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Thread: Mounting

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    San Jose, CA
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    Default Mounting

    Yes, here i am again with more weird questions.
    Riley has been mounting other dogs since he was 12 weeks old. He has never been shy or submissive in personality. It started out to be only smaller females, now it is basically any smaller dog (male or female) that will allow him to do it. It is very embarrassing to me. It only happens if he is off leash, visiting friends' houses or dog park situation and the dogs meet. Everyone will comment on how friendly Riley is or something and then, up he goes to mount thier dog!!
    I've been told that this is a "puppy dominance" thing, dogs trying to figure out who is more "in charge" and all, but now Riley seems to prefer mounting to playing with other dogs. He is 5 1/2 months old now, he will be getting neutered in 2 weeks. But i wondered, does anyone else have this problem?
    Whenever he does this i only allow a short amount of time for the other dog to tell him off and if it doesn't happen, i remove Riley from the dog telling him the command "Leave it". Unfortunately if it's a really submissive dog, i have to do this many, many times. Finally just putting Riley back on leash, so as not to harass the other dog too much or totally annoy the owners.
    I really am not sure how else to handle this problem. It's getting to be rather annoying and i wish Riley would just play with the dogs and stop with the constant mounting already! Any suggestions?
    Laura (Momma to Riley, 3 yr. old male)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Dublin, Ireland
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    A lot of us have this issue come up (no pun intended!!) with both males and females.

    I'd not even wait for the other dog to tell him to stop. He needs to know this isn't behaviour YOU consider acceptable, regardless of what the dog on the receiving end thinks!

    It likely has nothing whatsoever to do with dominance at this age (the whole notion of dominance is very misunderstood and outdated (see more recent theories on dog behaviour and you will see what I mean) and I think it can actually contribute to *increasing* problems with dogs when actions are taken according to old concepts of dominance in dogs...

    But anyway -- this is normal puppy behaviour and is almost surely just a puppy trying out different behaviours it will use as an adult. he is not yet sexually mature, just practicing motions just as puppies wrestle, play bite and the rest. But you can set limits on play biting and most people feel more comfortable also setting limits with humping/mounting. Also such behaviour does not necessarily end with a neuter or spay so it is very important to act now.

    I would firmly say NO and then clip on the lead and take him away. The WORST thing you can do to a puppy is not let it play -- so ending the interaction helps make the connection that 'gee, when I start to mount, all the fun ends'. It is a very effective and gentle but firm way to make your point without any overt punishment. I am sure the other owner will also appreciate this ending sooner rather than later (I know I do when another dog apporoaches mine in this way).

    Another serious point to consider is that allowing the interaction to go on like this in the hopes that another dog will correct him is also very dangerous, especially with dogs you do not know. A larger or sturdier dog could kill a puppy with one swift bite to the neck or hard shake and not all dogs are inclined to feel this is a friendly overture. That's another reason it is good to just put him on the lead and walk him away; after he gets a little 'time out' you can release him again in another area or else if this is regular behaviour, keep him on the lead during all interactions with other dogs for the time being and see if the neuter helps (it usually does).

    Jaspar only had just started some mounting when he was neutered at 8 months. It stopped right away.
    Cavaliers: Tansy : Mindy Connie Roxy Neasa Gus
    In memory: My beautiful Jaspar Lucy Leo Lily Libby

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Santa Monica CA
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    zack was mounting another dog on the day i got him, a tri color girl dog who he as playing with where he was living, and the little girl who was a friend of the child who lived there and was visiting, said "Oh zack, you're too young!", he was three and a half months. We all stopped him but then he would try again, he looked so joyful.

    what helped for me was to use the sound "nahhh" because he's intimidated by this sound, even if i say it softly and with a slight laugh in my voice. I don't know why. It's like saying "leave it," but in zack's case, when i stay on him and say that sound (which i learned from the book Puppy Preschool by John Ross) he seems to use more self control. At the dog park he will mount occasionally, but very rarely. Part of the reason could be that there are more big dogs there than small ones, but he has mostly left the small ones alone as well.

    My friend comes and gets zack on Thursday nights while i'm at work and takes him to Yappy Hour at the pet store. Last week when we emailed about Zack's upcoming neutering, my friend said "Maybe that will cut down on his humping other dogs, whicih is substantial." I didnt' realize he was doing this excessively at yappy hour. So this suggests to me that
    when he is away from his mama (me), he feels free to hump. There could be another explanation which i haven't thought of, but that's the one that comes to mind. Puppy Preschool is about how to take on the role of the mother dog, and discipline in that manner, and the sound "nahh" is supposed to be like that of the mother dog when she growls at a pup. As i read that, which was before i got Zack, i thought "Thats not what a mother dog sounds like," but when i did it with Zack, from the beginning, to my surprise, he reacted very quickly and was easily intimidated by that sound. I still don't understand it.

    So this was my experience. I have told my friend about using "naahh" at yappy hour and will be interested in seeing if it helps. But each dog is different and i don't know how Riley might react to this sound. I'm looking forward to hearing how others have managed this behavior.

    i wish the owners of a couple of dogs at the dog park had handled excessive mounting by their dog of Zack the way you did, instead of doing nothing as they were doing. In one case he was being violently mounted by a much larger dog, repeatedly, and he would struggle to get away, and then the dog would come at him again. It was a spayed female husky, and the owner didn't do a thing. Zack (apparently) will never growl or fight with another dog, he's neither dominant nor submissive, he's just extremely friendly and seems completely devoid of hostile emotions under any circumstances.


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