Don’t emasculate your dog!

I’ve noticed, for a certain type of man and his dog, testicles are a very big issue.

Or, more appropriately, the absence of them is.

Apparently, man is concerned that his best friend will be adversely affected in the desexing process. And not just in the capacity to reproduce way.

But a loving and concerned owner can fill this void with Neuticles – testicular implants for you pets! It would be pretty easy to relegate this into the WTF file of crazy products on the internet. But there is some really interesting stuff at play here in regard to masculinity. First of all, here’s a few take away lines from the manufacturer’s website.

..it has become our ‘culture’ to accept emasculation as being the norm.

That is in relation to the standardisation of neutering of domestic animals, and the following is on the ethicacy of neuticles…

We feel the removal of a God-given body part – leaving a male pet looking unwhole after the traditional form of neutering is not only unethical but unnatural. With Neuticles it’s like nothing ever changed.

And here are some testimonials from the owners of ‘happy’ – neuticle enhanced pets…

He’s a guy and I wanted him to remain looking like one.

Baby Snow has all the benefits of being neutered- Neuticles are just a whole lot nicer.

A dog is like a kid- consideration for his feelings.

I personally wrestled with the idea of having him look altered…Jacob looks Natural. I gladly advertise that he is neutered, but looks intact.

OK. There’s some pretty serious anthropomorphising of pets going on here. Hopefully it’s obvious to readers,  but I’ll say it anyway – gender is a socially constructed  concept, dogs do not have gender roles. And I find this actual, physical projection of the owners insecurities and concepts of normalcy onto an animal particularly distressing.

It’s not particularly surprising or unusual to assert that some peoples masculinity is (partially at least) constructed through their possessions – but I find it particularly disturbing if a dog, often a valued companion , is seen as a such a clearly superficial marker of identity.  I can’t help but wonder how fragile the owners of these neuticle enhanced dogs sense of masculine self must be, that they are concerned about the conspicuous presence (or absence) of their dogs balls.

I’ll end with something a bit happier, still on the topic of men and dogs: This is from the blog Mental Floss. An amazing compilation of returning soldiers being re-united with their dogs. It’s a bit of a segue, but they’re such amazing videos I just had to share them.

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8 Comments on “Don’t emasculate your dog!”

  1. Teegs Says:

    I grew up in the country with a huge variety of pets, a good number of which were dogs. My stepdad would absolutely not entertain the notion of any of our boy dogs being neutered, though our girl dogs were all speyed. I remember asking my mother why only the girls had to have the operation (it didn’t seem fair to my child-mind) she thought about it, then explained to me that “men are funny about their dogs’ testicles” with a shrug.


  2. You wrote: “Dogs do not have gender roles.”

    Wow, you clearly know jack squat about dogs, don’t you!

  3. JNgaio Says:

    I recently learned about Neuticals while reading Mary Roach’s book, “Bonk”. They’ve also been purchased for use in humans as I think silicone implants are banned in the US or…something? It kind of made me wonder why women can get breast implants so easily but men are turning to testicles made for dogs. I tried a quick google search about it but perhaps it’s my bleary insomniac eyes but I couldn’t find a lot.

    It’s strange to me – I’ve known people who don’t want to de-sex their pets due to this notion they have that they’ll be depriving their beloved pets of one of life’s great joys. I think it’s a misguided notion but I can at least be somewhat sympathetic to it.

    Fake testicles, however, yeah, it really just makes you think it’s a total reflection on the owner’s ridiculous hangups. Partly a reflection of the stupid ways we treat our pets (not understanding that they are different to us and don’t really like being dressed up in Santa suits… hmm, ok, maybe they’e not so different) but partly a reflection on hangups about something which has always represented a man’s “life force”.

    I suppose men want to look good and virile, they want people to say “he has balls!” and as their dog is an accessory to them, they want people to say “and so does his dog!”

  4. Clarisse Says:

    Wow. Wow. Wow. Where to begin?

    I’ll just say this: it’s really incredible that these guys should gloss over the fact that they have — in their own eyes — actually emasculated their dogs, and feel like it’s okay just as long as their dogs don’t look emasculated. This has to say something, not just about their own images are tied into their pets’ images, but also about how very dependent on performance masculinity is (as opposed to actual qualities). Are there any “masculine” qualities that exist without being performed? What are they? And how does performed masculinity usually correspond to actuality?

  5. Wes Says:

    I wonder if there’s a way for me to really milk this concept and start offering to stick these things on female dogs…


  6. […] into human-constructed gender roles. I just ran across a good post on this at Critical Masculinity, Don’t emasculate your dog!. And, for straightforward projection of human gender onto animals, just have a gander at […]

  7. Evo Says:

    Found your blog while googling “men and dog testicles” (lol!) because I was wondering if anyone else thought this whole obsession men have with balls was bizarre and irrational. Great piece! Glad to know there are other sane people out there somewhere. Cheers!


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