As with male dogs female humping is not an unusual behaviour. It is not uncommon for either sex to mount human legs, toys and other dogs. Primarily a behaviour used for mating purposes, it is clearly a necessary activity for male dogs to engage in but what about females? Engaging in humping is indeed a natural behaviour for both males and females. Along with licking at the genital area and pelvic thrusting, it is a learned behaviour that often starts before full sexual maturity. Humping or mounting is reinforced by repetition, encouragement, lack of discouragement and it happens for a number of reasons.
Simulating Procreation & Autoerotic Pleasure
Starting from as young as 6 weeks male and female puppies are known to participate in mounting other dogs of the same and different sex. This is widely thought to be part of the leaning process and better prepare dogs for once they become sexually mature. In essence, it’s considered playful sexual education.
It is also suggested that some dogs engage in mounting simply because it feels good. Both male and female dogs have been observed stimulating their genital areas by licking or humping. Dogs that are spayed or neutered might be prevented from procreating but it appears not to affect the enjoyment derived from engaging in masturbation.
Anxiety can be a symptom of dogs that are bored. Dogs need to be exercised physically, mentally and emotionally. Those that are not will find ways to fill their time often engaging in destructive or unwanted behaviour. Owners incorrectly label their dogs as being naughty or disobedient when really it’s just a case of playfulness where the dog is finding an outlet for it’s pent up energy.
Female dogs that are stressed out sometimes will engage in humping to help release the tension. Under stressful conditions humping may occur in conjunction with other indicators such as whining, barking, biting, urinating, jumping, chewing etc.
Social And Behavioural Issues
Humping can be the result of how a dog has learnt to socialize. Some dogs use this to initiate or encourage play with other dogs. Others that have been poorly socialized are simply not aware of proper canine etiquette and hence go overboard mounting either excessively or at inappropriate moments. Under certain situations dogs also use it to help assert their place in the hierarchical structure. If the root cause is behaviour based we recommend employing the services of a professional dog trainer.
Physical issues with urinating and urinary tract infection (UTI) are common and can be quite painful. Some dogs will attempt to alleviate the pain by humping anything that is made readily available. Another indication that these are the root cause is if the dog vigorously and continually licks or chews her genital area. If you suspect either of these to be the culprit be sure to contact your vet immediately.
Remember dog humping in both males and females is a natural behaviour so long as it’s not continuous, habitual or disruptive.
At Hong Kong Canine we offer a specialized behaviour modification programme for dogs that engage in excessive humping. We work with all breeds, ages and sizes.