As a dog owner, it can be awkward to know that your dog masturbates. In this article, you’ll discover how common dog masturbation is, the reasons behind it, and what you can do about it?
Do dogs masturbate? Canine masturbation, which includes humping and mounting objects, people, and other dogs, is a normal sexual behavior. It occurs in both males and females, and in both spayed and intact dogs. This behavior begins at the puppy stage and usually continues after spaying or neutering. However, sometimes it can become excessive, and that can be problematic.
Why Does It Happen?
Canine masturbation is surrounded by myths and misunderstandings: many people believe that a pup that mounts an object such as toys, beds, or a pillow, is displaying dominant behavior, but that’s not the only reason.
It does not matter if the dog is male or female, if in heat or not, or if it has been spayed or neutered. Even neutered males can still get erections and ejaculate. This sexual appetite is not only determined by the hormones he loses when he is neutered, but also by a part of his brain that controls and stimulates this type of action.
During play with others, some dogs will mount and thrust against others as a confused response to the intensity of an activity. If this happens from time to time, it’s perfectly normal. However, if they do it every time they are playing with other puppies, it can be a sign of socialization problems.
Put simply, excessive mounting during play can be a simple body language form or a sign of over-enthusiasm, and this is more common when a pooch has not had the opportunity to socialize properly from an early age.
Besides this play behavior, at other times, an overly happy or excited pooch may also mount things, other dogs, or a person’s leg. It’s not uncommon for a dog, after meeting another four legged friend or a new person, to try to hump or to rub themselves against a nearby object, such as a toy or bed, out of sheer excitement.
The opposite is also true: anxiety and loneliness can cause similar reactions. On these occasions, mounting pillows other dogs can turn into a compulsive behavior similar to excessive barking or licking.
The thing to remember is that when dog masturbation goes from being sporadic, occurring once or twice a day, to becoming a repeated, compulsive action that prevents a pup from eating, drinking or exploring its environment naturally, it may be time to seek professional help.
At other times, a dog that mounts too often may be suffering from a medical condition. These usually include urinary infections, urinary incontinence problems, or even a skin allergy that explains excessive licking in the genital area.
Furthermore, your dog can also be hurt by this behavior and cause severe injuries to the genital area, affecting the vulva or penis. In all these situations, a visit to the vet is essential.
How Do Dogs Masturbate?
Dogs can masturbate in several ways. Sometimes they can mount or rub themselves against other dogs or people: this involves blankets, soft cushions, beds, their owner’s leg, or even a toy. And, at different times, they keep licking the genital area.
What Can You Do?
If the mounting occurs once or twice a day, it shouldn’t be a cause for alarm or change. Attempting to do so could harm other sides of your pup’s behavior. Obviously, if the action is taken around strangers or family members who are upset, it’s best to keep your pooch away from the visitor or to use a water spray to discourage the behavior.
The most important thing is to anticipate and try to avoid this masturbation before it begins. If you suspect your puppy is about to start, show them one of their favorite toy and use it to as a distraction while playing with them. The same goes for treats.
Another option is to lock your dog in a room for a minute or two and then release them as if nothing has happened. If your pooch starts to do it again, repeat the process as many times as necessary.
Be aware that conduct modification requires patience and perseverance so that the animal understands the message and incorporates it into his routine.
Also, be careful because many dogs can get aggressive when other dogs try to mount them. If this is the case, it’s important to rely on previous training and use commands such as “stop” or “come” to help your furry companion leave his “love interest” target alone. Don’t forget to reward him instantly if he complies.
If your male dog is not neutered or your female dog is not spayed, it’s a good idea to consider this possibility seriously. Spaying your mutt eliminates not only unwanted litters and reduces abandonment of animals, but also prevents many types of cancer: genital and mammary, in the case of female dogs, and hyper activity for a male dog.