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June 2024

Why Dogs REALLY Hump…

Behaviour & Training

Why dogs my dog hump me?

If your dog is just a pup or has indeed been spayed or castrated, then it’s almost certain that humping has NOTHING to do with dominance.

Instead, almost all humping can be traced back to three main reasons.

Why do dogs hump?

  1. Pure excitement. Ever watched a group of (human) friends get a little carried away and ‘enthusiastic’ in a pub. They’ll hug, high-five and wrestle when that social buzz (and sure, alcohol) causes their energy to overflow. Well, a group of dogs (and especially puppies) are the same. That extreme excited state all too easily overflows into hairy hugging, wrestling, and humping. It just doesn’t quite have the same social stigma in dogs.
  2. Anxiety. At those times when their world seems like it’s all too stressful, doggos go to certain behaviours as a way of distracting and soothing themselves. Some dig, some chew, some lick. And you guessed it, some resort to humping. It doesn’t have to feel good for them to make this their go-to stress relief.
  3. Attention seeking. When, as a puppy you discover a behaviour that’s impossible to ignore, you stick to it. And because the hump always gets a surprised squeal, it’s a guaranteed attention grabber. Which is why, in social situations (and often the most embarrassing moments), the hump is their ticket to the focus being back on them.

How to stop dog humping?

Well, for starters, realise it is considered essentially normal dog behaviour. It’s just a rather embarrassing outlet for that energy.
Try not to accidentally encourage it by giving them that extra attention. If you see the humping begin, don’t say their name but instead turn away and distract them with a squeaky toy or the throw of their ball. Without that buzz of you engaging with them, it’s a quirky behaviour they should just grow out of.
Oh, and desexing your little mate will make sure there are no sexual undertones. Because things could have been awkward…

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Dr Chris


Dr Chris Brown

Dr Chris Brown is an Australian Vet, television presenter and author. Best known for his television series Bondi Vet, he is also the founder of Drool – a company which champions quality ingredients and hand-picked supplements for healthy pet treats

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