Behavioral Issues: Inappropriate Mounting in Dogs

May 17, 2019
There are some dogs which seem simply obsessed with mounting things. But why are they so obsessed? And how can you avoid inappropriate mounting?

It’s not surprising to see a male dog go crazy when it sees a female dog in heat. But if it then goes on to try to mount every dog that crosses its path, it can be slightly… embarrassing. There are some dogs which seem simply obsessed with mounting things, not caring whether it’s a cushion, a doll, a pillow, or even their owners’ legs. But why are they so obsessed? And how can you avoid inappropriate mounting?

In this article, we’ll answer all these questions and more. Plus, we’ll tell you where this “inappropriate” canine habit comes from.

Dogs start mounting from an early age

Dogs in the park.

As you probably already know, newborn puppies need to spend at least two months with their mothers and siblings. From an early age, they use mounting as a form of communication.

Some puppies mount their siblings as a way to play or communicate with them. However, this is a behavior that they should grow out of over time, though you might occasionally see it in moments of extreme happiness.

Sometimes, however, this is a compulsive behavior in adult dogs, who use it to display dominance. If your dog tries to mount your leg, for example, it might be that your dog is trying to exert its dominance over you.

In this case, you need to make your dog understand where you both stand in the pack.

Inappropriate mounting in dogs: unusual cases

While it’s not very common, there are dogs who can’t seem to stop mounting objects or their owner’s legs, rather than female dogs.

There are also cases where female dogs refused to let themselves be mounted as a result of hormonal problems.

While there are no recorded cases of dogs trying to mate with dogs of the same sex, there are times when one dog might mount another in a display of dominance.

For dogs, being part of a pack is essential. But many dogs are not merely content with being in a pack; they want to lead it. This is why it’s important to raise your dog properly, to avoid these problems at home, and with other dogs.

Inappropriate mounting: how to stop it

There are several things you can do to stop inappropriate mounting, including:

Golden retrievers playing in the park.

1. Getting your dog neutered. Neutering is one way to reduce this behavior in dogs. However, it’s important to know that this is not 100% guaranteed. The decision of whether or not to neuter a pet has to be taken by the individual owner, but neutering has been shown to significantly reduce sex drive and excessive sexual behavior in male dogs.

2. Talking to your vet. Neutering isn’t the only medical option. Sometimes, inappropriate mounting can be a sign of stress, or simply a bad habit. A vet will be best able to tell you the cause of your pet’s behavior, and the best way to solve this problem.

3. Training. There are many ways you can use training to stop your dog from wanting to mount things all the time. Say, “no”, in a strong, firm tone. Your dog might think you’re annoyed, but it’s useful for discouraging this unwanted behavior. Don’t wait before you give the command; it’s best to give it as soon as you see inappropriate mounting.

4. Stopping them. As funny as you might find it when your dog decides to mount your leg, you shouldn’t allow them to do so. Firmly push them off you, and say, “no”, as soon as you notice them trying to do it.