So what to do about keeping my friends as whole as possible? There are alternatives to full-blown neutering, but veterinarians seem to be brainwashed... or are intent on brainwashing us into believing that every critter with four paws MUST be castrated. Even though vasectomy and tubal ligation are an excellent (and very possible) remedy over having your canine companions hormones cut away with their gonads, veterinarians seem to play dumb or simply refuse to perform the procedure, even thought they perform them for zoos and wild canine sanctuaries. It seems they want us dumbed down to the point of doing whatever they want good "ditto-heads"to do. Nevertheless, what follows are some options that SHOULD be available... but things are in such a mess it may take some foot-work to find the latter one.
Repression of Heat Cycle
Ovaban (megestrol acetate) and Cheque drops can repress a Bitches heat cycle. Both have very serious side-effects, so I DO NOT recommend them.
This is the most natural and least invasive method of preventing mating; keeping your male and female animals away from each other so they cannot copulate. This can require a lot of attention on your part, especially if you have a male and a female companion. You need to know how to read the signs when your Bitch is entering estrus and be prepared to move her to an isolated area and keep her there during heat. You should also be ready to provide massage therapy to calm her anxiety during heat and the lactation of pseudopregnancy to remove carcinogens from her nipples that may cause breast cancer. Dogs should also be relieved occasionally, and will be very appreciative of this, especially when the scent of estrus is in the air. These things require an uncommon, deeply devoted, human companion, so keeping intact animals isn't for everyone.
Whatever can go wrong will go wrong. ― Murphy's Law
Believe it or not, if woofs can even touch muzzles, chances are they'll find a way to mate when you aren't paying attention. Consider this the rule: Absolute separation of male and female canines during heat. If you only have male or female animals then it's just a matter of not letting them roam and seeing to their individual needs to comfort and protect them. The key with keeping canines from breeding is to keep Murphy's Law in mind and do whatever necessary to subvert what can go wrong. When you have made certain that NOTHING can go wrong, only then are you behaving responsibly.
Vasectomy and Tubal Ligation
Vasectomy is a low-invasive surgical procedure whereby the Dog is sterilized without depriving him of testosterone and avoiding possible side effects associated with the loss of this hormone. Vasectomy involves the surgical removal of part of each vas deferens and is a fairly simple procedure.
Tubal ligation is a low-invasive surgical procedure whereby the Bitch is sterilized without depriving her of estrogen and avoiding possible side effects associated with the loss of this hormone. Tubal ligation means, literally, to tie up a small tube within the Bitch. This too is a much less dramatic procedure than neuter. Ask your vet about cutting the tubes instead of clamping them, for clamps have been known to come undone.
Veterinarians tend to shy from vasectomy and tubal ligation surgeries because they do not eliminate production of testosterone and estrogens. Because of this their idea of what a canine animal should behave like is not realized by the human companion. This should not be the vet's decision however - they are not his or her concern so long as you make an informed choice. If you are prepared to live with canines the way nature intended them... if you can love and care for the whole animal... then it's no ones business but your own. You should look around until you find a health care professional who will respect this position. I personally prefer NOT allowing control freaks to cut into my best friends.
Note: if you just want a servile plaything to tie up in the back yard and forget about until friends come around, then these procedures are probably NOT for you. Have the standard neuter procedure performed, for in the long run your victim will suffer less and live a more 'comfortable' devitalized, lonely, and futile existence. Note also that if you have vanity issues Neuticle implants (artificial testicles) are available for Dogs. Ask any neuter-crazed veterinarian for more information.