Understanding Your Dog’s Playroom Behavior

At Dogtopia daycare, a pet parent can be part of the playroom fun by watching their dog on the live webcams available on our mobile app and website. While this is exciting to watch, sometimes you might see certain behavior and wonder if it is appropriate for your dog. We understand how canine behavior can look, especially if their dog is the one being mounted. At Dogtopia, we are committed to keeping your dog safe and healthy. Our canine behaviorist, Colleen Demling-Riley, discusses why this happens, how our Canine Coaches address this in the playroom and what pet parents can do at home.

Why do dogs mount or hump?

Contrary to what many people think, mounting behavior in a playroom has little to do with sexual interest. At Dogtopia, this behavior is most commonly noticed when a dog is overly excited, anxious, or may be acting out. For example, mounting can occur when there is fast play in the room, excessive barking, or a new dog entering the play group. You can think of it like the dog version of biting your nails. A dog who may be insecure, may also try to mount another dog to establish some sort of control. For example, the mounting dog might be thinking: “Look what I can do to you! That makes me the boss, right?”

What do the Canine Coaches do when they observe this behavior?

Our Canine Coaches go through extensive training to understand dog body language, from the tiny, subtle facial expressions to the obvious ones like mounting. We understand that this common behavior looks different to pet parents than what is going on in the mind of a dog! When we see this behavior, we implement several techniques to calmly redirect. You might see:

  • The pup who was mounting can be asked to sit multiple times in a row
  • The mounting pup might be walked on a slip lead around the room and asked to remember the importance of self-control
  • The dog being mounted might need lessons or exercises with our Canine Coaches to increase confidence if they are insecure

What can pet parents do to help?

There are things pet parents can do to help address this behavioral issue while at home or at dog daycare. Training not only establishes your authority with your dog, but it will make it easier for your pup to get along with other dogs and humans. Here are some things you can do:

  • Share any commands that your pup knows, like “Leave it” to help Canine Coaches redirect when needed
  • Some dogs need to have 10-15 minutes of vigorous exercise before entering Dogtopia daycare, just to work out some energy first
  • Attend dog daycare consistently as it will help even out the energy as regular daycare pups get to know each other well

We promise to love and care for your dog like they were our own! Before starting daycare at Dogtopia, we require your dog to pass a Meet & Greet evaluation where we learn about the health and behavior history of your pup, their personality and what you’re hoping for when bringing your dog to daycare. This allows us to place your dog in a playroom based on their size and temperament, so they are always playing with like-minded dogs. Your dog will enjoy 8-10 hours of open play in our safe and clean playrooms with plenty of BFFFs (Best Furry Friends Forever). Their days will be full of exercise and burning off energy, socializing with other dogs and being mentally stimulated with engaging brain games and our team of Canine Coaches. At Dogtopia, your dog will love learning how to be a well-balanced pup in our fun environment. Make it the Most Exciting Day Ever and sign your dog up for daycare!