Also known as ‘humping,’ dog mounting is a common habit amongst dogs. This can be quite an embarrassing view especially when you are in public or if you have visitors around. You might feel really awkward trying to stop your dog from carrying out this behaviour in front of people. Find out why your dogs and mount and learn how to stop the behaviour.
Why Dogs Mount
Although we may think that dog mounting or humping is a natural sexual behaviour, this is not always correct. Dog mounting is partly an innate behaviour as well as a learned one. With that said, it is important to keep in mind that mounting is a normal behaviour that even female dogs also do it. Here are some reasons for dog mounting.
Whilst some dogs run around, jump, or bark out of excitement, others mount. Mounting can be an outlet for excitement for many dogs, and this is completely non-sexual. However, if the behaviour is quite frequent, it can look pretty embarrassing. Training might be able to help reduce this behaviour and may be the chance to help your dog learn another way to express its excitement.
Just like play-fighting and play bows which are ways for dogs to communicate with each other, play-mounting can be totally normal and acceptable as long as it does not upset other dogs. Mounting can be fun and enjoyable for some dogs.
A dog that has not been neutered or spayed may mount other dogs because of hormones, sexual interest, or as a form of masturbation. Although this behaviour is most common with intact male dogs, spayed/neutered dogs can display such behaviour as well. Sexually-motivated dog mounting is usually accompanied by licking, upward tail, ears rotated backwards, etc.
Mounting as a response to stress can develop into a compulsive habit. This can affect the dog’s natural behaviour and functioning. If this happens, seek help from dog behavioural experts.
Here are other things you need to keep in mind:
- When female dogs mount, it is usually non-sexual.
- Mounting, in general, does not always mean sexual behaviour.
- Spaying or neutering your dog may reduce humping but does not eliminate it.
- Many people believe that humping is caused by dominant behaviour; however, it is not. According to behaviour professionals, dominance is not a personality trait. When dogs need to establish ranking and/or dominance, they typically show it through body language rather than physical contact.
How to Stop Your Dog from Mounting
You would not want to be in an awkward situation with your dog mounting another dog. It is better to stop the mounting behaviour before it could lead to a fight. Dog mounting, fortunately, can be managed through training. The following are the steps to help stop dog mounting.
- Catch your dog in the act and redirect him from there. Call him by his name and either say the words ‘stop’ or ‘off.’ Avoid saying ‘no’ because it is a commonly used word in conversations.
- If your dog followed your command to stop mounting, reward him with a toy, treat, or praise. Reward your dog according to his interest.
- Remove the mounting target as soon as you can. When the target is a person, try to take your dog out of the room.
If you are unable to get your dog’s attention, lure your dog away with an enticing treat or reward. Repeat the stop or off cues every time your dog mounts and always associate training with positive reinforcement. Eventually, you will be able to stop your dog from his mounting habit. If not, you may need to consult a professional animal behaviourist or a trainer.
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