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Canine Behavior/Excessive Humping

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Dear Madeline, I have read you biography and I promise to read and rate your response within three days.  I understand that your time is valuable, that you are most likely spending at least 45 minutes of your time in response to my question, and I understand too that when questioners read and rate your responses fairly that you make random donations to animal shelters to help homeless animals.  In the interest of being appreciative of your time AND helping shelter dogs and cats, I agree that I will rate your response and give you fair feedback.

I just got a 12wk old male puppy 2 days ago. I have a 7yr old dog named charlie. I knew there was going to be some humping before I brought the puppy home. Charlie has taken this to the extreme. I have never seen this before with dogs I've had growing up. CHarlie has never had a humping problem, EVER. So his excessiveness is mind boggling to me. When he and the puppy are together he is constantly humping whether its the puppy or the air around the puppy. The pup does not even get a 5 second break (not exaggerating) when Charlie is around him. I have set up an appt to have Charlie fixed. I'm wondering if this will help the problem?

I've tried spanking, telling "no", holding charlie so he can sniff the puppy without physical contact. Nothing has eased this up. I even decided to put them in a room together for a few hours to see if by chance Charlie could get this out of his system.

I don't want to have to return the pup to the previous owner. So any advice would help.

Thank you for your time and assistance,

Brooklynne

Answer
Hello, Brooklynn,

Thank you for reading my bio and for your question submission.

Hunping is not always due to sexual arousal but may be the result of other excitement, anxiety, or other emotions in dogs.  It's likely that your dog is experiencing many feelings regarding the pup you've brought home.  Sexual arousal may be one of them. If your dog is not neutered, the arousal may be sexual as well as due to other feelings he may be experiencing.  I'm assuming you don't want accidental puppies if he should happen to get together with a female, so it would be a good idea to neuter your older dog as soon as possible, and keep the two males separated as well until he's been neutered as the excessive humping is likely harassing, or eventually going to harass, the pup.

It's not fair to the puppy to be harrassed in this way by Charlie, so they'll need to be separated until Charlie is neutered and, hopefully, the humping behavior discontinues or significantly lessens.
Be aware that free-floating testosterone remains in the bloodstream for about three months following neutering, so you may not know for those months the full effect neutering will have on Charlie's behavior.

Sometimes even neutered dogs hump, as arousal is not always sexual, and if a dog has humped before the humping may have become habitual to some degree.  It's impossible to determine to what degree the humping will lessen, but it's likely that it will since you indicate that Charlie hasn't performed this behavior imuch, if at all,n the past, although I'm wondering why you expected there would be some humping on Charlie's part, so perhaps I'm wrong that he didn't get to perform this behavior much in the past.

Along with neutering, as soon as possible hire a professional trainer well-versed in behavior to train Charlie so that his mind is occupied by things other than humping the puppy, and train them together so that he gets used to doing things for rewards around the puppy other than humping. and make sure a good "leave it" and a good "off" cue are included in the training.

If the pup expresses annoyance at Charlie by correcting him with growling or snapping, do not punish the pup.  The behavior is annoying and he shouldn't be expected to tolerate it.  That being said, and it's worth repeating: do not allow Charlie to keep humping the pup and separate them if you need to.  You don't want the pup to feel as if he has to be aggressive with other dogs because he's being harassed and generalize any growling or snapping behavior to all or any other dogs.

Find some dogs that he can play with which behave more normally.  While some brief humping is normal, excessive humping is not.

If Charlie is that aroused around the pup, he's likely panting heavily around him, which isn't good for Charlie, either, especially if he seems unable to calm down with the pup in your home.  

Consult with your vet about getting Charlie neutered, which he should be, anyway, and ask about the possible effects on his behavior.

Once you've got all the information, you can make an informed decision about whether or not to keep the pup in your home.  If you decide not to, it's a good idea to have Charlie neutered if your vet gives the go-ahead to do so considering Charlie's general health.

Thanks again for your question, and best of luck!

Regards,
Madeline Friedman, M.A.
Volunteer at Allexperts and dog trainer in NY, NJ and Florida

Canine Behavior

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Madeline S. Friedman, M.A.

Expertise

I respond to public questions only. I'm not a veterinarian & do not respond to medical questions.Suggestions: Submit a question in one area of priority, as what I am able to address in this venue is limited. Provide as much detail re: the behavior & issue as you can. Tell me how & if behavior is a change from previous behavior & when the changes occurred. Let me know what you think may have triggered such changes & what you have tried so far to resolve it, & what the results were. Let me know what you want help with & what are your concerns & questions about the behavior. I have set up a payment/donation to myself for responding to questions. I donate most of it to animal shelters & rescues. I keep a small portion for my time. The minimum donation is $25.00 on PayPal. When I see that a donation has been made, I will respond to your question. You will be prompted to make the donation before submitting your question. When you have read & rated my response fairly, which must be at the time you read it, I will refund $5.00 back to you IF YOU REQUEST that I do so in your rating comments. If I ask for more details, please respond as a "follow-up" & not as a new question. If I don't respond to your question, I will refund your donation less $5.00. DO rate me fairly at the end of our exchange. I will be pleased if you DO nominate me for volunteer of the month - why not, if I was generous in my response? I may suggest something you were not necessarily ready to hear, but I am honest in the interest of helping your dog, & that is my goal. Please keep that in mind. Please do NOT contact me privately about Allexperts questions through my e-mail or website unless I have invited you to do so. That is an invasion of my privacy - thank you for respecting it. If you would like to contact me for actual dog training & behavior consulting, you may contact me through my Web site.

Experience

Own & operate dog training & behavior consulting businesses, Hoboken Dog Trainer, and ny-njDogTrainer, in the NYC & NYC Metro areas since 2002. Work with thousands of dog owners & their dogs, & shelter & rescue dogs. Active volunteer in dog shelters and rescues (rescues being "no kill" and shelters being municipality-run urban shelters that can and do euthanize dogs). AllExperts volunteer in "Dogs, Category 701" and "Dog Training" and "Canine Behavior" since 2006. When you submit a question, please make sure it's being submitted in the appropriate category as I volunteer in two different categories. Make sure you agree to the Virtual Contract (the instructions I outline for question submissions) and agree to read and rate my response when I answer in the body of your question. I make donations to various animal non-profits based on YOUR ratings. If you don't rate my response, or rate it unfairly, you have just denied a dog rescue org or shelter a donation. Keep that in mind.

Organizations
Professional Member of APDT for five years Founding Member of Animal Behavior Associates Behavior Education Network Former Board Member of IAABC, appointed by Founder Former Member of IPDTA in Canada Founding member of Behavior Education Network

Publications
Chronicle of the Dog (APDT, peer publication, numerous articles) Popular Dog Series magazine, numerous entries AOL in Everydayhealth.com Tonowanda News Morris County News Vermont News Boston NOW New York A.M. Polo Trace Newsletter The Dodo AOL

Education/Credentials
Counseling Psychology, Caldwell College Animal Science, Rutgers University Master of Arts Degree Permanent New Jersey State Teaching Certification (teach public school and university level) Numerous workshops, lectures, and seminars on dog training and behavior Ongoing self-motivated study in my area of expertise

Awards and Honors
Best Canine Coach Award, 2006, Rondout Valley Instructor's Training Course Society of Illustrators, second place international competition Jellybean Photographics, second place international competition Fashion Institute of Technology "Commitment to Illustration" award

Past/Present Clients
Testimonials from a number of clients appear on my Web site at www.ny-njDogTrainer.com under "Reviews." My customers include: Puppy owners wanting to get their puppies off to the best start; owners of mature dogs who want their dogs to have more obedience skills; fosters and owners of rescue dogs or shelter dogs; customers with special needs who need to train or retrain their dogs; housetraining and housebreaking; owners who have behavioral issues with their dogs such as house accidents, aggression towards humans, aggression towards other animals, inattentive dogs, unmotivated dogs, overly-exuberant dogs; and, more.

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