Our spayed female dog sometimes humps our other dog. We were curious to know why she does this and if we should be concerned?
Do the Humpty Hump in the Heights
Dear Do the Humpty Hump,
No need to worry. What your dog is doing is normal and probably isn’t any indication of a botched spay or other issue. In fact, neutered males and spayed females often hump other dogs for a variety of reasons. Sure, it can be really embarrassing when your parents come over and your dogs engage in a little “humpty hump” in the middle of the living room, but what’s going on is normal and usually harmless.
Why do dogs hump?
Sexual reasons aside, both males and females use the humping maneuver to communicate. Oftentimes, dogs hump one another to determine their place in a pack. A dog might mount another just to gauge the dog’s reaction. If the other dog allows the behavior, then the “mounter” can assume that he or she is dominant over the “mountee.” However, if the “mountee” growls or shows aggression toward the “mounter,” this can be a sign of who’s boss in the relationship.
Playtime: Many dogs hump each other when feeling playful. Unlike many humans, dogs don’t feel any embarrassment about sexual behaviors. They often engage in humping during playtime, just as they might play tug of war with another dog or wrestle.
Excitement: You might have noticed that your dog humps other dogs when she is excited. Oftentimes, the arrival of a new person into the home, mealtime or a trip to the park will cause a dog to go into a humping behavior.
While you might be able to tolerate your dog humping another dog, things get pretty weird when your dog begins to hump you or another human. Typically, your dog is practicing the same communication methods with you when she tries to hump you. Either she’s attempting to work out the pecking order or she’s feeling playful. Either way, this behavior shouldn’t be encouraged.
Putting the kibosh on humping
While your dog’s humping likely isn’t causing any problems, it can be embarrassing to deal with. Consider doing some training with your dog to help break the humping habit. If she begins humping, redirect her with a toy and engage her in a game of fetch or tug of war. It’s also important to make sure that your dog is getting good exercise. Too much pent-up energy can lead to excessive humping behaviors, so try to get her active and see if that doesn’t help the humping situation.
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