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Disclaimer: The material provided by Bailey on this web site is designed for educational and entertainment purposes only. The information presented is provided with the understanding that Bailey is not engaged in rendering medical or professional behavioral services. Such information should not be used as a substitute for behavioral advice provided by a qualified canine behavior therapist.

Please remember that Bailey's advice, comments, or opinions are solely Bailey's, and do not necessarily reflect those of the staff here at Pawsitive Training for Better Dogs.

Pawsitive Training for Better Dogs is not responsible for actions taken based on the advice provided herein.

Social Climber

Hi Bailey,

We have two dogs: Blossom, a 4 year old Golden Retriever and Hope, a 1 year old Chocolate Lab. Both are female and spayed. Hope was just spayed last month.

Recently, Hope has been showing some odd behavior. She will go up to Blossom and start humping her. Can you please tell me WHY SHE IS DOING THIS?!?! We've had Hope for over a year, and she and Blossom play all the time.

Is Hope gay? Could this be a possibility?

Thanks,

Claire


Bailey's Reply:

Dear Claire,

Nope, Hope is most definitely not gay. Her mounting behavior has more to do with status than with sex.

“It's common for a young dog that has gained social maturity, like Hope, to suddenly challenge the older dog's status (Blossom) in the family 'pack'.”

It's common for a young dog that has gained social maturity, like Hope, to suddenly challenge the older dog's status (Blossom) in the family "pack". This can manifest itself in many ways, such as suddenly guarding toys or rawhides from Blossom, or becoming more "pushy" for attention when both are greeting you. It also can show up as the mounting behavior that you describe Hope doing.

If Blossom is tolerating this, then it could be that she is submitting to Hope's assertion of rank in the social hierarchy. Eventually, the mounting behavior should diminish, and you should see things go back to normal.

If Blossom is not tolerating Hope's "social climbing", then you must keep a close eye on their interactions to ensure that things don't get out of hand. Don't hesitate to contact a qualified trainer in your area for assistance.

<sniffs and licks>

Bailey


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