Why does a 6 year old GSD Bitch often mount 5 year old GSD Male?

Q            My six-year-old spayed German Shepherd bitch often mounts my entire male Shepherd, who is a year younger. She shows no aggression, but why does she do this?


A            Quite simply she is asserting herself over the dog. By placing her paws on the dog, she is sending a message that she is dominant and intends to keep him as the lower ranking pack member. Mounting is commonly seen between same sex dogs in order to establish procreation rights – the stronger dogs and bitches are those that mate within packs. Young dogs often mount each other during the onset of puberty, when their systems experience a hormonal surge and they try to establish seniority. Dogs may also attempt to mount their human owners in a bid to elevate their status if the owner appears weak to the dog. It is generally thought that spaying or neutering will stop such dominant behaviour, however, this is obviously not always the case. In my experience, a sharp word to the dominant dog is all that is required to stop the behaviour; obedience training to a reasonable standard when dogs are young (particularly) will enable a competent owner to do this. As an alternative, distract them by making a sharp sound and giving a firm command “no” or “off”.  However, if you are distressed by it, I suggest that you contact Sue Gilmore, a highly experienced and qualified professional dog behaviourist, to help you overcome these episodes, which would appear to be harmless and dogs being dogs in this case.


Why Does My Dog: Fear Men?

Many dogs are apparently fearful of men, even those dogs that seemingly have no reason to be. Perhaps the most common reason is that as a puppy he was not socialised with men so they are an unknown quantity. Men are generally bigger than women, have deeper voices and are often physically stronger, which may be threatening to a fearful dog. The pheromones given off by men are different to those of women, they also use different personal hygiene products and given that dogs have a very sensitive sense of smell, puppies are brought up by their mothers whose comforting smell of oestrogen remains hard-wired into their olfactory systems throughout life; their fathers tend to be absent during this period of nurturing.

Another possibility is that puppies tend to trigger maternal instincts in women; they naturally want to comfort puppies whereas men tend to be more assertive and want to be playmates.

On a positive note, if your dog is fearful of men, as a  professionally qualified behaviourist Sue Gilmore will be able to help you resolve the problem so that your dog can be calm and relaxed around all visitors and when men approach outside the home.


Why does my puppy Jack Russell chase her tail?


Tail chasing is quite common in puppies; some seem to not realise that it is actually attached to their body! It can be a way of expending energy or an expression of boredom. Most puppies tend to grow out of the habit, but not all. When people laugh at the dog, they are actually fulfilling the dog’s attempt to get attention.

Terriers as a breed are prone to tail chasing, more than others, so it may be in their genes, but it can become a compulsive disorder – the result of confinement for long periods, trauma, physical abuse or separation anxiety, for example. When the dog catches its tail it can cause quite serious damage and injury. When you see your dog about to start an episode of chasing her tail, try to distract her; use some of her energy up by exercising her or doing some training.

It is always wise to have her checked by a vet if her compulsion often occurs and certainly if she is harming herself.