Most owners aren’t concerned when they catch their male dog humping a pillow, another dog, or a family member’s leg. But many owners are surprised when they see their female dog mounting another dog, toys, or a blanket.
So, why do female dogs hump? There are several reasons female dogs hump, including social dominance, sexual behavior, excitement, health problems, play behavior, and compulsive disorders. Female dogs hump as commonly as male dogs. Dog humping is considered normal behavior, but it can be annoying and embarrassing.
Occasional and harmless humping in female dogs is entirely normal for all breeds. But owners must know when mounting behavior might need to be addressed.
Keep reading to discover why female dogs hump things and how to stop this behavior.
Is it Normal for Female Dogs to Hump?
Humping, mounting, and masturbation are normal behaviors exhibited by most female and male dogs. Female dogs, like males, hump people, other animals, and objects, including toys, rolled blankets, dog beds, or even the living room couch.
Mounting other pets, furniture, and people once or twice a day is considered normal canine behavior. But, if even occasional humping is irksome to you or your family members, there are a few things you can do to stop this behavior.
Reasons Why Female Dogs Hump
There are several reasons why intact or fixed female dogs hump, including:
Social dominance might be the most common reason why dogs hump. In a dog’s mind, humping another dog or a person is a good way of proclaiming it’s in charge.
In groups, dogs establish hierarchy through behaviors that include vocalizations and body postures that don’t lead to an injury. Besides humping, a dog may exhibit social dominance by “standing over” another dog by placing its paws on the neck and shoulder of the other dog.
Humping is normal sexual behavior for intact and altered female dogs. Both male and female dogs hump people, other dogs, and objects.
Most owners don’t realize that this behavior isn’t limited to intact male dogs. During courtship, female dogs in heat often mount male admirers. It’s not uncommon for female dogs to also mount other females when one or both are in heat.
Response to Excitement or Stress
Some female dogs hump as a response to stressful or exciting situations. For example, after meeting and playing with a new dog, an excited or aroused dog might hump the other dog, its owner, or a nearby object.
Humping, mounting, and other sexual behaviors are a normal part of play behavior. Both male and female puppies often hump their littermates, toys, people, and other playmates.
A poorly socialized female dog may excessively hump other dogs as a part of play behavior. Undersocialized dogs often don’t know how to play with others without getting overstimulated.
Humping can become a compulsion for some female dogs, especially in response to stressful situations. Sometimes, compulsive humping can affect the quality of a dog’s life by interfering with normal routines.
Different medical problems, including urinary tract infections, allergies, incontinence, and priapism, can lead to excessive humping. These issues require medical treatment and can become very serious if not diagnosed and treated in time.
A dog suffering from these conditions will spend a lot of time licking and chewing its genital region. Take your dog to the vet if it’s excessively humping, licking, or chewing itself.
How To Stop Your Female Dog from Humping
If your dog humps occasionally and it isn’t irritating to you, your family, other people, or other dogs, you don’t need to stop this behavior. However, if your dog’s humping annoys you or other people and infers with your dog’s routine, here’s what you can do:
Try To Distract Your Dog
Some female dogs exhibit specific behaviors before humping. If your dog comes up to a person or another dog and starts to pant, lick, whine, paw, or rub against the person or an object, it may soon try to hump.
If you notice that your dog is exhibiting any of these behaviors, toss a toy, initiate play, give a chew toy, or ask your dog to perform a previously learned trick or a command. Ask your dog to sit, shake, or fetch to distract it from humping a person, object, or another dog.
Spay Your Dog
If you have an intact female dog, consider spaying her. This may help reduce your dog’s desire to hump other dogs, especially if she only humps when in heat or when other females are in heat.
Give Your Dog a Time Out
If your dog has a habit of humping you or other people, discourage humping by pushing your dog off you, turning away, or sitting down. If your dog won’t stop, firmly say “No” and instantly take it to a quiet room for a short time out.
Leave your dog alone for a couple of minutes. When the time out is over, let your dog out and act as if nothing has happened. If your dog tries to hump again, repeat the whole process.
When To See a Professional?
If the humping behavior has become compulsive and infers with your dog’s routine, get help from a qualified professional. A certified animal behaviorist or a certified dog trainer can work with your dog to curb its compulsion to hump.
Humping is natural canine behavior commonly seen in both male and female dogs. Female dogs may hump their owners, other people, objects, or other dogs.
The most common reasons intact and fixed female dogs hump include sexual behavior, play behavior, social dominance, response to excitement or stress, health problems, or compulsive disorders.
Spay your dog or use distraction techniques to stop it from humping. And when nothing else works, enlist the help of a certified behavioral expert or a certified dog trainer.