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laram
3rd August 2008, 02:21 AM
Poor Sammy... Ever since he was neutered 5 months ago, he seems to have become irresistable to other male dogs. They behave as though he's a female in heat - howl loudly to get to him, then immediately sniff, lick and try to mount him. It's SO frustrating. Although Sammy is quite submissive, I don't think this is just about that - the other male dogs really do get aroused and won't give up :eek: I can't take him to the dog park anymore, as the other owners complain.

I had to neuter him for medical reasons (undescended testicle), but I still feel quite guilty that I did this to him - all this unwanted attention has really rocked his confidence with other dogs. Very few other male dogs in Finland are neutered.

I will be taking Sammy to the vet to check if there could be any hormonal issue, but I wanted to check and see if anyone else has experienced this with their male dog after neutering? I haven't been able to find any information about this online. It's just bizarre.

P.S. Sammy is nearly 2 years old.

Cathy Moon
3rd August 2008, 02:47 AM
One of our vets once told us that neutered males are not perceived to be males by other males, so the humping dogs may think he's a female.

I had the same problem with Geordie (he was neutered young) and India (a female) when I used to take them to a small dog play group when they were younger. There were 3 un-neutered males, 1 jack russell and 2 cavaliers, at the play group, and all they did was hump all the other dogs in the play group. It was awful to keep pulling these dogs off ours. Everyone felt that way.

I guess what I don't understand is why the owners of the 'humpers' don't correct their dogs' unsociable behavior.:confused: I think that is rude behavior, and cannot understand why they would blame you!

Mom of Jato
3rd August 2008, 03:10 AM
"I guess what I don't understand is why the owners of the 'humpers' don't correct their dogs' unsociable behavior.:confused: I think that is rude behavior, and cannot understand why they would blame you!"

I agree with you Cathy. I would be upset that every time I take my dog to the park I had to deal with other people allowing their dogs to hump all over mine. :eek: I'm glad you are going to see your vet about this, I hope he has a solution for you. Please keep us updated, as I would like to know his opinion.

Cathy T
3rd August 2008, 03:36 AM
Totally with Cathy and Jato's mom. Why earth should you be held responsible for their dog's in appropriate behavior. They are the ones who should be correcting their dogs.

Let us know what your vet says.

Rocky and James
3rd August 2008, 04:58 AM
O gosh now you have me worried, beacause Rocky is beeing neutered real soon and he has an undescended testicle so i hope that he doesnt start to be humped:mad:. Luckily most of the dogs near me are netured to:thmbsup:

Moviedust
3rd August 2008, 05:29 AM
Perhaps the issue isn't really directly related to the neutering at all. In the original post, you mention that Sammy is quite submissive. It's not unusual for unruly, poorly socialized dogs to pick on the quiet, submissive dogs. The fact that he's submissive to their bullying probably is what keeps fights from breaking out!

FranklinFreckles
3rd August 2008, 07:39 AM
Your poor baby! I agree with everyone else here and would DEFINITELY have a chat with these dog's owners. That sort of rude, bullying and dominating behavior is unacceptable, especially if it makes you uncomfortable or is hurting your dog's self esteem and how he relates to other dogs!

Neutering is so important for pets to help everything from overpopulation and accidental litters to the health and longevity of your dog! I never realized how lucky I was to live in California, USA where dog neutering is socially expected and has nearly become law. :rah:

You dog should not be suffering because their dogs are ill mannered and poorly socialized. Talk with the owners and if they are insufferable and unwilling to take responsibility for their dogs, find a new place to play :(

laram
3rd August 2008, 07:46 PM
Thanks for all your responses!

Most people in the dog park have been good at getting their dogs off Sam (with a few very annoying exceptions). But several times the owners have had to take their dogs away because they were so fixated on him. None of these dogs seem to have any problem with the females.

I haven't been ostracized from the park :o, but there have been looks and comments like "hey, could you please take your dog away. You're not supposed to bring her here while she's in heat". You can imagine their surprise!

The attitude towards neutering is very different here, probably because there isn't much of a stray problem at all. People don't ususally neuter male dogs if there aren't medical reasons or strong behavioral problems, and some people even seem to think it's an abusive practice.

It's true that Sam adds to the problem by not telling the dogs off at all (even smaller dogs than him), but this wasn't an issue before the neutering, except for a short spell as a puppy when he also seemed to attract male attention.

Just to reassure you though if you are going to have your dog neutered: Sam has been fine otherwise, and I'm pretty sure there will be no problem if you live in a culture where most other male dogs are neutered too.

Cathy T
3rd August 2008, 08:16 PM
hey, could you please take your dog away. You're not supposed to bring her here while she's in heat". You can imagine their surprise!



Maybe you could put a blue bandana on him that says "BOY" in big letters :D

Karlin
3rd August 2008, 08:46 PM
Perhaps the issue isn't really directly related to the neutering at all. In the original post, you mention that Sammy is quite submissive. It's not unusual for unruly, poorly socialized dogs to pick on the quiet, submissive dogs. The fact that he's submissive to their bullying probably is what keeps fights from breaking out!

That is exactly what I was going to say -- coupled with the fact that your dog is probably around the age at which other adult dogs will start to do this as a behavioural thing -- I really think it is nothing to do with sex or neutering at all. Humping is very complex behaviour. Other dogs do not generally try to hump my two neutered males any more than they do my spayed females, and that includes intact males.

I also have spent a lot of time around groups of dogs at the training centre or out with various friends and their dogs -- almost every week for the past 3.5 years or so now -- and around mixed groups at my friends who board and kennel dogs -- and well socialised, polite intact males do not generally go pick on other dogs in this way and well socialised, polite OWNERS control their dogs so they are not allowed to be such pests. The issue is *the intact males* and rude owners, not your dog (though this is one of the behavioural reasons that people DO neuter males). And what would the other owners prefer -- a fight? That is what this kind of behaviour often elicits as it is so confrontational for another dog.

I think your fellow will get a bit older and more experienced and mature, and then will be a lot more confident in holding his ground. If you can keep him well socilaised around other friendly dogs this will help enormously.

Any males or female dogs that try humping behaviour with my neutered boys learn fast to cut it out -- because they will get a stare from either of them as a warning, and then a snap if they don't lay off. Jaspar is quite a submissive dog too but he lets other dogs know that this is rude behaviour and he isn't about to tolerate it. But he didn't start doing that til he got to about a year-18 months in age. Your boy is perhaps too young or unconfident still to stand up for himself in this way to older adults. He may learn, to or may stay submissive.

laram
3rd August 2008, 09:29 PM
Just back from a walk with Sammy and, as usual, had an encounter with a male dog (Cairn Terrier) who wagged his tail at Sam, sniffed him and then immediately, to his owner's dismay, mounted him. His owner said "Obviously a girl dog" :)

As to the sexual versus behavioral issue, my suspicion is it's a mixture of both. Other dogs definitely seem fascinated by Sammy's scent in a way that they weren't before. They really did used to leave him alone. On the other hand, Sam reacts differently than he used to: he puts his tail between his legs and rolls over, and absolutely never growls. That's what I meant by all the attention having affected his confidence. It's kind of a vicious circle.

I am encouraged that this submission phase may pass. I would so love to see Sam stand up for himself. He has even rolled over on his back while a chihuahua humped him icon_blshing

Karlin
3rd August 2008, 10:14 PM
How old is he? (oh sorry see his age in your sig)

Neutered males do not become more submissive, but they do generally become less prone to fighting. Dogs may just have been less interested in acting this way towards him when he was younger. There's no big issue with a dog being submissive and the dog doesn't care -- it is merely appeasement behaviour to avoid confrontations. I'd rather have a submissive dog any day over a confrontational dog. Sam is pretty young -- barely coming out of puppyhood. I'd really not worry about it. Jaspar always did this at that age. Now he rarely rolls over. But many dogs roll over as a sign of playfulness and friendliness, including quite outgoing, confident dogs. A lot of dog behaviour doesn't have the human significance we often tend to ascribe to it. :)

brotymo
3rd August 2008, 11:23 PM
My spayed malamute mix is 5 1/2 years old and was spayed at about 20 months. She mounts and humps my 2 large MALE dogs, one is neutered and the other isn't. We have always said she is doing the doggie version of "f#*k you" because it is usually when she wants to "put them in their place".

littlelady
4th August 2008, 12:50 AM
ROFL at brotymo! this made me laugh so much!!

Moviedust
4th August 2008, 01:03 AM
I believe in some instances it is a way that dogs find their "place" with other dogs. Our foster dog, for instance, was a humping fool when she first arrived. She'd hump all of my dogs for several weeks (all of these dogs are spayed females, btw). Eventually, she learned that Willow put up with it or jumped on a sofa (where the rescue hasn't figured out how to follow). Cedar would give her signs to stop, and, eventually, attacking, if Bella didn't "listen." (It's fascinating to watch, as Cedar goes through the process: she walks away and sits with her back toward Bella, then she growls, then she looks to me to see if I'll stop it, and if all else has failed and Bella still goes at it, Cedar growls loudly and "attacks" Bella. Bella immediately lays on the floor and lowers her head. Once, after Cedar told her off, Bella waited a few seconds, then got up and went and played with Willow!) So Bella learned that Willow is below her in the pack, and Cedar is the leader. The "issues" we have to deal with are always between Bella and Holly, as they are both in the middle and trying to vie for position. The humping has diminished, but they will still fight over toys and attention.

Humping is just part of doggie communications. Yes, it can be sexual, but it is also a form of communication. ( I dont know what Cedar is communicating to a rope toy when she humps it, though; maybe its her way of saying "You're the best toy ever, but you will obey me!")

Karlin
4th August 2008, 01:16 AM
I dont know what Cedar is communicating to a rope toy when she humps it, though; maybe its her way of saying "You're the best toy ever, but you will obey me!"

:rotfl:

Nor I, when Lily humps throw pillows. :rolleyes: This is the ONLY thing she humps. And she, a neutered female, is the only humper in the house.

Your description of Cedar is pretty much exactly what Jaspar does when we are at training and some dog is pestering him. It's interesting how they 'check in' with you to take a cue from you as to whether you will intervene.

The fact that your rescue did this reminds me to add anxiety and stress relief to the reasons why dogs hump too -- forgot that.

Generally this is a training issue after a certain point and should really be dealt with as such -- so that we don't end up being the unpleasant owner with a dog that thinks humping away is OK. I know some people argue it is 'natural' and while that is true to a certain point, a lot of dogs that do it are simply being rude, it is generally unwanted by the dog that is the victim and can definitely spark a serious fight. It is very frustrating to be the owner of a dog being picked on by others n this way -- you really want to kick the other dog secretly! icon_devil

Cathy Moon
4th August 2008, 01:36 AM
My spayed malamute mix is 5 1/2 years old and was spayed at about 20 months. She mounts and humps my 2 large MALE dogs, one is neutered and the other isn't. We have always said she is doing the doggie version of "f#*k you" because it is usually when she wants to "put them in their place".

:rotfl:India does the same thing! India loves people and wants them to approach so she can ploy them with all of her affections, which includes 'smother love' and lots of kisses. Geordie always barks at strangers to drive them away. India gets totally fed up with him, and hops on to hump him to 'shut him up'. :lol: Then Chocolate, ever the opportunist, humps on India, forming a conga line. :lol:

Colin and I both secretly cringe when they give a 'performance' at the front door of our house! :o:o:oops:

tara
4th August 2008, 02:42 AM
Karlin -- at what point do you think humping behavior becomes a training issue? Holly (only 17 weeks old) will hump her favorite toy, a plush kitty with squeekers at the ends of the legs and tail. She LOVES to play with kitty and squeek away, but then she has to stop the squeeking and hump kitty a bit. I have never seen her hump anything, or anyone else.

Should I put kitty away for awhile or just let her be? She is in a puppy kindergarten class now and I would put her in the more submissive category when she's with the other dogs.

frecklesmom
4th August 2008, 02:48 AM
This is from a Canine Behavior site:
A: All sorts of things are going on with an adolescent dog! Some intact males get humped continually in free-for-all situations like a dog park, so it's not just the neutered ones. Testosterone is very high in adolescent dogs, and his could still be high even though he is neutered. Another smell such as from urinary tract or other infection could be stimulating the other dogs, too. But there's a good chance it's a behavior thing.

I'd suggest you call him to you for a treat whenever this starts. It would be nice if the owners of the humping dogs would do the same with their dogs, to interrupt the humping, but some won't. Another thing you can do to help your dog is teach him to sit on your cue, and give him that cue when the humping starts. Female dogs often learn to do this when a male tries to mount them.

You may also want to consider which dogs you're going to have him interact with. Some combinations of dogs wind up being bad for the temperaments of one or both of the dogs involved. It's not good for a dog to become too dominant, or to be forced into submission to the point that it suppresses his personality and makes him feel oppressed. Which dogs you put with him have a profound influence on how he will feel about himself and about the world.
http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx

laram
4th August 2008, 03:25 AM
Another thing you can do to help your dog is teach him to sit on your cueGood idea - I'll definitely try this, as I saw a female do that once and the male dogs eventually lost interest.

I'm going to try to keep taking him to the dog park and see if I can somehow build his confidence. He's so happy to go there and wags his tail, but then the moment the male dogs rush up, he just cowers beside my feet. You would never know what a playful character he actually is. I definitely do prefer having such a soft dog as opposed to a confrontational one, but still it breaks your heart to see it (I feel like a mom at the playground whose kid is being teased).


Geordie always barks at strangers to drive them away. India gets totally fed up with him, and hops on to hump him to 'shut him up'.What a clever girl!! :rotfl:

Moviedust
4th August 2008, 04:44 AM
Karlin -- at what point do you think humping behavior becomes a training issue? Holly (only 17 weeks old) will hump her favorite toy, a plush kitty with squeekers at the ends of the legs and tail. She LOVES to play with kitty and squeek away, but then she has to stop the squeeking and hump kitty a bit. I have never seen her hump anything, or anyone else.

Should I put kitty away for awhile or just let her be? She is in a puppy kindergarten class now and I would put her in the more submissive category when she's with the other dogs.


Tara, I wouldn't worry about Holly humping her toy. If you find it disruptive or distasteful, just distract her to playing in some other way. Cedar went through a phase in which she humped "Froggie," her favorite toy as a pup. She never humped people (or other dogs, that I can remember!), and she's socialized and gets along well with other dogs and people. She still humps her toys, especially if they are new or something she hasn't played with in a while. We never really discouraged her from humping Froggie, so toy humping is okay in our house. I imagine that, if we had discouraged it when she was younger, she would be less likely to hump toys now.

Karlin
4th August 2008, 12:27 PM
At her age, this is very normal behaviour, she is just a little puppy. Puppies practice adult behaviours and activities -- it is all part of growing up. You can just distract her if it is incessant or annoying. I always tended to discourage this behaviour myself. Puppies humping other puppies, adults or toys isn't much of a behaviour issue but I always just distract the dog to doing something else so it doesn't become an accepted behaviour for the dog but really most of that kind of behaviour passes. Adolescent and adults dogs doing this though are risking a fight if the behaviour is unwanted or are being allowed to bully other dogs in a way that is unfair to the victim dog or the dog's owner. I don't find it many more acceptable that an unknown dog come up and try to hump my dog than if the owner let their dog hump my leg! :rolleyes: I'd like to see a bit more owner responsibility for their own dog's public behaviour; it's like scooping poop and keeping a dog from barking incessantly.

tara
4th August 2008, 10:22 PM
Cindy and Karlin -- thank you for your thoughts. Karlin, I agree with you about teaching dog "manners," just as human children need to learn proper social behaviors. I remember reading an article you recommended on another thread about how to protect your dog from another dog's "rude" behavior. I can't remember where I saw it, but found it really interesting and informative. I think the gist was that owners need to learn canine "cues" and either train their dogs away from exhibiting rude behavior, or protect their dog should another dog not be using good manners. I think if we all paid a little more attention to how our dogs affect other dogs, humans and the environment when they are outside of our homes, we would see a reduction in the number of dog fights, bites to children, etc. Just like my human kids, I'm trying to raise a well-mannered canine member of society:)

Oh, and I will distract Holly with another toy, activity, etc. the next time she decides to give kitty a little too much attention. I don't want to encourage the behavior, but do realize that Holly is still very much a baby.

laram
7th August 2008, 09:05 PM
Just wanted to conclude my thread about Sammy's experiences with other dogs.

I've been at the dog park 3 times this week, hoping that he would get more comfortable (as he was before the neuter). But the humping continues and he's just been getting more afraid. Today he actually jumped up onto my lap on the picnic bench and buried his face under my arm to get away from a little 14 week old puppy. When I put him down, he tried to squeeze under the gate to get out. :neutral:

I've realised now that it's completely unfair of me to take Sammy to the dog park when he gets so upset. He's a happy dog otherwise and can enjoy other things. I'm just sorry he doesn't have lots of nice Cavalier girls or other neutered boys to play with - I'm sure it would build his confidence. Maybe I'll just have to find him a girlfriend :)