised makes an enormous difference, as does being a responsible, good leader, and providing enough exercise and training, and the right kind of affection.

All FAW pets are sterilised, as well as vaccinated and dewormed, all of which is included in their adoption fee. Please visit Fisantekraal Animal Welfare at, follow them on Facebook, email

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