Let’s set the scene. You invite your boyfriend over for a romantic night. You get dressed up nice and make a beautiful dinner to share. Finally, the time comes, and your boyfriend arrives. You are excited to see him and greet him at the door with your dog by your side. Apparently, you and your dog have the same taste in men. Just kidding… sort of. Today we will give a veterinarian’s perspective to answer the question, “Why does my dog hump my boyfriend?”
This behavior is common among both male and female dogs. There are many reasons why your dog may hump your boyfriend, some of which are positive and negative. Regardless, most of these reasons are not due to inappropriate or sexual behavior. Although you and your boyfriend are probably left mortified by your dog’s behavior, it is essential to try to understand it in order to change it. Understanding the motivations and feelings behind the behavior can help prevent it from happening in the future. It’ll also generally make you and your visitors a little more comfortable.
One of the primary motivations behind a dog’s tendency to hump is dominance. Humping is often referred to as mounting, which is typical behavior among animals in the wild. This behavior signifies that the dog on top is in control and, therefore, the dominant force in the interaction.
Dogs often display this behavior towards humans and other dogs, so it is normal for your dog to hump your boyfriend occasionally. Your dog may feel the need to show its dominance within its own house and among its pack, which is why when your boyfriend comes over, it humps him to show its place among the hierarchy.
On the other side of the spectrum, your dog may hump your boyfriend out of excitement. Remember, this excitement isn’t typically sexual in nature, despite what the behavior might imply. Sexual excitement is only a primary driver for dogs that have not been spayed or neutered.
If your dog has undergone this procedure, chances are the humping is because of a different kind of excitement. Your dog may just really love your boyfriend and is trying to express itself. This behavior is often just another way dogs relieve stress or other intense emotions. Some dogs jump on people when they arrive at your house, while others may hump them. These are both familiar and totally normal behaviors of expression.
You may notice dogs humping each other while they are playing. Like any other games dogs play, such as tug of war, or play fighting, humping is a source of fun for dogs. Once again, this fun is not sexual in nature but rather just a way to express playfulness.
If your dog has not been trained to avoid humping, it may display this behavior towards humans and your boyfriend. So, when your boyfriend comes over and your dog begins to hump him, it is the dog’s way of inviting him to come play.
Similar to playfulness, your dog may decide to hump your boyfriend to gain his attention. When your boyfriend arrives, and his eyes are only set on you, your dog may begin to hump to get the attention it craves. Humping your boyfriend is sure to cause a reaction which is what your dog is hoping for.
If you think attention-seeking is the primary cause of your dog humping your boyfriend, you are in luck. This is one of the most manageable behaviors to fix. The simplest thing to do in this case is to ignore your dog or remove it from your boyfriend’s presence. Once the dog learns it will get no attention for this behavior, it will stop.
Closely related to attention-seeking, your dog may hump your boyfriend because it is jealous. As previously stated, attention-seeking motivations often stem from the dog wanting your boyfriend to pay attention to it. However, jealousy is slightly different because it means your dog is trying to gain your attention, not his.
Your dog may be jealous of the excitement and love that you are showing your boyfriend. So, the dog will hump your boyfriend because it knows you will pay attention to it instead of him.
6. Displacement Behavior
If you find your dog humping your boyfriend, it may be a displacement behavior. Although it may sound like a concerning psychological term, displacement behavior is prevalent among dogs. This occurs when dogs become overstimulated, often causing anxiety or unease. These feelings begin to manifest in ways that seem unrelated. That’s why if your dog is excited to see your boyfriend, it may hump because it does not know what else to do.
If your boyfriend is meeting your dog for the first time, your dog may feel some anxiety. Therefore, humping is a widespread behavior when dogs meet new people. This behavior also happens among other dogs. If your dog meets your boyfriend for the first time and does this, it may be embarrassing, but it is also totally normal! The more times your dog is exposed to him, the less likely displaced anxiety will show thorough humping.
7. Underlying Medical Problems
Most of the reasons for your dog humping your boyfriend so far have been emotionally motivated. However, you should be aware that there are some medical conditions that may result in your dog inappropriately humping people.
Dogs sometimes display this type of behavior because they are feeling discomfort in the genital area. This discomfort can be caused by various problems such as urinary tract infections, priapism (persistent erections), prostate problems, or skin allergies. In most cases where an underlying medical issue is present, your dog will not exclusively hump one person. It will persistently display the behavior with multiple people or objects.
How to Stop Your Dog From Humping People
This first step to avoiding the awkward experience of your dog humping someone is to train it to prevent this behavior. Training should begin at a young age so your dog will be well-behaved throughout its life.
Now you may be wondering how to go about this type of training. Well, the first step is to identify the behavior. So, whenever your dog begins to mount a person, get its attention and say “off.” It is essential to catch the behavior as it is happening; otherwise, it is hard to train. When your dog is a puppy, this will likely require you to remove the dog from the object. Once your dog gets older, it will associate the command “off” with stopping the humping.
A great way to reinforce this technique is by rewarding your dog for good behavior. If you tell your dog “off” and it stops the bad behavior, give it a treat, so it knows it did an excellent job of listening to your command.
If you have trained your dog from a young age that humping is inappropriate, it will likely not become a problem later in life. However, if you are training an older dog, you may have to try some different techniques. The most effective strategy is to avoid giving your dog any positive attention when it is humping someone.
If your dog is humping your boyfriend, remove it from his proximity and put them in timeout. This may require you to bring your dog to a different room or put it in a crate. Over time this behavior should stop as the dog realizes it is not getting the outcome it desires.
If you have tried these techniques and they are still not working, you may want to consult a dog training professional. Dogs experience anxiety like humans, and a professional trainer will be able to work with your dog to alleviate these feelings and avoid displacement behavior. Oftentimes, if your dog doesn’t listen, people find success with dog training collars.
Conclusion for Why Does My Dog Hump My Boyfriend?
As you can see, there are many reasons your dog humps your boyfriend. Many of which are indicators that it desires attention or is feeling a lot of emotions in his presence. If you find this behavior is persistent, it may be time to consult a medical professional to rule out any underlying health problems. If no health problems are present, there are many training techniques and resources that can help train your dog. These will help you avoid these awkward situations.
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