Social cues, often in the form of priming pheromones, can retard or enhance the rate of sexual development in a variety of mammals. The complex interactions between the social environment and reproduction have been explored most thoroughly in the house mouse. A urinary pheromone produced by females in a group inhibits sexual development, and a urinary pheromone from adult males accelerates onset of puberty in juvenile females. These priming pheromones apparently are detected by the vomeronasal organ and induce the changes in ovarian function via changes in the hypothalamic-pituitary system. Accelerated onset of puberty is not accompanied by deficits in reproductive performance. Puberty acceleration can have important management implications for domestic farm animals. It already is proving useful for manipulation in rearing swine and in synchronizing seasonal reproductive recrudescence in sheep. In cattle, the results are less clear that signals from the bull can hasten onset of puberty in heifers. The effect may be operable only under certain nutritional or other interacting conditions. Presumably, the postpartum anestrus period in the cow can be shortened by stimulation from the bull, although pheromones have not been implicated in this effect.