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Humping in dogs

Humping a.k.a. Mounting can be a natural or acquired behavior. If your dog has developed a humping habit, it can become embarrassing real quick. It is acceptable to some extent if they are humping a sofa or a cushion or any other stuffed object. Some dogs even start humping other dogs. The worst-case scenario is when your dog starts humping people. You might have seen dogs humping legs or elbows, and it looks cringy. It can be awkward if your dog starts humping something in front of other people. Humping can even cause fights between dogs as well as adults. For someone who isn’t fond of dogs, humping can be annoying. Humping is not harmful per se, but it isn’t acceptable behavior. It is a no-no act, and you should discourage it if you see your dog humping something or someone. To stop something, we must understand the reason behind the behavior. Humping is a sexual act in dogs and is completely normal. It becomes problematic when it starts affecting other people or dogs. It is embarrassing if your dog starts humping your guests. In such cases, it needs to stop.

 

The following are some common reasons why dogs hump.

 

Sexual reasons

 

As mentioned before, humping as a sexual act/ position in dogs. Dogs hump each other to show their attraction towards each other. If both the dogs are intact, that is un-spayed and unneutered; they might end up mating and making babies. If you don’t want that keep the opposite sex dogs separate from each other.

In other cases, an intact dog may hump a spayed or neutered dog. Females hump too, but the reason is not always sexual. Humping objects or people might be a form of masturbation. Neutering and spaying are a solution to this problem. Your dog may continue to hump, in case it already developed the habit before getting altered.

To Show Excitement-

 

Humping doesn’t always mean that your dog is feeling aroused. Sometimes it’s just the excitement that can’t find an outlet to escape. Humping is like a way to blow off some steam for dogs. It lets them sweat and burn some calories, which in turn relaxes them. Some dogs bark, some run or jump while others hump. Helping your dog switch to some other mode of exercise can help curb the problem. Once again, it is normal behavior, it only needs alteration if it is upsetting someone.

 

To Seek Attention-

 

Dogs can develop humping habits as a way to seek attention too. Other times it can be just because they are bored. Like kids act out to get the parent’s attention, this is the same thing in dogs. If you are not giving your dog its desired attention, it may develop such habits to get you to notice. If you think this might be the case, show affection to your dog when it is not humping.

 

To have fun

 

 In some cases, dogs are just having fun by humping each other. It is like their way of teasing. Playful humping is mostly acceptable. As long as no one is getting upset or harmed, humping should be considered okay. As the owner, you must break it off if you notice it going out of hand.

Medical Reasons

 

can be a result of a medical condition too. It is a rare case but still a possibility. Some diseases like urinary tract infection and priapism, which means a persistent erection, can cause your dog to hump too. Some skin allergies or itches due to the presence of a tick can be reasons too. Humping can be relieving in such conditions. If you observe obsessive humping consulting a vet is a good idea.

 

How to Stop it?

 

All the different reasons, as discussed above, don’t have designated cures for them. It takes trial and error method to figure out which activity can reform your dog’s behavior. There are different types of training to help your dog understand which behavior is condemned by you so that they stop doing the particular thing.

 

Catch Your Dog red-handed

 

It is ideal to stop such behaviors right in the beginning. What happens is we often let these things slide by terming them cute or laughing them off. If you want your dog to stop humping, point it out while he is doing it. Use commands like- Off or Stop to let your dog know that this is not okay, and it needs to stop.

 

Positive reinforcement

 

Positive reinforcements work very well while training a dog. If your dog obeys your stop command, offer him a treat so that he knows he did an appreciable thing. In case you don’t appreciate him with treats, offer affection or a toy or anything your dog likes.

Sometimes dogs don’t understand the verbal commands easily. A valuable thing like a treat or a toy is used in this scenario to train the dog. What you have to do is, whenever you catch your dog humping, say the command off if your dog obeys offer him the treat; if he doesn’t, take the treat away. Such things are used as a luring object in training sessions.

 

Hire a behaviorist

 

Many people can home train their dogs but some are just not easy. If your dog isn’t giving up this habit without persistent efforts from you, it is time you consider hiring a dog behaviorist. Behaviorists are trained professionals whose job is to handle exactly this kind of situation. He/she may try some different techniques to get a positive response.

 If due to some reason, you are not able to get professional help, your only option is to accept the fact that your dog is going to hump everything in sight, which should be fine too. No kid is perfect; neither is a dog. You will have to be precautious while taking him out to park to see that he doesn’t get into a fight. You may even want to warn your guests about your dog’s habit so that they can adjust accordingly.

 

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