Introducing a dog into the family is exciting. Sometimes a little too exciting if you catch our drift. Some days, you catch your dog with their favorite stuffed animal, or they find a friend in your leg.
You think to yourself… My dog is neutered/fixed. Why are they still humping?
Neutering your dog should stop the humping in theory, but the control of testosterone levels doesn’t stop the behavior for all dogs. A large number of dogs still continue to hump after being fixed.
Male dogs will experience slight fluctuations and surges of testosterone despite being fixed.
But what encourages the behavior to continue? These facts may or may not surprise you.
Reasons Why Dogs Hump
There are three possible reasons why your dog is humping:
- Your dog is excited.
- Your dog is initiating a sexual encounter.
- Your dog has an underlying medical issue.
Your Dog Is Excited
Believe it or not, nonsexual encounters are more likely to cause your dog to hump.
The UC Davis Veterinary Medicine states in their report of Inappropriate Mounting, “There are other differentiating causes depending on whether the dog mounts a human versus another animal. When a dog mounts a human, the impetus is typically stress, anxiety, or attention-seeking behavior. When a dog mounts another animal, it typically is caused by either arousal, anxiety, or play.”
Your Dog Is Initiating Sexual Encounter
Another reason why your dog humps are plain and simple: it feels good to them. Your dog could be initiating a sexual encounter with another animal, but again, when dogs mount humans, it’s usually a sign of stress or attention-seeking behavior.
Truman Medical Clinic shared, “Dog humping can sometimes be a form of play, especially for dogs that have had little socialization or that become overexcited during play.”
Your Dog Has An Underlying Medical Issue
Dogs that continue to hump could also be experiencing a health issue. When the source of the issue is health-related, the humping could be caused by:
- Skin Allergies
- Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
- Priapism (constant, painful erections)
…to name a few.
What Should You Do?
If you suspect your dog has a medical issue irritating them, causing this behavior to continue, seek professional assistance from your local veterinarian.
Here are some other actions and tips to keep in mind.
- Don’t yell at your dog. Yelling at your dog can increase their stress levels. This can aggravate your dog’s humping behavior rather than stop it.
- Take your dog for a long walk. The excitement being the leading reason why dogs hump after being neutered is they’ve got a build-up of energy. Walk it off with your pup and enjoy playtime.
- Try to catch the humping behavior as soon as possible. It’s easier to minimize or stop the humping behavior if caught early on. The process requires patience and training.
When the act of humping is happening, and you’re refraining from shouting for them to stop, remember this tip: Redirecting is the best course of action.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) explains this method further:
If your dog is well trained but still humping, you can put that training to good use. The best way to treat humping is to redirect. This lets the dog know that the behavior is not wanted, and allows for positive reinforcement if they successfully perform another command. When the humping starts, ask the dog to sit, lie down, or stay, and reward them when they do. Alternatively, redirect with a game of fetch or by taking the dog outside for some exercise.
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