Dogs hump cats. It’s a fact of life. But why do they do it? There are a number of reasons that your dog might be humping your cat, but most of them boil down to one thing: dominance. In this blog post, we will explore the reasons why dogs hump cats and what you can do to stop it from happening.
Why Does My Dog Hump My Cat?
It is possible that humping is a way to show dominance even when it is not for mating. Dog behaviorists aren’t really sure what purpose humping serves when it is not for mating. You could equally argue that it is a way to expel some excess energy and over-excitement and has nothing to do with dominance displays at all. It could also be compulsive behavior created by anxiety.
By paying attention to what happens when this behavior occurs, you can understand why he engages in this behavior with the cat. Is your dog anxious? Are you playing with him? Is another dog nearby? How does your cat react when this happens? Does it seem to stress him or does he ignore it? Does your pup only target the cat, or does he mount and hump other animals or objects? You may be able to see a pattern in the circumstances if you pay close attention.
What Does My Female Dog Hump My Cat?
Female dogs hump cats for the same reasons that male dogs hump cats: dominance and excitement. If your female dog is humping your cat, it’s important to keep in mind that she may be trying to assert her dominance over him. You’ll need to be sure to reinforce your cat’s dominant status in the home and make sure he knows who’s boss. Cats are very independent creatures, and they don’t always take kindly to being dominated by a dog.
Is It Normal for a Dog to Hump a Cat?
Yes, it is normal for a dog to hump a cat. However, if your dog is humping your cat to the point of causing him distress, then it’s not normal and you should seek help from a professional trainer or behaviorist.
You can also ask yourself if there are any situations in the home that could cause your dog to become overexcited. Is this cat a new member of the home or have the two animals grown up together? Has there been another major change in the home recently, like a new baby or moving to another home? If so, your dog may be trying to re-establish his dominance in the face of all these changes.
Support your pup by giving him attention, exercise, and consistency in the face of these large changes. As your dog begins to stabilize in a new environment, the humping behavior should calm down.
How to Get My Dog to Stop Humping My Cat?
If you can’t seem to stop your dog from humping your cat, there are a number of things you can do to make the situation more tolerable for both of them.
Crate Train Your Pup
Crate training can be helpful if your dog is humping out of excitement or anxiety. This will give him a safe place to calm down and reset. When he exhibits humping or mounting behavior, you simply put him in his crate for a short time-out. Don’t make this look like a punishment, or your dog will get more anxious from some crate time. Instead, try to crate him when he’s already calm, so he associates the crate with good things. Make sure to be pleasant and affectionate with him throughout the whole process and reward him when you let him out. 5 to 10 minutes should be enough time for him to calm down.
Exercise Your Dog More
A tired dog is a good dog. If your pup is full of energy, he’s more likely to engage in behavior like humping. Be sure to give him plenty of exercise. Try for at least one hour per day. You can also get him toys that will keep him more active or let him out into the backyard to explore more often. This will help to burn off some of that excess energy and hopefully make the humping behavior less likely.
Make a Calming Atmosphere
Some dogs hump because they’re anxious. If you think this may be the case with your pup, try to create a more calming atmosphere in your home. This could mean playing soft music, diffusing essential oils like lavender or chamomile, or providing your dog with a snug den-like bed. You can also try training him using positive reinforcement methods to lessen his anxiety.
Distract Your Pup
The moment you notice the humping behavior, try to distract your pup with a toy or treat. You can also let your dog out for a potty break every time you see it starting to mount the cat. This will help to refocus his attention and hopefully stop the behavior in its tracks. If he’s about to mount another animal or person, you can also try to gently guide him away with a leash.
Work With a Trainer or Behaviorist
If you’ve tried all of these things and your dog is still humping your cat, it’s time to seek professional help. A trainer or behaviorist will be able to help you figure out why your dog is engaging in this behavior and how to stop it. They may notice patterns or triggers that you haven’t been able to see and can help you create a plan to address the issue.
It’s important to be consistent with any type of training you’re doing with your dog. If you only enforce the humping behavior when it’s with your cat versus other people or objects, your pup will quickly learn that this is an acceptable way to get attention. Be sure to consistently correct the behavior no matter who’s watching – even if it’s just you and your dog at home.
Neuter or Spay Your Pup
One of the best ways to help stop humping behavior is to have your pup neutered or spayed. This will help to reduce their hormones and make them less likely to engage in this type of behavior. It’s important to note that not all dogs hump because of hormones, but it can be a contributing factor for some.
Talk to Your Vet
If all else fails, you may need to seek help from a professional trainer or behaviorist. Your dog’s humping could be stemming from a more serious issue such as a medical condition, so it’s always best to rule that out first. Your vet can give you a full check-up and help to determine if there’s a bigger issue at play.