As dog owners, nothing is more embarrassing than your dog humping. Whether it be inanimate objects, guests, or other dogs, it can bring color to your cheeks. You might be wondering the different reasons why dogs hump and how to stop it. Let’s take a look at a few causes and solutions.
Why Is My Dog Trying To Hump Me?
Before we tell you about how to stop mounting behavior in your dog, let’s talk about why they do it. It might surprise you that in most situations, it’s normal behavior. The first step to stopping your dog is to identify why they do it. Here are a few of the most common reasons for your dog’s humping.
In young dogs, it’s normal behaviors for dogs to hump each other. They might even take turns mounting each other for brief moments. This type of play is not about dominance or sexual attraction. It becomes an issue if the dog’s playing doesn’t reciprocate the canine behaviors. Or if they are playing with humans when it happens.
In settings like a dog park, all the dogs playing don’t have the same manners. What might be innocent play could be mistaken for rudeness by older dogs. And when this happens, aggressive behavior will follow suit. So it’s best not to let your dog hump and teach proper social interaction to prevent future conflicts. Keep your dog leashed until they learn manners, and maybe even keep play sessions with other dogs short. After a bit of training and redirection, your dog will learn better ways of communicating with others.
If the humping starts while playing with humans, stop the play immediately. Use the command “off” and wait until your dog stops to play again. You might go through this cycle several times, but you are teaching your dog that humping is not acceptable play for you.
Excitement Or Stress
Another reason your dog could have excessive humping is due to over-excitement or stress. Think about the last time you had guests in your home. Your dog likely was overwhelmed with excitement and didn’t know how to place his feelings. In most dogs, humping is a displacement behavior in response to situations they can’t control.
But it’s not just humping visitors. Your dog could become stressed from too much excitement in everyday tasks. Things like coming home from work, going to the park, grooming, and more could be stress factors to dogs. And without a way to channel this stress, it comes out in the form of humping. In extreme cases, it could lead to an obsessive-compulsive behavior humping behavior. You will know when the situation is becoming severe when they start humping objects like the dog bed, pillows, or other furniture.
The best way to combat this is to remove all stress factors. Most owners also find that keeping to a strict schedule and enough exercise helps prevent this type of humping. And in the case of guests, it might be a great idea to crate train your dog. Since your dog will have a predictable schedule, there will be fewer chances of getting overwhelmed. And your humping problems will disappear.
And finally, the last reason a dog might be humping is medical conditions. It’s common for male dogs with urinary tract infections to hump to relieve pain. Skin allergies and urinary incontinence could also cause your dog to hump relentlessly. So before getting too far, you might want to get your dog checked by a vet for underlying medical issues. You might only need a round of antibiotics to resolve dog humping.
How Do I Stop My Dog From Jumping Up And Humping?
So we’ve identified some reasons why dogs hump and how to stop it, but the process can be long. While trying to figure out your dog’s triggers, you will still want to redirect the behavior. But instead of yelling at your dog or getting physical, there are better ways to get your dog’s attention.
When your dog jumps up, use a simple phrase like “stop” or “off.” As soon as your dog jumps up, gently pull away, stand up, or hold your arm above their heads. Doing this will prevent your dog from mounting, and after several attempts, they will understand their new “stop” command.
Now that your dog is off and staying off, reward them for good behavior. This can be a treat or toy but remember not to excite them too much. If you get your dog riled up again, they are likely to try humping again. Then you can take your dog for a walk to burn off excess energy.
Doing this might take some time, but your dog is intelligent. He or she will get it sooner than you might think. And then it will seem like a thing of the past.
How Can I Calm My Male Dog’s Hormones?
When most of us think about humping, we assume it’s sexual behavior. And while it’s not always true, it can be a huge factor for developing dogs. Especially in males, hormones will play a huge factor in how much and how often your dog mounts.
In these cases, many people think these reasons why dogs hump and how to stop it is to neuter. But you should always weigh all the pros and cons before heading down this route. Recent research shows that neutering a developing dog could have adverse reactions to their bone and joint growth. However, fixing too late won’t solve your problems in this case.
How Do I Stop My Dog From Being So Frisky?
If you decided not to spay or neuter your dog just yet, you might be wondering how to calm those hormones. The best advice is to give your dog lots of exercise. Frequent walks, runs, swimming, or mental stimulation is perfect for dogs with high energy and hormones.
But it’s also worth mentioning that if your dog is intact and other dogs are in the area, this can get difficult. Intact male dogs can smell an in-heat female up to three miles away. This smell will always preoccupy your boy’s mind, and nothing else will matter. Not even his favorite activities will prevent intact males from going crazy with hormones. Nothing will get in your dog’s way when the hormones are that strong.
Why Do Dogs Hump When They Are Fixed?
It’s not uncommon for fixed dogs to hump. It’s not even unusual for spayed females to have a humping problem. So why do they do it if they don’t have that hormonal drive? If you have waited to fix your dog until they become an adult, it could be a bad habit. With continuous training, you can still kick this fixation.
Some dogs become OCD about their humping in times of stress. When redirection and training don’t work, it’s a good idea to turn to a behavioralist. These professionals will examine your dog in its home to identify stress factors and how to fix them.
Is Dog Mounting A Sign Of Dominance?
Most people think that humping is always a sign of dominance in dogs. As humans, we believe that dogs doing all of the humping are dominant dogs. But that isn’t always the case. Most dogs will hump as a form of play. And in other circumstances, a new dog to the “pack” will hump to figure out its place.
The exception to this is if you allow the humping to continue without redirection. If your dog humps you consistently without correction, then the dog will think that they have that power over you. Humping can even start dog fights if they try to assert dominance over the wrong dog. It will make retraining difficult but not impossible.
Distracting your dog is a great way to get them to stop humping in the moment. But incorporating daily obedience training sessions is a great way to reassert yourself as the alpha. Praising your dog for good behavior and going through positive reinforcement training works wonders for most dogs.
At What Age Do Dogs Start Humping?
There is no age limit on a dog and its humping habits. A puppy as young as three weeks old and can continue throughout life. At this young age, it’s mostly playing and learning how they fit into their families. But it would be best if you didn’t allow puppies to form these bad habits early.
The best way to address this is to redirect your puppy to do something else. A favorite toy or new activity will distract your puppy, and soon it will forget all about humping. Correcting the behaviors at young ages will set your puppy up for better manners in the future.
These Are Stressful Times For All
The first time you see your dog humping, it can be a shocker. While humping is normal behavior for all dogs, we wouldn’t recommend letting the behavior to continue. However, knowing the reasons why dogs hump and how to stop it, you won’t have to apologize to your guests again.
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