Dog humping is not something abnormal in dogs, although it should not be encouraged. But man, this can be really embarrassing, especially when your dog starts to hump you in the public. It gets weirder when you observe that you are the only one he humps. It makes you ask yourself
“Why does my dog only hump me?”
Your dog only humps you because you have allowed the behavior to persist. You see humping is a part instinct and part learned behavior, this means that there are things that can trigger this instinct and if not well managed it can grow into a habit.
Before going further it is important to understand that if your dog is humping you, he or she will be humping any other object as far as there is no resistance to the action. And some may be wondering, humping in dogs is not limited to male dogs, female dogs also hump.
Things that can trigger your dog to hump on you are:
- Sexual Excitement.
- You have allowed the behavior.
- The emotions you create in your dog.
- Compulsive Behaviour.
- Need for your attention.
- A lack of exercise.
- Genital Health issues.
- Lack of Socialization.
- Need to play.
- Good Feelings.
Let’s address each trigger one by one.
The big elephant in the room, the prime suspect, call it what you may, whenever your dog humps you there is the general assumption that he is sexually aroused. This is not always the case but there are times that this is the reason and so we will address it as such.
A dog that has not been spayed or neutered has its sexual organs functioning as nature set it. So a male dog being around a female dog especially in her heat period is likely to be aroused. Female dogs in heat also hump although it is usually a sign to show that they are open to the sexual act at that moment.
The challenge usually occurs when they can’t reach their needed targets to complete the act, the next best thing would be to rub against you and ease the tension. Mind you, just you being in contact with a female dog in heat and going over to a male dog, even though they can’t see each other, the hormones they perceive from you would elicit such behavior. Same way if you have been around male dogs and go over to a female dog in heat, the same attraction ensures
A common way dog parents try to manage this trigger is to spay or neuter their dogs. In summary, doing this helps to reduce the sex drive of your dogs making it easier to manage this trigger.
Also, if your dog is female and you don’t want little puppies running around you every now and then, spaying or neutering is the way to go. But if that’s what you want, then just leave your female dog in her natural state and manage the trigger accordingly.
2.You have allowed the behavior.
If your dog humps only you, check well, it is very likely that in the course of your interaction with him or her you have allowed the habit to grow.
Your dog would have tried to do the same to other members of the family, the reaction they got from that action would not be pleasant and some would react violently and others might take it to the extra length of punishing them.
They learn quickly that humping is not welcome with those people but the problem here is that the need to hump on someone still exists. They now turn to you and the rest is history.
As we said earlier, humping is something that comes naturally to our dogs, and the best way to manage it is to redirect their attention. We would be discussing that later on when we start dealing with ways to manage this problem.
3.The emotions you create in your dog.
For some of us, our presence can create an almost extreme excitement level in our dogs, so much so that if they have not been properly trained, they are likely to exhibit some uncouth behavior. This uncouth behavior can range from jumping on you, trying to put their paws on you, and yes humping on you.
This problem is seen more with high-energy dogs. They are full of energy and are always looking for ways to dissipate this energy. If for some reason you are also excited and they catch on, it would be harder to calm them down.
For you to control your dog in this stage, you have to be calm yourself so that your dog would feed off the calm behavior and relax in other to take your commands.
This can come in different forms, excessive barking, excessive licking, excessive jumping, and excessive humping. What all these have in common is an elevated level of anxiety which leaves your dog in a panic mode.
The good thing about compulsive behaviors is if you can patiently take time to identify the triggers, you will be able to easily control and redirect your dog’s actions to something positive.
5.Need for your attention.
By now you should understand that your dog can do anything to get your attention, they will spin around you, jump on you, put their paws on you, bark, hump on you, and more if that will get you to focus on them.
It is worth mentioning that your dog would also take any form of attention from you, it doesn’t matter if it is good attention or bad attention, any type of attention you give them is preferred by them than being ignored.
So yes your dog may hump on you to get your attention.
6.A lack of exercise.
Just like with the emotions you create in your dog, a dog that has not been properly exercised can be in a state of excitement that it might need to hump you to release the pent-up energy.
Proper exercise releases stress and most dogs especially high-energy dogs who still have bottled-up energy would revert to actions based on their natural instinct to release this energy.
Humping you in one of the ways they can release this bottled/pent-up energy.
7.Genital Health issues.
Skin infections or allergies around your dog’s genital area can cause the area to itch, leading to your dog needing to hump something or someone, in this case, you to ease the itching.
Other health problems like Urinary tract infections, prostate problems, and priapism (persistent erection) can cause your dog to hump you or some other object in search of relief.
With Genital Health issues only a vet doctor can analyze and deal with the issue as these are physical health problems.
Although this humping doesn’t have anything to do with you, there can be situations where your dog is humping another dog or vice versa, take away the sexual aspect, dogs hump each other to show their hierarchy in the pack. If you have ever been around puppies long enough, you will find out that they are always trying to hump each other.
They do this to prove their dominance on the other dog, now depending on how the humped dog reacts, the hierarchy in the pack stays as such. If they hump a more superior dog or an alpha, the outcome would not be good for them.
9.Lack of Socialization.
One of the ways a dog tries to compensate for poor socialization is by humping on you. This is a big sign that your dog is not properly integrated to stay with humans.
Dogs that have been traumatized and abused also instinctively hump their adopted dog parents as a way of submission.
The only way to help dogs in this situation is to begin their socialization and obedience training programs.
10.Need to play.
Your dog can hump you when they want to play with you. This usually occurs while you guys are already in play mode. The likely scenario is that you stopped playing because something else has caught your attention and your dog is in an excited state such that they are not ready to wait for you to bring back your attention to them.
In this state, they might put their paws on you, jump on you, or yes the main culprit hump on you.
In addition to the itching and all the other emotional triggers that can lead your dog to hump on you, the truth of the matter is that humping feels good to your dog. It doesn’t matter if your dog is male or female, the feel-good feeling is always there.
Lack of mental stimulation and lack of physical activities can make your dog latch on to you and hump you. This is true if your dog has been bored for a long time and you come and start playing with them. They would be over-excited at the prospect, jumping and pawing at you and the more you allow contact, the more likely your dog will hump you.
If you allow the behavior to continue long enough it will turn into a habit for your dog. Humping you will be the go-to act to relieve stress or whatever excitement they feel.
It is always better to ignore the act and start redirecting their attention immediately you notice your dog is into humping.
HOW TO STOP YOUR DOG FROM HUMPING.
i. Get your dog medically checked.
Your first point of action should be to take your dog to the vet doctor for a proper check-up. You need to be sure that the source of your dog humping is not some physical health problem.
Even if the problem is a health one, the earlier it is diagnosed and treatment is started for your dog, the better for everyone involved
ii. Begin the socializing process.
Most dog parents do not want to admit it, but most dogs that jump on their owners and hump on them are usually dogs that have not been properly trained and socialized.
It is important that you begin the socialization process early enough, especially for abused and traumatized dogs. Get to understand their emotional triggers and start working on them. Also, begin the obedience training process with the basic commands here and there.
This will put you in a better position to control your dog as learning the commands means you are training your dog to listen to you and do what you want at each particular time.
iii. Start redirecting their attention.
Start working on redirecting your dog’s attention to some other preferred activity. Hopefully, your dog should have learned a few commands by now. Even if that is not the case, you can always start at any stage.
Once you notice your dog is about to start humping or already humping. Throw a toy, a game, or some chewie and call your dog to go for it. Immediately he or she is able to do this praise them and if possible try to engage them with a command or two. The “fetch” command can easily fit in here giving your dog something to do and helping them work on their pent-up tension.
Puzzle and kong toys are also good as they keep your dog engaged and there is always that reward at the end that will make them mentally satisfied.
iv. Spay or Neuter your dog.
Spaying and neutering your dog will very much help to reduce your dog’s sex drive. In simple terms, you are castrating your dog. It doesn’t matter if they are male or female. You only do this if you are sure you don’t want your dog especially the female ones reproducing extra puppies for you at home.
That’s more mouths to feed more cost and time allocated for them.
v. Seek professional help.
Some dogs don’t break that easily, you might find that despite your best effort your dog still would go out of his or her way to hump. The only option left for you at this stage is to seek professional help.
You can let your dog be but we doubt that is the outcome you want with your dog. So work with a professional dog trainer or animal behaviorist to put a stop to the humping problem.
Now you have all you need to understand what causes your dog to hump simple tips on how to deal with it. In all, it is more important to understand that this is not a genetic disease, allergic reaction to you, or some disorder. Your dog is acting out his or her natural instinct. Dealing with humping from that perspective is important as it will help you be more understanding and prevent you from traumatizing or harming your dog psychologically in the long run.
Hi, I am Charles Nwankwo Editor-in-Chief, Mydoggything.com. Gleaning from Professional Dog Trainers, behaviorist, Registered Veterinarians, and Breeders. We are passionate about making dog care easy for you. My job is to make sure that you get the best-updated dog care information to understand and take care of your dog or dogs.