How many times have you laughed at candid photos of one dog mounting another, or something, or someone else? It’s a natural instinct, and it can be funny. It can also be embarrassing. As a dog owner, you may apologize, try to stop the mounting, and even feel angry. Have you ever wondered why it is that your dog does this? Is it purely hormones, or a need to mate? Or, is there more to dog mounting?
Many, possibly most, people assume that mounting is about some sort of dog attraction. Asserting dominance is another common belief. While these scenarios may sometimes be true, in many cases, mounting is about anxiety, or an uncomfortable emotional state. While that doesn’t make mounting abnormal, it does mean that your dog could be trying to settle some unease.
It’s called “displacement behavior.” When your dog is anxious or overstimulated, he may mount instinctively as a way to relieve that tension. Humans have their own types of displacement behaviors—though it’s usually far less embarrassing.
Like any behavior, you have to be consistent in addressing it. It’s important not to reward it, but it’s also important not to create more fear and anxiety. As long as the mounting isn’t harming anything, and it’s not excessive, you may want to leave your dog alone. If it is excessive, then you can apply many of the training techniques you use for other issues. Try to diverting your dog when he starts to mount. If you suspect it may be an issue of boredom, try to relieve that with more stimulation.
It may also help to speak with a vet. Physiological and neurological problems can sometimes cause these behaviors. If you’re concerned about an embarrassing dog mounting problem, bring your pet into Pet Vet Hospitals.