Skip to content

Healthy Dogs

Humping: Why Do Dogs Do It?

Dog experts weigh in on why dogs hump and how to get them to stop.
Font Size
A
A
A

Can Dogs Be Trained to Stop Humping? continued...

Landsberg says mounting also is a common dominance gesture with dogs, although it doesn’t mean the dog that is doing the humping is dominant. In fact, dogs that are unsure of their place in the pack are more likely to hump to see how many dogs will accept the behavior, a move that can lead to fights with other dogs.

When trying to figure out how to stop the behavior, Landsberg says owners must first figure out what is causing the behavior by watching to see when it usually happens. Then give the dog an acceptable alternative behavior in those situations.

When Your Dog Just Won’t Stop Humping

There are some cases where dogs just don’t want to stop. Deva Joy Gouss of Atlanta saved a group of dogs from a shelter more than a decade ago, including Samme, a terrier mix. Samme has always humped, Gouss says, a behavior that prevented her from being adopted.

“I had a lady come to see about adopting her and Samme climbed up in the chair and started humping her head,” Gouss said.

Gouss, a social worker who often holds therapy sessions at her house, says Samme has interrupted sessions with her behavior, including climbing into the lap of one patient and humping. “I tell her to stop and she will, but just for a few minutes,” Gouss says.

Concerned at first, Gouss took Samme to several veterinarians to find out if she had an infection or irritation that was causing her to hump so much. But the vets found nothing wrong.

So over the years Gouss has just learned to live with the behavior. And Samme has calmed down some as she’s aged, although Gouss attributes some of that to the arthritis Samme has in her lower back.

Breaking the Humping Cycle

Some types of humping are easier to deal with than others, the experts say. When a dog is humping a person, the person should just get up and walk away, which teaches the dog that this is an unacceptable behavior. When they mount other dogs, owners should separate them, and keep the dogs apart when they can’t be supervised.

Today on WebMD

bulldog in party hat
Breeds with longevity
Doberman Pinscher Clipped Ears
The facts about ear cropping and tail docking.
 
dog with duck in mouth
Which are considered smartest?
boxer dog
What are their health issues?
 
Pit bull looking up
Article
Pets: Is My Dog Normal
Slideshow
 
Dog scratching behind ear
Slideshow
dog catching frisbee
Slideshow
 

Love your pets, hate your allergies?

Get tips for relief.

Loading ...

Sending your email...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

Thanks!

Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

Dog Breed RMQ
Quiz
Lady owner feeding dog
Slideshow
 
pooldle
Slideshow
bulldog in party hat
Slideshow