Canine Behavior/Older dogs


I read your answer as to why dogs lick others privates, but it seemed to be mainly about young puppy dogs, 1 to 3 years.  We have two dogs, and the older one, who is about 8 or 9, will sometimes lick the other ones, he's about 4 or 5, privates.  Also, the younger dog will sometimes mount the older dog, and I understand dominance behavior, but it seems weird that it's only been happening in the last year or so.  These dogs have lived together for a few years, and this 'dominant' behavior has only started recently.  I'm just wondering it it's normal for older dogs as it seems to be for puppies, or if there's more going on, and I should take some sort of action.

"Mounting" is a behavior that can be part of social hierarchy or a response to a biological condition in the dog being mounted.  I think a visit to the veterinarian (try to find one who doesn't agree with repetitive vaccinations: if this behavior began after a vaccination, that may be your answer) is called for.  It is quite possible the younger dog is asserting himself in social hierarchy.  There can be a large difference in cognition between a young dog (4, 5) and an older dog (8, 9).  I'd start with veterinary evaluation of the older dog: comprehensive blood test, urine test, etc.  Re-post using followup if nothing is found and we will work on reducing/eliminating this behavior.

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Jill Connor, Ph.D.


I have spent my entire professional life rehabilitating the behavior of the domestic dog and I can answer any question regarding any behavior problem in any breed dog. I have answered more than 5,000 QUESTIONS on this site in the past (almost) eight years. If you are a caring, committed owner and need advice, I'm here for you. I am personally acquainted with my colleagues (Turid Rugaas, Ian Dunbar, etc.) who were members of an elite group in EGroups that I founded: K9Shrinks. THERE ARE NO QUICK FIXES for serious behavioral issues; not only is it unprofessional to offer same, it is also unethical. IF I ASK YOU SUBSEQUENT QUESTIONS, I NEED YOU TO INTERACT WITH ME. More information equals more credible answers and a more successful outcome. If you want ANSWERS THAT WORK, participate in any way I request. I'm quite committed to working on this site for YOUR benefit and the benefit of YOUR DOG. Help me in any way you can.


30 years of solving serious behavior problems in domestic dogs; expert in dog to human aggression; Internet columnist for for 5 years; former radio talk show host, WHPC.FM, Garden City, NY "Bite Back" (1995 through 2000). List owner, international animal behavior experts, Seminar leader: "Operant Conditioning and Learning"; "Aggression in The Domestic Dog"; "Solving Problem Behaviors" -- conducted for various training facilities on Long Island from 1993 through 2000. Former clinical director of "Behavioral Abnormalities" in conjunction with Mark Beckerman, DVM, Hempstead, New York.

Member, APDT (UK); Psychologists in Ethical Treatment with Animals

Harcourt Brace Learning Direct: "The Business of Dog Training" "The Fail Safe Dog: Brain Training, not Pain Training"

Ph.D., UC Berkeley

Past/Present Clients
Board of Directors: Northeast Dog Rescue Connection; The Dog Project; Sav-A-Dog Foundation; etc. Pro Bono counselor: Little Shelter Humane Society My practice is presently limited to forensics. I diagnose cause of dog bite, based upon testimony before the Court, for attorneys and insurance companies litigating dog bites, including fatal injuries. I also do pro bono work for bona fide rescue organizations, humane societies, et al, regarding such analysis in an effort to obtain release for dogs being held for death in municipal shelters in the US.

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