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So, as much as my two dogs really love each other, they can get competitive over things from time to time, as I'm sure most multi-dog households do. Usually they are pretty peaceful about working things out. They'll flash their teeth, or growl, or just give the other a dirty look, and the other will back off. However, given Charlotte can get really nasty if pushed to far, I make sure I do what I can to prevent things from happening. I feed them separately, I supervise them when they play with each other, or when they have treats and toys, and pick everything up when they are done.

Last night, we went to Petsmart and basically went on a dog toy shopping spree. Over time, most of the toys these guys have had have either gone missing or have been destroyed, so we decided it was time to get them some new stuff to play with. Upon returning, I handed the dogs each a toy, based on what they tend to like best. Charlotte a stuffed squeaky bear, and Marlin a kong. They played with these for a little while, when Marlin kept looking over at Charlotte. He eventually left his kong, and jumped up onto the bed beside her, obviously wanting her toy, and proceeded to hump her.

Marlin never humps Charlotte. There has always been a mutual respect between them. Charlotte stood up and snapped at him and he backed off, and I kind shoo'd him away. About 10 minutes later, he did this again. Same thing happened. This time, I took the toys away, thinking it was Charlotte's toy that was causing the issue. He kept doing this even after the toy was taken away, all the way up until bed time.

This morning, everything was back to normal again, so I decided to try the toys once more, while watching closely. This time I handed Marlin the toy Charlotte had the night before, and gave Charlotte a different one. Marlin was fine up until he saw Charlotte enjoying the toy, and everything started all over again. Charlotte really likes Marlin a lot, and most of her reaction has just sort of been a defensive "Knock it OFF!!" kind of response, never trying to hurt him or anything. But...what's going on?

I've been told dogs don't hump to dominate, but I really can't see any other reason for this. Marlin has never tried to mount Charlotte before, and somehow I don't think he's trying to knock her up. The toys are what's causing this, but i guess I'm looking more for an explanation for this behavior, so I can better understand it and take action from there to keep the peace.
 

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Occasionally, humping may be due to showing dominance. I think more often it's due to things like play, excitement, stress, and over stimulation. It sounds to me lime Marlin got over excited and over stimulated at the TWO new toys and was lime a kid in a candy store, just kind of out of control.

Our dogs get like this, too, whenever we get new toys. But, after about a day, they no longer care about who has what toy.

I'd only introduce two new toys at a time. Keep the other new toys to introduce in a few days or a week. And, take the new toys away at the first sign of trouble and redirect them to older toys or other activities.
 
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