How To Stop A Dog From Humping

by Ditte Young
Last updated October 25, 2023
Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

How to stop a dog from humping or mounting is one of the many questions pet parents ask me as a dog communicator and dog behavior expert. There’s nothing quite like dog humping that can make people laugh, or be embarrassed by a dog’s humping a person’s leg, a toy, or each other.

As the dog’s voice, I always ask people kindly never to laugh or become embarrassed when they see the dog’s humping habit because it is often a sign of the dog’s stress that needs to be released for the dog.

I know that dogs understand what we say, think, and feel in any given situation and therefore we should never act in a way that will increase the dog humping such as:

how to stop a dog from humping

Table of Contents

How To Stop A Dog From Humping?

The humping dog can quickly become a problem in its outer world. It may not be all dogs who will accept the mounting behavior, and if dogs hump other dogs, who see this as annoying and embarrassing behavior, or if the other dog is more dominant, then an unnecessary fight can start. 

Some children also find the dog’s behavior threatening or overwhelming; we must help the dogs to stop humping. You can quickly start training some of these seven tips to help your dog from humping. Dogs of any age may initiate humping behavior, which must be prevented as early as possible.

Ditte Young | Author | Animal communicator | Clairvoyant
How to stop a dog from humping
Ditte Young | Author | Animal communicator | Clairvoyant
Ditte Young | Author | Animal communicator | Clairvoyant

An Early Intervention

Dog mounts or humps are seen with both a female and a male dog. Dogs mount other dogs, a pillow, a leg, a target, or a stuffed animal. This happens regardless of whether the dog neutered has been taken care of. 

In my work as a dog behavior expert and dog whisperer, I see that dogs have different personality profiles and were born that way. The dogs present themselves in the world based on their personality and react accordingly to how safe they feel.

The personality profiles are:

The playful dog needs a lot of stimulation, both mentally and physically. If the dog is not being stimulated, it can start unwanted behavior due to distress when it is under-stimulated. The playful dog can also be overstimulated and starts what looks like sexual behavior.

The sensitive dog needs structure in everyday life and clear signals from the owner. When I meet dog mounting in my work with male and female dogs, I always look for the personality profile initially. If I experience dog owners having a sensitive dog, I have to examine whether or not there is structure and predictability in the dog’s life.

The earliest intervention is to ensure your dog will never become stressed due to over or under-stimulation and create an everyday life with structure and predictability. If those are being fulfilled, I never see the dog’s need for mounting or humping other dogs or objects. If your dog has started humping, I recommend you keep reading for further advice.

Limit Environmental Triggers

I believe in positive reinforcement no matter the behavioral issues I work with when helping dog owners. Getting a perfectly normal and acceptable behavior requires training and patience. As I just wrote, you need to understand your dog’s personality first and what it needs. 

You can get help from an animal communicator to understand this. When that information is in place, you can limit the dog’s environment triggers that trick your dog from humping. If your dog prefers to mount a pillow, you can remove away the pillow, but instead, make sure to balance your dog’s nervous system, so you know it is never under-stimulated or over-stimulated.

If you know your dog will start humping your guests or their legs when you have visitors coming by your house, you can start practicing these steps:

Interrupt & Redirect Your Dog

When you have the above methods in place, and your dog doesn’t stop humping, you can interrupt and redirect your dog to lead it to another solution.

If you know that your dog is Playful as a personality profile and your dog is under-stimulated and starts the mounting, you can kindly take your dog to the dog park instead to distract it. In that way, you show your dog how to let off steam instead of wronging the behavior.

Use Numerous Distractions

You can use distractions by giving your dog another task to solve instead of being in an almost compulsive behavior in which your dog can’t stop itself.

Of course, you must look into if your dog has aggressive behavior if you try to stop it. If that is the case, I recommend you seek professional help. The important thing is your emotions when you start to use distractions. Never be hectic or embarrassed, or nervous while doing this. Lead the way and help your dog to find other solutions to calm down its nervous system instead.

Acknowledge & Reward For Good Behavior

Your dog can only understand what is motivating. Dogs don’t understand the word: “No!” If they did, they would have stopped many months ago, yet they continue their behavior which becomes a problem to you.

Since most dogs are motivated by recognition and acknowledgment, I recommend you reward them for good behavior. That can be in your tone of voice or giving your dog a treat when it does what you want it to do.

Provide An Alternative Target

I recommend you provide an alternative target if your dog is locked on a stuffed animal or pillow and you have found the balance to stimulate your dog.

Dogs prefer the things they know. When stressed, they tend to use the same stuff they usually do or act the way they typically do. To help your dog get other habits, you can provide an alternative target to see if your dog reacts differently.

Seek Professional Help & Assistance

There is nothing wrong with seeking professional help. I highly recommend that you have a professional dog whisperer or dog expert see your problems from the outside and with no emotions attached to the situation.

I also recommend you seek a veterinarian to look for other symptoms that can explain why your dog is humping, such as:

Additional reading: Why is my dog limping and why is my dog whining

Why Does My Dog Hump Me?

The main reasons your dog humps are often under-stimulation or overstimulation, as you can read above. But in other cases, there are other explanations for it.

Sexual Behavior

A dog can also hump because it is a matter of sex. Most puppies approach sexual maturity around 5-8 months. Then they may start humping for reasons other than play or stress.

When teenage hormones are raging, it is natural and instinctive to mount or hump in response. Dogs can also smell when a female dog is about to go into heat.

This can trigger the instinctual reaction to mount, even in neutered males.

Play Behavior

Humping is a normal part of a dog’s play behavior. You can often see a dog try to initiate play with another by humping as part of a wrestling game.

Watch closely and know your dog well because the humping can also indicate your dog being overwhelmed or overstimulated by playing with other dogs.

Then, I recommend you help your dog and stop the play between the dogs.

Excitement

Your dog can also have humped behavior in excitement. If your dog humps other dogs, you can reduce the excitement and stress through training.

Don’t pull your dog in its dog’s collar or yell at your dog. Your dog needs to learn what to do instead. I recommend using positive reinforcement to show your dog what you want it to do instead and acknowledge your dog when it does what you ask for.

You can also keep your dog in separate areas until it has calmed down again and work on desensitization and counterconditioning with a certified professional dog trainer, certified applied animal behaviorist expert, or dog whisperer.

Additional reading: How to stop a dog from jumping on people?

Caused By Stress

99 % of the time, the humping behavior is caused by stress, in my experience. When you or I am overstimulated, we can calm ourselves down again naturally.

Your dog does not have the same ability if you don’t help it. Humping can be a self-soothing behavior to calm itself down again. Your dog can also become anxious in specific environments if they have a shock or trauma that will make them start stressing.

That could be meeting a dog that looks like a dog that once attacked it. A dog can also become stressed at the dog park or daycare since there are so many dogs they have to sense and can’t control.

Compulsive Disorder

Some dogs develop an obsessive-compulsive disorder, which is diagnosed when excessive mounting or masturbation behaviors interfere with the dog’s normal day to function.

In case of that, I recommend you receive professional help immediately from a dog whisperer or animal communicator with behavioral issues as expertise. There is always a root cause to the behavior, and the stress in your dog has been going on for too long.

To have intact dogs, we need the proper tools to help your dog the first time you practice them and not search for too long for the correct aid.

Social Behavior

Some dogs mount another dog when they dominate or control another pet. Some dogs quickly get overstimulated in the meeting with other dogs. Dogs present themselves and communicate by reading each other’s energy, body language, sounds, and smell.

It is essential to consider the environmental factors that can cause stress to your dog. In case of humping behavior, you might want to address whether taking your dog to the dog park instead or meeting other dogs in a more controlled environment, where your dog only must meet one dog at a time.

In some situations, when not feeling stressed, some dogs masturbate by nature and also use the mounting to rub against other dogs.

Further reading: Separation anxiety in dogs.

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Ditte Young | Author | Animal communicator | Clairvoyant

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