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It’s happened again. You have company over and in front of everyone your dog mounts their bed excitedly and starts humping.
You can feel your embarrassment showing through from the inside. And you want nothing more than to get them to stop without getting angry and yelling at them.
After it’s all said and done you’re left with the question, why on earth does my dog hump his bed?!
Dog’s humping is relatively common and it’s not for the reason you likely think. It can be frustrating watching them continue to do it without any success in curbing the behavior.
Why Does My Puppy Hump His Bed:
Your puppy may be humping his bed for sexual reasons, dominance, overstimulation, habit, boredom, or from a medical issue. The best way to help curb behavioral humping is positive reinforcement training and redirection.
Now let’s dive deeper into these reasons why your dog may hump his bed and how to prevent it from happening.
9 Reasons Why Dogs Hump Their Bed
This is the most common reason why people think their dog is humping. More often than not, this isn’t the case. However, a puppy will hump their bed between the ages of 6 to 9 months while going through sexual maturity.
David S. Spiegel, VMD, says humping is common for dogs under the age of 1 that are un-neutered or un-spayed. However, after age 1, the reason for humping is not likely sexual.
But, while your dog is young, humping as a sexual release could be the reason. Not to worry, though, they will grow out of it so long as you discourage the behavior.
Even though it can be funny at times, you want to make sure that you react in a way that they understand it’s not good behavior.
Your tone of voice goes a long way for dogs, as they don’t understand your words. You don’t need to spank or hit your dog for doing this unfavorable behavior or even yell, for that matter.
Simply speaking to them in a low, disapproving tone will get the message across.
After enough time has passed, you can resume loving them as usual.
However, you want to make sure to wait long enough, so they don’t think you’re giving them love & attention because of the humping.
If your dog gets excited or over-stimulated, they can start humping. This is for no other reason than they aren’t sure how else to show their excitement.
When humping an object like a stuffed toy, pillow, or bed, they likely get overly excited.
Since you know that excitement can cause humping his bed, you can now look closely at what happened before he started humping his bed.
For example, if it was after you came home and gave them a lot of attention & praise, you’ll know to dial it back in the future.
While it can be challenging not to shower him with love when you get home, it will likely help them avoid getting overly excited and show it by humping their bed.
Sidenote: if your dog also humps people and other dogs, it’s more than likely they are attempting to assert their dominance instead of excitement.
Not Seen As Bad Behavior
Suppose you haven’t made it abundantly clear that their humping behavior is bad. In that case, they could very easily see it as playful behavior.
When he starts humping his bed, and you simply call him a weirdo and give him cuddles, he most likely won’t see what he’s done as bad behavior.
If you want him to stop, you have to make it obvious that what he’s doing is not something that is okay.
This means you must be disciplined in how you react to his bad behavior to help them understand that humping is a no-no.
A much less common reason for their humping could be a medical issue such as irritation, infection, or prostate complications.
If he is humping his bed frequently, you should take a look at his gentile region for any redness or inflammation.
If you do notice something doesn’t look normal, you should take them to your vet and have them looked at.
Their humping could be a sign of discomfort from whatever irritations they have going on internally.
Dr. David Littlejohn, our veterinary consultant, says that humping can also signify dominance in older dogs.
If your dog is spayed or neutered, this likely isn’t the case, as they can no longer mate. But, if they haven’t been spayed or neutered yet, this could be the reason for their humping behavior.
In most cases, you don’t need to worry about this as it will likely stop after they’ve been spayed or neutered.
Anxiety or Separation Issues
Humping their bed could also be a sign of anxiety or separation issues. If they’re left alone for long periods of time, they may start feeling anxious.
This could lead to destructive behaviors such as chewing on their bed or humping out of anxiety.
Just like with humans, dogs can get bored, which could lead to them humping their bed.
If they’re left alone for too long with nothing to do, they may start feeling restless. This often leads to them finding something to do, such as sleeping, chewing, or in this case – humping.
You can help curb their boredom by ensuring they have plenty of toys to keep them occupied or take them on more walks/runs.
Lastly, humping their bed could simply be a bad habit they’ve picked up. This behavior is also known as stereotypy. Stereotypy is defined as repetitive behavior that has no apparent purpose.
Suppose you find that your dog is humping their bed at specific times daily or following a pattern. In that case, it may have developed into a habit.
Habits are often tough to break, but with time and patience, they can be done.
When Is Humping The Bed A Problem?
Now that you know some of the reasons why your dog humps their bed, it’s time to take a look at when it may become a problem.
Humping is often seen as a nuisance, but it’s nothing to worry about in most cases. That being said, there are times when you should be concerned about their humping behavior.
Here are some signs that their bed humping may be a problem:
- They are frequently humping throughout the day
- They are getting aggressive while humping
- They are humping people
- Their humping is starting to interfere with their daily life
Generally speaking, if a dog’s humping is starting to interfere with their quality of life or the life of those around them, it’s time to take action.
Suppose you’re unsure whether or not their humping is a problem. In that case, you should always err on the side of caution and consult your vet or a professional dog trainer.
How Do You Stop Your Dog from Humping His Bed?
You’ll need to use positive reinforcement techniques to train a dog to stop humping their bed.
This means rewarding them when they display the behavior you want to see and ignoring them when they don’t.
In addition, when training a dog to stop humping, we first want to eliminate some possibilities that may be causing the humping.
Here are a few tips on how you can start training your dog to stop humping their bed:
Rule Out Medical Issues
As we mentioned earlier, medical issues could be why your dog is humping their bed.
Before you start training them to stop, it’s important to rule out any medical conditions that may be causing the behavior. The last thing you want to do is start training them to stop a behavior that isn’t actually a problem.
If you’re unsure whether their humping is due to a medical condition, the best thing to do is consult with your vet. They’ll be able to give you a professional opinion and rule out any potential health problems.
Spaying / Neutering
If your dog isn’t already spayed or neutered, getting them fixed could help reduce their humping behavior.
As we mentioned earlier, hormones play a big role in a dog’s desire to mate. By spaying or neutering your dog, you can help reduce their hormone levels and, in turn – reduce their urge to mate.
This is probably the easiest way to stop your dog from humping their bed.
Proper training will be the key to getting your dog to stop humping their bed.
You can use a few different techniques, but the overall goal is to let them know that humping their bed is not okay. It’s as simple as telling them “no” anytime you catch them in the act and taking the bed away.
You can give them a treat if they listen after you say no. That way, they know they get rewarded if they stop humping and listening to you.
If your dog isn’t properly socialized, they may be more likely to hump their bed due to dominance, aggression, or anxiety.
Well-socialized dogs are less likely to hump because they know how to interact with other dogs and people. In addition, they don’t need to assert dominance because they already have a grasp on their place in the pack.
In addition, socialized dogs are more confident and develop less anxiety.
If your dog isn’t socialized, start taking them to places where they can interact with other dogs and people regularly. This could be the park, doggy daycare, or even walking around your neighborhood.
The more they socialize, the less likely they are to hump their bed out of dominance or anxiety.
Exercise & Stimulate
Another reason your dog may be humping their bed because they’re bored. Bored dogs are more likely to engage in destructive behaviors like chewing, digging, and yes – even humping.
If you think your dog may be humping their bed out of boredom, the best thing you can do is provide them with more exercise and stimulation.
Make sure they’re getting at least 30 minutes of exercise each day. This could be a walk around the block, playing fetch in the backyard, or even just running around the house.
In addition to exercise, you should also try to stimulate their mind with puzzle toys and games. This will help keep them occupied and less likely to hump their bed out of boredom.
Remove The Bed
If you’ve tried all of the above and your dog is still humping their bed, you may need to remove it from their environment.
This may seem drastic, but sometimes it’s the only way to get them to stop. If they don’t have a bed to hump, they can’t hump it.
Of course, you don’t have to remove their bed permanently. You can always put it back once they’ve stopped humping it for a while. But if they keep returning to it, it may be best to just keep it out of their reach.
Other Frequently Asked Questions
Why Does My Dog Hump His Bed After Being Fed?
If your dog has created a routine for humping his bed after being fed, this could be due to habit.
It could also be from the excitement your dog feels after being fed. Food is a significant motivator for many dogs. They may get excited and start humping their bed as a celebration.
If this is the case, you can try to redirect your dog’s excitement with a toy or game instead of letting them hump their bed.
Why Does My Dog Hump His Bed After A Walk?
If your dog humps his bed after a walk, it could be due to residual energy.
Dogs build up a lot of energy when they’re walking, and if they don’t have an outlet for that energy, it can result in them humping their bed (or anything else).
You can try to help your dog burn off that energy by playing with them before or after the walk. A game of fetch or tug-of-war is a great way to help them release all that built-up energy.
In addition, some dogs may become anxious after being walked due to seeing people and other dogs. This is usually dogs that lack socialization. If this is the case, you may need to work on socializing your dog more.
Why Does My Dog Hump His Bed Before Sleeping?
If your dog humps his bed before sleeping, this could be for a variety of reasons. If your dog is not properly stimulated throughout the day, they may have pent-up energy that they need to release.
Another possibility is that your dog is doing it as a form of self-soothing. For example, dogs that are anxious or stressed may engage in this behavior as a way to calm themselves down before bed.
This can be the case for dogs that are created and aren’t fully comfortable with their crate yet.
So, in conclusion, dogs will hump their beds for various reasons. It’s important to note when it happens, how often it happens, and what may have caused it.
This will help you determine why your dog is humping their bed and how to stop it.
Suppose you are unsure of why your dog is humping their bed or how to stop it. In that case, you should always consult with a professional trainer or behaviorist. They will be able to help you better understand your dog and create a plan to get them to stop humping their bed.
Once you know the reason behind why they’re acting up, it makes it that much easier to fix the situation.
We hope this information has been helpful and you’re able to use it to prevent your pup from humping in the future.
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