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What to Do About Your Humping Dog

Embarrassed or worried by your dogs’ mounting behavior? Usually, humping is normal.

By
Jolanta Benal, CPDT-KA, CBCC-KA,
Episode #033
What to Do About Your Humping Dog

Significant Anxiety

Second, if your dog humps every visitor to your house or every dog and dogette he meets at the park, you have all the evidence you need that that social situation is too much for him. Visit the dog park only when the place is less crowded, go elsewhere altogether, or limit playtime to familiar friends. Let your dog rest in his crate with a chew toy when people visit.

You may hear the advice to teach your dog a cue meaning “Leave that alone”; my only objection is that though it may solve your immediate manners problem it doesn’t address the cause. If you believe your dog’s humping arises out of anxiety about people or other dogs, consult a behavior specialist for advice.

Do Dogs Hump to Show Dominance?

As I mentioned earlier, you’ll often hear that humping is a dominance move. Perhaps it sometimes is, but beware of default “explanations” arrived at without much thought.  Take that dog who tried to hump my head. He repeatedly pushed into my space. He wasn’t friendly. And he had a history of guarding his resting spots and his toys. So maybe when he climbed up on the sofa back behind me, he was pulling rank. On the other hand, he was a young, intact male who had never had training of any kind--in other words, a hormone-packed adolescent who’d grown up in a household with no rules. Maybe he was trying to dominate me, or maybe he was just one of them boys who don’t know how to act. Either way, he needed a good reward-based dog trainer to show him some moves.

As for me, your comments and questions help me shape future episodes. E-mail dogtrainer@quickanddirtytips.com or call 206-600-5661. And come see me on Facebook. Thanks for listening. Goodbye!

Excited Dog image from Shutterstock

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