At what age do dogs start humping?

Dogs hump for many reasons. Some dogs hump as a sign of dominance, while others do it out of excitement or boredom. In this blog post, we will answer the question: at what age do dogs start humping? We will also discuss some of the reasons why dogs hump and provide tips on how to stop your dog from humping.

At What Age Do Dogs Start Humping?

Dogs usually start humping at the point where they reach sexual maturity. For a small breed, this could be as early as six months old. For a larger breed, sexual maturity may not occur until after one year of age.

It’s possible to notice this behavior before sexual maturity. If your younger puppy is expressing this behavior, they are probably trying to explore their dominance, strength, and simply play around. At this point, the behavior isn’t hormonally motivated.

Is It Normal for a Puppy to Hump?

Yes, it is normal for a puppy to hump. Puppies hump as a way of exploring their new world and learning about their surroundings. When your puppy is under 6 months old, this behavior is associated with playing, exploring, and learning dominance dynamics.

For a dog under 6 months old, it’s normal if this behavior happens once or twice a day. If it doesn’t go on for too long and doesn’t bother owners of their guests, it’s OK to let your pup do that.

Over time, this can become an addictive behavior, since it produces dopamine. If your dog is trying to relieve stress or is overly excitable, it may become attached to this behavior and exhibit it constantly. If humping happens more than 4 to 5 times a day, it’s time to use early training as a way to reduce or eliminate this habit.

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Between 6 and 12 months, your dog will enter puberty. This will be the time when humping begins to be motivated by sexual desire. The hormones will drive your dog to hump other dogs, inanimate objects, and even people’s legs.

If this happens briefly 1 or 2 times a day and isn’t aggressive, it’s fine to allow this behavior. However, if this increases to 3 to 5 times a day, you’ll need to start practicing positive reinforcement training. This will help to redirect your dog’s attention and energy, which allows it to release its urges without falling deeply into the humping habit.

Why Has My Puppy Started Humping Me?

There are a few reasons why a dog may start humping their owner. One reason could be that the dog is seeking attention. If your dog perceives that you are paying more attention to them when they hump, then this behavior will continue.

Another potential reason for this behavior is that the dog is trying to relieve stress or anxiety. In some cases, a dog may start humping their owner if they are feeling neglected and ignored.

If your dog does this when you come home from work or after a period of separation, it’s possible that they are very excited to see you and are trying to relieve stress caused by their previous separation anxiety. Positively reinforce a different “greeting ritual” that doesn’t involve humping with your pup to discourage this behavior.

In some cases, this may be a power play where the dog is trying to dominate their owner. If this is the case, it’s important to start training your dog early on so that they understand who is in charge. It’s important that your puppy knows you are the pack leader and that they will listen to you.

Are there Medical Risks With Humping?

It’s always important to rule out any medical issues that may be causing your dog to hump. There are some health conditions, such as tumors in the prostate or urinary tract infections, that can cause a dog to start humping excessively. If you suspect that there may be a medical issue at play, take your pup to the vet for an examination.

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Ask yourself the following questions to help rule out any medical issues:

  • Has there been a change in your home, such as another animal, a relocation, a renovation, or new humans?
  • Has your dog been neutered or spayed recently? If so, did you notice this behavior before the procedure, and is it worse after?
  • Does the humping happen in one specific location? This may be a sign of territoriality.
  • Is there a change in the neighborhood, such as a loud construction site or new animal neighbors?
  • Does your dog’s humping increase at certain times of the day, such as when you are away or before they go to sleep? This may be a sign that they are anxious or stressed.
  • Is there any sudden change in your pup’s behavior, such as weight gain/loss, limping, or lethargy?
  • Does your dog hump every time they meet a guest, or only when you are away from home?

If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions and think there may be an underlying behavioral or medical issue. Take your pup in for a vet appointment to see if any underlying causes can be detected.

How to Get My Dog to Stop Humping?

If your dog’s humping is becoming excessive or aggressive, it’s time to intervene. Here are some of the most common ways you can correct this behavior:

Spay or Neuter Your Dog

By spaying or neutering your dog, you can reduce the occurrence of humping. This is because sex hormones significantly influence this behavior. When a dog has been spayed or neutered, the hormones that drive them to hump are reduced.

Train Your Dog

If your dog is humping because they are seeking attention, training can help stop this behavior. When you catch your pup in the act, immediately say “No” and give them a stern look. This will let them know that this is not acceptable behavior.

Another option is when your pup begins to hump, provide them with a toy or bone to chew on instead. This will redirect their attention and help calm them down.

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Make sure you are consistent with your commands and rewards, so your dog knows when they are behaving in the way you want.

Keep Your Dog in a Crate for Short Periods of Time

If you are away from home, put your dog in a crate to prevent humping. If your dog tends to hump when they get excited or anxious, consider putting them in the crate for short periods of time throughout the day so that they can calm down and relax before

Ignore the Behavior

Many dogs hump as a way to get attention. If you ignore the behavior, your dog will eventually stop doing it in order to get a reaction from you.

Use a Deterrent

There are some products on the market that can be used as a deterrent for humping. These include bitter apple sprays, citrus scents, or loud noises such as clapping your hands or using an air horn or whistle. These can help to interrupt the behavior, which will stop your dog from doing it.

Give Your Dog More Exercise

Dogs who are restless or bored may start to hump as a way of releasing excess energy. If you think this is happening with your pup, try giving them more exercise and playtime throughout the day. They will be less likely to engage in this behavior if they are tired and have burned off some of that energy.

Don’t Punish Your Dog

Punishing your dog for humping will only make them feel more anxious or stressed, which may lead to an increase in the behavior. If you are unsure how to correct the behavior, consult with a professional trainer for assistance.