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Humping Days

Updated: Dec 22, 2019

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Humping is one of the most commonly misunderstood and often mishandled unwanted behaviours.

Dogs do not hump to assert dominance.

Most dogs we come across here in Sydney are de-sexed... so it’s not a an act of mating when this is the case.

But humping feels good... obviously. And when dogs feel uncomfortable or get over stimulated they do comfort behaviours (behaviours that are inherently rewarding of they have learned through previous experience to be enjoyable) they do this to calm down and feel better.

The most common times we see dogs hump are after meals, when guests arrive at the front door and someone’s leg gets the treatment, when dogs are playing with each other or surrounded by a lot of activity. These are all stimulating times that spike the dogs adrenaline and the dog is uncomfortable and so needs to feel better. Other common examples are when guests are over and the dog can’t settle or at the end of day a dog may hump its teddy or a person before settling down for the night. This is the dog unwinding and self soothing the way it knows how.

It’s important not to punish this behaviour, you will only spike their adrenaline again in making them nervous and consequently compound the problem and increase the likelihood it happening again. Simply step in calmly and separate, engage the dog and encourage an alternate settling behaviour such as removing them all together from the situation, settle them on their bed or give them something to chew.


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