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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

I'm curious if anyone here might know about dog hormones, and how what we do with them can effect their behaviour.
In particular, with my latest foster, a 4 yr old male Bernese mix, not fixed, that he's humping everything in sight. Front, back, side, male, female, the air....
Would seem like sexual frustration right (not to anthropo too much)
Now, the usual answer is, get him fixed and be done with it.
Which is what my rescue wants.
Fine.
But what if he was allowed, without chance of imprego, to get his rocks off, just once (or maybe a even a few times)?
And then he was fixed as usual.
Would that have any effect on his behaviour?
Would it help get that frustration, that not knowing, out of his system?
:confused:

Thanks
 

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Good question.
and the answer is: mating once to 'get it out of his system' would be a very reinforcing event for a dog. And so it would increase the likelihood of attempts, not decrease.

Humping is a behaviour that is not necessarily tied to sex however. It can be play, bullying, aggression, my bitch humps my GSD's face, go figure?
why, coz she knows it pees him off, and he'll chase her.
In this scenario, there is no sexual motivation for her humping.

My GSD will hump my daughter's b/f, why? Poor taste is shared by my dog and daughter. Its a greeting behaviour learnt over the past 7 months this dude has been hanging around for like a bad smell. Each time he humps, b/f laughs, and throws a ball to get him off.
My GSD has trained the b/f well here. Again, not a sexual behaviour, but a reinforced behaviour.
 

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Definitely the more it's done, the more it will be reinforced, like any behavior in dogs. I'm not sure I agree with rotten that some of it is not sexual (all of it is sexual, from my understanding), but I'm no animal behaviorist. Mounting is a life skill; it's a fixed action pattern - the reproduction one. Here's a good article on the topic: Oh behave: Love and mounting
 

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Nope. Actually I doubt its truely sexual. Usually a habitual humper is doing it out of habit, out of dominence, to claim something...neutering won't help, I've known ALOT of neutered dogs that hump everything.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Is it black and white?
I know plenty of dogs that changed that behaviour after getting fixed.
Surely there is something to that?
And surely some dogs do it to play, to be dominant, to be sexual (or rather to actually attempt to procreate or mimic the act at least)?
 

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Again, I'm not an animal behaviorist, but from what I've read it's an instinctual behavior. So if by "play" you mean "sex play", then, yes, it can be play. Can it become habit? Sure. Does that mean it isn't sexual in origin in some cases? I have no idea. I don't want to derail your thread too much. ;)

Fixed action pattern - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I read the article. Well, I get now that it's really part of play for many dogs. But regardless, if I want him to get along at the dog run, and on walks, I can't have him humping every dog he sees. Not because he's aggressive. He's totally chill. But because other dogs will attack him. And because owners tend not to like it also. So I will be getting him fixed, of course, but I'd like to hopefully train him not to do it all the time. This will also up his chances of getting adopted, and staying adopted.
 

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At 4 months it is not sexual. It is play and somewhat exciting but in a different way then sexual. Males usually do not mature until they around 7 months old..when they start hiking. A male does not have to be bred..on the contrary it is best not to breed to prevent the hiking/marking everything urge. No ill effect will happen if a male is neutered.

He will probably out grow when he finds other things that are more fun..:) Some continue though, however can be worked with not to do all the time to everything.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well, he's four yrs old, not 4 months. Since I don't know his history. Is it likely that he was used for breeding, or at least lacked proper training/correction from previous owner (s)? Given that he is obsessed with it? Or is it just how some males are, when they haven't been fixed by this age?
 

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Fixing may or may not help, considering his age, if it has become habit. Definitely still get him fixed. If it does help, it won't be instant. I can't remember how long it takes for the testosterone to work its way out of the system. I know other members have posted it before.
 

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Well, he's four yrs old, not 4 months. Since I don't know his history. Is it likely that he was used for breeding, or at least lacked proper training/correction from previous owner (s)? Given that he is obsessed with it? Or is it just how some males are, when they haven't been fixed by this age?
Ooooh that makes a difference. He probably was used for breeding or was allowed to breed on the loose. Neutering will help. My stud hiked in the house and humped on things...once he was neutered about the same age he stopped both. It took about three weeks after neuter..:)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Anywhere between a few weeks to a couple months. In my experience anyway. But there's no question, there are plenty of examples where this behaviour changes due to getting fixed.
Not always, granted, but there's certainly hope for it to help.
If not, it will take training.
And I realise, even then, it could well persist.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
That is certainly encouraging.
Let's hope!
Not the end of the world, but I want to do everything I can to get him adopted, and stay adopted.
 

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Hello,

I'm curious if anyone here might know about dog hormones, and how what we do with them can effect their behaviour.
In particular, with my latest foster, a 4 yr old male Bernese mix, not fixed, that he's humping everything in sight. Front, back, side, male, female, the air....
Would seem like sexual frustration right (not to anthropo too much)
Now, the usual answer is, get him fixed and be done with it.
Which is what my rescue wants.
Fine.
But what if he was allowed, without chance of imprego, to get his rocks off, just once (or maybe a even a few times)?
And then he was fixed as usual.
Would that have any effect on his behaviour?
Would it help get that frustration, that not knowing, out of his system?
:confused:

Thanks
ithink not. it ascribes some sort of nostalgia or sense of contemplation. if a dog feels a need for something, it doesn't look back on past experiences to relive them and get satisfaction (no pun intended lol) from memories.
 

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awp. I disaggree that dogs dont look back on past experiences to relive them and get satisfaction.

If i throw a ball in the park, and my dog cannot find it. Some time later, when it cannot find the replacement ball, it will return to where it last found a ball. This is using memory. It is called 'supersticious learning'. The dog uses memory in this scenario, of where it last had this drive satisfied.

Re: if castration will rid this behaviour? You can chemically castrate your dog for 3 or 6 months. Try it. Im pretty sure that you would continue to see this behaviour, due to habit.
 

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I have to disagree rotten..I have had males I used in a breeding program. After being neutered they never attempted to mount a female...even ones I had in season.

Tennis balls are a different story...okay that sounds funny..LOL Anyway that is drive not sexual gratification...hormone driven. I have at least three tennis balls out in the yard. Phoenix will find them no matter how long it has been since she left it. It sounds like your dog has the same tennis ball drive.
 

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My dogs are all ball obsessed. I teach this first. A ball fills in my skill deficits as a trainer lol
Everything else flows then i find
 

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awp. I disaggree that dogs dont look back on past experiences to relive them and get satisfaction.

If i throw a ball in the park, and my dog cannot find it. Some time later, when it cannot find the replacement ball, it will return to where it last found a ball. This is using memory. It is called 'supersticious learning'. The dog uses memory in this scenario, of where it last had this drive satisfied.
fair enough.:) but, to ne clear, are you saying when your dogs go to the last spot they had the ball that they are satisfied they have found the ball or cease wanting the ball? cause that's what i mean by satisfaction.

and i'm not sure about this but.....do you mean skinner's superstitious pigeon thing? what you describe with your dogs sounds more like sense memory. unless they have ritualized a spot or pattern of spots and then expect to get the ball.

my understanding of the superstious pigeon eperiment is that it's a self conditioned response in which the pigeon falsly believes that its actions have an effect when in fact they have no effect and will even gradually self modify those actions along the way because it begins to perceive they have a relationship to the stimulus. so, unless i misunderstood ...in which case, oops and i would like to learn what you mean by superstitious learning..., i don't know how false cause plays in here. how can the dog's itch to hump be scratched by anything other than humping? (the OPs original musings.) ther's a cause (hormonal or behavioral/doesn't matter) and an effect. the dog wants to hump so it does. there may be external or internal reinforcers but i don't think allowing the dog to "get off" - as the OP put it - will have any effect. in other words, all things remaining equal (no nuetering/ no training) the dog is NOT going to stop humping or hump less because it will now have a memory to relive. if that were the case, your dogs wouldn't need to even look for the ball, they could just think about the last time they got the ball and that would be enough.
 
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