Ridiculous Question About Dogs

Updated on April 16, 2014
K.S. asks from Littleton, CO
15 answers

I have an 11 year old dog that we rescued when she was 8, so have had her 3 years. She is the only dog we have ever owned, so I still have odd questions that come up. We take her with us as often as possible, and when we can't, my parents adore having her with them, they have no pets. I put her in a kennel once, and will never do it again. She constantly wet herself. She was a puppy mill dog, and Lord knows what happened to her in the first 8 years of her life, but she does NOT like to be left alone. She doesn't destroy things, but will poop or pee to show us her 'displeasure'. She also starts to tremble if she thinks we are leaving her. So it was my fault to leave her at the kennel, I thought she would enjoy the other dogs, but she just got anxious that enough people were not around, and did not like sleeping in the crate.

Anyway, this brings me to now. We are going out of town over Memorial Day and my parents will be gone as well, so they can't keep her. I found a site that matches pet sitters with people, and have some leads of nice people who will keep her at their home. My problem is that some of them have male dogs. Now, our dog gets along fine with all other dogs. I am probably being ridiculous, but I don't want some other dog humping her! She is spayed, and the other dogs I've asked about are neutered. Will they still 'hook up'? Is this just what dogs do? I know it may seem silly, I just don't know what's normal in this regard. I don't want to pass up a nice pet sitter due to this, but I hate the thought... so what are the odds of this happening over a 3 day period?

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So What Happened?

Thanks for the comments so far, hope to hear even more! I'm hearing that I should not rule out a good sitter due to the possibility of humping. Difficult to picture, but I know you all are right. I wish we could leave her here and have someone come and check on her, but that would not work. It's not that she starts to freak if we leave her for a while, she freaks immediately, we can't leave her alone for 5 minutes. She knows my getting ready to leave the house routine and instantly tries to block the garage door (with all 15 pounds of herself!). Also, she is on doggie Prozac to help. Believe it or not, she is better- she used to shake and be at my feet constantly, she hated if I left a room. She is now able to be ok while at home and not in constant panic mode, which is nice. I think I will try harder to find a neighbor that she already knows to help out, and otherwise look for the best sitter, not the least likely place she will be humped! And thanks for the reality check, I know I'm being a little crazy, I just love this little girl! Thanks for the help so far, looking for more experiences and suggestions!

Featured Answers



answers from Austin on

Dogs humping isn't really a sexual issue... it is more of a dominance issue.

Even female dogs will hump!

So, depending on the temperament of the other dogs (some dogs never hump... some do a lot!), she may get humped a bit, since she sounds like a submissive dog.

9 moms found this helpful

More Answers



answers from Jacksonville on

It's doubtful, but know that if she does get humped, it's not sexual! Humping can be an assertion of dominance.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

The dogs won't 'hook up' in the literal sense, but there is a possibility there could be some humping going on. It's normal. Spayed, neutered or otherwise, humping doesn't have to be a sexual behavior as others have stated.
Find a sitter YOU are comfortable with and let the dogs be dogs.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

My dogs have never been in a kennel with exception if being at the vet for a surgical procedure which is nerve wracking enough! I take my toy poodle to a salon and he's not put in a kennel. He had an Appt for grooming just like I do if I have an appt and I pick him up in the time frame.

We have a pet/house sitter. She comes over about 2-3 times a day, depending on when we leave and when she'll return for the evening to stay here. I pay $25 for each visit which is an hour or so and $50 for overnights.

It sounds pricey and if can get pricey, BUT, it's added security for your home as well because it's lived in. Dogs ( pets) keep regular routine, just a caregiver steps in.

We've have our sitter 20 yrs and I have a stand by service that charges more in case I'm in a crunch.

This is much easier on the dogs and my peace of mind!

Good luck!

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

Yeah.. we have had our GSD since she was a puppy. And she is our only pet. So, when we travel, we have someone come to our home to pet sit.

We used to kennel her (we started when she was a puppy, so it wasn't something weird for her, and she was fine with crates... even though once she was not a little puppy anymore she wasn't in a crate, but in an indoor/outdoor run, due to size), but it was irregular. And the older she got, the less well she tolerated it. Finally, the place we had used to board her went out of business.
She tends to become depressed and not eat. She always lost weight when we boarded her. We tried one other boarding option, but it didn't really work out very well. She actually pulled the (super sized) crate wires apart with her mouth/teeth. She wanted out to go find us and/or people. She likes people, not other dogs. Sometimes I wonder if she knows she is even a dog!

We were fortunate that a trustworthy young teen moved in in our neighborhood shortly after that. She babysat our kids a few times while we went out to eat or the movies or whatever... and our dog loved her (and she loved our dog, too). So, she began pet sitting for us when we went on vacation.
Then she graduated and left for college. So, we engaged her younger brother for a while (who's now himself a senior in high school) in the same capacity. The last time we needed a pet sitter was on spring break, and he was also going to be out of town at the same time.
So,another teen neighbor (one of our son's friends) was propositioned. He was fine, she was fine.

I strongly recommend you check with some young neighbors that you sense a sense of responsibility about, and see what you can work out. Now when we are gone, we get pics and texts of our dog, regular updates, and when we get home we don't have to trek to the kennel to retrieve her. AND, we don't have to worry that our return date will fall on a day that the kennel closes before we get home, meaning she would be left to "suffer" there without us for another night, that we'd be paying for.
She's already home! She greets us when we open the door. :D

Our dog just turned 10. I leave all the vet information printed out, along with our contact information--just like I would for a babysitter for my kids. Age, approx weight, her vet's name/phone numbers and address, her medications, instructions for feeding, where her toys/leash are located, any rules or special "phrases" that are needed (the go potty command for example), etc.
I go over everything verbally, but don't expect them to remember all the details, so I put it in print so they can refer to it as needed, and always am available to call or text with any question at all.
Only one time was there a concern that she seemed a little depressed (and this from teen boy who just adores her and all dogs/puppies, so is particularly sensitive to her)... and so he spent some extra time hanging out here in the house watching TV to "be around" her.
Good luck.

After your SWH information, I think I would check into some serious behavioral training for her, from a professional. So that you have some idea of what I am talking about, you should watch a few episodes of Cesar Milan, The Dog Whisperer. He often has clients who have nervous/anxious dogs, and helps them work to eliminate the problem. You dog should not be a nervous wreck because you step out of the room. And she can learn to be okay when you grab your purse to leave the house, too.

It isn't healthy for her to feel this way. There are methods to help train her NOT to be!

My dog also knows exactly what is about to happen (not just leaving the house, or going on vacation, but if we are going to swim in the pool, too--she knows the difference between underwear and a swimsuit!). I use verbal cues when I am leaving the house, so even without her noticing me getting my purse or putting on shoes (which she does notice these things and knows I am going outside or off in the car).. I TELL her "I'll be back after a while. Watch the house." I've said it since she was a puppy and to her it means "you will be alone in the house for a few hours. Then we'll come back." Because that is what happens each time I say that phrase.

It is wonderful that you have taken in a dog with high emotional/anxiety needs. Please look into some behavioral training for her so she can enjoy her life much better.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Do you know anyone who could stay at your home with her? A college-age student, or co-worker or neighborhood friend? We've always had skittish dogs, and have had problems leaving them in a kennel or with people. The bes thing we've found is to have someone stay at our home while we're gone. Much less stress on the dog, and our home gets watched as well. Just a thought.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Ummmm...this is a detail beyond anyone's control.
My male dog never "humped" anything or anydoggieone in 11 years!
And what you're describing about the pooping/peeing/trembling is very common in lots of dogs with anxiety. You could look not meds for that.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Baton Rouge on

Neutered dogs hump as a dominance display. Female dogs who are alpha among other dogs will also hump. They won't "hook up."

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answers from Washington DC on

well, no one likes seeing their dog get humped, but it's really not all that common. it's nothing to do with sex when it's between neutered dogs. sometimes it's an authority thing, sometimes just a feelgood thing. my dog doesn't hump others, nor would he tolerate being humped.
i think you're worrying about nothing as far as that goes.
but it's good that you're taking your rescue's temperament into consideration. so nice that your folks will usually take her.
our dog will tolerate a kennel without trauma, but he doesn't like it. when we go away we arrange to have someone stay here. we're rarely fortunate enough to get a house sitter who can also do the horses so have to have find two sets of caretakers! but the dog and cats are much happier getting to stay here, even without us, and we're more comfortable having someone we trust actually being in the house.
your concern about humping is easy enough to assuage. just ask the pet sitters whom you interview if their dogs are prone to doing it. but i wouldn't rule out a great sitter even if they say yes. if you express your concern they'll take steps to make sure it doesn't happen.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on


Take a deep breath. Let it out slowly.

Dogs do not "HOOK UP". Please talk to a vet about your concerns. If they tell you anything - it should be this - dogs "humping" is NOT a sexual thing. It is a DOMINANCE thing.

This is how dogs establish the "Alpha" or the "Dominant/Leader". You CANNOT stop this from happening. It is animal nature. Pure and Simple.

If you are NOT comfortable with her being around other dogs, please find a person who you are comfortable with in YOUR home or find a way to take your dog with you on your trip.

My dog is a VERY social dog. He has really never been alone. I've left him for a few hours, yes, but overall? No. He's a mama's boy. He's 4 years old. We have neighbors who have dogs. They play. Even when playing this happens...yep...they hump...or at least try to. Once dominance is established for the day - they are great! If it's been a few weeks since they played? Dominance is established again. And yep.....both sexes do this. Dogs are PACK ANIMALS...do yourself a favor and read up on the habits of PACK ANIMALS.

Good luck!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Beaumont on

A suggestion. Is there anyway you can get someone to come to your home and feed her? Perhaps stay there? A college-aged or older person who you'd trust. I think she'd be traumatized by leaving your house, strange dog interaction etc. Please consider this.

Bless you for taking her in, breaks my heart...

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Colorado Springs on

Ask the nice folks if their male dog still exhibits boy behavior. Tell them you're concerned.

You will need to tell them about your girl's problems. Poor thing, she will still be stressed out among strangers, and you will need to pick sitters who will work with her to make her more comfortable rather than be exasperated with some of the ways she shows her stress - like the bathroom behavior. She won't be able to control that, so they'll have to understand her.

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answers from Washington DC on

Why can't you see if a friend or neighbor wouldn't mind dog sitting? Not everyone goes away for holidays and you might be surprised.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Dogs do that (sometimes even female dogs!) because they want to show dominance over the other dog. Dogs are pack animals, and they don't think like we do. They recognize one Alpha, the leader of the pack. How do they know who the Alpha is? They work it out amongst themselves by doing things like humping each other, or showing their teeth, or if a dog wants to show that it is not the Alpha, it will roll over on its back. A well-trained dog will know that its human is its pack leader, and will not hump other dogs.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Why don't you want another dog humping her? There would be no harm in that, since the other dog would be neutered.

1 mom found this helpful
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