Perhaps your pup likes to hump his big brown stuffed bear, and you don’t mind too much.  But when he does it to your friends or other animals when you are out for a walk, you find it disturbing and embarrassing.

Maybe you have a dog big enough to pull someone to the floor while humping them.  Maybe you have a female dog who gets into humping, and you can’t even wrap your head around this.

Something that needs to be understood is that dog humping is not usually about sex.  Of course, if you have an unsterilized male mounting a female in season, then it is clearly about reproduction.

So, why does a neutered male or a female dog practice humping?  It can be a response to anxiety, excitement, or stress.

Medical issues such as incontinence, allergies causing itching of the sensitive body parts, and urinary tract infections can also result in humping.  The dog, in these cases, is simply attempting to obtain relief from the discomfort caused by the medical issue.

Another cause is just your dog seeking attention.  If he feels starved for attention, negative attention is better than no attention at all.  If someone in the family finds this behavior amusing, they may positively reinforce it by laughing and encouragement.

A trip to the Vets may be a good idea to rule out any medical condition.  You will also want to eliminate or minimize the situations where your dog’s humping behavior generally occurs.  The longer your dog practices mounting, the more difficult it will be to change.

Neutering should also be considered.  The odds of a neutered dog still humping after surgery are greatly reduced.

 

Dog-on-Dog Mounting Problem

Expect it to be more difficult to re-train a mature dog than it would be to correct a young pup.

You need to teach your dog that all fun stops when mounting behavior begins — Time-Outs work. Attach a light nylon cord to your dog’s collar that is 4 to 6 feet long to enforce time-outs.  Find an understanding friend with a tolerant dog and a safely fenced yard as outdoor training for this behavior is preferable to indoors.  If possible use a neutral yard so neither dog is territorial.

Turn the dogs loose but watch yours closely.  You must be prepared to intervene quickly the moment you see any sign of your dog’s mounting behavior.   Generally, arousal increases as play escalates.

Every time your dog exhibits obvious mounting postures, block him by stepping calmly in front of him.  If that doesn’t work, say “Oops!” followed by happily saying “Time Out!”.  Then lead your dog to a quiet spot.  (“Oops” is used as a means of saying ‘you aren’t getting a reward for this behavior.’) Your friend might have to restrain her dog so he can’t come near your dog during ‘time-out.’

It is important to halt the mounting behavior quickly as the intervention will be more effective.  You must also stay calm and cheerful.  If you yell or physically correct your dog, it will increase the stress level and increase the humping behavior.

Most dogs will give up humping with enough time-out repetitions.  If the behavior returns, intervene quickly with the same system.

 

Dog-on-Human Mounting Problem

This behavior is the one that most embarrasses dog owners.  It is dealt with similarly to the dog-on-dog method.

Invite a friend or friends to your home.  Inform them in advance of the kind of help you need from them.  Keep in mind that if you physically try to remove a dog from a human leg, he could become aggressive.

Ask your friend(s) to immediately stand up and walk away if your dog begins to hump them.  Understand this is attention-seeking behavior, not sexual behavior.  To help in removing your friend from your dog, you can use a light line as explained in the dog-on-dog method and, of course, to give him that needed time-out.

You can tie your dog in the room where you and your friends are gathered if his behavior is too disruptive.  In this way, he gets to be part of the social experience without the opportunity to hump your friends.

If, when you try to remove him from a human leg, your dog becomes snappy or growly or in the least dangerous, you are dealing with a serious behavior problem, and you would be wise to seek professional help.

 

Dog-on-Object Mounting Problem

Some dogs masturbate.  There is no harm in this, provided you deem the objects used as appropriate, and it doesn’t become obsessive. Remove inappropriate objects or use cheerful time-outs to re-direct the behavior to more acceptable objects.

If you think the behavior appears obsessive, you may need some professional help.  It is rare for this to happen with dogs.  There are programs that can help, and they often require pharmaceutical intervention.

 



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