How Come My Dog Humps Everything?

Dog Humping…A topic not commonly discussed.

Seeing your dog mounting and humping something makes most pet parents blush out of embarrassment.

But whether they’re doing it to a pillow, your leg, another dog or even a houseguest, it’s not always for the reason you assume.

Sure, it’s a little uncomfortable, but not really all that inappropriate (at least when you look at it from a dog’s POV).

So why does your dog hump everything, and why don’t you always need to stop them?

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Why dogs hump?

It might feel awkward to you if your dog starts randomly humping, well, anything.

But it’s a perfectly natural behavior (and not just for that reason).

Humping is actually just a demonstration that the dog is in a behaviorally aroused state. It doesn’t have to be sexual.

Your dog could be in completely nonsexual situations, like playing with a toy or a game of chase, and suddenly start humping.

Plus, this doesn’t only happen in male dogs who are not neutered. This can happen in both male and female dogs, whether they’re intact or not.

Can it be associated with sexual behaviors? Sure! If you’re seeing this in a nonsexual situation though, it’s more just a sign of energy arousal.

Since the act of humping is about releasing extra energy, you might find it happening when your pup is bored or frustrated.

It could even start happening if you decide playtime is over before your BFF has gotten all of their energy out.

When should you be concerned about humping?

If your dog’s humping is annoying other dogs, or they’re irritating their skin from doing it so much, that’s when it could get a little problematic.

Working with a trainer to find different ways to get that energy out of your dog’s system is the way to go!

You’ll be able to teach them to redirect that energy to something much more productive.

Otherwise, it’s part of a natural dog behavior. If all dogs involved are happy with it and are OK with it, and you are not seeing any skin lesions as a result of the rubbing then don’t be too concerned about it.

Completely up to you though.

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Should you stop your dog from humping?

For the most part, no, you shouldn’t stop your dog from humping, even though it can feel a bit uncomfortable to witness.

We, as adults, can learn to ignore it. Humans only think of it as uncomfortable because of our own lens, if you will. Because we’re looking at this in a way where it is not acceptable for polite human society.

So if you find your dog going at it with his favorite stuffed animal? Just let them do their thing since no harm, no foul (even if it is a strange sight to see).

But — similar to irritating other animals or giving himself skin lesions — there will be some times where you’ll have to step in and shut it down.

If your pup is humping solely to get your attention, that’s probably not the best habit for him to have. Put the brakes on that one quick.

Train an alternate behavior. Perhaps one that is more socially acceptable [and] is one that your dog can’t do at the same time as humping.

You’re also going to want to intervene if you have a friend over who unexpectedly (and unwillingly) finds their leg the focus of your dog’s energy release.

Redirect your dog to something else that will occupy their energy. Yet another reason why we love the “Place” command so much.

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But if your dog is just humping away on his own while you have company over? Well, try to have a talk with your friend instead of your dog.

Explain to your guest that this is part of normal dog behavior. That while we tend to associate it with sexual behavior, it’s just a heightened emotional state. That may not go very far, so you’ve been warned

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