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Dog Humping: Why Do Male Dogs Hump Other Male Dogs?

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Nothing is more embarrassing than inviting your friends over just to have your male dog go crazy humping their legs. As mortifying as this can be, you probably just play it off as normal dog behavior. But what about a male dog humping another male dog? Why does this happen and is it normal? Keep reading to find out.

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. In most cases where humping is an undesired behavior, however, it is for an entirely different reason. Here are some of the possibilities:

  • Play behavior
  • Response to stress
  • Excitement
  • Compulsive disorders
  • Social behavior

Mounting behavior can be part of play for dogs and it typically doesn’t involve an erection or ejaculation. 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.

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.

How to Discourage Your Dog from Humping

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 incontinent could all be a factor. If the behavior occurs infrequently, ask yourself whether it’s really necessary to address it.

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
  • Neuter your dog if he is currently intact
  • Take notice of situations where he displays the behavior and avoid them
  • Put your dog in time out for a few minutes when he displays the behavior
  • Verbally tell your dog “No” and push him off you (gently, of course)
  • Train your dog to sit on cue and give him the command when he starts humping
  • Take steps to reduce stress and other factors that influence the behavior

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.


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