Strange Dog Behavior

Or maybe it’s not strange…I’m not sure.

I was a bit surprised to find that when my dog went into estrus, she began mounting and “humping” things. (Please pardon the expression, but I don’t know how else to put it in a more concise way.) I thought only male dogs did that. But I’m now okay with the notion that the female obviously takes part in intercourse, and thus just has the urge to act out her role. Fine.


We had our dog “fixed” many months ago. Why is she NOW trying to hump a man’s arm? Didn’t she lose the hormones that cause this behavior?

My guess is that it’s a display of dominance, but she only does it to one man. And she is ordinarily very submissive with other animals and people.

Anyone have some insight into this? I’d like to stop it and I’m also just plain curious.


Not entirely. She probably still has a lot of them floating around in her system.

My dog is eight years old, and was spayed as a pup. Last year, I caught her having sex with the neighbor’s dog, which shocked the hell out of me, since I had the same thoughts as you-- shouldn’t all of those hormones be gone? But, nope.

Your dog may always have some sexual urges. If her behavior seems compulsive, however, there may be a more psychological cause, in which case, you should see your vet.

It doesn’t seem to be a big problem. She just occasionally (every couple of weeks or month) likes to hump an arm for awhile. I don’t believe it’s compulsive or otherwise destructive. And she’s a healthy, happy beast in every other way. I guess I can assume it’s natural behavior. I was just really surprised to see it show up!

PMS causing a spike in testosterone, and thus sexual reception?

Did she show any sign of pain or distress? Any bloody discharge? Did she act normally in the week or so afterward?

Usually sex when not in estrus results in internal injuries to a female dog. The reason is because a) the os penis (yup, there really is a bone in it) :smiley: can, when backed by the male’s enthusiasm, tear its way in, and b) the dog experiences a fairly surprising (to those who have never seen it) amount of swelling down near the end - looks like he tried to pass one of those fluorescent tennis balls through it (size varies by size of dog; I’m referring to a “large” or “giant” breed: think German Shepherd; I’m trying to imagine the size swelling a Chihuahua would have … dunno - proportional, but I’m not sure exactly). The reason for the swelling is that it allows what dog breeders call a “tie”. Once the pair are tied, mosts males hitch one hind leg over the female’s back, turn, and are subsequently able to stand, butt to butt, while the process continues, which I have seen vary from 6 or 7 minutes to half an hour. When he’s done ejaculating, the swelling goes down and it falls out.

The point is that both the penetration and the swelling usually combine to cause damage to the female’s innards, if she’s not in estrus. That’s because the hormones make physical changes in the reproductive system, which protect the female from harm under usual conditions. Of course, if a small female - even in estrus - is mounted by a male that is rather larger than she is, there’s always a chance of injury to her anyway - that passage isn’t infinitely stretchy. A good reason for spaying your female dog, and also for not allowing her out where she could be mounted by a male who’s been turned on by some other female in the area who is in heat.

{It’s the pheromone thing. As “everybody knows,” dogs have a sense of smell that is, IIRC, >1,000 times as sensitive as ours. In addition, female dogs in heat put out lots of pheromones. (It’s likely that we humans put out even less than chimps, etc., do, because our sexual activity is more “bonding” (fun) than reproduction, usually.) So dogs get a big load of scent, and have a powerful, largely involuntary, response to it.}

I used to work with a woman whose 8yo female boxer had been so injured by one of these encounters that it racked up a huge vet bill. The vet had actually suggested euthanasia, but (like most dog lovers) she wanted to keep her dog, regardless of cost.

No, not a single side-effect. She seemed perfectly normal afterwards.

She’s a medium-sized dog, about 60 lbs. I’d estimate the male at around 45 to 50 lbs-- somewhat smaller than she.

It surprised us, because usually my dog is very hostile to male dogs. My grandma’s dog, who was madly in love with her, made repeated attempts to mount, resulting in an all-around asskicking from my irate pooch.

So, it was surprising she even let the neighbor’s dog within biting distance, let alone allowing him to mount her.

Maybe he listened to the DeBeers ads and bought her a new diamond collar.

My female Australian Shepherd does something really strange. When she wants to crap, she sniffs the ground and circles around 3-4 times, then squats and craps. What is this all about?
And howling: our male ESS howls when my stepson practices his saxophone. He raises his head and howls…quite musical?Is this wolf-related behavior?

Almost all dogs do this. Some speculate that this behavior may be instinctual, that the dog is trying to mash down the grass, thereby spreading her scent over a wider area. She could also just be searching for the perfect spot.

Another speculation is that the dog feels the urge to defecate and circles until the fecal matter actually starts to emerge.

You may also see your dog scratch her back feet in the dirt after defecating, kicking back dirt. This is a way of spreading the scent as far as possible. (Dogs have glands near the anus which excrete a very-strongly scented fluid when the dog defecates. She doesn’t need to spread the fecal matter, per se, just the droplets of fluid.)

Yes, this may be a throw-back to her wolf ancestors. While howling was a way of keeping track of pack members across long distances, it also appears to sometimes be a fun “sing-along” for the wolves. You’ll often see a pack sitting around and howling with one another-- apparently just for the joy of singing.

A lot of dogs don’t howl at all. I have never been able to induce my Norweigian Elkhound mix to howl, even though my husband and I actually tried to teach it to her at one point. It seems to have been completely bred out of her.

My 8lb black with a little white on her heard and paws female Chihuahua named Nacho is quite a character. When my wife and I sit down to dinner, Nacho gets up on the sofa and mounts her toy skunk (which looks remarkably similar to her) and humps with impunity until she is completely spent. Cry for attention, plea to star in her very own “Puppy Porno”, we have never figured out why she does this. A few weeks ago we sat down at the dinner table with our social worker for our enrollment in adoption and Nacho decides to grab to spotlight and starts humping a pink stuffed Saxophone AKA Sexophone. My wife sees the dog doing this and gets a look of horror on her face. She excused herself to go to the bathroom and grabbed the dog on the way there. We don’t think the social worker noticed. :smack:
We also have a tan Chihuahua named Reedo who is a male. It is much more fun to watch them trick each other out of rawhide chews then to watch TV in the evenings. :smiley:

My dog was spayed when she was about six months old. It didn’t stop her from humping the cat. Growing tall enough that it was hard to reach him slowed her down some. Now she mostly pins him and chews on the back of his head. But every once in awhile it’s obvious what that’s a sublimation for.

I don’t know why the cat puts up with it. He’ll even walk over to her deliberately sometimes. Puts a whole new spin on the word ‘natural’ when applied to sexual behavior.

This isn’t really sexual behaviour.

Mounting by bitches (and frequently even by dogs) is a behaviour used to establish dominance. A dog that humps someone isn’t saying “I wanna fuck you!” it’s saying “I’m higher in the pecking order then you!”

An appropriate response is to push it off and do some obedience work with it, which is your way of saying “Think again!”

That’s what I thought. I just wasn’t aware that bitches did this. Not only that, but the dog is ordinarily quite submissive. Very odd.

Exactly what I was going to say.

We have three dogs - an eight year old shar pei/german shepard mix female (Scuba), a four year old shar pei female (Peaches), and a nine month old shar pei boy (Butter).* Before Butter came along, Peaches was the ‘baby’ and got a lot of attention, as Scuba is extraordinarily laid back and is content as long as she has a bone to chew on. But once in awhile, the two would be playing and suddenly Peaches, who is spayed, would hop on Scuba and hump away, much to Scuba’s horror and our puzzlement.

When we added Butter to the mix a few months ago, the girls didn’t know what to think of having a boy around and spent most of the first six weeks sniffing his equipment, and vice-versa. When he was tall enough to do so, he added attempted humping to his bag of tricks, and neither girl liked that a bit. In the past month, Peaches has taken to hitching up and humping on Butter. My aunt, who breeds shar peis and got us these two, says it is merely Peaches looking to re-establish that she is the ‘top dog’ in the family. I make her stop when I see it but my wife cracks up each time. I suppose there’s no harm in it, though I’m guessing that Butter is about 3 months and 15-20 lbs away from preventing it from happening again.

  • I am responsible for the name Scuba, but not Butter or Peaches. I like to clarify that at every opportunity.

How old? If she’s, say, 6 to 18 months (the timing and duration depends roughly on the size of the dog) she could just be going through an “adolescent” phase. Most dogs go through such a phase, and dominance challenges are common.

Moxie is almost exactly a year and a half old. Not only that, but she’s a Jack Russel Terrier. I understand that dominance challenges in her breed are VERY common. In addition, she only does this to ONE person and it isn’t me. I suspect he’s an easy target. When she comes into contact with other dogs, she instantly rolls over and shows them her belly…though she’s also quite social and likes to play. She rolls over if I lecture her too.

What gets me is that the cat doesn’t do that. He’ll wander up to get the attention. If she gets too rough, he’ll turn around and swat her. But if she’s careful, he’ll just lay there and let her chew on the back of his head.

My male dog is about 8-9 months old and he had sex with my female who was in season just recently. They actually did it many times that I know of and how many other times is just a guess. Apparently he still swells because they were locked together for up to 15-20 minutes. I wonder if any kind of ejacualte came out. I know a man that is fixed can still ejaculate but that seems hardly comparable to a dog that has had the testes removed.

Things that make ya go “Hmmm”.

How long ago was he neutered?

Friends of mine used to have a tomcat who had been (sloppily) altered. Kitkat fought other toms (battlescars to prove it) and IIRC was also known to have girlfriends. Dunno whether there ever were any “consequences”. :dubious:

I think you need a professional opinion, which could include taking the bitch to your vet. I am assuming you don’t want puppies, whether that’s ever, right now, or not from this male.