Is your dog a “humper?” If he or she is OVER a year old,
spayed or neutered, the reasons why may surprise you.
One of my dogs romanced his favorite pillow. Another two, super-sized, standard poodle brothers would play and, on occasion, one would attempt to mount the other, much to the outrage of the offended brother.
And although humping, or mounting, is a sexual position for dogs, there are other reasons for the action too, say veterinarians who specialize in canine behavior.
WebMD has given us a good rundown on the possibilities. I've given you the reader’s digest version with a link to the original article at the bottom of the post. And on the last page of the post, I have included a video from VetStreet which I know you'll enjoy.
In unneutered and unspayed dogs under a year old, it's true, humping is most often sexual in nature, says behavioral veterinarian David S. Spiegel, VMD, who practices near Swarthmore, Pennsylvania. However, in older dogs, it can signal dominance, a poorly socialized dog, or excitement as when visitors arrive.
“Some dogs can become very compulsive about the behavior,” explains Spiegel.
Veterinary behaviorist Gary Landsberg, DVM, in Ontario, Canada, feels the act is a common play gesture in puppies and in older dogs — neutered males as well as spayed females — when not taken to extremes.
“You’ll often see one dog mount another,” he explains, “then a few minutes later they’ll switch off and the other dog will mount the first dog.”
Not unlike jumping up on someone or barking at the door, the dogs simply do it because “no one has told them it’s not acceptable. It can become enjoyable or a normal part of the dog’s day, so it keeps doing it.”
Landsberg also agrees that mounting is a common dominance gesture, but the dog doing the mounting is usually insecure and testing out other dogs to see how many will accept the behavior. This can lead to fights with the other dogs.
You can train a dog to stop humping. Find out how on the next page.