Our expert says:
Dog Behaviour Expert
Hi there, as you have already seen from your own dogs behaviour, mounting or humping is not only what dogs do when they mate, but they also engage in this behaviour, whether sterilized or not, on other dogs, stuffed toys, furniture, their blankets and also on people!
Although the dog may have been sterilized they still (both sexes) exhibit sexual behaviour in various degrees and this seems to be very much an individual thing – some more than others and some not at all. A male dog that has been sterilized can still achieve ejactulation, its just that the fluid then contains no sperm.
Other reasons why dogs may hump is to when they are anxious, especially when it comes to anxiety over their own standing in the canine pack, when it comes to humping another dog or trying to hump a persons leg for example. Many of the dog books around have described this behaviour as an assertion of rank.
Some dogs seem to hump more if they are bored or seeking attention. Look at this from the dogs point of view, it humps, you shout – result – dog gets attention and the more you shout the more the dog does it! Funny as it may seem, attention to a dog is attention – regardless of whether negative or positive. When it comes to boredom I have seen this aspect with my own dog myself. He is used to getting at least an hours long walk, with ball throwing a day and on the odd occasion where I am unable to get him out for his daily jaunt, these are the days where he seems to hump his blanket.
The best way to handle the humping, is to turn around and walk away rather than pay attention to it. This is very much ‘normal’ dog behaviour unless the humping is increasing in frequency and starting to become a compulsive behaviour. If this is happening then you need to get help.
Keep an eye on when the humping occurs which will give you more clues as to why it is happening and a preventative measure provide the dog with more physical and stimulation by way of regular walks and exercise and enrich the home environment with chew toys varied daily to keep the dog entertained. Thks S
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