You are probably familiar with the stereotype that states how male dogs always hump, but humping behavior is actually common in both male and female dogs. Humping can also be known as mounting, and is not meant to be automatically assumed as sexual behavior in dogs. With these details in mind, just why do female dogs hump?
Female dogs hump for a variety of different reasons. Humping could be from stress or anxiety, excitement, frustration, dominance and aggression or even just a compulsive behavior within the individual female dog. It is not understood as to whether female dogs hump more than males.
Although humping is normal dog instinct, it is still odd when we witness a female dog that humps. In this guide, we will explore this strange behavior and see what research has to say about female dog humping.
Dog humping is certainly not harmful, but it can be quite embarrassing when you have over guests or are out and about in a dog park. Read on to find out why do female dogs hump, and to discover ways in which you can curb the behavior.
Why does my girl dog randomly hump?
As mentioned, the first thing to understand about this type of dog behavior, is that humping is not gender-specific. A female dog will hump objects just as much as a male dog, depending on the dog in question.
However, humping or mounting does have a few traits that seem to be agreed upon by scientific research.
“Dog mounting is commonly thought of as being sexually driven; however, there are other differentiating causes depending on whether the dog mounts a human versus another animal”According to research conducted by UC Davis: Veterinary Medicine
Therefore, we can conclude that humping is part of a dog’s normal functioning, and there is no sexual impetus that drives the behavior completely.
If either intact male dogs or an intact female dog randomly hump something, then this is actually a hormonal trait, which can be confirmed by the humping lessening over time once a dog has been spayed or neutered.
But even still, when female dogs mount other female dogs (or other dogs in general regardless of sex), this could also be part of their playful nature and not necessarily hormonally driven.
Why do female dogs hump toys?
When a female dog humps toys specifically and not other dogs or owners, this is thought to be a sign of a compulsive disorder, driven by the routine of having her playful possessions ready to keep her occupied at all times. In other words, this can be a sign of boredom.
Your female dog’s humping of her toys could also be due to stress and/or excitement. If you catch her humping her toys shortly after you return home, for example, this is a by-product of an easing of stress and excitement based on your arrival home.
This is exactly what our Cavapoo, Rosie does daily when we bring her home from a day in the office. Her cuddly lamb that we place in her crate to keep her calm, is not only her favorite thing to snuggle but also to mount, the minute we get indoors!
To stop her humping her toy, we try to establish a play session with Rosie instead, in order to distract her from heading to her crate.
But, as there are no other dogs in our home, Rosie’s dog hump routines are common, since she lacks a natural playmate.
Why do puppies hump?
Many dogs started humping when they were just puppies, as this is the age when a dog starts attention seeking. This can also be a great time to begin obedience training to discourage humping and compulsive mounting behaviors.
Both male and female puppies will hump or engage in excessive dog licking to relieve stressful situations and avoid negative attention.
Is dog mounting a sign of dominance?
The biggest myth of all concerning this behavior, is that humping is a sign of dominance. This theory suggests that both males and females will hump to exert their control and dominance over their owners, cuddly toys or any other canines inside or outside of the home.
Let’s take a look at each sex to determine what is and what isn’t a sign of dominance in dogs.
Dominance in male dogs
A male dog, particularly intact males, do not use humping as a sign of dominant behavior.
When a male does want to assert dominance, they will typically show their teeth as a sign of aggression or will mark their territory with their urine.
Dominance in female dogs
A female dog will also not hump to show dominance. Females rely on body language to assert their dominance in a canine social structure, usually when attempting to become pack leader in a home with other female canines.
Females will also use territory marking with urine to show dominance.
Ways to prevent mounting
Some ways to prevent mounting are to allow your dog plenty of opportunities to play and exert themselves throughout the day.
If you have a breed that needs a lot of attention, it is important to provide them with enough attention to keep them occupied and feeling secure in their environment.
Additionally, it is always the most effective to make sure you push your dog off whatever or whomever, she is humping. Be sure to sternly tell her no, and try and distract her attention to something else like a toy or a walk in the park.
When to be concerned about dog humping
There are some health concerns to be aware of concerning humping. Skin allergies, urinary tract infections, trouble urinating, and compulsive behavior disorders are all medical issues and warning signs to be aware of when your dog is humping.
If your dog is suffering with a skin allergy, it is important to take them to the vert as soon as possible to treat the condition. Your dog is likely mounting and humping to scratch against a structure to relieve itchiness or to ease discomfort.
Underlying causes of female dog humping
According to certified applied animal behaviorist specialists across the world, undersocialized dogs excessively mount and hump due to nervous excitement.
Rosie spends a day a week at doggy daycare so gets to play and hangout with her buddies all day long. The minute she walks through the door, however, she still heads straight to her crate to mount her lamb. Therefore, I am not entirely sure that this is true of all dogs.
There is no direct correlation as to why a male or female canine would hump more or less than the other gender.
Simply put, there is no underlying condition mentally that could be causing your female canine to hump more than is considered to be normal with practically any dog.
Why do girl dogs hump after they have been fixed?
It is also a mystery as to why female canines continue to hump objects after being spayed or neutered. One overriding theory is that the procedure has triggered a brief but spastic hormonal imbalance that has thrown a female dog’s mental equilibrium off.
And although humping is not a sexual experience for dogs per se, it can still be a mental trigger that is now in haywire because the dog will never have the need to hump and mount for sexual encounters.
So in a weird way, humping after being fixed could be a females way of acknowledging the natural impulse-even though she now has no need to do so.
So, why do female canines hump? They hump for a wide variety of different reasons, none of which are to establish dominance.
A female dog is likely to hump in order to relieve stress, ease anxiety or curiosity (such as meeting a new person when poorly socialized), or even meeting a new dog.
Humping in females can sometimes, although rarely, be related to possible health issues, like urinary problems, but more than likely, a female will start humping because she is just excited. When dogs get excited, especially in young or even middle-aged dogs, humping is just a response to these anxious moments, and a way to relive the stress of the situation.
There are still many unknowns about this behavior, although dog humping is constantly being researched and analysed.