Reasons Why Dogs Hump and How to Stop It

I know you love your buddy.

But, I’m also sure you have had those embarrassing moments when he got a little, well, “overexcited”.

You know what I’m talking about.

Sometimes he humps other dogs, or your pillow, or that poor stuffed animal or worst, your limbs.

And it can be pretty awkward and embarrassing when your dog is onto something and doing “that” moves in front of other people. It is especially cringe-worthy when your dog starts humping a guest who does not like or have dogs.

Although this is a harmless behavior, there are ways on how you can discourage your dog from unleashing its affection on everything in sight.

But, first…

Why Do Dogs Hump?

Although humping is an action that might seem sexual in nature, this is not always the case. There are several reasons for this behavior.

1. Hormonal or Sexual

The most obvious reason, an intact dog (one that is not neutered or spayed) tend to hump other dogs because of sexual attraction and their raging hormones. And when both dogs are intact, they end up mating.

Sometimes, an intact doggo can hump a neutered or spayed dog. And it is not just the males, females also hump and it can or cannot be sexual in nature. In addition, when a dog humps people or objects, it can be a form of masturbation.

2. Showing Dominance

Mounting is a way for both non-dominant and dominant dogs to exert control over others. Some non-dominant pips with the want f being an alpha can obtain a rewarding experience from humping as it feels natural for them to get high from showing dominance.

And it is not just that males that like to show dominance. Females also hump as a way of showing that they can be the alpha.

3. Playfulness

Play humping, just like play fighting, is also a normal behavior between 2 pups, as long as this does not upset or annoy one of the dogs. There are some dogs that like to play hump on each other. Some simply love humping which can annoy the other. In that case, make sure that you break it up or it will end in a fight.

4. Excitement

Most of the time, non-sexual arousal or excitement is more likely to push your dog to hump. It is just a way for him to relieve stress or boredom or burn off some energy.

In simpler terms, some dogs run, some bark or jump, and others like to hump. This is quite normal for most dogs, especially the ones always left at home without mental stimulation and exercise.

5. Medical Problems

While humping is not typically related to medical problems, there are always a few possibilities.

Skin allergies, UTI and priapism (a persistent erection) can cause humping as well as other behaviors such as rubbing against furniture or licking the genital area.

Going to the vet should be able to help in ruling out any health conditions as a possible cause for humping.

So, How To Stop Your Dog From Humping?

Seeking Medical Attention

First off, you need to know if your dog is humping just because he likes it or is overexcited or if there is actually an underlying medical condition that you need to know.

You need to have your dog checked for any medical conditions. Some conditions can be serious if not treated and requires proper medical attention.

1. Give Him Appropriate Medications

When your dog’s humping is associated with anxiety or stress, then you need to ask your vet for the right anti-anxiety medications, which can help stop the humping behavior while improving your buddy’s overall physical and mental health.

Medications can only be used as the last resort and only in extreme conditions. For example, if your Fido is displaying other signs of anxiety such as destructive behavior or obsessive licking, then he might have some serious anxiety problems which need to be addressed.

2. Spay or Neuter Your Pup

As mentioned before, humping can be a display of social dominance. And spaying or neutering your pup can be a helpful measure. If you’re going this route, then it is important that you get your dog fixed as early as possible to have the greatest effect.

Take note that while this can help decrease the mounting problem, particularly in males, this may or may not completely eliminate the problem. Especially with older dogs, such a habit was usually encouraged and ingrained.

3. Consider an Animal Behaviorist

If your Fido tends to be aggressive when you try to stop them from humping, then you should consider taking him to a Certified Veterinary Behaviorist or Animal Behaviorist. You should never try to change his behavior, especially when he is aggressive.

If you can’t find a behaviorist in your local area, consider looking for a certified professional dog trainer with experience in dealing with humping and aggression.

Controlling The Behavior

When you rule out the possibility of medical problems as a cause for the embarrassing behavior and your dog still humps you without a care in the world, here are some tips on how you can control him.

1. Making a Loud Noise

To correct his humping behavior, say “No” in a loud and authoritative voice. Dogs tend to get into a trance as they mount; however, a loud noise should be enough to startle them out of such trance.

Make sure that your tone is assertive, but not angry, since anger can increase their energy rather than lowering it. If he doesn’t respond to your voice, you can try using another source such as an air horn or a whistle.

Make the noise whenever your dog is getting ready or in the middle of humping and not after it.

2. Show Him Who’s the Boss

Sometimes, dogs show their dominance by humping others. They mount other dogs or another person to show that they are far dominant.

When this happens, you need to break your dog away from the victim. When he tries to come back to his target, put yourself in between your dog and his target to physically block him.

Take note that a dog displaying dominant behavior can paw you, nudge you, or growl at you when you stand in between or take things from him.

So, you need to stay calm as you step in between. Lean forward or gently move your dog away with your knee or hip to send a message.

Keep in mind that your purpose is not to hurt your buddy, but to help him snap out of this behavior while showing him that you’re taking command.

3. Ignoring the Behavior

Dogs tend to hump in order to get attention. When this happens, you can ignore your dog’s behavior by pushing him away or turning away from him. You can also move away or sit down so that your dog can’t hump you.

4. Give Him a “Time Out”

If your dog won’t stop trying to hump you even if you ignore his behavior or move away from him, then you might need to physically remove him from the area until they stop.

Say “No” in a loud and authoritative way whenever he tries to hump you and then lead him out of the room and into a closed and quiet room for a few minutes. Make sure that there are no toys that he can play inside the room.

Leave him there for at least 30 seconds to 3 minutes until he calms down. When you release him, act as though nothing has happened and stay calm.

This should make your dog think that humping you means that he will be left alone without play and will think twice before doing it again.

5. Put Him on a Leash

If you do not have a space to put your dog for a time-out whenever he humps or if there are guests coming to visit your home, you can keep your dog on a leash using either a drag-line or a tab. This should also help remove your dog from any aggressive situation.

6. Redirecting His Energy

For dogs who like to hump because of their overflowing energy, you can help redirect that energy into an acceptable behavior.

How?

You can do this by playing with your dog, taking him outside for a walk, or doing other fun and stimulating activities. You can throw him his favorite toy or use interactive toys that dispense treat to redirect his attention.

Preventing The Embarrassing Behavior

Most of the time, prevention is the best solution. So, to save yourself from the efforts and frustrations of controlling and stopping your dog from humping others, here are some tips to prevent this unwanted behavior before it even starts.

1. Avoid Encouraging the Behavior

Some owners think that it is cute when their little pup first humps something like a pillow or a stuffed animal. But, it certainly won’t be cute or fun at all when he starts targeting your arms or legs or your guests’.

So, if you wish to prevent such embarrassing behavior from starting, you need to stop it the moment you see him try. Allowing or even encouraging the behavior in any form can make him think that this is a behavior you want.

2. Obedience Training

The standard obedience training is an effective and healthy way to prevent your dog’s humping behavior. This kind of training can help your dog focus and release their overwhelming energy on something more productive than humping.

The overall goal of this training program is to get your dog to listen to you. Some of the basic commands include “stay”, “down”, “sit” and “heel” which you can use to interrupt your dog when he starts the behavior.

3. Regular Exercise

For dogs with too much energy, you can prevent the unwanted behavior of humping by regularly exercising and stimulating your buddy.

If you can drain his energy every day with structured exercise, then you can help prevent him from using excess energy on that behavior.

You can walk your dog, allow him to run around in the backyard, and playing some mentally stimulating activities.

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