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Why Do Dogs Hump Each Other?

Our dogs have humped or mounted other dogs, toys, blankets and ourselves at some stage in their lives. As humans, we find it amusing, concerning and sometimes just downright embarrassing.  So why? Why do they do it? Well there are several reasons why dogs of both sexes hump and mount other dogs:

Mounting as puppies

As part of a litter, puppies learn how to do certain behaviours with their littermates such as play fighting, hunting, and mating. Humping each other, as puppies can be non-sexual, they learn what this is all about before reaching sexual maturity. If your dog was not with the litter long enough or is a single dog at home, they may hump other dogs they meet as they learn how to play, explore and figure out their social status with others.

Sexual Behaviour

It is the main reason that is overlooked – your dog will hump others simply for the sake of pleasure. Animals don’t discriminate when it comes to different genders; we humans get embarrassed because of what we are told and to be expected in our society. It is perfectly normal for your dogs to hump others, as long as you prevent it becoming a compulsive habit.

Anxiety

Your dog may hump other dogs, people or objects when they do not know what to do in social situations. Your dog may not be socialised enough and feeling anxious about meeting and playing with new dogs. It becomes a stress relief, which can turn into a habit if not managed well.

Dominance

There is debate on whether the major cause of humping/mounting is dominance over other dogs. This can relate to the points we made previously about single dogs and learning how to play and establish their social status in a pack. Anxious dogs may also seek to be dominating over others in an attempt to release their stress in the situation.

Medical

It is possible that your dog may be humping others because of internal medical issues. Urinary Tract Infections, incontinence and skin allergies are a cause for excessive humping. If you notice your dog is also licking or scratching their genitals a lot more than usual, it would be best advised to have them checked at the vet for any medical issues.

Humping Dogs

 Would you like to know which one of these is causing your dog’s humping? 

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In the meantime, here are a few solutions to helping reduce your dog’s ‘bad habit’:

  • Distract your animal when you catch them in the act or about to hump another dog or a person. You know your dog better than anyone; watch for the signs of when they are about to mount and use toys, or encourage your dog to follow you and play a game together. The more you distract him, the less it will become a habit.
  • Use your dog’s training to correct his behaviour. If they know commands like ‘Leave It’ or ‘No’ you can use this to deter them from trying to hump others. Be consistent with your commands, and that you use them in the middle of them humping or mounting. We do not want to confuse your dog.
  • If there is excessive humping, rubbing and licking of the genitals please get your dog to the vet. It is possible it could be a medical issue.

Finally, your dog doesn’t see humping other dogs as a crime; for them it is perfectly natural. Be patient. As responsible dog owners we must ensure their behaviour does not endanger them or others and a well-trained dog is a happy and safe dog.

 

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