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Old 03-17-2014, 09:12 AM
 
239 posts, read 986,335 times
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We recently adopted a rescue dog. I was a little nervous taking him to a dog park but he did well the first day. He played ball and socialized with the other dogs and was not aggressive. I thought it went pretty well.

The next day we went back and this time 2 different dogs (boy dogs) started to mount my boy dog. The owners of the dog were pretty casual about it and just slowly walked over and moved their dog off. It happened multiple times and my dog really growled at one dog. We stayed for awhile and it didn't happen again but can someone tell me the normal behavior for owners when this happens?

I am assuming it was about trying to be dominant.

I loved that my dog could go and run but I didn't like how some of the dogs seemed to be real aggressive and dominant. My dog is not overly dominant and he is not going to be completely submissive.

Just wondering if you could give a newbie to the dog parks some tips or should we just avoid them? BTW-my dog is a neutered black lab mix (weighs about 75 pounds) and is about 4 years old.
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Old 03-17-2014, 09:24 AM
 
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I would suggest you just avoid dog parks as a new owner. Get your dog into an activity like agility, dock diving, flyball, weight pull etc and have playdates with other responsible owners. Learn dog body language and learn your dog better.

Responsible owners won't allow their dog to mount other dogs. The owner should have apologized to you and removed his dog from the park. Unfortunately, most owners think mounting is "funny" and ignore 99% of their dog's misbehaviors. They are not in tune with their dog's body language, and think that rough play is ok. Mounting is NEVER ok. Your dog issued the offender a correction by growling, which is his way of saying "back off"

Plus there are also issues about the other dogs and their health. Have the dogs been properly vaccinated and trained? etc

Dog Parks and Dog Park Etiquette | The Sacramento Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
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Old 03-17-2014, 09:27 AM
 
Location: North Western NJ
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the normal response is EXACTLY what happened, humping is incredibly common (as is growling)
first response is to let the dogs work it out, as long as its in play (some talking ect is fine) then let it be, its OK for a dog to give another dog a nip or a bark if they get too pushy...
however if the behavior continues the human should calmly stand up verbally itnerupt first, if that doesn't work, remove the "aggressor" (the humper) and body block until the humper redirects onto something else (use your body between the humper and the humpee to block contact. when the humper goes to do something else or redirects the attention, your job is done.
if the situation continues to arise the humper gets a short time out...
for me they get 2 time outs before game over and all fun stops.

sounds like the dogs owner handled it just right, and your dog reacted apropriatly, a growl and even a nip is NORMAL. its how dogs communicate.
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Old 03-17-2014, 09:29 AM
 
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I would just laugh, especially if the dog tries to mount the other dog at the "wrong end". This happened with a couple of dogs at my neighbor's house and 6 people were watching. We all laughed and discussed how the dog doing the mounting was not very bright. (Silly things dogs do!)

With my two Lab dogs, if one dog starts to do something the other dog does not like, it will give a short growl. That means "NO" in doggie language. The other dog quickly understands and backs away.
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Old 03-17-2014, 09:34 AM
 
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When my staff had his dog unfixed he would try to mount/ have sex with any dog he could. luckily he got him fixed and now all is well.


Having not kept dogs most of my life i cannot be the judge for what is good dog park rules and what isn't. But i would be willing to bet those dogs still had there man hoods so to speak.
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Old 03-17-2014, 10:21 AM
 
Location: West Virginia
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CAT its Not a man thing with animals even spayed female will hump! Even 2 cats will hump each other no mater their sex!
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Old 03-17-2014, 10:40 AM
 
1,699 posts, read 3,551,751 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foxywench View Post
the normal response is EXACTLY what happened, humping is incredibly common (as is growling)
first response is to let the dogs work it out, as long as its in play (some talking ect is fine) then let it be, its OK for a dog to give another dog a nip or a bark if they get too pushy...
however if the behavior continues the human should calmly stand up verbally itnerupt first, if that doesn't work, remove the "aggressor" (the humper) and body block until the humper redirects onto something else (use your body between the humper and the humpee to block contact. when the humper goes to do something else or redirects the attention, your job is done.
if the situation continues to arise the humper gets a short time out...
for me they get 2 time outs before game over and all fun stops.

sounds like the dogs owner handled it just right, and your dog reacted apropriatly, a growl and even a nip is NORMAL. its how dogs communicate.
^ I agree.

The mounting dogs did nothing wrong and the OP's dog also did nothing wrong. It's not a big deal, just casually interrupt if necessary and move on.

I'm heartened to see that finally there is a growing awareness and understanding of this very normal dog behavior. This idea that mounting is all about "dominance" is quite outdated. Dogs may hump for a variety of reasons including:

1) To get attention. (It's pretty much 100% effective!)

2) To initiate interaction. (Similar to #1)

3) To test bonds and boundaries. (This one is most fascinating to me and can be observed in stable, established packs. Mounting is like asking the question "will you let me do this kind of annoying thing to you?" The answer helps define the relationship.)

4) To relieve anxiety or release over-arousal (Just like barking or zoomies or any number of energy releasing actions.)

5) To displace an uncomfortable emotional state, for example when the dog feels worried or conflicted. (Here, humping is just like other displacement behaviors i.e. licking, scratching, yawning: normal dog behavior displayed out of context. Scratching when there is no itch. Humping when there is no mating taking place. Displacement of an uncomfortable emotional state.)

OP congratulations on your new addition to the family! If he seems particularly disturbed by another dog mounting him, just help him out by casually dispersing the other dog. Don't make a big deal about it and of course don't punish yours for communicating his displeasure to the offending dog. I hope you two have lots of fun socializing with other canines. The dog park can be a pain, especially at peak hours. You might consider joining a playgroup at a training center or dog daycare place because they should have trained staff supervising and intervening when appropriate.
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Old 03-17-2014, 12:33 PM
 
Location: Santa Barbara CA
4,714 posts, read 10,175,719 times
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Coach I do recall reading that it is now thought that humping is often just a game of playing especially with the younger dogs and that there is no dominance involved most of the time. Dazzle will only hump his good friend Jordy who is a Golden retriever that out weighs Dazzle by far and is capable of telling Dazzle knock it off if he does not like. None of the dogs try to hump Chaos as she lets them know right away that she does not like that behavior so they do not even try anymore

I think when you go to a dog park you have to remember these are dogs not little people in fur suites and their behavior is dog behavior.Yes there may be some humping and there may be some fights as not all dogs like each other but most well socialized dogs do have inhibited bites so injuries are rare.Yes the herders may heard your dog, or if you have a toy another dog may steal it or a dog may wrestle with your dog as most dogs seem to enjoy that. If you do not like any of that or can not accept it as normal dog behavior then do not go to a dog park as you will not enjoy yourself much and no doubt will leave upset more often then not. There are a lot of organised dog sports you can try or even play dates with a few dogs in someones yard.

And pay attention as to how your dog enjoys it as I hate seeing someone with a shy submissive dog drag it into a dog park as yes it often will be a target for the other dogs. A dog park is not the way to socialise a dog but is rather a place for a socialized dog.
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Old 03-17-2014, 01:14 PM
 
Location: North Western NJ
6,591 posts, read 20,798,138 times
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catsmylove, even female dogs will hump each other, while humping is a sexual thing in intact males SOMETIMES its not a 'lustfull" behavior, its a purposefull one, a behavior to garnish a response, that response can vary so widely that its impossible to say, but ive known MANY a neutered male and even intact and spayed females humping...

humping is a very normal play behavior...interrupt it if It makes you uncomfortable or the other dog is giving "back off" signals and not being paid any attention to...but to put it on a "no never...BAD" behavior list is a definite over reaction, its not rude, its not aggressive, its doggy language usually an expression of overexcitment of SOME kinds.

ill interrupt it if it becomes obsessive, overbearing or on humans...but 2 dogs playing, I don't interrupt ANY behavior unless I have to for safety/lesson (ie dog giving calming /back off signals and the other dog issnt getting it, ill then step in, but otherwise I let them play like DOGS play...which it often rough, silly and "gross" lol
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Old 03-17-2014, 02:09 PM
 
1,699 posts, read 3,551,751 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dashdog View Post
I think when you go to a dog park you have to remember these are dogs not little people in fur suites and their behavior is dog behavior.
Such a good point. I see people get all bent out of shape over dogs sniffing each other's behinds and licking each others genitals. Yes, it would be odd for humans to introduce themselves that way, but it's perfectly normal and healthy for dogs. People get embarrassed like their dog is doing something wrong or inappropriate.
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