Pet Health Problems & Concerns

Question: Why does my female dog hump me?

After being alone for a couple of hours or being around other people and excited, my female dog humps me just like a male dog would do. I have never heard of or seen a female do this before. Why is she doing this?

-Maribeth

Answer:

Dear Maribeth,

Thank you for submitting your question about your dog. Even though it may be an uncomfortable topic for some, mounting and humping is actually a very common concern I hear from pet owners such as yourself.

Humping behaviors can be seen in both male and female dogs that are intact or neutered. Sometimes it can be a normal behavior, but other times it is secondary to a behavioral issue or medical problem that needs to be addressed.

Most Common Causes of Humping in Dogs

1. Play Behavior

I have seen many dogs that mount and hump when they are excited and want to play. If you have spent any time at the dog park, you may have seen a dog humping other dogs. Some dogs mount or hump when they are feeling playful.

2. Overexcitement

Overexcitement can also lead to humping behaviors. Like you said in your submission, many times the humping occurs after your dog is excited. Your dog may be getting overstimulated and overexcited which may be causing the behavior.

3. Stress

When dogs are frustrated or stressed, they can sometimes hump objects or people. It is possible that after being left alone for a few hours, your dog is getting stressed which might result in the humping behavior.

4. Sexual Behavior

Some dogs hump other dogs, people, and objects as a sexual behavior. This is more common in dogs that are intact, meaning they are not spayed or neutered.

5. Underlying Medical Conditions

There could be an underlying medical problem causing the humping. Sometimes, irritation and inflammation can cause humping. If you notice your dog licking excessively, biting, or chewing at herself, this may point to an underlying medical condition.

How to Address Humping in Female Dogs

1. Consult with a Veterinarian

The first step to consider when addressing this issue would be to consult with your veterinarian. Your veterinarian can perform a physical exam to ensure there are no underlying medical issues causing the problems and can help you formulate an individualized behavior plan to address the issue.

2. Avoid the Stressor

Because humping behavior can be secondary to stress, if there is a way to avoid the stressor or the cause of the overexcitement, this can help reduce humping behaviors.

3. Provide a Distraction

Sometimes simply providing a distraction may help. If you know the events that result in the humping, you may consider keeping your dog occupied and distracted. For example, providing a Kong filled with your dog’s favorite treats or giving your dog a toy to play with instead may distract her from the humping behavior.

4. Training

If your dog is well trained, consider having your dog’s favorite treat handy when you know the humping might occur. When your dog begins to hump, show your dog the treat, ask your dog to sit, lay down, or some other trick that your dog knows. This will hopefully redirect the unwanted behavior to a more desirable behavior.

A Few Final Thoughts

A female dog exhibiting humping behavior may seem odd, but it is actually a very common behavioral issue I see as a veterinarian. There are many causes for humping in female dogs, but many times, it is caused by stress or overexcitement. Only your veterinarian will be able to determine the definitive underlying cause of the humping, and I encourage you to seek veterinary care if the humping continues.

In the meantime, try distracting with dog toys and treats, and training your dog to do wanted behaviors like sitting or laying down when the humping is occurring. Good luck with your dog, and I hope these suggestions help you!

Sincerely,

Addie Reinhard, DVM

Disclaimer: Your use of the Ask The Vet feature is subject to the Ask The Vet Terms of Use. Content is for informational and educational use only and should not replace professional veterinary advice.

Dr. Addie Reinhard