Why Does My Dog Mount Dogs?

Dog Mounting

Clients sometimes ask me, their dog trainer, questions about their dog’s sexuality.  “My female terrier is spayed.  Why is she mounting my male dog?”  Or, “How do I get my male dog to stop mounting dogs at the dog park?”  These questions are often asked with a hushed tone. 


Fact 1: Your dog is a sexual being.


Your dog runs off estrogen and testosterone and that influences your dog’s behavior.   Unspayed females will smell intriguing to a male dog, more so than spayed females.  And a female in heat will attract males like she’s a Victoria Secret model. Nevertheless, your dog is a sexual being.


Fact 2: Mounting behavior isn’t only sexual in nature.  


One of my clients had a hyperactive yellow lab, Hunter.  Bless him. 

Hunter mounted dogs at the dog park compulsively.  He did not discriminate.  Male, female, four legged, or hobbling on three legs, Hunter mounted like it was his job.  Hunter bounced about erratically, with an open mouth and goofy, wild eyes.  For dogs like Hunter, the behavior is less sexual in nature and more about spending pent up energy.   


Fact 3: You can teach your dog not to do it in front of you.  Don’t expect to quelch it all together.


Dogs like Hunter default to mounting, because they don’t know what to do with themselves.  Dogs with similar energy levels may compulsively bark, mouth other dogs, or herd other dogs at the park.  Your dogs’ preferred entertainment is just more embarrassing.     


If you have an avid mounter:

  • Engage him in an activity before visiting the dog park.  Play fetch in your yard, play tug-of-war.  
  • When he mounts another dog: Abruptly call out, “Wrong choice!”  Then promptly give him a five minute time-out.
  • Neuter or spay your dog.  
  • Keep play sessions short.  Take breaks at the dog park.  Allow him to settle down, before releasing him to play again.  


Be respectful of other people’s dogs, and call off your dog if he’s getting out of hand.  But remember, mounting is more uncomfortable for the humans than for the dogs!  If your dog is causing issues with their mounting, consider hiring a professional dog trainer to assess the situation and come up with a game plan to communicate acceptable behavior.

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