Humping, or mounting, is common behavior in dogs, but it can be embarrassing. Picture this: you are seated with your honorable guests, then your pup, out of the blues, comes straight to you and begins to hump your leg! I bet it’s the last thing you’d ever want to happen, at least not at such a moment. But what makes your dog do it?
Dogs hump legs for a variety of reasons, and it’s not always sexual in nature. For instance, it can be out of excitement, medical condition, pleasure, and many others. However, that’s not how most people, perhaps even your house guests, view it. That’s why you have to find ways to make your dog stop it as soon as you realize that they have developed the behavior.
In this article, we will be talking about humping in dogs. We will begin the article by looking at why dogs hump and the things you can do to make your dog stop humping. We will also examine what it means when your dog keeps humping your leg. Finally, we will be keen to find out whether it’s normal for dogs to hump. In other words, you can’t just afford to skip a bit of what we have for you!
Why Do Dogs Hump Legs?
Dogs hump as a manifestation of domination, anxiety, excitement, contentment, medical issues, and more. Humping can also carry a sexual message, although more often than not is not the case.
Dogs generally hump any time. It can be while playing, fighting, mating, or even while doing nothing. That should tell you that the behavior communicates a variety of messages depending on the context.
When playing with other dogs, you might notice dogs taking turns to mount each other. In such a case, humping will just be a mere expression of overexcitement.
However, when playing with you, your dog may hump your leg or something close to you after realizing that you aren’t in the mood for more play. In that case, your canine is using humping to get your attention and convince you back.
When you spot your dog humping the other when they are fighting, that’s intended to help your pup overpower the other. When mounting the opponent, dogs do so with their entire body weight, so in that case, it’s a mechanism for subduing the opponent.
At times your dog will hump when they feel they are bored. Your canine, like all other dogs, thrives best with active lifestyles. And if you have some of the athletic breeds, it’s definite that they need a way to vent out pent-up energy. That’s why you might have heard from the vet on placing much emphasis on giving your Fido regular exercise.
If your Fido is receiving an inadequate amount of exercise, or you have skipped a few days without your usual walks or runs with your fur baby, unpredictable bursts of energy are likely. When this happens, humping can become their favorite choice for letting out the excess energy.
Most canine behavior experts agree that the reason your dog is humping your leg can also have something to do with their age. If your canine is unneutered/unspayed and under 12 months of age, humping is more likely sexual. However, for dogs above that mark, humping is most of the time associated with other reasons discussed earlier.
With everything so far said, it’s clear that humping is totally acceptable in the dog world, even in public – so don’t think your dog did it because they wanted to mortify you. No, not at all!
How Do I Stop My Dog From Humping Legs?
You can stop your dog from humping legs by treatment, neutering, socializing your canine, removing triggers, exercising, and other ways. Basically, the mechanism to stop your dog from humping your leg, other dogs, and inanimate things depends on what’s causing the behavior.
If medical, the only surefire way of addressing humping in dogs is getting them treated. Consult an accredited vet in that case. As your pup recovers from the medical condition, you will notice that the behavior begins to cease until it stops.
Where you think mounting in your dog is sexual, neutering will go a long way to curb it. Neutering reduces levels of testosterone (sex hormone) circulating in a dog’s bloodstream. As the hormone reduces, the sexual urge also decreases.
Any pup between 6 to 8 months of age is okay for neutering. Castration helps reduce mounting behavior by up to 70%.
Again, creating and sticking to an exercise routine will help stop your canine from humping your leg. Exercise uses up the energy that could otherwise go to humping.
Find the time and take your dog out for walks. You can also have them join you in your morning run. Plays can also help tire out your high-energy pup. Only be sure to first ask the vet about the type and amount of exercise healthy for your canine.
Also, you can put an end to humping by removing the triggers. For instance, if mounting is out of stress, remove anything that stresses your canine. If you aren’t sure how to go about it, speak to your vet or an accredited canine behaviorist on the issue.
Where your dog has a habit of mounting your leg, always push them off every time they try to do it. In addition, you can adopt a position that makes humping impossible for your canine.
Moreover, if you haven’t, train your dog to be calm. That way, they will know how to act when overexcited. How easy you are going to find it depends on the breed and the individual dog’s personality.
Finally, socializing your dog can also help them stop humping. Socialization works best when done at an early age, although it’s possible at any stage. Unsocialized canines don’t know how to act when around people or other pets, so it’s best to teach them how.
How Long Until My Dog Stops Humping?
How long until your dog stops humping your leg is a matter of how much they are into the behavior and what’s making them do it. Also, it may depend on the amount of energy you direct into making the behavior stop.
If it’s behavior that your dog is just developing, it’s yet to become a habit. As such, it will be easier to stop and will take much less time. At times all it takes is discouraging it a couple of times.
However, habits may take as much as a year to break completely. But again, that has to depend on other factors.
On the causes, what’s making your dog hump can affect how long it takes to stop the behavior. Compulsive behavior can be a little hard to break off compared to humping emanating from stress and overexcitement.
Depending on how much effort you put into it, the more energy you give into putting the behavior to an end, the sooner you should begin to see results. But again, that has to do with the trainability of the dog.
So, as seen, it’s possible to end that embarrassing behavior from your dog. The most important thing is to get the cause right. From there, it’s easy to know measures to put in place to stop the behavior.
What Does It Mean When A Dog Keeps Humping Your Leg?
When your dog keeps humping your leg, especially after several warnings, it means that the behavior is emanating from something beyond its control. Medical issues, in this case, are very likely, but other causes are also possible.
Health conditions such as skin irritation, whether from an infection or allergy, will make your dog hump. Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) could also be the reason for increased humping. For UTI, humping will manifest alongside other signs such as leaking, frequent urination, scratching, scooting, and even blood in the urine.
Where it’s from illness, humping comes as a reflex, and you may not do much to discourage it. It’s simply something that your dog does to relieve irritation or itchiness coming from the inflammation. So, it’s always good to bring in the vet if you feel that your dog’s humping behavior is medical or becoming a concern.
Is It Normal For Dogs To Hump Every Day?
No, it’s not normal for your dog to hump every day. While occasional humping is most of the time not a cause for concern, daily humping often tells you that there’s a problem with your pet.
As seen, humping can come as a result of a larger medical issue. Therefore, if you notice that your dog is humping every day, or at least more frequent than you think is normal, think about visiting the vet.
Again, your dog humping every day can mean a compulsive disorder. Yes, much more like humans, dogs can get hooked on some behavior. And when it happens, they hardly have any control over it.
These furry friends find humping pleasurable, so your dog may be doing it more often because they feel that it somewhat offers satisfaction. When left untreated, it can only get worse, so it’s best to find a canine behaviorist as soon as you can.
Now, whether medical or as compulsive behavior, humping every day is generally not healthy for your Fido. Therefore, as a loving dog owner, it’s best to find a way of making your canine stop it.
Is It Healthy To Let Your Dog Hump?
Whether it is healthy to let your dog hump depends on the motivation and the frequency of the humping. So, as a responsible dog parent, dig deep to discover why your dog is humping.
If the motivation is medical-related, it’s not healthy for your dog to hump. That also applies if doing it out of compulsion. Either way, ensure that your dog gets the necessary treatment to help them stop the behavior.
Again, when your dog is doing it very frequently, it’s not healthy. Nothing is healthy when overdone – not even eating. However, most of the time, humping in canines will recur where the motivation isn’t in the first place healthy.
Unless your dog is doing it out of health issues or compulsive behavior, humping will only come occasionally, and that’s absolutely fine for your dog unless humans are involved.
Can My Dog Hump Too Much?
Yes, your dog can hump too much. But the “too much” part doesn’t tell when you should worry or not. However, your dog is overdoing it if it’s happening every day or becoming a nuisance to others.
If your dog does humping very often, they can easily get hooked on it, and that may mean a new set of problems. To avoid that, always try as much as you can to curb the behavior. The good thing is that it’s possible to help your dog stop the behavior.