2001-Mon Jun 18 01:51:10 EDT 2018
Vetstreet. All rights reserved. Powered by Brightspot.
Vetstreet does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. See Additional Information ›
There are plenty of misunderstood dog behaviors, and canines mounting or humping one another happens to be one of the most prevalent. The common assumption is that mounting is always either a sexually related behavior or an attempt to assert dominance. In reality, mounting stems from a variety of motivations — including your dog’s delight at getting to play with his canine buddies.
“Mounting is a normal behavior,” says Dr. Wailani Sung of All Creatures Behavior Counseling in Kirkland, Washington. And, she adds, not all humping is aggressive or sexual. “Dogs can mount each other during play or when they are excited and ‘happy’ to see the other dog.” In this type of situation, there’s no hidden agenda attached to the humping — it’s just the dog’s way of expressing his delight at getting to be with his friends.
A dog may also hump his playmates if he is overstimulated. “Mounting can occur when the dog's arousal level is high from excitement,” says Dr. Sung. She adds, though, that this arousal is not necessarily sexual.
In some cases, though, mounting may be caused by reproductive urges. “If the mounter is an intact animal then it can be a sexually related type of behavior,” says Dr. Sung. And humping isn’t just limited to males. “Female dogs can also mount,” says Dr. Sung.
To understand why your dog is mounting or humping other dogs and to determine if there is any reason for concern, start by assessing his body language and behavior in the context of the humping situation.
“Mounting does not necessarily mean that a particular dog is trying to be dominant, unless the mounting precedes aggressive behaviors,” says Dr. Sung. Mounting the neck and shoulder area or displaying stiff body language may be signs that the mounting may escalate to aggressive behavior.
If your dog’s humping is part of a pattern of aggressive behavior toward other dogs, the aggressive behavior — not just the humping — needs to be addressed. Avoid problematic situations like doggy daycare and the dog park and seek professional guidance from a veterinarian, a veterinary behaviorist, or a veterinarian working in combination with a reward-based trainer. Aggressive behavior will not go away on its own — you need to get help for your dog as soon as possible.
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Take our breed quiz to find your next pet.
Bartonella is a type bacteria that can be transmitted to cats, dogs and humans from exposure to infected fleas and…
Want to give your pup yummy, low-calorie treats? We’ve got the skinny on which foods are OK to feed him.
Not sure about food puzzles? Our veterinarian reveals why the payoff for your pet is well worth any extra work.
With these simple dental care tips, you can help keep your canine’s adorable smile shiny and healthy for life.
The friendly and inquisitive LaPerm has an easy-care coat that comes in a variety of colors and patterns.
Check out our collection of more than 250 videos about pet training, animal behavior, dog and cat breeds and more.
Wonder which dog or cat best fits your lifestyle? Our new tool will narrow down more than 300 breeds for you.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.