Last week I went to a lesson for a male bulldog named Patton. Sarah and Jack had bought Patton when he was 8 weeks old and had him neutered at around 9 months of age. When I got to the house, Sarah and Jack explained to me that Patton had a very peculiar behavior that he would do throughout the day, especially when Jack (who was a police officer) was at work. They said that they had called me to to fix a very disgusting behavior, as it was very upsetting to Sarah.
Are you ready for this???? Patton would sit facing Sarah and he would get an erection as he stared at her. Sarah explained that often he would continue by licking himself. OK, I am sorry….I usually never write about such things, but I just could not help myself here.
This was the most bazaar behavioral problem I had ever been asked to fix. Sarah wanted me to teach Patton to turn his back to Sarah when he was exposing his full Monty. How in the world was I going to teach this dog to do this? I explained that this is a normal canine behavior. We have all heard the joke, “why do dogs lick their balls?? Because they can!” However in this case I don’t feel it was about pleasuring himself and I also didn’t share Sarah’s interpretation that her dog was a pervert and was doing this on purpose. Sometimes neutered dogs will get erections when they get excited over certain events (going for a ride in the car, going hunting, going to doggie daycare), however this was not really an erection, but the sheath pulling back, exposing the penis. The anatomy of Patton seemed to be the basic issue here. When Patton would sit, his knees would spread. By seperating his knees the skin in his groin (which was a bit tight), would pull the sheath back from the penis, exposing his phallus. With the penis exposed, Patton would lick it, to encourage it to retract. So unfortunately there was not much I could do for these clients, except to try and get them both to understand that what Patton was doing was disgustingly normal for a male dog!