5. Stress or Compulsion

An overabundance of energy doesn’t always occur during fun and exciting situations; a pooch afflicted with anxiety, stress, or nervousness may use humping as an outlet to calm themselves down. It can even become a compulsive behavior. Fantegrossi says:

“Social dominance should not be confused with stress-related humping or compulsive behavior disorders. For some dogs, humping is their go-to response to stressful or exciting situations like meeting a new dog or human. If the humping leads to aggression in your anxious dog, seek help from a veterinarian or behaviorist.”


6. Habit

If dogs routinely hump for any of the reasons above, he may have learned to engage in this behavior when he was feeling anxious / excited / playful, etc. and now it’s a habit, since it was never corrected. It could even have stemmed from puppyhood.

7. “Prenatal Masculinization” (in female dogs)

Fantegrossi explains another reason why female dogs may engage in mounting behaviors.

“Some scientists believe dominant humping in female dogs may be a result of prenatal masculinization. This phenomenon is thought to occur in female dogs that were outnumbered by male puppies in the womb causing a hormonal transfer during prenatal development.”

8. Attention

It’s also possible that dogs seeking attention engage in this behavior – as they might with other behaviors – in order to get attention. Even if it’s negative, dogs that are lonely, bored, and craving affection will do just about anything to get you to engage with them. If this is the case, a little extra positive attention and daily exercise might just do the trick.

9. Medical Issues

Fantegrossi explains that while they’re not likely, medical issues should still be ruled out.

“In rare cases, humping can be associated with a medical issue. The ASPCA lists urinary tract infections, incontinence, priapism, and skin allergies as potential triggers.”


How to Stop Your Dog from Humping

For starters, getting your pooch spayed or neutered should help reduce the urge, especially if it’s sexually based.

Secondly, just like with any other behavior, you can teach your dog not to mount with the use of distraction and positive reinforcement. Scolding is never necessary, and can actually be counterproductive, so the next time you catch your canine “in the act,” switch gears by initiating a game with his favorite toy or a mini training session with some yummy treats.

“If you see a behavior you don’t want to see all the dog’s life, then you need to stop it when you first see it,” Spiegel says in the article by WebMD. “So if the puppy is humping, distract them when they do it and then give them something else to do. That’s very important. You have to give them an alternative behavior. Give them a different toy. Play with them in an appropriate way.”

What’s more, giving a bored or attention-seeking dog some positive, one-on-one time with you every day will help strengthen your bond and lessen their need to turn to undesirable behaviors. Regular exercise is also imperative to help your pup burn excess energy that may otherwise come out through destructive or odd behaviors – like humping.

In addition to saving yourself embarrassment, teaching your pooch to control his urges can avoid fights with other dogs who react aggressively to being mounted.

(h/t: WebMD)

Feature Image: Todd Dwyer via Flickr