SlimDoggy MythBuster | Dog Aggression or Love?

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bustamythToday we’re going to discuss a subject not frequently covered…dog humping. Yes, dogs hump each other, they hump you, they may hump the sofa pillows or a stuffed toy. But why do they hump? Some people say it’s a sign of aggression and dominance, that dogs mount each other as a display of dominance over the other.
That may be true in some instances, but there are multiple other reasons a dog may hump that should be considered before you get to freaked out about it:sex of two jack russel terrier

  1. It may just be sexual – even neutered or spayed dogs may hump, just for the pleasure. Our first dog Maxine, had two litters of puppies and she was a frequent humper – even after she was spayed.
  2. They are excited and/or anxious. Humping visitors is probably due more to excitement or social anxiety than dominance. Dogs frequently mount each other as part of their play.
  3. It may signal boredom. Humping behavior will usually get your attention, so your dog may be doing it for the attention it brings.

Whatever the underlying reason, as long as the behavior is not obsessive or unwanted by the recipient then it is fairly harmless.


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  1. I consider it a play behavior, but sometimes it means the excitement in play has escalated too much. I discourage it if I see my dogs doing it.
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  2. Love the photo, I bet you couldn’t image that Gman is a humper! I think his is excited humper as he humps people when they walk in the door. He also will hump me and I think he is trying to be top dog! But then again the little bugger could just be board as he needs to be going all the time.
    Sand Spring Chesapeakes recently posted…Thursday Barks And Bytes~If My Head Wasn’t AttachedMy Profile

  3. With our dogs this behavior is at times part of their play and at times a dominance move. Because we want to foster again, we try to curb the dominance behavior. Our trainer gave us some simple tips – we just stop it with a firm command when they make the move to start.
    Kimberly Gauthier recently posted…More Home Based Pet Related Businesses for Dog LoversMy Profile

  4. I am a humper when I play chase and wrestle. For me it is a control thing but it isn’t like I do it constantly, just sometimes. Mom doesn’t find it amusing.
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  5. Our dogs do it all the time and years ago, we were told it was a dominance issue. I think it is sometimes but alot of the time it is just playing. Like Kim, when it starts to become more than play, we make them stop with a firm command.
    They were trained not to hump humans when they were pups and being taught manners. I have had dogs this was an issue with but these two, luckily, do all their humping on each other 🙂
    Crazy Dog Life recently posted…Review of Dog Gone Healthy TreatsMy Profile

  6. Our rescue dog Moses used to hump his bed, and for him I think it was a stress release, as he’d had a lot of trauma before he came to us. Zeke sometimes humps poor Ike when they play. I hope it’s just play and that he won’t challenge Ike or Kelly when he gets older and bigger.
    Peggy Frezon recently posted…Frankie Furter, Pirate King and The Bark PearlMy Profile

  7. I’m loving this — reading the post and the comments is giving me a much-needed laugh today. When Ducky’s “humping” her sisters, it looks more like she’s trying to take a dump & is using them to balance herself. And in her case, I think it’s an attempt to get them to play with her because she’s bored with us. That little girl has more energy than hubby, Callie, Shadow, and me put together! Must be her youth!
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  8. Humping NEVER fails to get the attention of humans. Some are amused, some are disgusted, but few humans can just ignore it.

    Have a dog friendly 4th from The Poodle (and dog) blog
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  9. Interesting info haha!
    Luckily my huskies aren’t into that sort of thing hahahaha!!! I was worried when I brought Koda into our house with our two female huskies, but no issues with that BOL!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!
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  10. I love that you protected the identity of the humper and humpee! Haha! Bentley will do it on occasion to Pierre. It is definitely a control issue. He is not a quadropedophile! ☺
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  11. What you allow among your own dogs is one thing. I do think it is an issue when you are with other dogs and it should be curbed. I also am not a fan of dogs doing things that make guests uncomfortable. Humping is one of the more aggressive behaviors, but I also don’t like jumping up and the constant begging. Not everyone who visits your home is a dog lover and if you want them to visit again you owe them basic respect from your pets.
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  12. When Luke was younger he humped a lot, and it mostly seemed to be his way to try to get attention. But since we got him neutered, he does it much less. Before it was all the time, now it’s just once in a while.
    Jan K recently posted…Summer Pet Safety & Happy 4th of JulyMy Profile

  13. Thanks so much for joining the hop and for the great info. Among our dogs, it is usually a sign of trying to be dominant. Sometimes it can be that they are excited, but usually it is the other. 🙂
    2 brown dawgs recently posted…Backyard Fun On The 4thMy Profile

  14. Whether humping is a problem or not depends on the dogs and any given moment. I guess I assume it’s a problem if the humpee feels it’s a problem.

    But generally I see it as a way to express unbounded excitement. Honey humps her stuffed lamb. It’s the only time I’ve seen that behavior from her.
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  15. In our house, it’s definitely all about playing. I took pictures the other day! (is that wrong? lol!!)
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  16. LOL!! My previous dog used to “hump” one particular dog in the neighborhood.
    My dog was a male, and so was the other. Mine would HOWL when the other walked by the house. The other dog’s owner would say my dog was gay. I’m like, “there is no such thing!! They are just playing!” 🙂
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    • BOL…yeah our Tino usually did it to males too…I think it was more posturing than playing or aggression.
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