08.09 The Fur Mom: Dog Humping at the Dog Park + a Short Rant

Group Sniff

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Yep, you read that correctly.  My dog is an excessive humper and it’s becoming an issues at the dog park, because some people see him as aggressive.  I got the “excessive humper” description from my friend who described Rodrigo to another person.  I didn’t mind, because I’ve been working with him on the humping (my steps to follow) and he’s improving a lot.

What pissed me off was being approached at the dog park by a woman who pointed at my baby and said “that one…” and the proceeded to tell me that he’d bitten into two dogs, making them bleed, and the owners were looking for me.  ARE YOU F’ING KIDDING?

When someone accuses you (your dog) of aggressive action and it’s not true…well, that just goes too far!  The day in question is clear in my memory for two reasons.  (1) I was stunned by how nasty the other dog owners were and (2) a little smug that my boyfriend had no idea what to do and I did – I told him that he needs to come with us more often.

But that’s neither here nor there.  The facts as I see them are this (and yes, I’m using my column to vent a little)…

  1. The first dog that Rodrigo had a dispute with growled at him when he was trying to get some water.  Rodrigo felt threatened and met that threat.  Lots of growling and teeth; no biting.  We separated the dogs.  There was no blood.
  2. The second dog was being aggressive with our puppy, I was trying to get Blue so that we could leave, but the other dog owner was being completely unhelpful.  Saying “leave the puppy alone” repeatedly is completely useless if your dog isn’t listening to you.  So Rodrigo stepped in.  Lots of growling and teeth; no biting.  We separated the dogs.  There was no blood.
  3. We left the dog park

When we were outside the dog park, I checked on Rodrigo and there was no blood on him anywhere, including inside his mouth.  So if these dogs magically started bleeding after we left, it was due to something that happened after we left.

That just drives me bonkers!  It’s completely uncool to tag a dog owner (or their dog) with aggressive behavior in this climate of breed specific legislation and stories of dog owners losing their dogs based on baseless accusations.

How to Curb Your Dog’s Desire to Hump…

What has worked for us is a simple process…

  1. Learn your dog’s humping signal.  When Rodrigo is about to mount another dog, he puts his chin on the middle of another dogs back.
  2. Develop a word or phrase for your dog.  It’s important to have a word or phrase that your dog understands and knows that a behavior is unpleasant.  Like “leave it” or “drop it.”  For Rodrigo, I say “nope” or “paws on the floor” or “play nice.”
  3. Have immediate repercussions.  If Rodrigo mounted another dog, I would pull him down and make him sit next to me for 10 seconds.  If he did it a 2nd time, he was leashed up and had to stay by my side (and I would walk him away from the other dogs).  After the third time, we left the dog park.
  4. Be consistent.  I had to keep up with this for a while.  We don’t go to the dog park every day, so it took a little longer for what I was asking to sink in, but eventually it did and when Rodrigo would make the choice not to hump, he would be rewarded with loads of love and the occasional treat.
  5. Don’t get discouraged.  Dogs are smart, but we do speak different languages.  Being impatient doesn’t help.  Giving up on play dates or the dog park isn’t a great idea.  And coming down on yourself isn’t fare.  Just keep at it and your dog will get there.

 

For more posts about the dog park, check these out…

The Zoom Room, An Alternative to Walking Your Dog in the Rain

Pet Photography Tips at the Dog Park

Dog Humping | How to Train Your Dog Not to Hump Other Dogs

Get to Know Fellow Dog Owners by Playing the Dog Park Etiquette Game

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Kimberly Gauthier

With Mommy Bloggers being all the rage, Kimberly Gauthier writes about dogs and being a Fur Mom. She don't have kids, so she's been on the receiving end of the "it'll happen" statements and looks of pity when people realize that she's made it to the big FOUR OH without conceiving. Fur Mommy Bloggers have a voice too and Gauthier intends to profile her journey with "The Fur Mom" feature on the Girl Power Hour blog. She says, we spoil our kids, we worry about nutrition and we schedule play dates...just as fur mom's do. And let's face it, puppy classes are a lot less spendy than private school. Follow Kimberly on Twitter at @TheFurMom

* This post is from a Girl Power Hour featured blogger. It is not written, edited or endorsed by Girl Power Hour. The authors are solely responsible for content.

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