Why Do Dogs Hump



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Puppies and Dogs engage in all kinds of human socially unacceptable behavior, but for them, it’s perfectly normal dog behavior. From rolling in the stinkiest of messes to mounting your leg, it’s embarrassing and undesirable behavior from your furry friend.

Why do dogs hump? White shaggy haired terrier dog, humping a brown teddy bear, on a red patterned rug, with drawers and green houseplant at the edge of the photo.

However, we have to remember that our dogs are behaving normally. Humping, mounting, or thrusting is all normal doggy behavior for both male and female dogs. It has nothing to do with dominance and it may not be sexual either. Puppies and Dogs have been known to mount people, other dogs, cushions, toys, their bed, and even air. There are several reasons that dogs engage in humping behavior.

Reasons Dogs Hump/Mount/Thrust

Some reasons that puppies and dogs hump:

  • Play. Puppies will often mount each other during play, taking it in turns. Young dogs will also mount each other during play to initiate chase games. This isn’t sexual, they are reverting to puppy-type play.
  • Over-arousal. When a dog or puppy becomes over-aroused during play they may start mounting excessively. It is time for your dog to have a break and some time to calm down. Excessive mounting can cause the other dog to react.
  • Boredom. Puppies and dogs will often hump to relieve boredom and excess energy. Your dog will also have learned that it feels good.
  • Stress Relief. Some dogs will hump or mount other dogs if they are feeling anxious. This isn’t about dominance, your dog is feeling anxious and this is how it releases its stress. If you don’t try to work out this issue your dog may become a compulsive humper.
  • Sexual. Humping can be sexual, especially if there is a dog in season. Female dogs in season will also mount other dogs. Male un-neutered dogs will hump because of their hormones.
  • Medical. Excessive humping and licking can be a sign of a medical issue. Your pup may have skin irritation or a urinary tract infection. A trip to the vet will help to resolve this issue.

My Dog Likes To Hump Everything

If your dog humps excessively and humps everything there are some questions you need to answer.

  1. Is your dog spayed/neutered?
  2. Is this a new behavior?
  3. Does my dog only do this in certain situations?

Spaying or neutering your dog will reduce the humping and mounting, as it is most likely hormone-driven behavior. Not only will spaying or neutering reduce the humping but it will also prevent unwanted pregnancies and medical complications for your dog later in their life.

If this is a new behavior, a trip to the vet for a check-up will help to determine if your dog has any skin irritations or a urinary tract infection. A vet will be able to provide the necessary treatment. If your dog has neither of these.

The vet will also be able to help you determine if something is stressing out your dog and will be able to refer you to a behaviorist to help resolve the behavior. It will be useful to determine what is triggering your dog to hump and you can work with them to resolve it.

How Do I Stop My Dog Humping

Once you have determined what is triggering your dog and causing them to hump you can work towards removing or reducing the behavior. Distraction is most commonly and successfully used in these situations. Don’t shout at your dog, they won’t know why you are upset with them, this is normal behavior for a dog.

When your dog starts to mount, distract them with a treat, a toy, or a game. Reward your dog when they break off from humping and listen to you. This will take time, but your dog will soon learn that other behaviors receive rewards, but mounting or humping doesn’t.

It is always easiest to distract your dog by getting them to perform a task that they know securely, such as ‘sit’ or ‘fetch’. Teaching your dog to ‘leave it’ will also help when you’re outside and you want your dog not to mount the other dog or the other dog’s human!

When my female spayed Husky starts to mount another dog, I tell her ‘leave it’ and call her away. She does this when she’s over-excited and I take her away for a few minutes to calm down. As she’s gotten older this doesn’t happen too often anymore.

My Dog’s Embarassing Humping Habit – My Conclusion

Both male and female dogs and puppies mount and hump, it’s what they do, just like rolling in stinky stuff. The best defense against the embarrassment of this for us humans is training. Teach your dog to ‘leave it’ and reward the positive behaviors.

If your usual non-humpy dog starts humping then get them to a vet for a check-up. If stressful situations trigger humping from your dog, try to make their environment as stress-free as possible. Your vet will be able to recommend a good non-aversive trainer or behaviorist to help.

I hope that you found this article helpful.

Before you go, you may find these articles interesting:

Why Does My Dog Eat Grass

Do All Dogs Bark

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