Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Ummm...That's my LEG!

Whatever you want to call it; mounting, humping or 'loving up' this behavior is un-welcome and un-necessary and can be stopped.
It's not funny, so get that out of your heads right now. I have seen this behavior lead to dominance, aggression, scratches and bites, so whether you have a Great Dane or a Chihuahua, put and end to it today!

OK, first things first. Is your dog spayed or neutered? If you answered NO, move back 10 spaces. Get your dog fixed ASAP as this may be the one and only reason they are exhibiting this behavior.

If your dog is spayed or neutered, good for you. Pass GO and collect $200! But don't worry. Mounting is not always sexually motivated. Some dogs mount to show control or dominance.
This behavior can many times be eradicated in much the same way as jumping. A stern OFF, a turned back and walking away. However this is not always the case.

I have seen some pretty severe cases of humping over the years, and the good news for you is that all of the dogs got over it. Even Chico...who is by far the worst humper I've ever come across in my career.
Chico was a large adult male Rottweiler mix with a severe humping problem. Chico would not hump other dogs (a different problem behavior that almost ALWAYS is sexually or dominance driven) he would only hump people.

I first came across Chico when I heard a volunteer yelling from the play yard. I came in to find her frantically trying to pull Chico off of her by the ears. He wasn't budging, and his nails were digging into her arms drawing blood. I immediately leashed him and pulled him off of her. Then I returned him to his kennel and thought about what to do next.

I placed a note on the exercise log stating that no volunteer was to get him out with out my assistance. We then started Chico on a stern regiment of being walked around the play yard on a leash, in between my legs. At first I did this solely for control, as he was a very strong dog, but over time, it seemed to have a different affect on him as he no longer tried to hump me. I could now walk him around the yard on a loose leash. However, if he got close enough to another person, sir hump-a-lot would make a return appearance.
Because he was on a leash, I was able to pull him off. He then ceased from humping anyone who entered the yard with him. Anyone who entered afterwards was still fair game. We continued to work diligently with Chico over the months he was in our care.
One volunteer had told me that in all her 14 years at the shelter, she had never felt that a dog was truly un-adoptable...until now. I wouldn't hear any of this as I knew Chico was a good boy some where deep...DEEP down.

Then one day, something amazing happened. Chico stopped humping. He became an ace at his manners and was ready to find a new home.
It was two days before Christmas when Chico's forever home came in for him. A family with young children who were able to boss Chico around, telling him SIT! and DOWN! And Chico was obeying like the good boy I knew he could be.

They took him home for Christmas, and that to me, is the best gift any of us could have hoped for.

Chico the reformed humper.

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