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Should I Give My Dog Something To Hump?

↯ Key takeaway points

  • Dog humping is a common behavior, especially in puppies.
  • Dogs hump for various reasons, including hormonal, dominance, playfulness, and excitement/stress.
  • In some cases, humping may be a sign of a medical issue, such as urinary incontinence or skin irritation.
  • Giving a dog something to hump, like a specific toy, can be a distraction and may help manage the behavior.
  • To stop dog humping, it is important to catch the behavior, give a command like "stop," reward the dog for stopping, and consider spaying/neutering or seeking professional help if necessary.
Written by Viena
Viena is passionate about all sorts of domesticated pets. They have written dozens of articles across the web.
Gold medalist veterinary student from UVAS Lahore writes captivating articles and is passionate about animal care.
Published on
Sunday 11 October 2020
Last updated on
Monday 6 November 2023
should i give my dog something to hump
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Humping is a common and bothersome behavior you may observe in your dog. Sometimes, puppies hump other puppies. They hump stuffed animals, your couch, or worse hump a person’s leg. So what is this all about and when does dog humping start happening? Moreover, should you give your dog something to hump?

Puppies don’t reach puberty until they are six to eight months old, so a dog humping is a nonsexual play behavior. It is one of the first methods when a pet comes upon its strength and social standing. Because of this, it can hold into adulthood, even though your dog is female and spayed.

Why Do Dogs Hump?

There are many reasons as to why dogs hump. Let’s try to have a deeper understanding of why your canine companion exhibits this behavior. Here are some of the possible answers to this question.


A dog that is not spayed or neutered may hump other dogs because of hormones and sexual attraction. When both dogs are intact, they usually end up mating. Intact dogs of the opposite sex need to be separated to prevent it from happening. Intact means unneutered dogs.

Sometimes, an intact dog will hump a spayed or neutered canine. Females hump too, and it can or won’t be sexual. When a dog humps items or people, it might be a type of masturbation.

Having your dog neutered or spayed may help with the problem, but know that dogs may develop the habit of humping before they are spayed or neutered and continue it afterward.


According to a recent article on Mounting, Peter Borchelt, a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist in New York City, noted, “Mounting could be part of a suite of behaviors associated with aggression, such as high posture, resource guarding, direct stares, and threats and standing over. But mounting, in and of itself, doesn’t indicate a status issue. By itself, mounting might not mean a lot” (cited in Hecht, 2012).

In the development of social behavior in puppies, mounting, and humping was not directly related to dominance. In some situations, dogs mount and perhaps hump others when there are dogs around who can see them doing it.

It would be interesting to know if dogs mount and hump more when other dogs can see them, and if so, perhaps in some situations, mounting and humping may have something to do with telling others about relative dominance.


Just like play fighting, play humping can be a healthy and acceptable behavior between dogs as long as it doesn’t anger one of the dogs. Some dogs act to play and hump each other back and forth, and everything is fine.

Some puppies simply enjoy humping. Make sure to interrupt them if one of the puppies appears bothered because of the humping. Training can be beneficial in decreasing the frequency of dog humping.

Excitement and Stress

Usually, puppies aren’t mimicking mating behavior when they hump. Nonsexual arousal is much more likely to initiate a dog to hump. It’s just a manner for the canine to relieve stress. Some dogs bark, a few run or jump, and others hump, and this is normal for many dogs.

Some dogs hump to get attention or because they are bored. If this is the case, give them plenty of exercises, mental stimulation, and attention when they are not humping.

Humping Due to Medical Issues

Sometimes, dog mounting is a sign of a medical problem. For example, humping can signal urinary incontinence or skin irritation, or, in male dogs, prostate problems. It is also true that in some instances, humping is a sexual, pleasure-seeking behavior. The likelihood of humping or being sexual is higher in younger dogs that have not been spayed or neutered.

If the dog is licking its own body or showing other signs of distress, their humping behavior may suggest that there might be a medical issue. If that is the case, you should make an appointment with your veterinarian. It is also essential to consider any irritants that might be causing your dog to act out. Make sure they are getting enough exercise. Is something in the home bothering them, and, if so, what can you do to take the edge off it?

Urinary tract infections, skin allergies, and persistent erections may bring forth dog humping, as well as other behaviors, like licking their genitals or rubbing against furniture or other objects. Your vet ought to be able to rule out health situations as possible reasons for humping. Once you have ruled out a medical or environmental cause, you can turn your full attention to behavioral training.

humping due to medical issues
Consult with your vet first to rule out any medical issue.

Should I Give a Dog Something to Hump – FAQ

To summarize and clarify any other queries you have about your dog humping, here is an informative FAQ section.

Should I give my dog something to hump?

You can allow your dog to hump but keep your dog on a strict schedule. By giving your dog a specific toy to hump will be a lot easier. The most apparent reason dogs will hump legs, toys, slippers, or anything else is because it feels great. It can be that simple, although it’s worth mentioning that it is not necessarily sexual. Some puppies will still interact in this conduct even if they were neutered, and it’s visible in both male and female puppies. If your dog is persistent, you can give your dog something to hump, like his favorite humping toy and some “private time.” But distraction is likely the best cure.

Humping is normal. Mounting, including humping and masturbation, are healthy behaviors. According to the ASPCA and other organizations, for some dogs, dog thrusting and masturbation could become an uncontrollable habit, such as excessive tail-chasing. Neutering doesn’t dispose of all sexual behaviors. That is due to the fact the circulating testosterone in younger male puppies causes brain modifications that masculinize them. These adjustments result in extended urination on vertical surfaces, expanded exploration of the environment, and in some cases, improved mounting or even mating of dogs who are in heat.

A common reason why neutered dogs will mount your own family cat, your leg, or anything your canine can discover inside your house is it is far more about territory here than something else. The same thing applies to dogs who charge at other people and hump their legs. For neutered puppies who hump, the recommended solution appears to be a distraction instead of just scolding their behavior. Scolding might create a compulsion instead and have the complete opposite effect.

Distracting your dog with its own “special humping toy” will make life at home more comfortable. Giving your dog something to hump will make things easier for you. But you must remember to keep your dog on a strict schedule. Dogs respond better when they have a routine. That way, it would be easier for you once you decide to train your dog to stop humping objects and other people.

When is humping a problem?

If humping becomes a compulsive behavior and prevents your dog from doing his regular daily routine, your pet can aggravate other dogs and may also limit his social interactions. If he persists in annoying other animals and people, keep him leashed, behind a dog gate, or in a different room when company visits, so he won’t be able to practice the unwanted behavior.

You also can manage your dog’s surroundings to reduce humping. Make sure your dog has access to chew toys and other activities that keep them occupied and burn energy. If there’s a particular toy or other objects that undergo the stress of your dog’s humping, take it away till the behavior has eased.

The more you let your dog continue his mounting behavior, the more difficult it will likely be to change. The quicker you interfere in your canine’s unacceptable mounting, the better your probabilities for conduct modification success.

How Can You Stop Your Dog From Humping?

If you want to stop your dog from humping, there are many ways to do so. Since there are a few different reasons for dog humping, it may take a bit of trial and error to get your dog to stop this behavior. First of all, if you need to stop your dog’s humping, you need to catch your dog while he is doing the action. Call your dog’s name and say a word like “stop.” The term “no” is not a good idea since it is often used in conversations.

If your dog stops humping, immediately reward him. Dogs are reward-oriented animals. A reward could be a treat, his favorite toy, or you could give him affection. It all depends on which your dog likes best. You can also distract your pet with their favorite toy, a treat, or with plenty of love and affection.

One of the best ways to stop your dog from humping is by looking into spaying and neutering. A study found a considerable improvement in humping behavior in 60 percent of canines and a 90 percent improvement in as many as 40 percentages of dogs following castration. Another study determined that within 72 hours of surgery, the bulk of hormones have left the dog’s system. Neutered canines may additionally nonetheless hump after surgery. However, the odds are drastically reduced. If your dog’s humping gets out of control, you may switch to training your dog or may seek professional help. You may contact a professional dog trainer or a pet behaviorist.

Whether or not you should give your dog something to hump depends on what your canine companion truly needs. As dedicated pet parents, it is our responsibility to look out for our dog’s overall welfare. Remember that everything they do sends an underlying message, and every message is an opportunity to level up their quality of life.

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