How To Stop Female Dog Humping

Female dog humping: Understanding and addressing the behavior.

This is a topic that hits close to home for me. It was about four years ago when I witnessed my female dog, Baretta, humping my other female dog, Chloe. At first, it took me by surprise. I didn’t overthink it until it continued to happen. Then, I knew I had to dive deeply into researching this topic.

 

Firstly, let’s clear up the common misconception that only male dogs hump. Female dogs are just as likely to exhibit this behavior, though it may not be as commonly seen due to societal norms and expectations. So why do female dogs hump and how to stop female dog humping?

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What is Female dog humping?

This is a very natural, normal behavior. It’s not JUST a sexual thing, especially when it’s female dogs engaging in it; more often than not, it’s either playful behavior or dominance. Stick with me to learn why female dogs hump and why my Baretta humps her sister Chloe.

Indeed, from what I’ve observed, females often hump just as much as males do. While it’s clear that an unneutered male dog humping an unspayed female usually aims for procreation, dogs hump each other, even when neutered or spayed, for a variety of reasons.

A 2019 study revealed that 11 percent of the participating dogs were observed engaging in dog humping. If you’re dealing with your dog humping, rest assured you’re not alone in handling this behavior, which can often be embarrassing.

This blog aims to delve into the nuanced topic of why female dogs hump, offering insights on how to manage this sometimes perplexing behavior. Contrary to a popular myth, dogs humping is not always about establishing social dominance. Rather, this behavior can stem from feelings of stress or anxiety, a surge in hormones, or simply because it has become a learned behavior.

As part of your quest to be a knowledgeable dog owner, join us in understanding the motives behind your female dog’s humping and learn constructive ways to address it. With a deeper knowledge of this behavior, you’ll be better equipped to guide your baby towards more appropriate interactions, both at home and in shared spaces like the dog park.

If your dog realizes that humping you elicits a reaction, even if negative, she may persist. Continuing the discussion, female dogs can exhibit humping behavior for a range of reasons, indicating that it’s not a behavior solely observed in males. Exhibiting humping behavior is natural in dogs and can be attributed to various underlying factors.

Below are some potential reasons why your female dog might engage in humping behavior.

So, let’s get started on demystifying a dog humping behavior that is often overlooked or misunderstood.

Natural instinct and dominant behavior.

Humping, often termed as ‘mounting’ in the dog training world, is not always an act of sexual nature. In pack settings, dogs use humping as a display of dominance. It can be an assertion of their position in the family hierarchy, similar to how they might engage in play fighting to establish social order.

It’s quite possible that your pup is attempting to assert dominance. Compulsive Behavior Disorders: When humping stems from anxiety, it can turn into a compulsive behavior. While some mounting instances aren’t inherently harmful, repeatedly engaging in compulsive behavior can disrupt your dog’s normal activities and overall well-being.

For female dogs, humping can be a way of asserting herself over other dogs – males and females alike. A lot of dogs hump when they are excited or tense. If your dog is stirred up by meeting another person or dog for the first time, their immediate outlet would be to mount the new person or dog, It’s crucial to observe the context in which it happens to decipher if it’s a display of control or something else

Hormone and sexual behavior.

female dog humping

Although humping isn’t necessarily related to sexual behavior, hormonal fluctuations, particularly in unspayed females, can sometimes initiate it. Arousal is another possible explanation for why your female dog humps. When dogs engage in humping as part of their sexual behavior, you might also observe flirtatious actions like play bows and pawing, their spirits dancing in a joyful display

Dogs don’t process sexual urges in the same way people do. However, an unspayed female dog in heat might hump as a response to her increased libido during that cycle. Additionally, a spayed female that has been fixed later in life might be coping with habits learned before that point.

Social interaction and play.

Dogs, especially puppies, use humping as a form of social interaction while playing. They are just learning to explore the world, and discovering appropriate behavior may hump quite frequently. This behavior can be non-sexual and is a way they communicate. It can be a sign that playtime is getting too rambunctious or is becoming one-sided. Humping can also serve as a social behavior, utilized either to establish dominance or to initiate play with other pups or humans.

Dogs engage in humping behavior for various reasons, not just dominance or mating. This reflects their complex nature. In versatile situations, the reasons for humping are varied. It occurs during play, fights, mating, and even in moments of solitude or boredom

Occasionally, it’s a stress reaction. Many dogs, when feeling nervous, might obsessively hump specific objects or other animals. Dogs are adept at discerning these situations. Typically, if a dog senses they’re being bullied or dominated, that’s when they might react defensively towards the offending animal. Younger or less confident dogs, on the other hand, are more likely to submit to this controlling behavior.

Addressing excessive humping.

Excessive humping behaviors can lead to awkward situations and can make dogs or doggy parents uncomfortable. Dogs might engage in this behavior during play, but as their excitement shifts, they could redirect it towards your leg or cushions. Although it’s generally normal, managing this excitement-driven behavior can sometimes be a real test of an owner’s patience. Here’s how you can help manage this behavior at home and in public.

Providing appropriate outlets for energy and mental stimulation.

Humping can often be a displacement activity, similar to how humans fidget. When it’s about seeking attention, it’s crucial to assess how mentally and physically engaged your dog is. Understanding their need for attention can be key in these situations.

Humping can be a result of excess energy or a means to deal with stress. Regular exercise, interactive toys, and mentally stimulating activities can help minimize humping episodes. A fulfilled and tired dog is less likely to exhibit impulse behaviors.

interactive dog toys for female humping

Redirecting attention and providing alternatives.

You’re likely aware of the warning signs indicating your dog is about to hump, such as pawing at the ground, panting, or whining. When excitement arises, distracting her with a toy or giving a command like ‘sit’ or ‘shake’ can effectively redirect her attention. But what about when your dog is already mid-hump? It’s important to handle this situation calmly and carefully to prevent any potential harm or embarrassment. Here are some tips on how to stop a dog from humping.

 Try using a firm but gentle command such as ‘off’ or ‘stop.’ This lets your dog know that their behavior is unacceptable without causing them more stress. You can gently pull them away by their collar while saying the command.

Positive reinforcement techniques to associate humping with an interruption cue, such as ‘interrupt’ followed by redirecting attention to a toy, a yummy treat or performing a trained command. Be consistent in using this cue, and reward your dog when she responds appropriately.

Discouraging the mounting.

Employ positive reinforcement to train your dog with the ‘leave it’ command. Whenever your dog mounts another dog, person, or object, firmly say, “leave it!’ Distract her by rewarding your pooch with a tasty treat each time they comply with your command

When you catch your dog mid-hump, don’t scold her. Instead, gently redirect her focus to an appropriate activity or command. Distractions like hand clapping or a sharp ‘hey’ can also work to break her concentration.

Consult a dog trainer if needed.

If humping becomes a persistent issue, especially if it leads to misunderstandings at the dog park or affects your female dog’s well being, it’s time to consult a professional for some obedience training. A certified professional dog trainer can help assess the underlying causes and design a training plan tailored to your dog’s needs.

Impact on strange dogs at the park.

Socialization is essential for a well-rounded and well-behaved pup. Guide your dog through positive interactions at the dog park with other animals, ensuring that humping does not lead to negative experiences for any of the dogs

Ensuring a safe and comfortable environment.

Approach other dog owners if their dogs’ behavior makes yours uncomfortable. Most pet parents are receptive to feedback, and it’s an opportunity to create a unified environment that prioritizes all the dogs’ wellness.

Attention seeking.

In many cases, dogs mount other dogs, people, or objects to get attention, especially if they have been deprived of attention and exercise for the day.

Is your dog stressed? The ASPCA notes that male and female dogs may use humping as a way to relieve stress. Is there a new pet or new baby in the home , or did you recently change your work schedule? Sometimes, little changes in a dog’s routine can make her feel stressed, and every dog responds to stress differently. Try to figure out what could be causing your dog to be uneasy, and do what you can

Humping can be a source of conflict with another dog, especially among unfamiliar dogs. To mitigate this, observe and intervene when necessary. If your dog is mounting another, distract her and redirect the play. When other dogs hump yours, assess the situation and intervene if the interaction becomes tense. It’s also essential to keep an eye on pet parents’ comfort levels in these interactions.

Always monitor your dog’s interactions at the park, especially if humping is a known issue. It’s your responsibility to ensure that playtime remains friendly and respectful amongst all the dogs present.

Anxiety or excitement.

Some dogs exhibit behaviors like zoomies (frantically running around) in response to nervousness or overexcitement.

Veterinarians and pet parents will notice mounting behavior at the time a female dog enters her first heat. Vets will often suggest spaying or neutering your dog to prevent unwanted behaviors before they start. Not only does neutering prevent an unexpected litter of puppies and decrease the risk of testicular or mammary cancer in your pet, but it also plays a role in reducing certain behaviors. However, it’s important to note that even spayed or neutered dogs may still occasionally exhibit some humping behavior.

This step is crucial to exclude any underlying medical or behavioral concerns. Addressing humping behavior positively and patiently is essential for meeting your dog’s needs and averting any possible problems or discomfort for both you and your dog.

Medical advice.

Seek Professional Advice: Should the humping behavior continue, or if it leads to difficulties or discomfort, it’s advisable to consult with a professional dog trainer or a vet. If humping behavior persists, or if it’s causing problems or discomfort to rule out any underlying medical or behavioral issues.

The humping behavior of your dog could stem from various physical health issues. It’s crucial to consult with your vet to exclude these possibilities. Common health problems leading to such behavior include incontinence, priapism, urinary tract infection, and skin allergies. An indication that your pet is having health issues is that the humping is also accompanied by your dog licking their groin more than usual. A sign that these health issues might be at play is if your pet’s humping is coupled with excessive licking of their groin area.

Conclusion.

Humping in female dogs can be a complex behavior driven by instinct, social cues, excitement, and individual traits. By understanding the motivations behind it and taking appropriate action, you can help your dog adopt more desirable ways of interacting with the world around her. Permitting your female dog to hump people or objects may not be appropriate behavior and ought to be discouraged. This action can signify dominance or overexcitement, and tolerating it can reinforce such behavior, this can potentially lead to other complications, like aggression or other unwanted behaviors.

If you find yourself perplexed by your female dog’s humping, remember to approach the issue with patience and a keen eye for context. With the right balance of training, socialization, and professional guidance when needed, you can guide her toward more appropriate social behaviors that will enhance her relationships with both humans and canines alike.

Should your dog’s humping be sexually motivated, spaying might be an effective solution, especially if it occurs when she exhibits typical behaviors of being in heat or is around other female dogs who are in heat.

For more detailed advice on dog behavior, humping included, consider exploring our range of articles authored by professional trainers.

If this blog resonated with you (and your pup) or you’re looking for more dog-related insights, feel free to check out our other content. And if you have a personal story to share or further questions, we’d love to hear from you in the comments section below. Happy training!

Sources: ASPCA

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