Clients are often embarrassed to discuss certain canine behaviors, including mounting. When the subject does arise, what key information should be covered?
Veterinarians often must discuss certain topics that can make clients uncomfortable, including their dog’s elimination habits or mounting behaviors. However, unlike elimination, many dog owners do not consider “humping” or mounting (the preferred term) as normal or acceptable.
Often dog owners assume that mounting behavior is sexual in nature and will cease once the pet has been neutered. They then become concerned when their dog continues its mounting behavior, particularly around young children in the household or visitors.
Another assumption is that mounting is a dominance gesture. Mounting may sometimes be sexually based or may signal a dominant–subordinate relationship. But like many other behaviors, mounting can be attributed to various motivations that cannot be identified without observing the events surrounding the activity.
Without knowing the context of a behavior, sometimes it is impossible to ascribe a motivation to that behavior.
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