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Why Do Dogs Interrupt Sex?

Why do some dogs interfere when people are kissing, necking, or having sex? And what should you do about it?

By
Jolanta Benal, CPDT-KA, CBCC-KA,
Episode #213
Dog at bed

This week, I’ll address a question that clients tend to ask me in whispers: Why does our dog interrupt us when we’re kissing? Or necking? Or having full-on sex? And what can we do about it? Before I get started, a disclaimer: You’re not about to hear any explicit sexual details. This is really about your dog’s behavior, not yours..

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I like to know what I’m up against, so when I’m preparing these episodes, I check out what the Great and Mighty Internet has to say. Sadly, on the question of why dogs interrupt people when we’re getting busy, the Great and Mighty Internet is even stupider than usual. I’ll say this loud and clear: Your dog isn’t interrupting you because he or she is “dominant,” and changing his behavior has zero to do with being the “alpha.” There’s no scientific support for those ideas, so please go worry about climate change instead.

Because physical intimacy is special to us, we tend to bracket it off from other kinds of interactions. But I wouldn’t bet the farm on our dogs’ thinking that our kissing, hugging, etc., is anything especially significant. Instead, let’s think about why dogs might get pesty in general, and see how that applies to them pestering us while we try to have sex.

Reason #1: Your Dog May Be Seeking Attention

Here’s something I would bet the farm on: Interrupting people during physical intimacy is a brilliant way to get attention. You start kissing, Dogalini starts barking or pawing at you, and what are the odds that you’re going to ignore the mood-killer and just carry on? Might those odds be slim to none? With a Dogalini who’s a human-attention junkie and maybe a bit bored, I could see this turning into a situation where any physical contact between people becomes as much of a cue as “Sit” or “Down.”

As I’ve said many times, dogs are social animals and attention is a legitimate need. Also, boredom and understimulation are culprits in much of the dog behavior that gets on humans’ nerves. So, first of all, make sure you’re dealing with the root causes of your dog’s pestering – not only when you’re planning (or hoping for) a big night, but every day. Make sure she gets plenty of physical exercise – long walks, off-leash time if you can safely provide that, energetic games like Fetch and Tug. Add mental stimulation to the mix – that could mean reward-based training, scent games, and food-dispensing toys. And notice that in meeting her needs for mental and physical exercise, you’ve also given her lots of attention.

Now that you’ve set Dogalini up to be less inclined to pester in the first place, you can also give her something to keep her busy while you’re otherwise occupied. Again, for most dogs the best bet is a food-dispensing toy or chew. If Dogalini is crate-trained – which she should be, anyway – you can park her there to enjoy her … booty.

For more reasons why dogs interrupt sex, click the audio player above and listen to the full podcast.

You can also come visit me on Facebook or write to me at dogtrainer@quickanddirtytips.com. I usually can’t reply personally, but check out past episodes – I might already have answered your question. Thanks for reading!

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Dog image courtesy of Shutterstock.

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