How to Stop Puppy Humping
From what I’ve observed, most people find it distasteful when their brand new puppy starts to hump everything or anybody (both
people and dogs) in sight. Why do puppies exhibit this behaviour, and can anything be done
about it? There are really
two views on the
subject, although the solutions they offer are quite similar.
One view is that puppy humping is a sign of sexual behaviour and dominance within a dog pack. Male dogs can show signs of sexual behaviour as soon as they can walk, and it is not uncommon to see them
mount their litter mates whenever possible. Female puppies can exhibit the same behaviour,
although it is not as common. The idea here is that the puppy is trying to figure out his
ranking in the pack. However, remember that to a dog, his human companions are part of this
pack as well.
The general consensus of dog experts who hold this view is that if the puppy humping is not harming anyone, do
nothing. It will resolve itself over time. However, if it is causing problems, you need to
demonstrate your dominance by exercising sit and stay commands whenever your puppy engages in this behaviour. If it is still a problem after 2 months, you may want to seek the advice of an animal
behaviourist. At this point neutering (!), medication, or a comprehensive behaviour management
program may be in order.
A different take on the puppy humping issue is that it has nothing to do with dominance or rank within a pack. Rather, the only thing puppy humping demonstrates is that the dog is in an excited or aroused
state. The puppy humping is merely a motor pattern that all dogs demonstrate when in this
The idea behind this view is that dogs live in the
present, and can use past experience. So, they know that puppy humping feels good to them now,
and that it has in the past. However, dogs cannot comprehend how present actions can affect
future events. They can’t perceive that by puppy humping another dog today will somehow affect
his social status in the future.
Whether this view is correct or not, the solution remains the same. If your puppy is
in an excited state, calm him down with “sit” or “stay” commands. If the dog doesn’t respond
to this, place the puppy in his crate until he calms down. Although this should work, it
should be noted that these experts do not see any problems with puppy humping either. So long
as it’s not causing any problems, let them. There is nothing unnatural about it, and it’s most
likely mother nature’s way of letting them practice sex. I personally like this
idea. Who wants to argue with mother nature?
I hope you found this information helpful!