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My Pet World: Why does a fixed female dog hump another female dog?

Cathy M. Rosenthal, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Cathy,

I have two female dogs: a lab mix who is almost five years old and a miniature schnauzer who is 12. Lately, the lab has been mounting the schnauzer. I'm curious as to why. Can you please give me some input on this behavior?

— Bill, Inwood, Long Island

Dear Bill,

Dogs hump each other for various reasons, only one of which is for mating. If your two dogs are spayed/neutered, whether females or males, they may hump each other to display dominance over the other. Some dogs also do it as part of playtime or when they get really excited, which is why they may hump the leg of a newly arrived guest in your home.

When dogs play bow (when their front end goes down and their hind end remains up) within a few seconds of humping another dog, she is trying to communicate to the other dog that this mounting behavior is all in good fun, and the other dog doesn't need to be threatened by it.


But even in play, many dogs don't like being mounted. The dog on the receiving end may look sad or stressed, move away or snap at the other dog, or even start a fight. Unless both dogs are doing this back and forth with each other in play (which is acceptable behavior), chances are the schnauzer doesn’t like it and you should make the lab stop. Tell the lab to "leave it" if she is trained to understand that command or to come to you when called. Your schnauzer may tolerate it more since they live together, but even two happy and friendly dogs can get into a tiff if one dog persistently humps the other.

Dear Cathy,

In regard to Wayne and his cat that poops in the tub, since the cat is seven months old and a stray, it may have been owned by someone who trained it to use the toilet. A sink or a tub may look more like a toilet than a cat pan. Has he tried leaving the toilet seat up to see if she will use it?

— Judy, Indiana


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