Reasons for Mounting Behavior in Dogs

I’ve not read anything serious about the Reasons for Mounting Behavior in Dogs. I made a lot of assumptions, most or perhaps all, of which are wrong according to this trainer’s information.

So if you’re a bit like me take this information in, process it and decide if your dog needs a little help. With rare exception I’ve always had females. They have never “acted out” on humans, just each other.

Take a look at this information from Dogster.com from their Dog Training and Behavior section.

Mounting (or “humping”) in dogs is frequently described as a “dominant” behavior. Like most behaviors which are commonly ascribed to dominance, such a label grossly oversimplifies the behavior.  What about dogs who “air hump?”  Are they trying to “dominate” the air?  Does that even make sense?

While it is true that mounting in dogs can be a status-seeking behavior, this is only one possible reason a dog may exhibit mounting behavior.

These reasons include, but are not limited to:

Stress or Insecurity – you see this often in under socialized dogs or dogs who are unsure of their environment.  I had a client with such a dog.  He tried to punish his dog for mounting another male dog because he “didn’t want his dog to be gay.”  (Yes, seriously.)  The problem with punishing this dog is that doing so exacerbated the dog’s stress and therefore increased the mounting behavior.  The dog wasn’t dominant, he was nervous.

It Feels Good – I’m just going out on a limb here, but I’m guessing that some dogs simply do this because they like the way that it feels.

For Attention – some dogs likely hump other dogs, people, or household items because it gets them attention from their owner, even if that attention is in negative form like scolding or other reprimands.

Reproductive Rehearsal – play is often a way for animals to rehearse behaviors and skills which are important to the survival of both the individual and the species.  Chasing and biting in play are ways that dogs rehearse hunting behaviors.  Biting in play helps dogs learn to control the strength with which they use their teeth when interacting socially with non-prey animals.  Mounting in play helps dogs rehearse, well, procreation.  NOTE:  when a female dog is in heat and is mounted by a male dog, it’s likely not play, but breeding.

Hormones – this behavior often appears initially during adolescence.  It can be seen in both male and female dogs.  Sometimes neutering or spaying can decrease the frequency with which this behavior is displayed, but not always.  Also, if the dog has established a history of engaging in this behavior, neutering or spaying will not solve the problem as it has since become a learned behavior.

Medical Problem – check with your veterinarian to make sure there is no irritation or inflammation in the genital area.  This may be indicated especially for dogs who chew or lick at these areas excessively or compulsively.

Over-Arousal – I don’t mean sexual arousal, I mean over-stimulation.  The dog is beyond the threshold at which he can make appropriate social situations and is experiencing heightened excitement levels.

Determining why your dog is mounting is the first step in developing an effective treatment plan.  You will likely need the support of both a veterinarian (to rule out and address any potential medical contributing factors) and a behavior professional to learn to deal effectively with your dog’s mounting behavior.

If you have a strong dog exhibiting this or any other negative behavior it is best sometimes to gain the initial control by using a great tool: the strongest Heavy Duty Dog Crates for your strong dog. Once you gain control you can then start effectively teaching.

So if you have a dog exhibiting this type of behavior use these Reasons for Mounting Behavior in Dogs to get to the bottom of it and know why it is happening then you can do something to make a positive difference in your dog’s life. They are depending on us and we have accepted that responsibility.


About The Author

Bill Beavers, brings you pet products that provide improved Quality of Life for You, Your Family and Your Pets.

You can connect with Bill on Twitter or Facebook and follow his latest projects. For Fun, Facts and Love for our pets follow this blog for informational and entertaining posts and cool tips.


3 Responses to “Reasons for Mounting Behavior in Dogs”

  1. Gettrr Done…

  2. Hi Matt, More good information from someone who knows what they are talking about. Thanks so much for your comment.

  3. Many people don’t realize that dogs practice role reversal in play. It is not strange to see a submissive dog mount a dominant dog that he knows well. He will try it in play and see how it goes. Not every thing our dogs do requires training.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.