Dogs can hump anything from other dogs, stuffed toys, pillows, your sofa, and sometimes even air.
They can hump anywhere, from the park to the gym and when you least expect it. But what if your dog humps you and nobody else? And what can you do to stop this behavior? Read on for answers.
Why Does My Dog Hump Me?
Although your dog can mount on anything, here are a few possible theories as to why you are the chosen one:
Also known as mounting, humping is a natural sign of sexual arousal in male and female canines. They do it for pleasure or relief, and as mentioned, they hump pretty much everything, your legs included.
Although it’s more prevalent in intact dogs, even neutered males sometimes hump due to sexual arousal. However, sexually motivated dog humping is often accompanied by an erection and courtship behavior such as licking, tail up, ears curled backward, and pawing.
So, if your pup repeatedly humps away at your leg while exhibiting flirtatious behaviors, they’re probably on heat.
Like most species, canines also go through different stages of sexual development before achieving full sexual maturity.
In that light, it’s normal for puppies and young, unneutered dogs to hump other dogs as a way of sexual exploration. Have your pup spayed or neutered to curb this behavior early.
Your Pup is Just Excited
Dogs are incredibly energetic animals who sometimes express their excitement and affection by running around (cue the infamous zoomies), jumping up and down, excessive tail wagging, and sometimes even humping.
If the first thing your dog does is hump you when you pick them from the dog sitter, come home from work, or after being away for a while, it’s probably their equivalent of saying, “Hey, I missed you.”
They Feel Comfortable Humping You
Just like he is your best friend, you mean the world to your dog too, and they’re emotionally closer to you than anyone else in your household. Thanks to this, your dog usually feels safer and comfortable humping only on you because you’ll less likely shout or scold them.
Because it’s Playtime
As dogs grow up, they interact with puppies and other canines in all sorts of ways. They nibble, bite, and even hump each other as a way of play and social time. When separated from the pack too early, a dog may turn to mount you as a way to initiate play.
Under or Poor Socialization
Poorly socialized dogs and under-socialized puppies hump things because they don’t know how to play. This often happens during high activity playtime or whenever they are excited to see you.
Under-socialized dogs may also thrust at you while on walks or at the dog park because they’re anxious and don’t know how to behave while in public. It’s a common problem among puppies as they’re still learning and rescues from puppy mills since they had little to no contact with people.
Your Pooch Needs Your Attention
Dogs are exceptionally social (explains why they’re man’s best friend) and thrive on your attention and care. Suppose you usually dot your pup with undivided attention but are suddenly unable to due to new commitments; it may hump you and exhibit other unwanted behaviors such as pawing to get a response.
Consider adding more doggo time in your schedule, and find fun, brain-stimulating activities to keep your pup occupied whenever you’re busy. For instance, hide treats all over the house, and send your dog on a scavenger hunt to keep them engaged when you’re on that Zoom meeting.
Dog Humping Due to Compulsive Behavior
Dogs that lack enough physical stimulation result in mounting, excessive barking, and other behavioral problems. So, if your dog isn’t getting enough exercise, they may hump at you and become overly playful to release their pent-up energy.
Should I Worry About My Dog Humping Only Me?
No, because, as noted, dog humping is a perfectly normal canine behavior. It’s their natural way to learn and express canine sexuality, show excitement, initiate Playtime with you and establish dominance. Your dog humping only on you shows how comfortable and safer they feel around you.
On the other hand, however, your pup humping only on you could be their way of telling you they’re having a hormonal problem, an autoimmune condition, or itchy genitals due to a canine UTI.
Observe your dog’s behavior while humping to determine if it’s a cause for worry. If they only mount on you when you come home, they’re probably just excited. But if your dog repeatedly and excessively thrusts on you, consult a vet as it could be a sign of an underlying condition.
Training Your Dog to Stop Mounting You
While dog mounting is perfectly normal in some instances, it can be pretty annoying, especially if your dog repeatedly does it. Fortunately, like most unwanted pooch behaviors, you can also train your dog to stop mounting you. Here are handy steps to get you started:
1. Identify the Reason for Humping
The steps you take to stop your dog from humping vary depending on the reason behind it. For instance, if your dog is mounting due to sexual arousal, having it neutered or spayed is one of the most effective ways to curb the behavior.
Have your dog checked out by a vet to determine your dog’s exact reason for mounting you.
2. Call Your Dog Out on the Behavior
If a vet rules out medical issues and sexually motivated mounting, start calling out your dog whenever they hump you. Assertively call your dog’s name and use commands like stop, off, or that’s bad to make it understand mounting on you is unacceptable.
Do this every time they hump you and stick to specific commands to avoid confusing Fido. Make sure you offer positive reinforcement through treats, toys, praises, or belly rubs if your dog stops mounting on you when you say the commands.
Redirecting your pup to another activity is an excellent way to stop your dog from mounting on you and reinforce other commands.
For instance, simply throwing your dog’s favorite toy whenever they hump you is enough to send them running after it, conversely redirecting their attention from humping.
Alternatively, you could try issuing some of Fido’s favorite commands such as sit, stay or stand to distract him. As a result, your dog will have successfully performed another command and stopped the irritating behavior.
4. Eliminate Dog Stressors
In anxiety-induced mounting, dogs will first exhibit signs of anxiety before humping you. For instance, when anxious, Fido may start blinking faster than usual, scratching, and leaning on you before they begin to thrust at you.
Learn to recognize these signs and get your dog out of uncomfortable situations to prevent mounting.
5. Friendly Timeouts
Along with commands, try to use timeouts to train your dog to stop humping on you. For instance, whenever your dog mounts on you, gently pull it away and hold it near you for a few minutes.
If your dog responds by being aggressive, safely shut him in his crate for a few minutes to discourage the habit.
6. Spend More Time with Your Dog
Your dog may mount on you because they want to play, your attention, or because they haven’t exercised in a while and need to release pent-up energy. Spending more time with your dog can help you deal with the issue better, and it comes with many other benefits.
For instance, by creating more time to take your dogs on long walks, you’ll not only be dealing with the humping but also helps you and your pup keep fit and boosts endurance.
7. Get Professional Help
When humping becomes a compulsive habit, it can be pretty challenging to eradicate on your own. In that case, consider getting a professional dog behaviorist or trainer to fix the issue.
We’ve highlighted reasons as well as some tips on how to stop your dog from mounting you, so you are more aware of how to deal with this problem.
Contrary to stereotypes, humping in dogs isn’t always sexual. Your dog can be humping you because it is excited to see you, anxious, or simply because it feels safer and comfortable mounting on you than other people.