Embarrassing For Owners, But Not for Dogs – How to Deal with Mounting
It's an embarrassing behavior...for the owner. Humping is a commonly seen response when dogs play together.
Humping, or mounting, is typically seen when a dog is over excited, hence why it happens frequently when groups of dogs are playing.
It's not an aberrant behavior among dogs; however, it does have the potential to cause a fight as many dogs take offense to being mounted.
If your dog is a persistent mounter/humper, avoid large group play sessions unless you're willing and able to go get your dog to remove him from the situation.
If your dog mounts another dog, go get him gently by the collar and give him a short time out to calm down and lower his excitement level. Only release him back to play once he's calmed down.
When you consistently remove him from the fun every time he mounts/humps, he will learn to make better choices in the future so he doesn't miss the chance to keep playing. It's important that you only take your dog away for a time-out while he is actually in the act of humping. If you remove him after the other dog has gotten away or your dog has stopped, he won't make the connection that his humping caused the time-out.
There may be some situations where your dog would be best removed from the situation permanently, such as very busy days at the dog park when many new dogs are arriving and the energy level stays high.
Both male and female dogs can hump/mount other dogs, as well as sometimes people or objects, like toys or pillows.
Start looking for behavior that happens right before your dog starts mounting and try to prevent it before it starts. Tips include:
- If you notice your dog panting, whining or rubbing against the dog (or person or object), distract him. Throw a ball, play a game, ask them to do a trick or obedience command, etc.
- If your dog has a habit of mounting you and/or visitors, this is often attention-seeking behavior. When your dog starts this behavior, move/change positions or stand up to prevent it. Ask him to do something else. If he persists, give him a time-out in his crate for a few minutes and once the dog has calmed, let him back out. Do this calmly and without emotion.
- If your dog has become obsessive about mounting and/or is mounting dogs to the extent that it is causing fights or he is reactive with you when you ask him to stop, then you should seek professional help from a behaviorist.
Tip from the AKC GoodDog! Helpline