Larue County Animal Clinic

121 Shepherdsville Rd
Hodgenville, KY 42748



One of the most frequent behavior questions we are asked is "why is my young puppy or older neutered male dog mounting?" They will mount toys, other animals, owner's legs and of course, your house guest's legs when they come to visit (really embarrassing when it is your preacher or your grandmother!!)

Many owners think this is sexual and it can be in an intact (unneutered) male. However we see the problem primarily in young puppies prior to reaching puberty and at other times in older neutered males, and at times in females as well.


What are the possible causes?


5 basic motivations for mounting:

1. anxiety/arousal

2. sexual

3. dominance

4. play

5. self-soothing.


What can I do about it?

  1. If mounting is a new behavior, we will need to rule out possible physical causes such as urinary infections, hormonal problems etc.

  2. Avoiding the situation or object that stimulates the behavior. (If they are mounting a toy for example, remove it from their environment for a few days and then reintroduce it.) or (keep the pup away from grandma's leg when she is visiting)

  3. Try to decrease the amount of anxiety that may stimulate the behavior and make sure your pet is getting plenty of physical exercise to help decrease anxiety which bring on compulsive behavior problems at times.

  4. Castration will not eliminate mounting however, according to an article in NAVC Clinician's Brief in January, 2012, it may reduce the behavior by 50% in almost 70% of the dogs regardless of the age of castration.


Note: A lot of the information for this page came from NACC Clinician?s Brief, January 2012 publication.