Why Do Female Dogs Hump?

By July 4, 2021 Dogs
why-do-female-dogs-hump

Wait, did you just see your female dog humping stuffed animals, your male dog and her favorite couch in the living room? Did you actually see your female dog humping your arm? Hmm, weird.  So Why Do Female Dogs Hump?

Humping — The Normal Dog Behavior

Regarding dog behavior, there is a common misconception that only male pups hump. Or, humping only signifies sexual arousal, or it is just about exerting dominance in dogs. However, contrary to most people’s belief, female dogs, too, take their part in this super-awkward-yet-normal activity.

Finding your dog humping, mounting, or thrusting your favorite pillow, a friendly neighbor, and your pet kitten, sure, seems embarrassing. But it is nothing out of the norm for dogs. Most pet parents don’t seem surprised witnessing their male dogs humping random things, living or not. And it is definitely not weird or unusual.

However, if you are an owner of a female lapdog, and have seen her humping around random things, you may have asked this question dozens of times to yourself, “Why do female dogs hump humans?” Or better yet, “Why do female dogs hump other dogs?” Let us answer your question!

Why Do Female Dogs Hump?

Regardless of gender and age — puppies as young as six, eight, or ten weeks old have been engaging in humping or thrusting activities up until they reach sexual maturity. At the age of one or two, dogs’ humping-slash-mounting behaviors signify their sexual need or desire to have a consenting partner. Yep! Sexual arousal is the most foreseeable reason behind your female pup’s “sudden” humping behavior. However, there still might be many reasons behind this behavior.

1. Your Pup Is Bored

Have you been leaving your dog for an extended time on its own? Or, have you seen your female dog laying on your couch doing nothing, walking around all your place, and suddenly humping the corner of your couch? If that is the case, then maybe you shouldn’t worry much. She is just bored, and it is her way of asking for playtime from you.

Much like barking, growling, biting, nibbling, and whining, humping also signifies an act of boredom in dogs. However, if you are in the middle of a meeting and can’t play with her for the moment, you can distract her by diverting her energy into something more interesting.  

So how do you relieve your dog’s boredom?  Giving squeaky toys, block puzzles, or toy boxes may stop her from getting bored. Other than that, you can try and engage her in scent games. For example, have her favorite treat and hide it inside a perfectly knotted cloth. Give her time to un-knot it. It will work like magic!

2. Health Concerns

If you see your dog starting to hump everything that comes in her sight non-stop, and you notice that it is not an occasional activity, then the reason might be of a big concern for you.

It is necessary to track your dog’s habits and new interests. This type of supervision makes it easy for you to determine any medical or health-related issue in your pets earlier. Humping, excessive genital licking, and soft nibbling in both sexes can also be due to skin allergies or a urinary tract infection. Having a licensed veterinarian check your dog seems like the best option to rule any health problems in your four-legged friend.

When should you schedule an appointment with the vet? If you,

  • See your dog licking, chewing, nibbling, or biting its genitals excessively
  • Notice your female or male dog urinating frequently
  • Hear your dog whining or crying out while urinating
  • See blood in the urine
  • Notice your dog being dehydrated

3. Stressed Or Excited

Did you welcome a new puppy into the house? Or moved into a new place? Or, have your work shifts changed? It is common to see behavioral changes in your doggie due to the change in environment or her schedule. Sometimes, humping is a way to relieve stress in dogs.

If you witness your dog humping your brand new couch in your brand-new apartment, it is the stress that is causing it. Or if you see your 3-feet friend humping the new pup in the house, it is because of the excitement. In this case, familiarizing your dog with the new environment or routine is the best thing to do. However, if the humping behavior does not stop, it becomes a challenging habit to abstain. When this happens, considering professional obedience training becomes a must, both for the owner and dog.

4. Showing Dominance

Facts; Dogs are territorial. Much like wolves, they also love to exert dominance over the other ‘pack’ members. And if we talk about a dog’s perspective, humping — regardless of the sex, is a way to show dominance over the other pet member of the house. Female dogs also hump for the same reason, i.e., to establish dominance. It is because of prenatal masculinization. This whole exertion of ‘showing dominance’ usually occurs while playing or during a fight.

5. Compulsive Behavior Disorders

Humping is generally not viewed as a dangerous or bad habit in dogs. On the contrary, it is a habitual — occasional activity done due to many reasons mentioned above. However, humping or mounting can turn into compulsive behavior in response to or triggered by stressful situations and anxiety. It can negatively affect your dog’s activities and normal functioning.

What Can You Do To Stop Your Female Dog From Humping?

If you are already here, searching about a female dog humping you or your furniture, it does not require solving a math equation to know that you want the humping to stop. Yes, there are several ways to discourage your female dog’s (excessive) humping behavior.

Distract her with more energy-draining activities. Play hide and seek, frisbee, and some water games that keep her running around. The more exhausted she is, the less she would hump you or your friend.  Ignore your little lady, only if she’s humping to gain your attention. Let her sit in an empty room, away from you, for some time until she finds her something more interesting.

Say “no” to her and “yes” to her favorite treats. Use the ‘leave it!’ command as positive reinforcement. When she listens to you, reward her with her favorite candies. Do this until she learns not to hump random things coming her way.  Go for a walk, give her attention, and make sure she gets enough exercise.

Conclusion

It is necessary to know that humping is never a bad, weird, or unusual thing for dogs to do. It is a learned behavior, either done out of instincts or learned through frequent reiteration, external stimulus, or encouragement.

If other methods do not work, having a professional to talk with will help break your dog’s habit if it goes for too long.

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