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Dog Humping: Why Dogs Do It And What You Can Do To Stop It

By Dr. Andrew Jones

I recently read the headline of a ‘National Enquirer’ type magazine that claimed: ‘ Humping Dog Impregnates Man’s Leg’

If you happen to have a ‘humping dog’ problem, don’t fret, for leg pregnancy won’t happen..

BUT it did get me to thinking about how so many of our dog’s behaviours are misunderstood- including mounting or humping..

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Why do they do this?
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Humping, otherwise known as mounting is what male dogs will do when they mate. Female dogs do this as well, of course less often. Dogs also mount furniture, toys, people’s legs, and for a few reasons.

Yes it can still be displaying sexual behaviour, hence that ‘special’ stuffy toy that your dog does ‘unnamed’ things to. Dogs are animals, as are we, and they still have sexual behaviours in spite being neutered/spayed.

Other triggers can be with types of anxiety-I can use my ‘new’ dog Jessie as an example. Things are cool with both him and my other dog Lewis, we can walk on the trail with bouts of peeing, running and playing, then when other dogs show up, Jessie hops on top of Lewis and proceeds to embarrass me and Lewis..

Then there is the most common explanation, displaying DOMINANCE. You commonly see this with puppies, and often with adult dogs. It’s saying ‘I AM IN CHARGE’ in a socially not always acceptable way.

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What Can You Do?
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If your dog isn’t spayed/neutered, then get this done.

You don’t need to address the behaviour all the time, BUT when it’s excessive, involving your neighbors leg, or crushing the small dog on the dog walk, then you need to come up with some strategies.

Assuming your dog is’fixed’ then let’s use some positive rewards based training. Correcting in a harsh manner for humping can cause more serious problems.

1. Get back to BASIC training skills. You want your dog to be able to sit, come, lay down on cue.

2. Distract- get the ball, offer the squeaky toy, the kong filled with peanut butter..

3. Don’t get too worried- for your dog isn’t and if you get all angry, the behaviour won’t be changing, but you can sure damage the relationship with your dog.

As with many unwanted dog behaviours, some time spent learning positive rewards based training will pay off in spades, and you WILL change the undesired behavior.

Best Wishes

Dr Andrew J

DISCLAIMER: This information is for educational
purposes only and is not intended to replace the
advice of your own veterinarian. Dr Andrew Jones
resigned from the College of Veterinarians of
B.C. effective December 1 2010, meaning he
cannot answer specific questions about your
pet’s medical issues or make specific medical
recommendations for your pet.

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Topics: Dog Care, Dog Health, Pet Care, Pet health | 4 Comments »

4 Responses to “Dog Humping: Why Dogs Do It And What You Can Do To Stop It”


  1. Mary Says:
    December 27th, 2011 at 11:12 am

    My two adult chihuahuas do this to each other (they are male and female) and I am sure it is a dominance thing. The female is only a year and she is really bad at it and the male is 3 and is a little better but not much. A quick “stop that” is all it takes to distract them. They try to be top dog and have not quite figured out who is yet so this is how they try.

  2. Lenise Says:
    January 5th, 2012 at 7:10 am

    Plenty of exercise will cure dogs of humping.
    My dog doesn’t do it if he’s tired even when with other dogs.

    Actually, he will try and hump people more than other dogs and that is why I think it is more of a dominance thing than sexual.

  3. Kitty Paschal Says:
    January 5th, 2012 at 9:47 am

    Really happy to find a solution to Itching possibly infected ears. I am a nurse but realized that “people” remedies probably not so good.. The simple Vinegar wash WORKED” Have a Cockapoo with really long ears (a first of this breed for us)so will probably it seems cont to have problems. All our other dogs had short perky ears (Aussies etc)and no problems. Thanks for the tips..Really hate to over use medicines.(dogs or people)

  4. Brenda Says:
    February 3rd, 2012 at 8:50 am

    Just read your article about sugar, oh so true, I went back to school to learn alternative ways to help with nutrition and overall physical well being. If sugar were on the list of drugs that were against the law, SUGAR would be the #1 killer. Funny that people still have a hard time believing that what you put in your mouth has so much to do with how you feel and look, creates dis-ease. Since losing my dog in December I have begun pet sitting and some people feed their dog awful dog food, since not my dog I just try to very carefully educate them on BHA/BHT etc in the food they are feeding their pets and offer my own experiences with my dog and how much he improved over a short period of just 3 weeks and that was over 15 years ago. Keep up the good work, even though I do not have an animal of my own right now I enjoy educating myself and am so glad that you also believe in alternative ways of healing. I read Dr Mercola’s site every day so was glad to see you refer to his research also. Thank you so much. You are very much appreciated by me and other pet lovers/owners.

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