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When you first adopt a puppy, or even a mature dog, being on the receiving end of their mounting behavior can be surprising, funny, and awkward all at the same time.
What’s more surprising is when you realize that your dog doesn’t do this to other family members, your friends or strangers, and maybe even most dogs.
Instead, you realize that you are the only recipient of your dog’s humping and it’s only natural to wonder:
Why does my dog hump me and no one else?
Dogs will usually hump the people they feel safe around. So, because your dog has formed a deeper emotional connection with you, you will most likely get humped more than others. Mounting could also be an attention-seeking behavior that you’ve reinforced.
Since all dogs are different, they can have their own unique reason as to why they’re humping you more than anyone else.
So, let’s take a look at these potential reasons and some possible solutions.
Why Does My Dog Only Hump Me?
Whether your dog’s mounting behavior is directed only at you or another person in your life, the first thing you need to do is understand why this is happening and then you can figure out why the humping is specifically targeted toward you.
Reason 1: Your Dog Is Aroused
Humping can be an instinctual behavior and your dog will start expressing it more as they transition from being a puppy into a young dog.
Similarly, to humans, dogs will experience a growth in their sex hormone levels, and you will find your intact pooch humping because they find the sexual stimulation pleasurable.
Usually, dogs will practice this mating behavior by mounting other dogs, but that’s not always the case and they may additionally seek out other alternatives and masturbate by humping on other soft objects around the house like pillows and their own dog bed.
If your dog isn’t interested in other objects, then they might focus their humping behavior on other people and in this case you in particular.
According to Sian Tranter VetMB, CertAVP, “sexually driven mounting usually involves flirtatious behavior such as alert posture, licking, play bows and chasing. Erections and even ejaculation are common in male dogs.”
So, if your dog exhibits these flirtatious behaviors and then they proceed to hump your leg then most likely they do it because they’re aroused.
Certain dogs, just like humans can have a strong sex drive so you might think that you’re getting all of their humping attention, but in reality, they may be repeating this act even when you’re not around.
It’s important to note that expressing sexual feelings and the need to mate overall is normal, but it can be uncomfortable when that energy is directed at their owner or a specific human, and in this case, you could redirect your pup by training them.
Why your dog may be more aroused (and therefore more eager to hump) in reaction to you rather than others can be very difficult to pin down. There’s a long list of factors that can cause a dog to find someone more or less attractive ranging from the smell of your breath to a women’s menstrual cycle.
Reason 2: They Are Still A Puppy
Your puppy may seem like the most innocent little angel, but like most species, they’ll go through different stages of sexual development.
According to AKC, “sexual maturity in puppies typically begins to occur between 6-to-9 months of age, although certain giant breeds may not reach sexual maturity until they are older.”
While the first heat usually takes place when your puppy is somewhere between 6 to 15 months old, this doesn’t mean your dog won’t attempt to hump you before that.
Only in doing so, John Gardiner from UCDavis explains that “a lot of puppies will exhibit mounting behavior, and it is simply a way for them to play.”
By humping your leg or the air around it your puppy will also discover their own physical strength.
As your dog matures humping as I mentioned above can transition into a period of sexual exploration, and as uncomfortable as that may sound, they’ll use you to self-stimulate for pleasure or relief.
While this is not necessarily a problematic behavior, Mary Robins from AKC suggests that “humping will also be easier to curb if you catch it early, instead of waiting until the behavior is an embedded habit.”
Reason 3: Your Dog Wants Your Attention
While humping can be sexually motivated that’s not always the case.
John Gardiner states that “when a dog mounts a human, the impetus is typically stress, anxiety, or attention-seeking behavior.”
So, it’s quite possible that you get all the humping from your dog because they want to get your attention.
This might be especially true for those of you who have been more absent, and preoccupied with other obligations, like a new baby, additional workload, a recent vacation, etc.
The persistence of this behavior might be confusing to some of you who have scolded your dog whenever they used humping to get to you, but the truth is that even negative attention is a form of attention, and your dog would rather be scolded than be ignored.
So your dog may be prone to humping you specifically even if you’re not around all the time but the same could be true if you’re not around as often which can make this one tricky to decode!
Reason 4: Your Dog Feels Overly Excited
Excitement could be another reason why your precious canine friend is humping you. As ASPCA explains, some dogs respond to an exciting situation by mounting or masturbating.
“For instance, after meeting a new dog or person, an aroused and excited dog may mount another dog, his owner or a nearby object, like a dog bed or a toy.” And in your situation, your dog prefers to hump you.
This labrador on the other hand seems to greet every human in his house with a hump!
For the longest time, I had a similar experience with my best friend’s dog. Whenever I met up with her, the dog would go nuts and the only way, he could express his excitement was to mount my leg.
As awkward as that initial phase of excitement was, after a few minutes the dog would usually calm down and leave me be.
It’s also possible that your dog can pick up a certain smell whenever you come back home, perhaps from another dog, which excites them, and they can only express that excitement by humping you.
Reason 5: They Feel Safe Around you
You might be concerned with the fact that your dog only humps you, but this behavior truly shows how comfortable your dog is around you, even if we can agree that they’re a little too comfortable.
Nonetheless, being the exclusive subject of your dog’s humping comes from a place of trust especially if they have the opportunity to do it to others and they simply don’t.
It could also mean that you’re less likely to protest your dog and among your family or roommates, you may be the only one who tolerates the humping behavior, giving your dog a sense of confidence and security when they do it to you.
Reason 6: It’s Playtime
As I already mentioned above, humping can be a form of play for puppies and younger dogs, but as they grow up dogs can continue to use humping with other dogs, and even humans in a playful manner.
High energy dogs can also turn to humping during an intense play session, or they might try to get your attention by mounting you because they want to play.
Dr. Mary Burch agrees that “rowdy play can cause some dogs to get out of control.” But in these situations, your dog is less likely to display an erection or ejaculate.
Just like jumping on you or barking, humping as Gary Landsberg, DVM explains is “a play behavior that dogs do because no one has told them it’s not acceptable.”
If you’re the only one that allows rough play with your dog, that could explain why you’re also the only one that gets humped.
Reason 7: Your Dog Is Bored
“Ethologists, those who study animal behaviour, suggest mounting behaviour is motivated by your dog’s emotional state,” says the BCSPCA.
That’s why it makes sense that if your dog is really excited and overstimulated, they’ll start humping.
But BCSPCA also reveals that “sometimes dogs who are bored hump, so invest in some stimulating playtime.”
So, you’ll most likely be the victim of your dog’s humping if they don’t have enough social and physical outlets.
Even if you take your dog for long walks, they might still require more mental stimulation. Unlike low-energy dogs like the Great Dane, certain breeds need far more exercise because they have high levels of energy.
If your dog doesn’t get enough physical exercise, then they could revert back to this behavior, even if they were neutered/spayed or they were not into humping in the first place.
Additionally, because you could be the only person who walks your dog and helps them release that pent-up energy they will most likely exhibit this behavior the moment they see you.
Reason 8: Your Dog Is Anxious
It’s also possible that your dog is suffering from anxiety and humping could be their way of expressing that stress.
PetMD states that “dogs may select a person to mount based on their relationship with the individual.”
They might be humping you because they prefer you as a person, or it could be a sign that the dog may feel anxious around you or the person they insist to mount.
The reason why your dog feels anxious around you could be based on their previous trauma, especially if they’ve been recently adopted by you.
It could be a smell you bring with you from the outside, or it could also be your approach to your dog.
As a new dog parent, it’s easy to make mistakes, and I personally have had a difficult time understanding the body language of my little pooch and recognizing when they felt uncomfortable.
Your dog could also be stressed out because of sudden changes in their lives, like moving to a new area, or even a change in their feeding schedule and they could easily reverse into a humping mode to relieve that feeling of anxiety.
Reason 9: Poor Socialization
Dogs that were not properly socialized as young puppies may hump because they haven’t learned how to interact with other dogs, and that lack of experience and understanding can also affect you.
If your dog reverts to humping whenever they play with you then they most likely haven’t learned how to play properly.
That’s why PDSA suggests socializing your dog from a young age because that will teach them how to play and interact appropriately.
I also want to point out that socializing early on is not enough, and if you stop investing time in the social life of your dog, which includes both dogs and humans, then they can easily lose their social skills and go back to humping you.
When it comes to humping Purina also explains that “due to behavioral cues used in the play sequence of behaviors, well-socialised dogs are able to identify that play is all about fun.”
And if humping ruins that fun they’ll realize that it’s not appropriate behavior, even with their trusted human. However, dogs will learn if only some humans allow a certain behavior like humping so make sure you’re not the weak link when it comes to allowing humping from your dog.
Reason 10: To Establish A Social Order
“Often, humping has nothing to do with sex,” Dr. Mary Burch CAAB states. Very often it is an attempt at dominance and both humans and dogs can be on the receiving end of it she adds.
Your dog could be humping you because they want to display social status or control and they may or may not display an erection.
However, this doesn’t mean that your dog feels dominant, in fact, Landsberg says that “dogs that are unsure of their place in the pack are more likely to hump to see how many dogs will accept the behavior, a move that can lead to fights with other dogs.”
In a sense, your dog could also be testing you and instead of accepting this behavior, you should gently try to redirect it.
Under no circumstance, you should use training techniques that are rooted in the “pack leader” or “alpha” mentality.
Not only is it dangerous, but you can’t be 100% sure that your dog is actually trying to attain a dominant status since this behavior is mostly seen between dogs (and it can often lead to conflict between dogs) and not humans and dogs.
Reason 11: To Scratch An Itch
Your dog could be humping you because they have an itch and this motion might be helping them get that extra scratch.
If that’s the case, the best thing you can do is take your dog to the vet, because this itchiness could be caused by irritation around their genitals.
It’s also possible that when your dog tries to mount you because they know from experience that with this behavior they can achieve two things, your attention, and a good belly scratch.
You may be the exclusive focus of itch-related humping based on the clothing you wear, your height, or even the position that you usually sit in. Whatever it takes to get the right angle to scratch that itch!
Reason 12: A Medical-Related Condition
While humping could be the result of itchiness, it could also be a symptom of a health issue, that according to ASPCA include:
- A urinary tract infection
- Urinary incontinence
- Priapism (persistent, often painful erections)
- Skin allergies
You may also notice your dog licking or chewing the genital area excessively, they may be rubbing their body against different objects, and of course, they might be trying to relieve the pain by humping their most trusted human.
That’s why it’s important to take your dog to the vet for a check-up to make sure they are healthy and even if your dog’s excessive humping is stress-related they can still help you with advice by redirecting you to a dog behaviorist.
Reason 13: It’s A Compulsive Behavior
It’s also possible that while your dog’s humping may have started off as a stress-relief behavior, or a game and a way to get your attention, it has now transitioned into a compulsive behavior known as stereotypy.
A 2014 study by Alexandra Protopopova showed that stereotypy, a repetitive, and seemingly aimless behavior in your dog, usually appears when the dog’s welfare is compromised especially in cases of past abuse.
Since compulsive mounting and masturbation can interfere with your dog’s day-to-day life but also being the recipient of your dog’s compulsive humping can negatively affect your mutual relationship, the best thing you can do is consult a veterinarian or a dog behaviorist.
It’s important to avoid self-treatment because it could make things worse. and this is a behavior that shouldn’t be ignored.
As David S. Spiegel, VMD states “the topic draws giggles and laughs, but it’s a very real topic for some people,”
He also adds that “some dogs can become very compulsive about the behavior.” And this is something you need to nip in the bud.
As for why this compulsive behavior is primarily directed towards you, there may not be any rhyme or reason behind it. After all, compulsive behaviors aren’t always logical.
Reason 14: You Reinforce This Behavior
We all know that dogs are super cute, and they can use this to their advantage.
Even if your dog is humping only you, they will most likely get away with it by acting silly or making puppy eyes at you.
So, by not taking this situation into your own hands you’re letting your dog off the hook, subsequently, they’ll continue this behavior specifically with you.
As a newbie dog parent, being direct can be challenging especially if that’s not part of your own personality.
I had the same problem because I was afraid of being firm, and the lack of experience in dog training led to a few mistakes and bad timing. But even if you feel like things are impossible now, I assure you that you can have a hump-free relationship with your pooch, but you can only do that by concentrating on your dog’s training.
If in your family you’re the only one who is getting humped by your dog, then try to observe what the other family members are doing and implement that stance.
More so, you need to correct this behavior and establish a new dynamic, otherwise, this behavior can become a habit.
Should I Be Concerned If My Dog Is Humping Me And Not Anyone Else?
Humping is not necessarily a bad behavior, especially for puppies and young dogs, but this doesn’t mean it should be left unchecked.
If your dog only humps you, you should still make sure that they’re not doing it to other dogs and people.
You should also consider the context in which the humping happens. Is your dog playful, are they overstimulated or is this a stress-related behavior? Perhaps you’ve noticed your dog become aggressive while they are trying to hump your leg.
Humping may be a normal canine behavior, but it could also be rooted in anxiety or an illness.
So, if you think humping you is an excessive behavior or it’s something you’re uncomfortable with, then first thing first you should talk to your vet so they can eliminate any medical causes. If that’s all clear then you should get in touch with a dog behaviorist or a dog trainer who can help you establish some boundaries.
How To Stop My Dog From Humping Me?
Before you take any action it’s important to understand where your dog is coming from.
Humping can be a sexual or a non-sexual behavior.
It can be a simple exploration of their bodies, a disbalance in your dynamic, or something even more serious.
So, knowing what the possible cause could be can help you understand what needs to be done.
Take Your Dog To The Vet
Since humping can be a symptom of an illness, whether that’s caused by a skin irritation or a urinary tract infection, it’s important that you take your dog to the vet.
Eliminating any possible medical conditions should be your first priority when dealing with humping.
If your dog is excessively humping, then your vet could diagnose your dog with a compulsive disorder, and as a professional, they’ll be able to help you deal with this behavior in the best possible way.
You should never self-medicate or self-diagnose your dog unless you yourself are a certified veterinarian.
Neuter/Spay Your Dog
Humping is a common behavior for unneutered dogs. It’s caused by the increased levels of the sex hormone as they grow from puppies to sexually matured dogs that are looking to mate.
Neutering as Sian Tranter from VetHelpDirect states “usually reduces mounting. One study found that castration reduces mounting by 50% in almost 70% of male dogs, regardless of age at castration.”
But since humping is not just a sexual behavior, neutering may not eliminate this issue entirely. It may reduce humping during the heat cycle for both males and females, but you will most likely need to implement some training to stop them from humping you.
Training Is The Key
To make sure your dog stops humping you or anyone else you need to take the matter into your own hands and invest in some good training techniques.
Don’t reward this behavior by laughing it off, instead remove your dog when they start humping you, and don’t give them any affection or positive attention until they’ve calmed down.
The most important thing you need to do is to deal with your dog’s humping as early as possible and you need to be consistent throughout your training and most likely throughout your god’s life.
Dogs are smart creatures, but they don’t speak our language so, don’t use complicated commands, instead stick to words like “no” or “stop” and remember to be firm.
Reward your dog with their favorite treats when they’re behaving properly, and if your dog doesn’t like treats look for another positive motivation, like playing with them or taking them for a walk.
Redirect Your Dog
You can also stop your dog from giving you all their humping energy, by using distracting techniques.
You can redirect your dog with their favorite toy whenever they try to hump you and when they do successfully go after that toy you can reward them with a treat.
This way you’re teaching your dog not to associate positive things with humping and with time, you will make this behavior less appealing.
My personal favorite is a tug of war rope by Mammoth Pet Products that you can check on Amazon. It comes in different sizes with a different number of knots that can work perfectly with large and small breeds!
Spend More Time With Your Dog
Your dog could be mounting only you because they are trying to get your attention. This could mean they want to get more cuddles out of you, or they want to play and go for a walk.
Instead of focusing only on your dog’s humping, try to spend more time with your canine friend.
A well-exercised dog and a dog that comes back home tired at the end of the day will have less energy to hump you, and they won’t get over-stimulated.
If in your area your dog is not allowed to walk without a leash, then make sure to take the long route, or take them to a dog park so they can release as much as possible of that pent-up energy.
In case you don’t have the time to exercise your dog or take them on long walks, you could ask a trusted friend or a family member, and even hire a dog walker to help share this responsibility.
A dog that has a day filled with activities will also feel less stressed out, which can help reduce the humping you receive.
Participate in Socializing Activities
Poor socialization could be responsible for your dog’s mounting and that’s why it’s important to socialize your dog from a young age.
But even if you adopted an older dog that wasn’t properly socialized, nothing is ever lost. You’ll just have to start over, and the process might take a bit longer.
Spiegel, VMD, recommends “obedience training, which can make dogs calmer in situations like when visitors are at the door, or a trip to the dog park.”
The best way to help your dog get properly socialized is by attending a group dog training class, where your little pooch can learn not to hump you in the presence of others, as well as other humans and dogs.
Eliminate Possible Stressors
Some of you may be dealing with anxiety-induced mounting, and if that’s the case then you’ll need to work on recognizing the signs that your dog is anxious.
This way you will be able to calm your dog way before the nervous mounting begins. You will also be able to remove your dog from stressful situations.
Remember not to punish or shout at your dog, because not only will you increase their stress levels but you might also worsen their humping.
Seek Professional Help
Admittedly we’re not all born dog trainers, and it takes time to learn all the right techniques that can help us deal with our dogs throughout the different stages of their life.
That’s why the wisest and most responsible thing we can do as new dog parents, or owners that have been struggling with their pooch’s humping, is to look for outside help.
There are plenty of professional dog trainers that can help you teach your dog that mounting you is not a behavior you approve of.
More so, these dog behaviorists know what they’re doing, and they can give you insightful tips on the matter. They can offer more personalized classes and you will be able to learn how to implement these techniques in an environment that will feel safe for your doggy.
Why Does My Female Dog Hump Me?
Just like male dogs, female dogs can also participate in this behavior, and you may see them hump their dog bed or other soft pillowed items.
Many dog owners get surprised when they see their female dogs humping their legs or mounting other dogs, but this is normal behavior for both dog genders.
According to PetMD “Some female dogs may mount people or objects when they are in heat. If the mounting behavior increases in frequency during this time period, it is most likely hormonally driven in intact animals.”
This doesn’t mean female dogs can’t hump you or other objects for non-sexual reasons and most commonly stress, but also excitement and playfulness can be responsible for this behavior.
As you can imagine the above reasons and the steps to eliminate humping can be applied to both genders.
Can Neutered Dogs Still Hump?
As I mentioned earlier, neutering can reduce humping by 50% in almost 70% of male dogs, so this means that your dog might still maintain their sex drive.
Additionally, since mounting is not always a sex-related behavior, neutering or spaying your dog may not solve this issue, but it can help you get closer to the truth.
If your dog will continue humping you after the procedure, then you’ll know for sure that training is the only way you can curb this behavior and stop it from becoming a habit.
I do want to make it clear that you should castrate your dog regardless of their mounting behavior. Monique Feyrecilde from VCA hospitals states that “this not only minimizes the risk of unplanned litters but also may offer behavioral benefits.”
AKC also states that “spaying or neutering can lead to a reduction in certain health risks for both female and male dogs.”
Why Does My Dog Hump Everything?
While some of you may be the sole receiver of your dog’s humping there are those owners that have a dog that will not stop until they’ve humped every stuffed toy, pillow, chair, sofa, human leg, and even the air itself.
They also don’t care about when and where they do it, and sometimes you get surprised by this sudden and unexpected humping when you have visitors coming over.
In some cases, this could be a behavior rooted in sexual gratification, especially if your dog is intact and they’re in heat, or they’re going through their sexual puberty. Or it could be a social behavior where your dog is trying to be dominant with other dogs and humans.
But if you notice your dog humping the whole world around them, at random times then it might be a compulsive behavior, or they’re just using humping whenever they are nervous.
I do think it can be more tolerable when your dog only humps you, or their stuffed toy because it’s something you can learn to control and be less worried about overall.
But if your dog is doing it to other dogs or humans then you need to deal with their humping as soon as possible. By neutering/spaying your dog you can stop them from mounting other dogs, and with training, you can teach them that other human beings, fellow dogs, and even objects have boundaries.
While dog humping is a controversial topic in most cases mounting is a normal and harmless canine behavior.
Of course, this doesn’t mean you won’t feel embarrassed by your dog humping especially if they only do it to you.
That’s why the best thing you can do is to identify the reason why your dog is exhibiting this behavior by first going to the vet to eliminate any health issues, and then to a dog behaviorist who can help you train your dog and redirect or curb their humping.
Not only will you help your dog understand that there are certain boundaries you don’t want to be crossed, but you will also prevent this humping from becoming a habit.
Is your dog obsessed with humping you and only you, or they don’t discriminate against anyone or anything during this important process?