It’s something every dog has done at one time or another, often to the embarrassment and bafflement of its owner. It can be comical at times because it makes us humans uncomfortable. Even worse, if you have a family with children, is a child asking “what are they doing?”, long before you are ready to have the talk.
These awkward reactions are because we associate, quite reasonably, humping with sex. However, this is rarely the reason dogs hump each other. Aside from humping for procreation, it’s known as “problem humping” to differentiate it from the biological imperative counterpart.
Why does my dog hump my new puppy?
In many cases, your dog isn’t humping your puppy out of sexual desire. Let’s take a look at the reasons your dog is getting fresh with your new puppy.
Excitement mounting occurs when your dog is excited or overstimulated. It can occur during play or when you are petting your dog. A new puppy can bring lots of excitement for your older dog, and he may simply be overly excited. If excitement mounting is the culprit, you’ll notice your dog humping other things as well.
Pillows and stuffed animals are common objects of affection. Your dog may also mount you when overstimulated. They can also air hump. It’s their version of air guitar. They hump but there’s nothing underneath them, simply air.
Dominance is one of the most common reasons for your dog to mount a new puppy. Dogs that are unsure of their place are most likely to hump other dogs. When a dog allows the humping, it’s a submissive gesture. This can be an indication that the humping dog is the alpha. With an established dog and a new puppy, the established dog will feel the home is its domain. It will expect the new puppy to submit to his authority.
Dogs can also hump humans as a way to assert dominance or control. Of course, humans don’t submit to the behavior, so the dog should quickly learn this method doesn’t work on their owner.
Play is another reason why your dog may hump your puppy. When it’s done in play, you’ll likely see your dog humping your puppy. In a few minutes, the puppy may hump the dog. In addition to humping, you’ll notice other types of play like chasing or playful barking.
Dogs also mount for stress relief. Similar to humans, dogs find humping physically enjoyable. It can provide stress relief because of the pleasant physical sensations. If you notice your dog mounting your pup when it’s stressed, this is the likely cause. Your dog may also hump inanimate objects when stress humping.
Medical issues can also cause your dog to hump. If this is the cause, your dog may also lick or chew on its body. Medical causes include urinary tract infections, painful erections, incontinence, and skin allergies. In males, it can be a sign of prostate problems. If there’s a medical cause, your dog will likely hump other objects, dogs, or people as well.
Humping for sexual gratification is common in younger dogs that have not been spayed or neutered. However, dogs that have been fixed may engage in this behavior as well. The behavior isn’t about sexual reproduction. Instead, it’s essentially the dog’s version of masturbation. It’s common for dogs to hump for sexual gratification using inanimate objects like a pillow or couch arm, but they can mount other dogs for this purpose as well.
Your dog may be humping your puppy out of sheer boredom. It’s entertaining and offers stimulation. It can also occur as a method of seeking attention. Just like a child throwing a tantrum, a dog often finds that negative attention is better than no attention at all. If your dog doesn’t get enough mental stimulation, exercise, or affection throughout the day, they may turn to humping your puppy.
What to do about my dog humping the puppy?
Humping is easy to stop when the dog is humping a human. Humans don’t appreciate this behavior and make their displeasure known quickly, which prevents the dog from continuing the behavior. The person will walk away, or push the dog away. Often with a stern no as well.
When your dog start humping your puppy, it can quickly become a cycle if allowed to continue. It’s enjoyable for the dog, and they will likely keep doing it if you don’t make it clear the behavior is unacceptable. Separate the dogs immediately when you see humping.
Don’t leave them unsupervised. Instead, allow them to be together only when you are there and can separate them to stop humping as soon as it occurs. You should also give a stern no or whatever command you’ve chosen to stop unwanted behavior.
Fixing the Cause
To permanently stop humping, you’ll need to identify the cause of the behavior. If it’s caused by dominance, the dog will likely stop once its place in the household is established. If it’s over-excitement, watch for signs they are getting overly excited. Separate them temporarily and redirect them to a calmer activity. If it’s stress, you’ll need to identify the cause of the stress and what you can do to mitigate it.
If it’s sexual in nature and they aren’t spayed or neutered, doing so will likely stop the behavior. If you suspect a medical issue, get a check-up from your veterinarian. If your dog is humping out of boredom or a need for attention, give them more stimulation. Consider puzzle toys, walks, and one on one time for you and your dog each day to ensure their needs are being met.
When you see your dog humping, redirect them to another behavior. This can be sitting or chewing a toy.
Offering Another Option
Some dogs are simply wired to be sexual or pleasure-seeking. With this type of dog, it’s very difficult to get them to stop humping. Instead, it may be better to offer them an alternative to humping you find inappropriate. Offer them a pillow or stuffed animal for humping at designated times each day. This will prevent them from humping the wrong things, like you or your puppy, at the wrong times, like when you have company. Allowing your dog to hump anything might not be your idea of an ideal solution, but it is a natural dog behavior.
Why does my female dog mount my new puppy?
You may find it shocking when your female dog humps your new puppy, or anything else for that matter. There’s a misconception that female dogs don’t hump. However, since humping has many causes not related to procreation, it’s perfectly normal for your female dog to hump.
Dominance behavior is common in both male and female dogs, although it tends to be stronger in males. Humping is a way of asserting dominance for both genders. Since the puppy is new to the household, the female may be asserting her alpha position.
There’s a theory that some female dogs become more masculine. This occurs when a litter has more males than females. Male hormones can cause female pups to become masculized, which leads to more dominant behavior than is common in females.
A new puppy is a big change to your dog’s home and routine. Your dog may be humping the puppy as a way to relieve stress. You may also notice them humping objects. Humping is pleasurable for both genders, and it can have a calming effect on your female dog.
Perhaps your dog is simply excited to have a new playmate. Just like humans, excitement is closely tied to sexual excitement. Horror movies are a great choice for this very reason. Your female may be humping the pup out of excitement, particularly if it often occurs during play or periods of high excitement. Physical signs of excitement include tail up and wagging, ears up and alert, and “smiling”.
New puppies require lots of attention. Is your dog feeling neglected? Are they getting enough exercise and attention? You may need to spend more time with your dog so they don’t feel neglected because of the new puppy. As we learned earlier, any attention is better than no attention, so your female may hump the puppy as a means to get your attention.
Urinary tract infections and skin allergies are the most common medical issues that cause humping in females. If you notice unusual bathroom habits, signs your dog is in pain, or you find your dog licking their privates, it’s time for a trip to the vet.
Your female may simply enjoy playing with the new pup. If humping often occurs when your dogs are playing, this may be the cause.
Why does my old dog hump my new puppy?
Dogs of all ages can hump other dogs. The cause will depend partly on whether it’s been an ongoing problem before the puppy arrived.
If Your Dog Was Humping Before the Puppy Arrived
If your dog was humping before the puppy arrived, and the puppy is simply the latest recipient, this means that the cause is probably not related to your new arrival. Medical issues, boredom, stress, and sexual gratification are all potential causes. If your dog humps you, it may be dominance related.
If Your Dog Only Humps the Puppy
You’ve had no problems with humping, and suddenly your older dog is fascinated with mounting your puppy. Dominance is a likely culprit. Your dog may be seeking to maintain his position as “top dog’.
It could also be stress-related. Older dogs are set in their ways and can be more resistant to changes in their environment or routine. If you notice your dog seeming nervous or anxious or engaging in other unwanted behaviors like stress urination, they could be stressed at the puppy’s presence. You may need to institute a schedule or routine, or give your older dog an area of the house that’s puppy-free for alone time.
If your older dog is playful, humping could simply be a play or overexcitement behavior. If this is the case, you’ll notice it occurring during play or when your dog is very excited.
Lastly, it could be attention-seeking. If your new pup is getting lots of attention, your older dog might feel neglected or left out. Giving them some extra TLC might stop the behavior.
Why does my puppy hump my older dog?
Puppies have many reasons for humping as well. It’s important to know that puppies are still learning about their world and what behavior is appropriate. While this makes them more prone to unwanted behaviors, it’s also easier to teach them appropriate behaviors.
Puppies have less discernment about what behavior is appropriate. They are more likely to hump your older dog simply because they enjoy the feeling, even if your older dog doesn’t appreciate being on the receiving end. This is known as puppy masturbation, and can occur even before your pup is sexually mature. This is because it’s not about procreation, but the pleasurable sensations it brings.
For puppies, humping is often a way of socializing. They haven’t learned the “rules” of doggie behavior, so it can seem perfectly acceptable to introduce themselves with a hump. It can also be a form of play. Puppies commonly hump their littermates during play, and this can easily carry over to play with your older dog. Humping can also be an invitation. Essentially the pup’s way of saying “hey, play with me”.
Puppies are easily excited and have tons of energy. Humping can be a way to release pent-up energy. Puppies haven’t learned proper coping skills, and may find it difficult to transition from excited play to calmer activities.
We’ve all seen small dogs that seemed completely oblivious to their size. These small but mighty canines won’t hesitate to attempt to intimidate a dog several times their size. Puppies can also have this attitude. They may attempt to assert dominance over a dog that’s much older and larger than they are by humping.