4 Reasons Why Female Dogs Try to Hump Your Leg & Other Dogs

Humping or mounting is one of the strangest behaviors that female dog owners may see from their dogs. Here are four common reasons why they do it.

1. Dominance and Status
Let’s first get one point out of the way. Many articles mention that humping is about dogs showing their dominance. According to Becky Trisko, an ethologist with a Ph.D. in animal behaviors, that isn’t necessarily the case. Her observations suggest that humping is more strongly correlated with play and other affiliated behaviors than status-specific behaviors like aggression.

2. Increasing Excitement Level
Some dogs may start to hump when they get aroused or when their excitement level increases. This could be the reason why your dog starts to hump whenever she meets new dogs or humans.

Dogs can show their excitement in many different ways. Whether it’s by running around like crazy, bopping people with their noses, or by rolling around the floor, humping is just one of many ways for dogs to burn off their excess excitement energy.

3. Response to Stress or Anxiety
Alternatively, humping may also provide an effective outlet for dogs under stress or anxiety. Female dogs may hump other female dogs when they are in unfamiliar territory (e.g. when they are introduced to many new dogs in a dog park). Many dog owners won’t take a liking to their dog being humped by another dog so this is a behavior you will want to pay close attention to anytime you take your dog to the dog park.

4. Brings Attention to the Dog
Over time, attention-deprived dogs may notice that humping is an effective way for humans to engage with them (especially when someone gives a good laugh). Even negative attention, such as the owner telling the dog to stop humping, is better than receiving no attention at all.

How to Stop a Dog from Humping

So what should you do if your female dog is humping objects, dogs, or other humans? Well, if it’s a very rare occurrence then there probably isn’t a lot for you to worry about.

If it’s, however, a regular occurrence then there may be some cause for concern. Dogs may also mount other objects due to a medical condition so you may want to take your dog to a vet for a checkup if the humping behavior came out of nowhere.

If your dog is given a clean bill of health by a vet then you may want to take her to a professional trainer or an animal behaviorist to diagnose the cause. In the meantime, here are some things you can do immediately to discourage the humping behavior.

Have any other tips? Please contact us and share how you taught your dog to stop humping others.

John at My Pet Child

is the Founder of My Pet Child, where he shares his tips on living with a dog in an apartment.

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