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Discussion Starter #1
So, back to the forum again seeking sage advice (and maybe a little humor to boot). Background: I have an unaltered, roughly 14 month old, female GSD who I've owned since she was 8 weeks old. I just acquired a 2.5 - 3 yr old, unaltered female GSD this weekend. While they have been excellent together so far, one disturbing behavior has emerged. Girl on girl humping.

The new addition - who is bigger - pins our other girl down and humps. On the floor. On the couch. Anywhere she lays still. It hasn't caused any fighting, but we actively discourage it. The weird thing is, the new girl is way chill. She hasn't shown any signs of aggression or trying to be dominant. Our younger girl, however, only tries to assert her dominance when she thinks the new girl gets too close to her food bowl. And even this has only happened once or twice. Really, they've gotten along quite remarkably. And while the humping is funny to watch, I don't want it to be a problem.

So, keepers of the GSD knowledge, why is this happening, and is there a way to reduce/eliminate this behavior? And as always, thanks in advance for sharing your expertise with us newbs!!

PS - If it matters, the new girl gets spayed in May. My younger one will be spayed when she gets over the age of 2.
 

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The humping is a dominant behavior. I would put an end to it ASAP. Go to Leerburg.com and read about introducing dogs and being your dog's pack leader. Female to female is often the hardest to pair successfully. I bear the scars from 2 GSD females, both spayed, that came into my house as adults at different times. Never did get along and one day when I had a migraine, I did not get the bottom part of our Dutch door hall door shut...silent mouth to mouth bitch fight that was going to be to the death. You can make it work, just manage it. Have a friend that had 3 GSD spayed females and 1 neutered male living in peace. But they were managed and worked.
 

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this is SO SERIOUS . The match is lit and falling to the gasoline puddle on the floor.

there is nothing funny or entertaining -- - it isn't sexual expression , it is social climbing and
very dominating .

this can turn into a blood bath in the blink of an eye.

can you change the dynamics of this? Maybe not.

a dynamic has been set .

You failed your younger dog - that was her home
the first gsd ,

why do you allow this ? "
The new addition - who is bigger - pins our other girl down and humps. On the floor. On the couch. Anywhere she lays still."
The new and older dog should not even has this freedom in the house yet .

you say " but we actively discourage it." First you need to prevent this - and you aren't reading the dog well enough .

how are you trying to discourange it ?

you have only had the newbie older dog for the week-end . Any chance you could take her back?
 

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Agree with the others. This is a fight waiting to happen. Either take the new girl back or be prepared to crate and rotate for the next 10 years.
Aside from being grossly unfair to your younger dog who now is being bullied in her own home, this is a dominant and aggressive behavior. It isn't funny and it should never have been allowed to happen.
 

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Bitch fighting is very serious. What does the rescue group say about the new dog? Someone should have told you she is dog dominant.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well, first, thank you for your replies and strong opinions. Obviously, I don't know everything about GSDs, or I wouldn't have come here for advice. I didn't classify this as dominant behavior. Now I do, and I will work to make it right.

I do, however, want to address a bigger picture idea. Two of the first three responses to my question were far more accusatory than helpful. I'll leave it up to the future reader to decide which ones are which. But these two responses beg an important question: what is the purpose of this forum? I believe it is to bring those with a shared love for GSDs who have the experience and knowledge together with those who are, like me, still learning. Responses in the manner the other two replies were given are going to do nothing more than drive people who have less experience and knowledge away. Responses of this nature will encourage new learners to NOT ask questions or to seek answers from less reputable people and places. Surely this is not what we want as an online community! I say this in the spirit of love as I've found this to be an invaluable resource.

Finally, I'm not mad at anyone for their opinions. If you've taken offense to my response, then I've not done a good job of conveying my message. You're passionate about doing what's best for these dogs, and I get that. Heck, I even appreciate it. I want what's best for my dogs, too. But, I ask you to seriously consider the method of delivery. Not everyone is as thick-skinned as I am, and this will drive people away. Food for thought.
 

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Well, first, thank you for your replies and strong opinions. Obviously, I don't know everything about GSDs, or I wouldn't have come here for advice. I didn't classify this as dominant behavior. Now I do, and I will work to make it right.

I do, however, want to address a bigger picture idea. Two of the first three responses to my question were far more accusatory than helpful. I'll leave it up to the future reader to decide which ones are which. But these two responses beg an important question: what is the purpose of this forum? I believe it is to bring those with a shared love for GSDs who have the experience and knowledge together with those who are, like me, still learning. Responses in the manner the other two replies were given are going to do nothing more than drive people who have less experience and knowledge away. Responses of this nature will encourage new learners to NOT ask questions or to seek answers from less reputable people and places. Surely this is not what we want as an online community! I say this in the spirit of love as I've found this to be an invaluable resource.

Finally, I'm not mad at anyone for their opinions. If you've taken offense to my response, then I've not done a good job of conveying my message. You're passionate about doing what's best for these dogs, and I get that. Heck, I even appreciate it. I want what's best for my dogs, too. But, I ask you to seriously consider the method of delivery. Not everyone is as thick-skinned as I am, and this will drive people away. Food for thought.
I think our thought was to convey how serious this really is, not be offensive. I'm sorry that you took it that way.
The issue is that bitches fight for keeps. Once the fighting starts they aren't trying to prove anything, they are trying to erase rivals. Like permanently.
Humping is often seen as a sexual behavior, when in reality it is a dominant behavior first and foremost. It is the ultimate insult. It is literally one dog telling another that they have no power and no options. The fact that your younger bitch is defending her food tells me she will not continue to submit and the fight is looming. Spaying these girls will not correct this, may in fact escalate it.

If these were my dogs the new arrival would be going back.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Bitch fighting is very serious. What does the rescue group say about the new dog? Someone should have told you she is dog dominant.
She wasn't a "traditional" rescue. She was a friend's dog, who due to some unfortunate circumstances, can't keep her anymore. She has never been dog dominant before. If anything, she's always been on the timid/follower spectrum around other dogs - including mine. I've never seen female-female humping before, and if I had thought her to be "dog dominant", I never would have agreed to take her.
 

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Just some advice. You also need to separate the dogs when eating. If one is done eating before the other, then you can have problems. Either a fight, or someone doesn’t get all their food. I have 3 GSDs and they are fed in different places. Russ in his crate, Carly in the dining room, and Scarlet in the TV room.
 

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I think our thought was to convey how serious this really is, not be offensive. I'm sorry that you took it that way.
The issue is that bitches fight for keeps. Once the fighting starts they aren't trying to prove anything, they are trying to erase rivals. Like permanently.
Humping is often seen as a sexual behavior, when in reality it is a dominant behavior first and foremost. It is the ultimate insult. It is literally one dog telling another that they have no power and no options. The fact that your younger bitch is defending her food tells me she will not continue to submit and the fight is looming. Spaying these girls will not correct this, may in fact escalate it.

If these were my dogs the new arrival would be going back.
I know the responses are harsh, but sometimes that is the only to convey, in text, the seriousness of the situation.

There is such serious potential for disaster here. Can't stress enough to take the new dog back. I feel really bad for the young girl who just had her life turned upside down by a new bully in the house. From this moment on, crate and rotate them. Do NOT let them interact. There is a serious chance the new older dog will maul and maybe even kill your pup ..and it happens in a split second. Please please please...you need to understand the situation you are potentially facing, and you need to understand you won't be able to control this or manage it in the future with your level of experience.

I agree with you that harshness just makes a new person go away sometimes, and ultimately that hurts the dog..you just have to remember you are in a forum with people who even spend their free time typing about their dogs online. So, we are a little dog centric and perhaps very passionate to the point of being a bit flamey.
 

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While it most definitely should not be allowed to happen, it is not always a sign of a dominant dog. It can often happen with a insecure dog, that is testing it's place in the pack hierarchy, as well as for other reasons, stress being another. It most definitely can lead to fights, and a fight, especially between two females, can get very ugly.

Keep a close eye on the offender, stop the action before it starts, and correct. If you can't nip it in the bud, you may have to crate and rotate, or find someone else that can take the new dog in.
 

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And another poster said- bitch fights are forever- that is very true. Once they are enemies only a well trained experienced individual can deal with keeping them safe from each other. Just like a good majority of females of other species...ahem. Boys will come to blows and be friends next day. Girls take enemy status to the grave.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I think our thought was to convey how serious this really is, not be offensive. I'm sorry that you took it that way.
The issue is that bitches fight for keeps. Once the fighting starts they aren't trying to prove anything, they are trying to erase rivals. Like permanently.
Humping is often seen as a sexual behavior, when in reality it is a dominant behavior first and foremost. It is the ultimate insult. It is literally one dog telling another that they have no power and no options. The fact that your younger bitch is defending her food tells me she will not continue to submit and the fight is looming. Spaying these girls will not correct this, may in fact escalate it.

If these were my dogs the new arrival would be going back.
I'm not offended. And thank you for the clarification. Explaining "why" something is serious - to me - is much more helpful. No hard feelings?

We didn't have this problem when we brought in our Miniature Schnauzer - also a female. And I know this dog. I just never imagined there would be an issue.
 

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I thought your younger dog was 4 months, I misread. In any event I think with your stated experience level it isn't a good or safe match in your home. If a friend had to rehome her to you, I guess taking her back is not an option? Crate and rotate until you can figure this out. Dogs go through a shut down when they are rehomed...you won't know how she will really be until you have had a her a good month. If she is already asserting dominance over your younger dog, it will probably only escalate as she gets comfortable. There is a chance she is being that way because she is only trying to assert herself in a new place and it is insecurity.

However, there is no safe way to assess and try it out without risking a vicious dog fight. Are you able to crate and rotate?
 

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While it most definitely should not be allowed to happen, it is not always a sign of a dominant dog. It can often happen with a insecure dog, that is testing it's place in the pack hierarchy, as well as for other reasons, stress being another. It most definitely can lead to fights, and a fight, especially between two females, can get very ugly.

Keep a close eye on the offender, stop the action before it starts, and correct. If you can't nip it in the bud, you may have to crate and rotate, or find someone else that can take the new dog in.
I've known this dog for a while. She has never shown signs of dominance before. Insecure? That may be a better description of her personality. She's definitely undergoing the stress of being uprooted from what she's always known into a new environment - even one she somewhat knows.
 

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I've known this dog for a while. She has never shown signs of dominance before. Insecure? That may be a better description of her personality. She's definitely undergoing the stress of being uprooted from what she's always known into a new environment - even one she somewhat knows.
All this other stuff would have been helpful in your original post lol It sounded like you brought in an unknown rescue and she was going to town on your younger female. I would have tempered my opinion had I known the dog was known to you and you did have some insight as to her normal disposition. This is why forum advice can be thought provoking but should not be relied upon. People here can't possibly know other details you didn't mention.

Can you get a trainer in? And crate and rotate?
 

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We didn't have this problem when we brought in our Miniature Schnauzer - also a female. And I know this dog. I just never imagined there would be an issue.


Ah. GSDs are known for same sex aggression. Not all girls will fight, but there’s always that possibility.

I have two myself, one is 8 and one will be 2 this summer. My older girl Carly is pretty dominant, but for some reason really likes the younger dog, and plays with her all the time. I had another female previous to my new girl. She and Carly got along great. In the past I had two Dobe bitches that got along, until they didn’t. I had to rehome one after a particularly serious fight that landed one dog at the vet. I know what behavior to look for now.
 
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