HUMPING. Wow. It’s shocking when it happens, isn’t it? Your dog is so precious and perfect and then all of a sudden– BOOM. He mounts the chaise. Although it can be jarring, especially when done in public, this is totally normal behavior for dogs of any age and any sex. Also, to your dog’s credit, it’s a really nice chaise.
Why does your dog hump? It could be happening for a few reasons:
- The humping is sexually motivated.
- Your pup is trying to play.
- The humping is an outlet for excitement, anxiety, or stress.
- You’ve conditioned the behavior through positive reinforcement.
Below you will find a deeper dive into what could be causing your dog’s behavior and how to best address it!
Problems and Solutions
Problem: The humping is sexually motivated
We, as original sinners, will always associate “humping” with “sex”. That flaw is exclusively on us, the human race. This is not an association that dogs make. However, when it comes to male dogs, the instinct to hump may be sexual in some capacity, especially if you haven’t had your good boy neutered.
A simple answer to this type of behavior is to have your dog fixed. There are many reasons why having your dog spayed or neutered will help their overall well-being, and if humping is a concern for you, this is the way to go. Having this procedure done will lower your dog’s overall hormone levels, which may help curb their humping habit. But be forewarned, it also may not. Especially if your dog is female.
Problem: My dog humps other dogs when playing
Does your dog have a habit of taking casual fun at the dog park to a level of “wow, at least buy me a drink first?” If so, your dog is not alone. But fear not! Humping due to stimulation from fun is hardly a chronic behavioral issue. Sometimes you just can’t help having a blast!
That being said, it’s important to consider how other dogs will react to your own dog’s behavior (especially if you spend a lot of time out and about)! If your dog’s “fun hump” is getting out of hand, try simply directing your dog away from their victim as soon as the behavior begins. Eventually, your dog will begin to realize his behavior is what’s causing your reaction.
Problem: My dog humps other people/legs
If your dog loves when guests come over— and I mean L O V E S when guests come over, he may or may not try to hump them (either individually or collectively… just imagine!). Chances are, this behavior is your dog’s outlet of choice for his excitement at the new faces in the room and nothing more. Go ahead and give your invitees a heads up and maybe even ask Greg why he chose to wear such soft pants to a dinner party anyway.
Solution: Keep a tight leash
If your guests aren’t into a little extra love from your dog, cycle him through a series of timeouts the moment his behavior begins to help him understand what he is doing wrong. He’s humping because he’s excited, and removing him from the vicinity of the excitement is an effective way to send a message. A few stern but deeply loving “no’s” can go a long way. You can always try to redirect his excitement to a toy as well!
Problem: My dog humps for no reason
Honestly, there’s a strong chance your dog is humping for reasons outside of our understanding. And that’s okay! Your dog is a creature of free will! Embrace it! But know if your dog is getting attention after he humps –such as a laugh– he may begin to associate this behavior as a way to elicit a positive reaction from you! BEWARE!
Solution: Ignore and redirect
In this case, simply don’t give your dog attention for humping, but instead, try to redirect his pent-up energy by throwing a ball or asking him to perform one of his many tricks because he is the very best boy. Bottom line: if he’s too tired to hump, he won’t! You hope!
Other reasons your dog may hump
For dogs, like humans, stress and anxiety is a number one trigger for needing to let off some steam. Depending on your dog’s overall temperament and the severity of his anxiety, you may want to seek out a medical professional or behaviorist. Otherwise, a trainer may be the most effective (and efficient) way to help your dog through this issue.
It doesn’t take a 12-season binge of Grey’s Anatomy to know humping and medicine can occasionally go hand in hand. Have you ever thought your dog’s humping is part of a larger medical issue? Does he do it compulsively? Is he trying to itch something? In these cases, it may be best to seek a veterinarian’s opinion. You do not, however, need a veterinarian’s opinion on whether or not you should watch Grey’s Anatomy if you aren’t caught up already.
A common misconception about humping is that your dog is doing it to express dominance. While this very well may be the case, it’s highly unlikely as dogs are pack animals by instinct. Unless you live in a multi-multi-multi-dog home or have just recently introduced a new dog into your family, chances are your dog is humping for other reasons. Also, congratulations on the new dog!!
Other ways to stop humping
If your dog begins to hump another dog, do your best to body block him by physically putting yourself in between your dog and the victim. Avoid yelling or getting overly excited because your dog may think you are trying to engage in play. Just try forcing yourself between the dogs without giving much attention to your own pup until, eventually, he gives up trying to mount the other dog.
Most of the time, humping is not harmful. In fact, it just means your dog is excited or aroused. There’s nothing wrong with a little action here and there as long as they aren’t being disruptive to other dogs or humans. It might be uncomfortable to see your good boy humping his squeaky bear, but sometimes it’s just best to turn away and be thankful it’s not your leg. Or your pillow.
Want to have a good laugh about humping? Check out our piece on 5 Reasons Dogs Hump That Have Nothing To Do With S-E-X.
The post Why Does My Dog Hump So Much and Should I Be Worried? appeared first on BarkPost.