Happy Hump Day? Why Your Dog Is Humping And How To Stop It

Humping is one of the most commonly misunderstood and unwanted behaviour in dogs. It is also one of the most frequent and embarrassing. Sometimes they’ll hump a stuffed animal or a sofa, or worse, a person’s leg.

Dogs do not hump to assert dominance and if your dog is desexed, it’s not about mating either, nor is it reserved just for the males. Females can also demonstrate mounting behaviour for all the same reasons that male dogs do. Humping is common behaviour when dogs are playing, fighting or even when alone and bored.

The most common times we see humping is when guests arrive, after meals or when dogs are playing with each other. These are all stimulating times that spike to dog’s adrenaline and the dog is uncomfortable so needs to make itself feel better.

The simplest answer is that humping feels good and when your dog feels uncomfortable or gets over stimulated, they undertake comfort behaviours to calm down and make themselves feel better.

It is important not to punish this behaviour, you will just increase excitement or make them nervous which will likely compound the problem and increase the likelihood of it happening again.

The best way is to step in calmly and separate. Engage the dog and encourage an alternate settling behaviour such as removing them altogether from the situation and settling or giving them something to chew to provide a distraction.

Work out when your dog is likely to start humping and direct their energy onto a more appropriate activity and reward for calm behaviour. If your dog is trained to sit on cue, when your dog starts to mount, say “sit” provide and reward to encourage the good behaviour.