While it may be seen as embarrassing to humans, humping other dogs is a common behavior. But are you curious as to why your male dog humps other males? Even more, why do female dogs hump? Read on to learn more about this curious behavior and what it actually means.Nothing is more embarrassing than inviting your friends over just to have your male dog go crazy humping their legs. I mean, it’s great that your pet is excited about guests, but this can be a bit too friendly – and can really make the situation awkward real fast. Even so, as mortifying as this can be, you probably just play it off as normal dog behavior and get them to move on from your friend’s leg to something else, like playing with a toy or taking a nap.But what about a male dog humping another male dog? Or mounting, if you want to try not to giggle as you say it. Why does this happen and is it normal? Is it just a silly behavior you shouldn’t worry about or something to correct? This is what experts have to say about it.What is Dog Humping Behavior All About? Dogs do some strange (and sometimes embarrassing) things, but there is often a rational reason behind it if you care to look for it. When it comes to humping, there are a number of possibilities. First and foremost, humping is a sexual behavior for dogs. Which, in all fairness, is something that most people will assume right off the bat. In most cases where humping is an undesired behavior, however, it is for an entirely different reason. Here are some of the possibilities:Play behaviorResponse to stressExcitementCompulsive disordersSocial behaviorMounting behavior can be part of play for dogs and it typically doesn’t involve an erection or ejaculation. It’s just something that happens in the whirlwind of excitement and doesn’t have any sexual meaning for the dog. Similarly, in other cases, it may be a response to stress or excitement – it can happen when your dog meets someone new or becomes excited by a new toy. Humping behavior can also be related to a compulsive disorder, particularly one linked to stress, so when your pet is anxious or nervous, they are compelled to react by humping.Related: Why Do Dogs Hump?Okay, so now maybe it makes a little more sense why your dog is humping. But what about male dogs that hump other male dogs – what is that about? This is where the social aspect comes in. Male dogs may hump other male dogs as a display of social status or to establish control. In cases like this, the dog may or may not display an erection but he is unlikely to ejaculate. The goal and the underlying cause of the behavior is to dominate another male, so humping serves as a way for one dog to say “I’m the boss here” and, again, doesn’t have anything to do with sexual behaviors of dogs.Females hump other females too, though. That’s what sometimes brings on the giggles and embarrassment –because generally speaking, we know that ‘mounting’ behavior is often associated with some boom chicka wow-wow. But it’s just as often (well, maybe not AS often) used to show someone who’s in charge. Female dogs will do this to other females just as easily as they will to another male, though not quite as readily in that males tend to be alphas and pack leaders anyway. (That won’t stop some fierce females from trying, though.) But if you’ve got someone telling you that your dog has feelings for its own gender just because it’s humping? The truth is they MAY have those feelings but it’s not for sure known just because they’re humping!How to Discourage Your Dog from HumpingWe get it – even when you are well aware that your dog’s humping isn’t a sexual matter, it still doesn’t mean that it won’t make you uncomfortable and create some really awkward situations in the dog park or when you have guests over. However, before you start taking steps to discourage your dog from humping, it’s a good idea to determine why he’s displaying the behavior in the first place. Your first concern should be to rule out medical problems that might be influencing his behavior – things like urinary tract infections, skin allergies, priapism, and urinary incontinence could all be a factor. If the behavior occurs infrequently, ask yourself whether it’s really necessary to address it. After all, if it only happens once in a blue moon, it’s really not worth the effort to try and correct a behavior that is not displayed regularly.In cases where your dog’s mounting behavior becomes concerning for yourself or your guests, there are some things you can do to discourage it. Here are some ideas:Distract your dog with a toy or game when he displays the behavior to redirect their attention. More often than not, they will be enticed by another “prize” and drop what they are doing to play.Neuter your dog if he is currently intact. Dogs that are not fixed are much more likely to display mounting behavior and getting them neutered can greatly reduce the issue – if not eliminate it altogether. Take notice of situations where he displays the behavior and avoid them. For instance, if your pet constantly humps male dogs in the park, don’t let them off leash when surrounded by other dogs, even if they are not aggressive.Put your dog in time out for a few minutes when he displays the behavior. This will signal them that it is not acceptable to mount other dogs or people and let them “cool down” a bit.Verbally tell your dog “No” and push him off you (gently, of course). You need to disrupt their focus and clearly show them that this is not allowed – it might take a few no’s before they give up, though.Train your dog to sit on cue and give him the command when he starts humping. This can be really effective as they’ll be compelled to respond to the command, breaking the hold humping has on their focus, and redirecting them to a different behavior.Take steps to reduce stress and other factors that influence the behavior. If certain events, people, or animals trigger your pet’s mounting behavior, you should try to avoid exposure – especially if it causes them to be anxious in addition.Talk to a trainer. If the behavior seems because your dog is constantly trying to be the boss of everyone, male or female, human or not? Then that’s an issue. No one likes a dog that is so bossy and domineering that they’re mounted upon seeing them every time. And that sort of embarrassing behavior now can turn into some pretty serious and aggressive behavior at another time. Don’t take the chance if you think it’s something a trainer can help with. That’s what they do.Dogs will be dogs and you can’t expect to completely change your dog’s behavior. The best thing you can do is pick your battles – choose the behaviors that are dangerous or disruptive and target them for modification. For everything else, you may just need to learn to live with it.