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« You Should live here??? | Main | Weekly Roundup - Dog Bite Prevention Week Edition »

May 25, 2007


Marjorie're bang on with your take on this.

It's been proven over and over again that high license fees tend to discourage compliance, rather than improve anything. That doesn't mean we shouldn't still support some measures, but high licensing fees have to be backed up with licensing enforcement. Otherwise, it's just wishful thinking.

I, too, have never bought the theory that neutering decreases aggression. There is something to the argument that such a high percentage of dogs involved in serious attacks are reproductively intact males. But that could include any number of causational factors.

Take, for instance, the kind of person who keeps a mixed breed/non-breeding-quality dog intact. Not always, but often times, they're also the kinds of people who have that dog for "protection". Then, low and behold, when the dog behaves aggressively in the way its owner encouraged, its testicles (or breed) are cited as the cause.

Even those who follow the notion that neutering makes dogs less aggressive follow this tier:

#1 intact male dogs
#2 intact female dogs with puppies
#3 spayed female dogs
#4 neutered male dogs
#5 intact female dogs without puppies

My experience shows any, and all, of these dogs can be either the most aggressive dog you've ever seen (if poorly raised) or the most gentle, reliable dog imaginable. Thousands and thousands of intact breeding stock successfully compete in obedience each year.

One man said to me he would never own a male dog "because they're always stopping to mark territory." Having trained countless intact males in the past, I smiled and replied, "Well, they can't stop to urinate if they're heeling," to which the man grudgingly agreed.

Training and supervision trump just about everything.


I agree, great post.

I do support higher licence fees for intact pets because it is likely that the owners of those pets may generate more costs, given my experiential evidence that those who fail to neuter a dog kept as a pet also fail to obtain prompt veterinary care, obedience instruction, etc. I'm not saying all and this is just from my own observations over the years.

To me, that's the fallacy in mandating s/n. Since s/n compliance is at an all-time high and is widely accepted by pet owners, mandating it won't address the problem of inadequate ownership at all.

Five dollars is much too cheap for a licence. Twenty-five is closer to a reasonable fee, maybe keep the $50 for intact pets.

The key to success with these programs in addition to enforcement mentioned by Marjorie (which has been sadly lacking everywhere) is the direction of the money into the animal-owner control budget, not general revenue as often happens.

I agree though, that Chicago is certainly on the right track.

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