Mounting and Masturbation
Why Does Your Dog Do It?
There are various reasons why dogs engage in mounting and masturbation:
Mounting and masturbation are normal sexual behaviors for both altered (spayed or neutered) and intact dogs. Dogs of both sexes may mount other dogs, people, or objects, accompanied by flirtatious body language and courtship behavior.
Sexual behaviors, including mounting and thrusting, are also part of normal play behavior. However, dogs don't usually display erections or ejaculate during play. Poorly socialized or undersocialized dogs may excessively mount other dogs in response to play solicitation.
Response to Stress or Excitement
Some dogs may mount or masturbate in response to stressful or exciting situations. For example, after meeting a new dog or person, an aroused and excited dog may engage in mounting behavior.
Masturbation can become a compulsive habit, particularly if it is a response to stress. Compulsive mounting and masturbation can interfere with a dog's normal functioning.
Dogs may mount other animals or people as a display of social status or control. This type of mounting behavior may or may not involve an erection or ejaculation.
Medical Problems to Rule Out
It is important to rule out any underlying medical issues that may influence a dog's mounting behavior. Medical problems such as urinary tract infections, urinary incontinence, priapism (persistent erections), and skin allergies can impact mounting behavior and require proper medical attention.
What to Do About Excessive Mounting and Masturbation
If you believe your dog may become aggressive if you try to stop them from mounting or masturbating, it is best to consult a qualified professional, such as a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist (CAAB or Associate CAAB) or a board-certified veterinary behaviorist (Dip ACVB). If these specialists are not available in your area, you can seek help from a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT) who has experience and training in addressing aggression issues.
If your dog's mounting or masturbation behavior is not bothersome and occurs infrequently, it may not require intervention. However, if the behavior is problematic, you can try to distract your dog by redirecting their attention to toys, games, or performing obedience skills they enjoy. Neutering or spaying your dog may help reduce sexual motivation, but it may not eliminate the behavior entirely.
For dogs that mount excessively during play, in response to stress, or for sexual reasons, it is important to manage their environment and reduce stressors whenever possible. Teaching alternative behaviors such as sitting on cue can also help redirect their focus.
If the mounting or masturbation behavior becomes compulsive or significantly interferes with your dog's daily life, seeking professional help is recommended. Certified professionals can provide guidance and develop a tailored behavior modification plan.