Little Dog Humps Teddy Bear

It’s the dog misdeed most likely to turn an owner’s face beet red: humping. When your pup gets that gleam in their eye and mounts their pal (or worse, yours), it’s tempting to yell, pull the dog away by force, or pray for the ground to open and swallow you. But with a little patience, owners of rambunctious, hump-happy dogs can learn to understand why their dog is humping, and how to productively redirect to curb the behavior.

First, the good news. Humping is a very common behavior. You are far from alone in having a hump-loving dog. And, despite appearances, it’s not necessarily sexually motivated.

“Often, humping has nothing to do with sex,” explains certified applied animal behaviorist Dr. Mary Burch.

So what is it all about? Very often, Dr. Burch says, humping is an attempt at dominance. This can apply whether it’s a human or another dog on the receiving end. Sometimes, it’s a sign that the dog is stressed, over-stimulated, or acting out.

“When a pillow or stuffed animal are the objects of your dog’s affection, there’s a good chance the dog has simply gotten excited and over-stimulated,” notes Dr. Burch. “Rowdy play can cause some dogs to get out of control.”

Occasionally, humping is a sign of a medical problem. For instance, humping can signal infection or irritation, or, in male dogs, prostate problems. It is also true that in certain cases, humping is a sexual, pleasure-seeking behavior. The likelihood of humping being sexual in nature is greater in younger dogs that have not been spayed/neutered.

Brief moments of humping between dogs can be a normal part of play. For instance, while running and playing, dogs might take turns mounting each other in a harmless expression of excitement. But, some dogs don’t like to be mounted. So in the interest of avoiding any potential conflict, it’s worth doing some work to avoid even this mild form of mounting.

Humping will also be easier to curb if you catch it early, instead of waiting until the behavior is an embedded habit. While you might want to laugh the first time you see your dog hump, in the longer term, it’s best to step in and redirect the behavior immediately.

At what age do puppies try to hump?

Humping and mounting behaviors can start quite early, even when puppies are still with their mom and littermates. Note that the pups arent being sexual with each other; they are simply testing out and practicing behaviors that they will use later in life.

Later, when your dog reaches sexual maturity between 6 and 18 months of age, he may start humping stuffed animals due to his hormones. This is considered normal behavior.

Although humping stuffed animals is, for the most part, normal and no reason for alarm, it occasionally can point to health issues in canines. For example, if your dog is intensely itchy, he may resort to humping stuffed animals as a means of relieving the irritating feelings. Intense itchiness is often a symptom of skin allergies. Apart from allergies, health-related humping may also arise from hormonal medical conditions. If your dogs stuffed animal humping seems excessive, consider the possibility that it is medical and beyond his control — then call your veterinarian immediately. Never assume that something is normal just because other dogs do it too.

If you freak out every time you spot your precious dog enthusiastically humping a stuffed animal, dont. Remember that dogs simply dont follow the same social norms that human beings do. The humping of random items — and peoples legs — is usually a totally normal and healthy canine behavior.

Not only is humping a normal part of canine sexuality, it also is a normal reaction to immense emotional ups and downs. If the movers are at your house and everything is going out in a cardboard box, your poor and confused pooch may manage the frustration and confusion by — you guessed it — humping the unpacked stuffed animal lying on the floor. If his poodle “girlfriend” Fifi is visiting and brought along another canine pal, your excited doggie may react by humping, too. Humping is often how dogs respond to brand new, roller coaster emotional experiences — both good and bad. If a dog has a tendency to hump when nervous and confused, the behavior is not too dissimilar from human anxiety management behaviors. If you have a habit of smoothing your clothes out obsessively when youre nervous, then you know a bit about how your pet feels.

Humping is often a normal doggie reaction to burgeoning sexuality and racing hormones. If a dog is sexually mature, humping is no surprise — in either gender. Although mature male canines can hump things at essentially any time, the behavior is more common in female dogs who are in the middle of their estrus cycles. Neutering and spaying surgeries often get rid of humping behaviors, especially when theyre performed on animals who have not yet gone through “puberty.”

If your dog humps stuffed animals, hes probably not targeting them specifically — they just happen to be there. Canines mount a lot of random items, whether limbs of human beings, legs of chairs or anything else they can find. You may even notice your dog trying to hump other living things — perhaps even your poor, unsuspecting household cat.

#4: They’re burning off excess energy

Little Dog Humps Teddy Bear

It could be true that male Fidos are more playful and active than females.

This is because girls mature earlier than boys, a dog behaviorist says. And this is also the reason why they learn commands faster.

But, females can be as energetic too. And it doesn’t mean that they need less playtime.

So if they don’t meet their daily needs of exercise…

They might resort to doing unusual things. Like humping toys or pillows.

You may also wonder: Why is my dog so hyper at night?