Is Your Pup Sir Hump-a-lot?
Humping is an extremely common behavior in dogs that can also be the most embarrassing!
Your dog might hump you, family and friends, other dogs, or even toys and furniture.
More often than not, humping in dogs has nothing to do with sex or sexual excitment. It usually means a dog is stressed, over-stimulated, over-excited, needs an energy release, or is unsure of what to do in a specific situation.
If you notice your dog humping a pillow or stuffed toy, especially during play, it’s most likely that they are over-stimulated and may have been playing a little too rough for too long. Combat this by keeping play sessions short and calm. Stop right away if you see signs that your dog is getting over-stimulated. Adequate physical and mental stimulation can help prevent humping as well if it is due to behavioral challenges.
In some cases, humping can be a sign of a medical issue like irritation, infection, or even prostate problems. If you see humping paired with excessive licking or chewing, be sure to make an appointment with your vet to rule out any potential medical problems.
If you catch your dog humping, do not punish, yell, or get over-excited. Calmly redirect your dog to a more appropriate activity like a game of tug or fetch. A quick walk or session of obedience training is also a great way to redirect any excess energy.
Manage their environment. If there is a specific person, toy, or object your dog just can’t hump enough, remove them from that environment or confine them in their crate or a safe place when that person or object is around.