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Can We Talk About Humping?

Humans have several socially acceptable ways of greeting each other… a smile, a handshake, a hug. You definitely would not be invited back if you did what many dogs do as part of social interactions. Yes, we’re talking about humping.

 Both male and female dogs hump other dogs, pillows, toys, legs. For young, and un-neutered or un-spayed dogs, they may hump because they are feeling randy. But, most of the time, humping isn’t about sex.

Mounting another dog is often an attempt to engage socially and/or establish dominance. It can be a dog’s way of saying, “I want to be your friend, but you need to respect me.” You’ll often see one dog mount another, then a few minutes later they’ll switch off and the other dog will mount the first dog. It’s a common, and normal play gesture. Dogs play-hump other dogs to engage in socialization and to challenge the other with a chase, wrestle, or other play expressions.

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When a dog gets overly excited about something, including playtime itself, they will behave in an exuberant way. This includes the zoomies, sprinting at top speed, jumping, high-pitched barking, and humping, which can be fun and infectious. If it leads to potential knee surgery levels (for people in the way), you can work on teaching control and reducing humping upon request.

Humping can also be a symptom of anxiety in dogs, and when not redirected to another activity, it can become a chronic form of self-soothing or relieving stress. Stress-induced humping can lead to compulsive behaviors, which can be troublesome to both owner and dog.

If your pet is suddenly humping more, or has never expressed the behavior until recently, it may be a health problem. Coupled with licking, scratching, and scooting, your pet’s humping may be a result of blocked anal glands or an underlying illness like a urinary tract infection. 

So yes, humping, as a rule, is normal, natural behavior among canines. It’s a problem if your pet is engaging in it often and in public with every dog who passes them by. To remedy the situation, helping your dog to stop being “that dog”, you will want to visit your vet first to rule out a medical condition. It goes without saying that spaying and neutering is the best way to deter humping behavior.

activedog

If everything checks out at the vet, and your dog is spayed/neutered, there are ways to work on correcting this behavior. Minimize stress and identify anxiety triggers if you suspect that is what starts your dog humping. You can also find a distraction to redirect the energy and reward them for participating in the new activity. Appropriate socialization is key- which means teaching your pup to interact with other dogs in a less-embarrassing way (for you, not your dog). Also, increase exercise, attention, and activity to make sure he has other things on his mind.

Although it will not likely go away completely, with training, humping can be for camels more than your dog.

 

 

bubba

I’m Bubba, and I’m a year and a half old. I’m a Great Dane, so I’m very much a big boy. I’m not the most graceful dog, but I know I’ll get better as I get older. I love to take naps in the sun, go hiking, and play in water. I’m learning how to play fetch, and would love a family to practice with me. 

Second Chance Humane Society’s Animal Resource Center and Thrift Shops have been servicing San Miguel, Ouray & Montrose Counties for 28 years. Call 626-2273 to report a lost pet, learn about adopting a homeless pet, or about our Emergency Response, Community Medical, Spay/Neuter, Volunteer, or other services. View our shelter pets and services online: www.adoptmountainpets.org.

Second Chance Humane Society Animal Resource Center and Thrift Shops service San Miguel, Ouray and Montrose counties. Call the SCHS Helpline at 970-626-2273 to report a lost pet or to learn about adopting a homeless pet and the SCHS spay/neuter, volunteer, feral cat or other programs. View our shelter pets and services at adoptmountainpets.org.

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