Have you just been out for a walk with your dog and he's jumped on another dog's back? Are you wondering why he did it? It's quite understandable if you are. It doesn't seem like quite the right thing for him to do, does it? Sometimes when two dogs are playing together one will jump on the other ones back. Has that just happened with your dog? Were you taking him out for a run in the park when he suddenly decided to mount another dog who was there playing too? A lot of pet owners don't like it when someone else's dog jumps all over thier's and the other dog doesn't really enjoy it much either. Which is not surprising really, is it? Is there a logical explanation for why dogs jump on other dogs backs? There certainly is.
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The Root of the Behavior
Physical contact between dogs can sometimes appear very strange to human observers. What we have to remember is that dogs have their own particular codes and rules to abide by which are not quite the same as the social expectations people have. Dogs don't really have many ways of actually making physical contact with each other. Well, apart from the odd lick here and there and maybe the touching of noses. If your dog jumps on another dog's back it could well be he's just trying to say, hello, I'm here, who are you, as an introduction to a playful game.
Some dogs were just born to be more dominant than others. It's in their nature. In a pack situation that would be classed as normal. As much as we like to think we've domesticated our pets, they still have those inherent genes running through their blood which says they are, when all is said and done, wild animals. There's always one dog who is going to want to be the leader of the pack and show the others who is the boss. If your dog has been jumping on another dogs back, it could well be him.
In addition, dogs are sexual creatures. Even if it's something we prefer not to think about as pet owners, they do have needs and desires. Those sentiments can sometimes manifest themselves at inappropriate moments. If you have a male dog and he's having an intense play session with another dog, which doesn't have to be a female one, he could well get carried away by the moment, find it sexually exciting and try to mount the other dog by jumping on his back. Yes, as unusual as it is, that's the way in which dogs conduct their sexual relations. Your dog may not have the intention of enjoying the moment to the fullest, but if the play makes him feel that way, as dog nature goes, he's not going to hide his inclinations or hide behind any inhibitions.
Encouraging the Behavior
It's very difficult to prevent a dog from doing something which comes naturally. But if your pup is one of the larger breeds and insists on jumping on other dogs' backs while he's playing, he could end up causing them an injury. That will not go down well with the other pet owner and you could end up having to foot a large veterinary bill. If your dog doesn't know how far it's reasonable for him to go when playing with other dogs at the park, you might want to consider keeping him on his leash.
When your dog is intent on proving his dominance over other dogs it can lead to all sorts of problems. If your dog jumps on the back of another dog he isn't familiar with, that action can cause a fight to start between them. Even if his intentions were only playful, the other dog may well misinterpret his intentions as aggressive and react accordingly. Trying to separate two fighting dogs is not fun and you could end up getting accidentally bitten.
When it comes to unwanted sexual attention, dogs are really not much different to humans. Yes, they too find it annoying and very uncomfortable. If your dog gets over-excited while playing and jumps on another dog's back, he could find himself receiving a strong rebuff which could come in the form of a nasty bite from the poor victim of his attentions.
Other Solutions and Considerations
If you're worried that your dog is obsessed with being the macho male of the neighborhood, you might want to consider consulting with a professional dog handler. After a few training sessions, your dog will soon learn that it's much better to be socially friendly rather than being the aggressive alpha no one likes.
If your pup is having problems controlling his sexual urges, you might want to consider consulting your veterinary surgeon. They'll be able to advise you on whether getting your dog neutered may be beneficial to him and help him stay calmer when playing with other dogs.
If your dog has already been neutered and still insists on jumping on other dogs backs, which they can do sometimes, try talking to a qualified dog trainer. They'll be able to show you how to teach your dog to behave in a more socially appropriate manner.
Yes, dogs do jump on other dogs backs. It is the way they play and also the way they may attempt to relieve their pent up sexual frustrations or show their dominance. If you are not sure why your dog is mounting other dogs, well, you could always try asking him and see what he has to say for himself.