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  • Molly Weinfurter

Why Do Female Dogs Hump?

Updated: Jun 11

Do female dogs hump? Many people might assume the answer is no, but if you spend time with a variety of dogs, you’ll likely discover that some female dogs hump. Like male dogs, they may hump people, dogs, and objects. Some dogs may even hump in their dreams. So, why do female dogs hump? And how do you stop this bizarre behavior?

Is it Normal for Girl Dogs to Hump?

Humping is normal for both male and female dogs. While it can be embarrassing for humans to witness, there’s nothing wrong with your dog if they do it occasionally. Also, contrary to popular belief, humping is not always sexual for dogs. There are lots of reasons why female dogs hump, which is why some girl dogs do it as frequently as boy dogs.

I'm embarrassed to admit that my dog, Mabel, humps on rare occasions. When she was younger, she would sometimes hump other female dogs. Now, I only see her hump in her sleep sometimes. It's a bizarre behavior, which is what caused me to want to research the topic and write an article about it.

nervous dog hiding under bench

Why Do Female Dogs Hump?

Female dogs may mount humans, dogs, and objects for a variety of reasons. Pay attention to the environment and situation to determine the exact cause.

Juvenile Hormones

Puppies are more likely to hump than adult dogs. Their hormones may make them naturally want to mount things, even if they’re a girl. So, they may hump frequently until they grow out of it or discover that it’s not an appropriate behavior.

Overwhelming Situations

Female dog humping is often a response to stress, anxiety, or excitement. When introduced to new situations, such as meeting new people and dogs, your dog might mount things to deal with stress. This could result in them humping the dog/person or random objects nearby.

Lack of Socialization

Dogs that aren’t properly socialized may mount other dogs they meet. They might not understand how to play with other dogs, which is why they turn to humping instead of more acceptable behaviors. If they don’t meet other dogs enough, they could just be overly anxious too.

Sexual Behaviors

Female dogs display this behavior sexually just like male dogs do. They may do it when they’re interested in mating with another dog. If that’s the case, they’ll likely display other behaviors, such as pawing or doing a play bow, to get the other dog’s attention.

Seeking Attention

Humping is one behavior that humans have a hard time ignoring. Your dog might figure that out, causing them to hump things because they know you’ll pay attention to them if they do. They may also do it because they’re bored and it’s something to keep them busy. Dogs that hump for these reasons may not be getting enough exercise and mental stimulation throughout the day.

Medical Concerns

In rare cases, humping could be related to health problems. For example, your dog could have an abnormal hormone production, causing them to hump obsessively. If they have irritation near their private area, they may hump to itch it.

If your dog is humping all the time or they’re experiencing other symptoms in addition to humping, visit your vet just to be safe.

dogs running at park

Do Dogs Hump to Assert Dominance?

There’s conflicting information as to whether or not dogs hump to assert dominance. PetMD claims that humping for dominance reasons is only a myth and that stress or a surge in hormones is to blame instead.

However, Gary Landsberg, DVM believes mounting is a common sign of dominance in adult dogs. He states that dogs hump other dogs to find out where they stand in a pack based on which dogs tolerate the behavior and which ones fight back.

Both points make sense, so it looks like more research needs to be done on this topic.

When to Be Concerned About Dog Mounting

A female dog humping should only be a concern if it’s paired with other concerning behaviors. For example, if they’re licking their private area more frequently, it could be a sign that they have an infection. However, if they only hump in stressful situations, it’s likely behavior-related instead of health-related.

If you’re concerned about your dog’s humping at any point, it’s best to visit your vet just to be safe. Getting a professional’s opinion can help you relax and ensure your dog is in good shape.

How to Stop Female Dog Humping

Even though mounting is a normal dog behavior, it’s one that most people want to stop or at least reduce. Below are a few ways to prevent excessive humping.

Spay Your Dog

Spaying won’t guarantee that your dog will stop humping, but it will likely reduce their desire to hump. Plus, there are lots of benefits to spaying, such as preventing unwanted litters and reducing health risks.

Teach the “Leave it” Command

The “leave it” command is used to prevent dogs from doing something they shouldn’t, such as chasing a squirrel or picking up a dead worm. You can use this command when your dog is about to hump something too. Then, redirect their attention with a different activity, such as a toy.

Don’t Force Your Dog into Stressful Situations

Since many dogs hump due to anxiety, it’s best to avoid situations that stress your dog out. For example, if your dog gets overwhelmed when there are lots of other dogs around, it’s best to avoid the dog park. If they get over-excited around groups of people, keep them in a different room when guests first enter your home.

Provide Lots of Exercise and Mental Stimulation

If your dog is humping because of boredom or a desire for attention, they’re likely not getting enough mental or physical exercise. Take them for walks more frequently or try more intense exercises like hiking and running if they’re a high-energy dog. Provide them with mental stimulation toys, such as toys they need to get treats out of, to keep them busy in the house.

female dog nervous about humping

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Do Female Dogs Hump Their Female Owners?

If your female dog is humping you, it could be a sign that they’re bored, stressed, or want your attention. Consider the situation and environment to determine the exact cause.

Why Does My Girl Dog Hump My Boy Dog?

Your girl dog may mount your boy dog because they’re anxious and don’t know how else to deal with those feelings. As uncomfortable as it is, the mounting could also be related to sexual behaviors, which is why it’s essential to make sure your two dogs are fixed.

Should I Stop My Dog From Humping?

It’s up to you. You shouldn’t punish your dog for humping, but you can certainly redirect the behavior if it bothers you. If they’re humping a toy, there’s no need to stop them if you don’t want to. However, if they’re bothering a person or pet, it’s best to remove your dog from the situation.

At What Age Do Dogs Start Humping?

Around six months old is a normal time for dogs to start humping because that’s when they’ll likely reach sexual maturity. However, some dogs may start humping earlier due to stress or excitement rather than sexual behaviors.

Is it Okay for My Dog to Hump a Toy?

If your dog is humping a toy, there’s no need to worry. As long as it’s not bothering anyone, there’s no need to redirect the behavior. However, if they mount a person or pet, that’s when you should get your dog to stop.

nervous puppy in grass

Humping is Normal for Male and Female Dogs

Many dog lovers ask, “Why do female dogs hump?” But the reason is much simpler than people think. Humping is a normal behavior for girl dogs just like it is for boy dogs, so a lot of the potential reasons are the same for both sexes. So, if your girl dog is humping animals, people, or objects, there isn’t an immediate cause for concern.

However, if you notice any unusual symptoms paired with your female dog’s humping, it’s best to visit a vet to rule out any potential medical concerns. It’s always better to be safe than sorry with your furry friend’s health.


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