Both male and female dogs hump for many different reasons

Category:

As Seen With - Cathy Rosenthal

Encourage Kindness to Animals!

Highly-acclaimed children's books for your child or organization

Both male and female dogs hump for many different reasons

Updated Dec 21, 2021

Dear Cathy,

Our Katie is a five-year-old Lab mix. She’s always been obedient and will lick you to death if you let her. Now suddenly, when little kids come over, she gets super excited and starts humping them. Why now, after all this time, is she doing this? I thought only male dogs hump. Any ideas on why she does this and how to stop her?

— Anthony Meule, Valley Stream, New York

Dear Anthony,

The truth is, both male and female dogs hump, and for many reasons. If dogs aren’t fixed, it’s a behavior tied to mating. But if Katie is fixed then she could be humping because it simply feels good, she’s super excited or stressed, or has a health problem, like a urinary infection.

If there’s no health problem, then the clues point to the excitement (or stress, depending on how she’s interpreting her encounter with the kids). There is no general harm in the behavior, but most people don’t want a dog humping their legs, which can become a compulsive behavior for a dog if allowed to continue. You can curb this behavior through distraction and training.

If possible, give Katie a quick walk before the kids come over. This reduces pent-up energy. Then, distract her when the kids come over. Get her attention by shaking a can of coins or clapping your hands and telling her to “leave it” when she tries to hump anyone. Show her a toy or high value treat – something yummy she doesn’t normally get, like a chew treat or a piece of hot dog. She should come over to you for the treat, which will help distract her during the initial excitement around the kids’ arrival. If she acts too wild, put her on a leash for these encounters until you get her trained.

If the kids are super-excited when they first arrive, it’s okay to ask them to be a little quieter until Katie has time to adjust and settle down.

Cathy M. Rosenthal is a longtime animal advocate, author, columnist and pet expert who has more than 25 years in the animal welfare field. Send your pet questions, stories and tips to cathy@petpundit.com. Please include your name, city, and state. You can follow her @cathymrosenthal.

Was this article helpful? Share with others!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

DSC_4602

Cathy Rosenthal, CHES, CFE
Animal Welfare Communications Specialist

Cathy brings more than 25 years' experience in the animal welfare field. She is a sought-after speaker, Certified Humane Education Specialist, a syndicated pet advice columnist, an author, a publisher, and of course - a loving pet parent.

Read more about Cathy here or check out her Non-Profit's page to see more ways she can help you and your organization.

Other Articles You Might Enjoy

Because most dogs can’t do two things at once either

Dear Cathy, We have a wonderful Beagle/mix who is almost 10 years old. We are constantly amazed by Tanner's intelligence and loving nature, but he ...
Read More

How to get your dog to not eat so fast

How to get your dog to not eat so fast Does your dog rush to eat his food? Does he or she practically inhale the food ...
Read More

Reining in the excited loud barking

Dear Cathy, My eight-year-old dog Zoe is part cattle dog and border collie. When we go for walks, she is very excited, grabbing on the ...
Read More