Ask the Trainer: How Do I Get My Doggy to Stop Humping his Buddies?

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Tell me if you’ve heard this one before. The company for which you work for is hosting a dog walk fundraiser for charity, and everyone in the office brings their pooch to strut their stuff. One of your co-workers – let’s call him Greg – brings his fluffy Bichon Frisee who is the cutest thing you’ve ever seen, except for the fact that he is humping every other dog at the party. It’s all fun and games until Humpy goes for the CEO’s much larger chocolate lab, everyone laughs, and poor Greg wishes a large sinkhole would open right below his feet.

Although this may be hilarious to your friends in attendance, humping has the potential to cause a fight as many dogs rightly take offense. Humping, or mounting, is a common behavior among dogs stemming from a number of causes. Typically, it is a sign that a dog is over excited, and it’s a behavior commonly observed in play especially when groups of dogs are engaging like in the above example. Dogs who are feeling nervous or anxious may also mount other dogs or even objects like pillows. Dogs may also do it as a sign of dominance to see which dogs will allow it and which won’t. Obviously, humping can also be a sexual behavior, even in dogs that have been spayed or neutered.

“As humans we might find it funny or downright embarrassing, but the real question is, does the dog mind? Does the dog being humped care?” asks Rona Distenfeld of Good Dog Training. “If not, there isn’t really a problem. If it does, and the dog being humped lets the humper know by growling, reacting, or moving away prompting the humper to stop, problem solved. But if the humper ignores the correction, then it’s time for the human to act.”

According to Distenfeld, the best way to deal with unwanted humping is to use a spray bottle with plain water and spray the humper in the face. “It’s best to wait until the humpee growls or tries to escape so it seems like the interruption is coming from the dog, not the human. This puts power behind the correction and teaches the humper to listen.” Add this helpful item to your doggy go-bag and save yourself from being the next Greg. Happy Hump Day!

Featured Image via Huffington Post

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