Issue 14: January 10
Dear Dr. Schelling,

We recently adopted our first dog, Romeo, a young adult Rat Terrier. He's a wonderful dog in every respect. Except for one problem—he has a habit of humping visitors when they arrive. Awkward. Romeo's been neutered. What should we do?

- Romeo's "chaperones"

Dear Romeo's "chaperones,"

The problem is not insurmountable, and pending a consultation with your veterinarian may be solved simply by ignoring the behavior or redirecting Romeo's energies in ways that appeal to him but are more socially acceptable to nearby humans. Check with your vet to rule out medical causes and possibly investigate behavioral issues; together, you can figure out the best course of action. It may very well be the case that Romeo gets a clean bill of physical and emotional health. Sometimes humping is just a way of communicating in the canine world; dogs don't usually share our human concern about knowing or giving out "too much information." This article—Sexual Behavior in Neutered Dogs—goes into more detail about the causes of mounting in neutered dogs, and provides recommendations on diagnosing and dealing with the issue.

-Dr. Schelling
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