why is my dog trying to hump me

Why Is My Dog Trying to Hump Me?

Why is my dog trying to hump me? The answer to that could be difficult. You wonder if it is just being emotional, playing the companionship role as a pet, or exerting dominance. Yes, we all know dogs often communicate their feelings using body language. However, when humping becomes a habit, it is not out of place to seek valid answers to why it does so. There are reasons as to why your dog tries to hump you. Read ahead and find out why it happens and what you can do to cease the situation. 

Why Does My Dog Want to Hump on Me?

why does my dog want to hump on me
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Dogs hump for several reasons. The most common are as follows:

1. It wants your attention

dog wants attention
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Dogs are pretty emotional. They will go to any length to stay true as good friends, especially if they find you fun to be with. Dogs with good rapport with their owners often hump on them to get their attention. But, how do you tell when your dog is humping on you to get attention? It is straightforward. Check the instances surrounding the humping, how your dog does it, and the frequency. 

When dogs hump to get attention, they go soft and calm on you. In addition, if your dog doesn’t do the same for other people, it could be that it wants your attention.

2. It wants to play

dog wants to play
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Dogs, both young and old, love to play. However, as with humans, younger dogs are more active. They often take everything as play objects. This is especially true if they enjoy a different level of freedom from you. Thus, they do it, not minding whether it is appropriate or not. If your young dog always wants to hump you, you may want to consider this reason. Usually, it comes with a face full of excitement. However, remember that this mostly applies to young dogs only.

3. Anxiety

dog with separation anxiety due to guardian's absence
Image by Engin_Akyurt on Pixabay

Anxiety is as much a problem with dogs as with humans. Among other reasons, it could be the regular territorial response to visitors, a reaction to loud noises, or the fear of being lonely. It could also be a reluctance or resistance to a situation, for example, a vacation or trip. Whatever the reason, humping people often helps them get over the tension. You may need to watch your dog see if it is humping you to get over tension. This kind of humping is often stronger and lasts longer than usual. However, a distinguishing factor is that it only happens once in a while.

4. Boredom or lack of mental stimulation

boredom barking
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While some pets may be indifferent to staying indoors, dogs are at their best when outdoors and active. Except for when they are napping or sick, you can hardly find a dog staying alone for long. When dogs are bored, it often interferes with their mental health. Hence, causing what is called a “lack of mental stimulation” in veterinary medicine. However, humping people helps them get over it. So, if you are asking why your dog is trying to hump on you, you may want to consider how often you leave it on its own. There are possibilities that your dog is humping on you because it had nothing to do.

5. Your dog wants to scratch an itch

your dog wants to scratch an itch
Photo by Lee Haywood from Flickr

Dogs suffer from varieties of skin conditions that often result in itching. They hump on people believing that it would inspire a touch when this happens. At least, you either rub your palm against their skin in admiration or push them away with it. Either way, you’d have scratched the itch for them. However, itching does not always mean there is a skin infection. At times, it could be a common allergic reaction. If your dog humps you consistently, you may need to pay finer attention to its skin condition. 

6. Arousal

Photo by Samson Katt from Pexels

Dogs, regardless of their species or sexes, are pleasure-seeking animals. At times, they express that pleasure-seeking instinct in humping. Most humping results from arousal. Humping in female dogs usually has a sexual undertone. Sometimes, young dogs that have not been neutered exhibit this trait too. However, there are instances when it is pure companionship. In any case, when your dog loves to mount and rub its skin against yours, there are possibilities that it is aroused.

7. Your dog can’t socialize with other dogs

Steps To Follow When Your Pet Is Afraid Of You Help Your Pet Socialize
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Even though dogs are territorial, they are social pets. As long as the opportunity presents itself, a dog wouldn’t hesitate to make friends with other dogs around. However, a dog that spent most of its early days indoors is unlikely to know how to interact with other dogs when it grows old. If your old dog humps on you while having a trek, you may need to be patient with it. That might be the only way it has learned to enjoy companionship.

8. Your dog finds your smell pleasant

your dog finds your smell pleasant
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Dogs are super-sensitive to smells and will hump on people who smell good to them. If your dog humps on you and sniffs your skin at the same time, your smell might be the cause. So, don’t be quick to reject it. There are chances you inspired the hump in a good way.

9. Medical Condition

dog is taken to a vet to check why fever persists
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Apart from the skin issues we mentioned earlier, other medical conditions often make dogs hump on humans. A dog humping may indicate a urinary tract infection. Thus, they hump because of the pain that comes with passing urine. Furthermore, a male dog that can’t stay without humping on you might be suffering from prostate issues. However, this only happens in rare cases. So, if you’re suspecting a health-related humping, you may need the expertise of a veterinarian for proper diagnosis. Till you confirm from a Veterinary Doctor, ensure you’re not harsh on the dog.

How Do I Stop My Dog From Humping Me?

stopping dog from humping
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If your dog humping you makes you feel awkward and would like to stop it, here are some ideas you can try out.

1. Don’t be too affectionate when they want to hump you

Dogs learn faster with body language. So, start by withdrawing your affections. The next time your dog tries to hump on you, reject the gesture. However, ensure you’re calm enough so you don’t end up passing a wrong message. The idea here is to let it know humping is not appropriate. There have been reported cases of dogs worsening after their owners became cold. Therefore, something as simple as a gentle push will suffice. 

2. Stay consistent

As with humans, you need to be firm and consistent with corrections to get results. You can’t pet your dog at one instance then push at another. It is not the best method to make it stop humping. Consistently scold every humping attempt till it picks the message.

3. Bring in a distraction anytime it wants to hump you

When a dog is humping for play and excitement, distract it with a toy or anything that easily wins its attention. Immediately you successfully drift off its attention, do all you can to hook it there. Repeat the same steps the next time it tries to hump you. With time, it will understand that humping is inappropriate and should not repeat. However, you will require a longer time using this method.

4. Make your dog exercise often

There is a theory that dogs that exercise well seldom hump. This belief is especially true when it exercises thoroughly and consistently. An active dog gets too tired to jump around or hump on you.

5. Keep a sharp eye on their nutrition

To some extent, your dog’s nutrition influences its behavior. A dog that feeds on healthy foods will have enough strength to move around and play with other dogs. You can talk to a veterinarian for help on foods that make a healthy diet for your dog. 

6. Talk to a professional animal behaviorist

Finally, talk to a professional. In rare cases, there are humping cases that require the expertise of an animal behaviorist to resolve. Also, you suspect an underlying health condition, the best you can do is take your dog for veterinary care.

To Wrap It Up

Dogs often hump on people for the fun of it. However, when it becomes a habit, you might be concerned about a problem somewhere. We’ve identified common possibilities for this behavior and ways to stop it. That said, you should know the cause before attempting to resolve it. Many ways to correct the situation involve being strict on your dog. Strictness, in this case, means being firm but gentle. Never exert extreme force on your pet to stop it from humping you. 

If you try correcting this behavior, and cannot handle it, don’t hesitate to seek the professional help of an animal behaviorist or a veterinarian. 

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