Common Male Dog Problems

The behavioral, physical and physiological makeup of male dogs is entirely different from that of the female dog. It is for this reason that there are common male dog problems that arise over a male dog's lifespan, and certain physical ailments that could arise. Many of these dog problems can be avoided by neutering, but there are tips and treatments to use if your unaltered male dog experiences any of these common complications.

Excess Hormones Create Behavioral Problems

A male dog that hasn't been neutered has hormones constantly surging through his body. This will cause him to instinctively be on the lookout for a mate. These hormones can cause behavioral problems such as restlessness, aggressive behavior and aggressive urination. Dogs will frequently urinate to spray or mark their territory. Neutering your male dog, preferably before the age of 6 months, will significantly limit the impact of these hormones, and lower the risk of aggressive and inappropriate behavior.

Prostate Enlargement

Prostate enlargement is one of the most common dog problems for unneutered males. This is an agonizing disorder that causes painful defecation, discharge from the penis, and infrequent or painful urination. Cysts and bacterial infections may develop in the prostate requiring long-term treatment using oral medications, injections, enemas, catheterizations and possible surgery. In cases where it is appropriate, regardless of age, the dog will be neutered. Neutering removes the testosterone hormone. Removal of this hormone will cause the prostate to shrink significantly, making the condition much easier to treat. Prevention of most types of prostate infection and disease can be successful with early neutering.


Cryptorchidism is commonly known as undescended testicles. Testicles which do not, or only partially descend can cause significant problems over the life of your male dog. Testicular cancer is more common in male dogs with one or more undescended testicles. If the dogs testicles are partially descended, careful monitoring for swelling or changes is encouraged. Abdominal testicles can be surgically removed.

Testicular Tumors

There are several common types of testicular tumors that can affect male dogs. Unneutered male dogs are more likely to experience problems with testicular tumors, however any male dog at any age can be affected. Symptoms of testicular tumors include swelling and pain in the testicle area, or in the abdomen for dogs with one or more testicles that have not descended. Sertoli cell tumors will also cause additional symptoms like enlarged prostate gland, enlarged nipples, anemia and hair loss. Surgical castration is normally the best and only treatment necessary for testicular tumors in male dogs.


Paraphimosis is a male dog problem that occurs when the penis gets stuck outside of sheath. If an erection is prolonged, the bulbourethral gland on a dog's penis can swell to a size too large for retraction. To complicate matters, the penis may also become dry. The solution to paraphimosis is to lubricate the penis with water-soluble jelly and maneuver it back to its proper place.