Five and a half months ago I took home from a dog refuge a cross-bred Britanny Spaniel to be company for our Border Collie (who at the time was 7 months old). So today the Border is one year old and the Britanny (Jake) is eleven.

Generally, they get on well, and if the young border wants to play too much (he loves chewing the other's ear) the older dog bears his teeth and snarls, and will even chase the younger around the garden to get him stop.

At the beginning, Jake was very quiet and calm, but has opened up and now dashes to me when I get home from work, and will follow me around the garden and all around the house - my wife says that he now lives only for me! Just recently though, he has started to dry hump the Border, and now follows him about like a love-sick suitor! What is strange is that the Border was castrated five months ago.

I know that dry humping can be a sign of dominance, but between the two it has always been the Border who is dominant - for example, if the Border has finished eating and Jake hasn't, the Border just pushes him away and finishes the bowl (in practise either I am there to stop this or one eats outside and the other inside).

So, finally, my question is should I have him castrated or is he too old? What alternative solutions are there? At the moment, when he does it we say "No" and he usually stops, otherwise we push him away and repeat "No" until he stops (usually for about 10 minutes max!).

1 Answer 1


You can castrate him and that may help significantly. However it will also very likely take a bit of training too. Letting him know that it is not allowed by telling him no and making him stop will be necessary as well. It is a good sign that he didn't do this from the beginning because it shows the behavior isn't so ingrained that it will be difficult to train out of him. I think the key will be to take action quickly so that he doesn't build up a history of it that will be harder to break.

Often as dogs get used to each other, age, or other changes happen they will "test" the rules and show different behavior then they had before. Be consistent with your rules and he will fall in line.

Because he is older your vet will likely do more blood work to make sure he is healthy enough for the procedure.

  • Thanks for your reply. We are sayting "No" every time he does it. However, it seems to really be sexual, rather than domination. About two months ago the neighbour's dog came into heat and he spent his time gazing through the fence at her, and when he came into the hosue (sometimes I had to go and physically drag him in) he had a forlorn, hang-dog, look about him. And that's exactly the look he has now as he follows the Border around the house.
    – Steve
    Commented Mar 4, 2014 at 11:49

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