Has your dog randomly started humping you right in the middle of the street? Or when you were having a fun time playing fetch in the park? We understand you; as a pet owner, we have all been there.
Being humped by your dog can be embarrassing, but it is a pretty natural behavior for dogs. Yes, humping does mean the dog is sexually aroused, but it is not the sole motivator.
Humping can mean the dog is excited, trying to show dominance, simply bored, or it is a learned habit. Such causes will require obedience and behavioral training to overcome. Humping could also be due to health issues that require vet care.
One might wonder, why does my dog hump me and no one else? Let us look at the reasons and techniques you can try to stop this behavior.
- Why Do Dogs Hump?
- Why Does My Dog Hump Me and No One Else? – 8 Reasons
- Should I Be Concerned?
- How Can I Stop My Dog’s Humping?
Why Do Dogs Hump?
The common understanding among the public is that dogs humping is a sign of sexual behavior only. It can make people laugh, be embarrassed, annoyed, or even angry. Forcefully pulling the dog away may not work. You first need to know why your dog humps and then train it to overcome the trigger.
1. Sexual Reasons
Dogs can start humping when they reach sexual maturity. Some dog breeds can become sexually mature at six months. Larger breeds may take up to 2 years.
When the dog starts humping, one reason could be that it is looking for a sexual release. Female dogs can hump as well. It can be a form of masturbation for them.
This behavior is more common in intact and unsprayed dogs. But neutering and spaying is not a guaranteed solution for humping. Once the dog learns the behavior, it may continue to do so even after being fixed.
2. Show Excitement
According to AKC, majorly, humping has little to do with sexual arousal. If the dog is excited or happy to see you, it may start humping your leg.
If the dog is over-excited and has no outlet to spend energy, it may start humping you, stuffed toys, or other inanimate objects.
This, again, is normal for dogs. For example, if going to the beach is your dog’s favorite thing to do, it may get over-excited, over-stimulated, and start humping right then and there.
3. Itchy Genitals
One of the prominent signs of skin infections in dogs is itchiness. Dogs will have an uncontrollable urge to lick or scratch their skin.
If the infection is around the genital area, humping might be the easiest way to relieve the itching. However, if you suddenly see an increase in this behavior, check the dog’s skin, note unusual signs like excessive licking, skin redness, and discharge and consult the vet.
4. Natural Playfulness
The dog may pretend to hump other dogs while playing. The behavior is similar to when dogs play-fight.
Some dogs may take turns mounting each other while playing. This is normal behavior. But, not all dogs like such behavior. So, you need to be careful, or humping could lead to an actual fight among the animals.
5. Medical Condition
The dog could be dealing with a health condition like a urinary tract infection, infection, or tumors around the genital area. They may resort to humping to relieve discomfort or pain.
If you notice an onset of humping, especially in middle-aged to senior dogs, it would be best to get it checked by the vet.
Why Does My Dog Hump Me and No One Else? – 8 Reasons
Now that we have seen the reasons behind humping, let us focus on why dogs like to hump one particular person.
1. Love Language
Do you spend the most time with the dog? Do you take it out for walks, play tug of war, cuddle with it on the sofa and give it lots of belly rubs? If yes, it is highly probable that you might be the dog’s favorite person.
Research has shown that your furry friends are capable of love. You might tend to their primary needs of survival, but they do value the emotional connection between you.
When you are the dog’s favorite person, it will find you in a crowd, listen to you and follow you around. Humping might feel weird, but if you are the only person the dog humps, it could signify affection.
2. Attention-Seeking Behavior
Dogs like attention; they want you to look at them, play, and spend time with them. Some dogs are more attention-hungry than others.
If you are busy with some work, the dog will try to get your attention by barking or roaming around you or by putting its paws or head on you. If they do not succeed, they might start humping you.
Behaviors like barking can be easy to ignore. But when you have a dog continuously humping at your leg, you might get annoyed, cave in, and give it your attention.
3. Encouraged Behavior
When did your dog start humping you? What did you do at that time? Did you command the dog to stop? Or gently patted its head and went about your business?
When a dog shows a new behavior, your reaction to it can determine if the behavior will turn into a habit. For example, if you positively react whenever the dog humps your leg, it learns that humping is appreciated.
Other family members in the house may discipline the dog when it tries to hump them. But, if you do not, you become a safe target for the dog.
4. Lack of Exercise
Dogs generally like being around people, being out, and playing.
There sure are some lazy dog breeds like Pugs, Basset Hounds, Saint Bernards, and Bulldogs, among others, who would rather sit on the couch all day. On the other hand, you have super energetic breeds, like Siberian Huskies, Border Collie, and Jack Russell Terrier, among others.
Regardless of their energy levels, dogs require a minimum amount of exercise and mental stimulation. Without which, they can turn to undesirable behaviors like humping.
Boredom is linked to the reason mentioned above. If the dog does not get enough exercise or it does not have access to toys or puzzles, it can get boring. This is especially true if you leave the dog alone for longer periods.
When adding a dog to your family, you must consider its physical and mental needs. For example, an Australian Shepherd has high energy and mental stimulation needs. Therefore, you cannot keep this breed cooped up in your small apartment.
Along with exercise, you will have to keep it busy throughout the day with playtime, toys, and other activities. If not, the dog may start humping you simply because it has nothing better to do.
6. Play Time
If you have been away for most of the day, the dog may particularly hump you for some playtime. You might be the person who spends quality time with the canine. And the dog may have missed you in your absence.
Such behavior can be more common in puppies and younger dogs. For example, they can start to hump you right in the middle of a play session as they can get overly excited.
7. Stress and Anxiety
Does your dog hump you when it is faced with uncomfortable situations? If yes, then humping is the act that helps it relieve the negative pent-up emotions, and you are its safety blanket in an unfamiliar situation.
For example, if your dog does not like the company of strangers, then it might start humping you when you have friends over. In such a case, humping will not involve any tail wagging or a happy expression on the face. It may stick closer to you because it trusts you with its safety.
8. Sexual Arousal
Yes, dogs do hump because they are sexually aroused and are looking for a release. It could be a part of their masturbation practice. Humping feels good to dogs. And what feels good can quickly develop into a habit.
If you let it, a male dog will have sex every day of the year. It may not be able to impregnate a female dog at this rate, but that will not keep it from mating.
With no in-heat female dog in sight, your dog may shift its attention to you, stuffed toys, or a dining table leg.
Should I Be Concerned?
Yes, humping is natural, but that does not mean you let the dog all day long. You first need to find out why your dog humps. If the reason is a lack of mental stimulation or poor socialization, then you can use behavioral training. A vet visit becomes necessary if the reason is a medical issue.
Humping can become a problem if the dog gets addicted to the behavior. For example, if your dog humps when it is anxious, the trigger of anxiousness should be dealt with. Replacing one unhealthy behavior with another does not help.
For the time being, the dog might be humping only you, but it may start humping other people and dogs. This can lead to awkward confrontations.
You would not like a random dog you met at the dog park to start humping your dog, would you? Similarly, your guests may take offense if you are unable to control the dog humping away at their leg.
Also Read About: How to Get Rid of Fishy Smell From Dog? Home Remedies
How Can I Stop My Dog’s Humping?
Humping is an activity that can be managed through training. According to vets, the best way to stop an undesirable behavior is to nip the behavior in the bud when it first happens.
You can train adult dogs to stop humping, but it will require consistency and patience.
You can try the below techniques to get the dog to stop humping only you.
1. Obedience Training
This training can help you control several undesirable behaviors in dogs and also improve their socialization skills.
Start teaching the puppies basic commands like ‘Yes,’ ‘No,’ ‘Sit,’ ‘Stop,’ and ‘Leave it.’ The reaction to no or stop should be the dog stopping whatever activity it is doing.
So, the next time the dog humps you, firmly command it to stop. If needed, ignore or leave the pet alone for the next 5-10 minutes. Continue the command and ignore method until the pet understands you do not appreciate humping.
If your dog has recently started humping, the diversion method can help stop the behavior at the onset.
When the dog humps you, divert its attention to another task. For example, you could give it a chew toy or an interesting puzzle it needs to solve. For example, giving them bully sticks is a great alternative. The dog can chew on the healthy treat and be kept busy for a long time.
Use different distractions every time. When the dog stops humping and sticks to the distraction, praise the dog to reinforce the behavior.
3. Physical Exercise and Mental Stimulation
As we have seen above, lack of exercise and mental stimulation can lead to undesirable behaviors. Understand how much exercise your dog needs. Exercise is necessary to keep the dog in good health physically.
Mental stimulation is equally necessary as it helps with cognitive functions. For example, you can keep the pet busy with puzzle toys, obstacle courses, teaching them new tricks, or a treasure hunt for treats.
You can teach the dog the names of its toys and make them responsible for putting the toys away once they are done playing.
If the dog primarily humps for sexual reasons, neutering may help curb the behavior. Some dogs may experience a low sex drive after neutering, so the humping gradually ceases.
But, this is not a given effect. If the dog has already caught on to the humping habit, it may continue to do so even after being fixed.
According to AKC, neutering or spaying dogs that have not yet matured can have long-term health complications. So, if you have a puppy with a humping problem, it would be best to control its behavior with training.
5. Vet Visit
If the dog shows additional symptoms like licking its genital areas, biting, or chewing its own body, it might have a medical condition.
Check the physical state of the dog. For example, if its skin is irritated or swollen, there is vaginal discharge, or the dog has a persistent erection, please visit the vet.
Here humping is motivated by discomfort or pain, so unless the medical condition is not addressed, the behavior may continue.
Dogs’ humping may be embarrassing for you, but it is a natural behavior for them. Sexual need is only one of the reasons why dogs hump. Other reasons are over-excitement, happiness, stress, asserting dominance, or health conditions.
Coming to the question of why does my dog hump me and no one else. It could be because you are the dog’s favorite person. Or you never disciplined the dog and unintentionally encouraged the behavior. Or it could be the dog’s way of seeking your attention.
It could also point to issues like lack of exercise and mental stimulation, stress, and anxiety.
You can use techniques like obedience training, redirecting attention, exercise, and activities to stop humping. If required, seek help from behavioral trainers or a vet.
Heather Abraham is an owner of two dogs, one cat, a leopard gecko, and a parrot (who her dad still cannot teach bad words to), and an avid blogger. From the time she was a young girl, she always felt a connection with pets. She brings her love of every type of pet to you, with information on animal nutrition, medication, toys, beds, and everything else in between. Along with newly-on-board veterinarian DVM editor Elena, she puts pups first while offering other various fun tidbits along the way.