Image Credit - Wikimedia.org/
Most dog owners do not know that both male and female dogs are hump happy. It can get quite embarrassing if you have guests over and your dog starts humping them. But, it is easy to teach your dog how to behave unless she has a significant medical or behavioral problem.What are the underlying causes?Dogs usually mount other people, dogs and objects. And the reasons for it are many. Let us look at the most common ones:
What can you do to stop it?
- Sexual behavior – If your dog’s humping behavior is sexually motivated, it would usually be accompanied by amorous body language, like pawing, a raised tail and play bows. Owners need to understand that humping is a part of every dog’s play behavior. If your dog is under socialized or poorly socialized for that matter, she might mount other dogs excessively when solicited for play. They don’t know how to play well and get over excited.
- Excitement or stress – A lot of dogs hump when they are excited or tensed. If your dog is stirred up by meeting another person or dog for the first time, their immediate outlet would be to mount the new person or dog, or a piece of furniture that’s nearby.
- Social dominance – Think about this from the point of view of a dog – humping another person or dog is actually a pretty good way of establishing your dominance. The prenatal masculinizing effect of testosterone, estradiol and other androgenizing hormones can cause some of the female dogs to exhibit dominant behavior. Prenatal masculinization is common in animals that bear more than two offspring and the males outnumber the females, leading to prenatal hormone transfer. But it is not possible for you to ascertain whether there has been any prenatal masculinization unless you know the breeding history of the dog.
- Compulsive behavior – If not worked upon, humping can become a compulsive disorder, especially as a response to stressful situations. Just like any other compulsive behavior, frequent mounting can interfere with the normal functioning of a dog.
- Attention seeking – In many cases, dogs mount other dogs, people or objects to get attention, especially if they have been deprived of attention and exercise for the day. From the point of view of a dog, getting told off for bad behavior is much better than not getting any attention at all.
- Health problems – Certain medical conditions like incontinence, UTI, skin allergies and priapism can cause your dog to hump or lick her affected areas.
If your dog humps other dogs only when she is in heat, then spaying her will put an end to that problem. Get to know her triggers well. If the act is preceded by whining, panting or pawing, distract her by throwing her a toy or make her perform an obedience skill like sitting, shaking paws, or lying down. If the behavior becomes too unwieldy to control, consult with an animal behaviorist.