Humping/Mounting and Dominance

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Joined: 2008-09-10

Our almost 9 month old male Doberman (not neutered yet) has just started with in the past month, humping/mounting other dogs.  At first he was just doing it to one of my mother's 2 year old sister Yellow Labs.  She is the less dominant out of the two and Chief would never think of doing it to the other sister, since she is more assertive.

Last weekend, Chief started the humping/mounting a 4 month old (coincidentally) Yellow Lab male puppy. 

My question is, how should we react to this behavior?  With my mother's female Yellow Lab, since she does not make Chief get off her, I am worried he will "achieve" what he is trying to do, so we always pull him off, redirect his attention, or keep them separated.  With other male dogs, again we are just not sure.

Some people tell us to yell at him and say no, others say it is natural and they will figure it out...I am just worried about the male/female problem.

Thanks!

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Hi RFine,

First, the only time you have to worry about Chief's means reaching it ends is if he's around a female who is in heat. Dogs can't breed otherwise.

Most of this mounting behavior is a simple assertion of dominance. He's putting his weight on them, testing them, to see if they are worthy of his pack, and reminding them he is the alpha (or at least the assistant alpha) member.

As for the question of allowing this behavior - yes, it is natural - but No, I'd say teach him that it is usually inappropriate.

If he has a playmate over, and they're chasing each other around, just being dogs; then you could allow them some freedom to mount and do the other odd things dogs do. But in the house, when visiting a new friends - it's best not to allow these strong shows of dominance. You're the alpha remember. It's your job to test new members entering the pack. He's just supposed to get along with anyone you allow in.

A sharp NO should be enough to stop the behavior, as long as he has a good NO command. And don't fall for any of the 'neutering will solve behavioral problems' argument. He'll still mount other boys and girls even after snip-snip.