Canine masturbation, which includes riding objects, is normal and healthy behavior in these animals, but sometimes it also hides stress or illness
- Author: By EVA SAN MARTÍN
- Publication date: September 12, 2017
Surprised because your dog rides objects or licks its genitals? Is the uncertainty even greater because this behavior is performed even though it is sterilized? Do not be alarmed. Canine masturbation is a normal and healthy activity that most of these animals share. This article addresses several issues around this topic: when dogs begin to masturbate, at what time this canine sexual behavior ceases to be healthy and normal and becomes worrisome, what diseases this behavior can hide and what to do when a dog rides objects, animals or people too often, or when should not.
Dogs also masturbate: a very canine pleasure
"Masturbation is a normal canine sexual behavior, which occurs in both males and females, and both in sterilized animals and those that have not been neutered, "explains veterinarian expert in dog behavior Emily Weiss, co-author of the manual 'Animal Behavior for Shelter Veterinarians' (Wiley-Blackwell, 2015).
Canine masturbation is normal and healthy sexual behavior that It begins in its puppy stage and it continues most of the time after sterilization. However, it is also full of misunderstandings, as stressed by ethologist Karen Overall. "This sexual behavior is surrounded by myths and misinterpretations: many people believe that the dog that mounts an object is having a dominant behavior, but in most cases that explanation is far from true," says the co-author of ' Manual of Clinical Medicine of Dogs and Cats' Behavior (Elsevier Health Sciences, 2013).
Why do dogs ride objects?
Dogs can masturbate several shapes. "Sometimes, you can mount objects or scrub with other animals or people: this includes blankets, soft cushions, dog beds and even toys," added canine behavior experts from the Association Against Cruelty to Animals. And, on other occasions, they add, this sexual behavior is limited to licking the genital area.
Masturbation is part of a pleasant sexual behavior which occurs in both females and males, whether sterilized or not. Other times, this behavior, including the mounting of objects and other animals, can be part of a canine game normal and healthy.
Why do dogs mount objects too often?
"However, excessive riding during canine play may be a sign of excessive overexcitation, and this is more frequent when the dog has not had the opportunity to socialize properly during its puppy stage and must learn to play with other dogs. "In addition, on other occasions, a dog inordinately happy or overexcited can also mount objects, other dogs or a person's leg. "It is not strange that a dog, after meeting another canine friend or a new person, tries to mount or mount a nearby object, such as a toy or a bed, of pure overexitation," these experts add.
And also the opposite: anxiety and even loneliness They also explain, other times, this behavior. On these occasions, riding objects or animals can become a compulsive behavior just as worrisome as excessive barking, licking comulsively or chasing its tail. "When canine masturbation happens to be something sporadic, which occurs once or twice a day, to become a compulsive repeated behavior, which prevents the dog from eating, drinking or exploring its surroundings naturally, there may be a psychological problem seriously it must be treated by the veterinarian, "adds Weiss.
At other times, a dog that rides objects or animals too often may be suffering a medical problem, among them, a urinary infection, a problem of urinary incontinence and even a skin allergy that explains excessive licking in the area. In the worst case, in addition, the dog can be damaged as a result of this behavior and cause dangerous wounds in genital areas such as the vulva or the penis. In all these situations, the visit to the veterinarian is important.
Bitch in heat, the male's sexual instinct can be controlled
Castration (removal of the testicles) is the most effective way to alleviate a dog's sexual instinct who is close to a female in heat. When a dog is castrated, the testicles are removed, where testosterone hormone is produced, which causes the dog's sexual appetite.
Castration alleviated the nervousness of a male before a dog in heat
However, the dog will be attracted by the smell that the dog gives off in heat and may star escapes or be nervous. Hence the importance of always carry the dog attached with the leash to avoid unforeseen reactions to the powerful call of a female in heat.
Sterilization also prevents fights with other dogs. But you have to add other benefits. "It is a prevention against prostate cysts," explains Ana Cameno, veterinarian. In any case, if the dog is sterilized before one year of age and has not had contact or sexual experiences before, there will be a greater chance of being controlled at detect the smell of a female in heat, although it will always attract your attention.
This is also the time when puppies begin to think about the opposite sex, although in a somewhat confusing way. For some dogs, cushions, furniture and even the legs of their owners can provide an outlet for their frustrations and riding behavior is frequent at this age. This behavior, although it is annoying and embarrassing, usually disappears in a couple of months, although some dogs may continue to mount objects after this period. Sterilizing your dog is a good solution in the vast majority of cases. This routine operation involves the removal of the testicles, the main source of hormones that give rise to this behavior.
What to do when my dog rides too often?
A dog that rides or masturbates sporadically, once or twice a day, without implying a problem, is developing a natural and healthy sexual behavior. But what happens when you ride people you don't want or do too often?
The most effective is to anticipate and try to Avoid this behavior before it starts. Any ideas are to show him one of his favorite toys and use it to play with him, offer one of his edible prizes, or try to follow some of the canine education guidelines learned together and that the dog enjoys them in a special way, such as sitting, lying down or crashing the five. However, you have to be patient and allow time for the dog to learn.
In addition, you have to be careful because many dogs can get angry when another dog tries to ride them, even as a game mode. In this case, it is important use dog education guidelines such as "no" or "come", that serve so that the friend of four legs leaves his objective "loving" calm. "When we want a dog to stop riding someone it is important to give him a guideline like 'no' or 'sit down' and reward this behavior instantly," says Overall.
If the dog is not sterilized, this possibility should be seriously considered. Sterilize to the dog not only pounds unwanted litters and reduces the abandonment of animals, also prevents many types of cancer: genital and breast, in the case of bitches.
Meeting with other loose dogs
The most important thing, but I am sure that we are already clear thanks to the coexistence with our pet, is to know if we have a dogdominant or rather diplomatic and that avoids fights. If it is the first (dominant) case, without a doubt what it is better to tie the dog to avoid the fight and own damage or the other animal. If on the contrary you have a dog submissive or diplomatic, it may be more interesting that it goes loose to prevent it from becoming emboldened and facilitate to manage the situation for yourself, and in case of real danger, let him run off on his own legs. Dogs are territorial and once they have thrown out of their area of influence to the strange thing, it is normal for them not to go after him anymore.
The other advice we give you is always carry a cane or stick, or any element that comes to mind to intimidate the other dog, because it is not always going to depend on the character of our partner or the outcome of the encounter with an unknown animal that we have no idea where it will come from.
Do not forget that despite the myth that it is the dog that defends the master, it is more the opposite and it is you who must protect and safeguard you from attacks by other dogs. В As soon as you meet another dog and observe the slightest symptom of a possible aggression, swallow saliva and mentalize yourself because you are going to have to become a fierce and dominant ogre with a strong voice and firm fuss (at this moment it is where the cane comes in luxury) so that with sure steps you end up throwing you from your area of influence.
If you have doubts and prefer to rehearse with other dogs in the park do not hesitate to do so, you will see as if you are confident none will resist you and you will gain security for when a real situation arises. Do not forget that in almost all of these situations, to the unknown dog in a possible attack, only your pet goes through your head, not you. With this behavior, what we are trying to avoid is a direct attack on your dog, the other component of your pack, which you as a boss must protect. Humans are not so threatening to an animal that they are defending their territory and they will surely go unnoticed. Moreover, many of these country dogs are usually especially fearful and submissive to people, but aggressive to other dogs. This should give you something more trustworthy.
But we also don't want to scare you and let you think that all dog encounters will be moments of nuclear panic, far from it. Along the way, most dogs that you will find will be friendly and very hospitable and will be happy to play and share careers with your dog, and even why not, flirt and flirt a little, don't we do it !?
Livestock and other herds
The encounter with cattle of all kinds (cows, sheep, goats, horses, etc.) is another issue to consider as it is a very common situation while walking through the mountains or the rural environment.
We must act responsibly, and although we may find it funny to see how our dog is emboldened and gets in the middle of the flock to scare the bewildered animals, we must first consider some issues:
- Surely the owner of the flock don't like it. This is a matter of respect and responsibility, since any animal scared by your dog can even wake up in a ravine and the only one responsible is you. Have you ever wondered the price of a beef?
- The majority of herds they are accompanied by dogs that do their job very well and defend any threat to the end Towards his cattle. Not in vain, in the provinces of Leon and Galicia there are many groups of mastiffs, fierce enough (if necessary) to face even wolves.
In short, we advise you to avoid by all means that your dog interferes with the cattle that you can find on your way, and if it is a flock of sheep or goats (especially in the provinces of León and Galicia), better bring your dog as close as possible to you, since these dogs for storing cattle do not attack people.
On the other hand, there will be times when you have to literally walk between cows that circulate on the same road as you. Quiet, those are more than accustomed, so the only thing you will have to do is tie your dog short and pass between them naturally.
We don't want to scare you, but I know you are aware of the risks, so we are going to tell you a story that another peRRegrino friend told us that we found on the Way about the tragic end of his previous pet. It turns out that he, a young and playful dog got into play in the middle of a flock of sheep, and as a result, he was attacked by two mastiffs that in a matter of seconds (which took the owner in running from where he was until he reached the place) they left him dying. It had to be him, helpless, who had to put an end to his friend's agony with his own hands since the little animal was shattered and there was no chance of taking it forward in that environment in the middle of nowhere. Although they had spent years he still cried when he told us, and we still get excited when we remember the story lived in the first person.
Cats and wild animals
The nature of a dog is to chase everything that moves, and if it is an animal, and leaves an animal trail, they pass it bombshell and really enjoy it.
What you really have to be aware of is the risks from road crossings and land accidents such as cliffs, etc.. If you are in a flat and absent terrain, we believe that nothing happens because you take a few races (as long as there is no risk of heat stroke) and Let the hunter feel that he has always believed himself to be chasing traces, birds, mice and any wild (and not violent or poisonous) bug that comes before it.
Cats require separate mention, since although they are all wild (no matter how homemade) there are some with a pretty bad idea and who know how to defend themselves very well from our dogs that are silly and annoying at their side. There are many cases of one-eyed dogs due to the blow of cats, which let's not forget they are experts in attacking where it hurts the most. If we add the risk of abuses since cats are usually found in the towns with their respective traffic of vehicles through their streets, there better, avoid persecution.
Another one of the changes that you will be able to notice as your puppy grows is that it will begin to lift the leg to urinate. It is completely normal, although a few dogs can also start marking their territory by lifting their feet and urinating on objects at home. During this period of "adolescence" there may also be cases of aggression towards other dogs. Again, the vast majority of these problems are solved with sterilization so many owners prefer to sterilize their dogs at approximately six months, before these behaviors can appear.
On the defensive
Some young people may begin to defend the things that they believe belong to them. This can include your home and garden, a toy that you especially like or even your family members. Although it is comforting to know that your dog wants to protect your home and your family, this protective behavior can cause problems if your dog also begins to react aggressively. If your dog growls when someone approaches him while eating or playing with a toy, you should take it as warning signs that your dog's territorial instinct is too developed. There are a number of behavioral techniques that can be used to help these dogs and your veterinarian can advise you on the subject or refer you to a canine behavior specialist. In some cases sterilization helps eliminate this behavior of territorial aggression.
There is another type of behavior that you probably observe, but that will only appear from time to time. If there is a female in heat in your area, you may notice that your dog stops eating, becomes sad and apathetic, or restless and anxious to leave. It is quite common for dogs to make active attempts to escape to find the object of their devotion. This can lead to them being involved in accidents or getting lost. An additional vigilance and a little affection will help you during this troubled time. Of course, like teenagers, some puppies are more complicated than others but luckily, most of them will leave adolescence without anyone having gone crazy.
Reasons why a dog rides another male dog
Among the most common reasons that explain why a dog tries to ride another male dog, the following stand out:
- It is a form of dominance over other dogs. When a dog tries to ride another, it can be a way to mark the territory and show that he is the dominant one. This behavior usually occurs especially when a new dog joins the family. In addition to riding, you may also try to steal food or toys.
- To play. Dogs, especially younger ones, can play to ride each other. In this way they practice behaviors that they will carry out later, when they grow up and reach adulthood. This ride is a training that occurs from 3 or 4 months until they reach the first year of age.
- To release energy when you are anxious. The most active dogs, when they are overexcited or happy, can ride another dog to release energy or anxiety and return to a more relaxed state. This form of channel stress It can be seen especially in grazing dogs such as Border Collies, the German Shepherd or the Australian Shepherd.
- For pleasure. Like humans, dogs also seek pleasure. This can explain why they put stuffed animals or toys, when it is clear that it cannot be for reproductive purposes. What can we do! Sometimes, they also like to have their moments of enjoyment ...
- For confusion. In some cases a dog may have difficulty identifying the smell of another neutered dog. This can lead you to confuse a male with a young female.
Therefore, there are several reasons beyond sexual behavior that explain why a dog rides other dogs. The question now is: what do we do: leave it at your leisure or try to suppress this behavior?
What to do if my dog rides other dogs
Often when we face this scene, we don't know very well what to do. In principle, that a dog mount other dogs on time or try to do it with an object, is something quite normal and should not worry too much.
However, when this behavior becomes annoying to other people or animals, it must be stopped. It is not only about avoiding discomforts, but about protecting the dog from fights or incidents that jeopardize its safety. To avoid it, we must try to correct your behavior. But how? Let's see:
One way to tell the dog that he should not ride another dog is to say with a firm "NO" voice or cause a noise that catches his attention. It is important that every time these circumstances occur we act in the same way to obey. So that we understand each other: we cannot be permissive sometimes and sometimes not. Otherwise, it will end up not taking us seriously.
Provide a quiet environment in another room or play with him when he begins to show this behavior, to prevent him from riding other dogs or a person's leg. The exercise, in fact, will be your great ally so that this does not continue happening.
Using a short belt to steer it when necessary until you learn to repress this behavior can also be an effective method.
Finally, it is important that you never stimulate riding behavior. Sometimes it may seem funny and we encourage the dog to perform this action to show it to another person. However, if you don't want it to keep happening, you shouldn't encourage it. If not, the training will be counterproductive.
Following these recommendations, you will work their obedience and keep the dog away from the situations that lead him to want to ride others. If you continue obsessively with this behavior, then you should visit your usual veterinarian so he can rule out any medical problems.
If there is no health problem, then the next step will be to consult with an expert so that he can help you discover what the underlying cause is and what other techniques can help a dog stop riding other dogs.
Five guidelines to control the male dog's sexual instinct
1. Take the dog always controlled by the street, with the strap. A male dog is always willing to mate, even when there is no dog in heat nearby.
If a dog has passed through the place where the male is, this he will smell his pheromones and look for her. Therefore, there is a great risk that the dog escapes and is run over or causes an accident in his uncontrolled career after a female in heat.
2. Seek organize departure times to the park with the owners of the dog in heat (when possible). It is not strange that those who go to the same place of walk with their dogs know each other, so you can find out the departure time of the owners of a dog in heat to try to advance or delay their own.
3. Change the itinerary. Going to other parks or changing the walking route so as not to run into a female in heat is a way of avoid escapes and dog nervousness.
4. Proper education It can help control a dog's impulse to the female in heat. If the dog abides by certain guidelines ("still", "sit" or "come"), it will be easier to avoid a break. But you never have to trust: a dog that is not castrated, even if obedient, can easily get out of control before a female in heat. And, his sexual instinct will be more powerful than obedience to its owner.
5. Castration It is the only way to prevent the male dog from losing control by calling his sexual instinct.
The sexual awakening in the dog
A dog develops its sexual instinct with less than a year, often, when the animal has about seven months to live. With that age, he is already able to be seduced by the pheromones of a female in heat and, if a ride occurs, the dog can get pregnant.
Bitches in heat emit an unmistakable perfume for males of the same species (pheromones). This efficiency is the result of an improvement in the seduction arts of the canine species. The purpose is to ensure the maximum possible reproduction of the species and, therefore, its survival.
In any case, dogs are selective when seducing a female and mating. Miguel Ibáñez, veterinarian and animal behavior expert, explains that "it has been discovered that mammals, such as horses, select the female they want to mate with and something similar happens with dogs."
A dog maintains its sexual instinct when it has a female in heat throughout its life
Although sterilizing is the most effective method of control a dog when there is a dog in heat nearby, some owners are reluctant to castrate their dog. They think that their character will change and that sterilization entails a physical decrease for the dog. However, "this does not correspond to reality," says María Victoria Acha, veterinarian. In Spain, Acha adds, "it influences the prejudice of thinking that castrating a dog is depriving him of his masculinity."
On the contrary, the castration of female dogs is more accepted and is more frequent than that of dogs. With the castrated female, the male's sexual instinct diminishes, because the dog does not emit pheromones, nor is it ready to be mounted. In any case, castration is the only way to minimize the possibility of a dog getting pregnant and that dogs go crazy when they have a bitch in heat nearby.