Let’s be clear; mounting is a common behavior for dogs. It is also a behavior that dog owners find very embarrassing. Most people think “humpie” is a sexual behavior, and it can be. However, since neutered male dogs, females, and even puppies engage in mounting, it’s clear they do it for a variety of other reasons. Some are listed below.
- Gaining social status
- Play behavior
- Stress response
- Attention from their people
- Compulsive behavior
Given the above list, you can see it’s often an enjoyable behavior for your dog. That makes it self-reinforcing – it’s fun! Although it’s a common behavior, many dogs do not like to be humped. They will take offense at being mounted and may start a fight with the overly friendly dog. So it’s in your dog’s best interest (and will save you loads of embarrassment) if your dog doesn’t engage in humping.
Can you stop your pooch’s humping behaviors? The short answer is yes. You must be consistent with your dog to get them to knock it off. Any vet will tell you that the earlier you stop this behavior, the more success you will have.
If you have a puppy who starts this behavior, don’t encourage them by laughing. Instead, stop the action and substitute something else for it. Most likely, your pup is over-energized and needs to burn off extra energy. Your dog will need an alternative to humping, provide Fido with a toy, or toss a ball for them.
If you have an older dog engaging in this behavior, it has probably become a habit and may take a bit more work to discourage. Teach your dog the “leave it” or the “off” command and reward them with a special treat when they obey. Then give your dog something else to do and remove the humpie target if possible.
If humping has become a seriously ingrained behavior or they do it compulsively, you may need some help. Try a trainer or behaviorist to help convince Fido that there are some excellent alternatives to this behavior.
Hang in there! Remind your dog every single time that humping isn’t a suitable thing to do, and soon you’ll have a more socially-acceptable pup!