How to Stop a Dog Humping their Friends (when they're already neutered)

Having a constantly humping dog is an incredibly embarrassing problem, regardless of whether they are humping the furniture, their play mates, or mounting your guest’s leg.

Follow these simple steps to put a stop to their humping for good!

 
how to stop a dog humping their friends when they’re already neutered
 

My daughter has a neutered brother of Guinness. When they play they constantly take turns humping each other. This seemed to start after neutering, which was around six months for Guinness and eight for his brother. They spend hours together several times a week. We can control it in the house but outside it is constant. They don’t get together with other dogs so that is not a problem. My wife is thinking of getting a training collar. What are your suggestions? Thanks for your help in advance. - David

We tend to think of humping as an entirely sexual activity, but that's not always the case.

Why Dogs Mount and Hump

In a neutered dog, the hormone levels are going to be very low and the sexual drive is going to be very low or non-existent. The dog is still humping because it is also carried out in a number of different situations.

Dominance and Displacement

Humping is also a dominance activity. A way to demonstrate a dog’s place in the natural pecking order.

Humping can also be a displacement activity, with a dog humping when it is feeling a certain emotion. The typical ones here would be stress, anxiety or excitement. 

Excitement is the more likely one in David's dog’s case, as well as being a play behavior too.

Learned Behavior

If it's not bothering either dog, then it can also be a learned behavior.

Did you start off finding it funny and then making a fuss of the dogs? Well now they’ve both learned that all they have to do is to repeat their humping to get your attention.

Humping can also be a learned sexual behavior. If you've got an older dog that you castrate later in life, especially if they have fathered a litter of pups,, then they've spent time hormonal humping as part of normal sexual activity. This can then be a behavior that becomes ingrained into a dog’s repertoire, and one that is maintained even when his hormones are removed.

How to Stop a Dog Humping

  1. Ignore them

  2. Distraction + excitement reduction

  3. Training and recall

  4. Time out

There are a number of things that you can do to stop a dog humping. 

we tend to think of humping as an entirely sexual activity, but that’s not always the case

Ignore Them

The first is to try and remove yourself from the scene, or just completely ignore them. If they've learned that they get your attention by humping, and you then give it to them, then it's just going to perpetuate the problem. 

You can instead try and distract them from each other. Make the introduction in a more low key manner. Even try and make sure that both dogs are tired out before seeing each other.

If the humping is only happening outside, try letting one dog out at a time. This is clearly harder if they are not being supervised, and they've got outdoor access through a dog flap.

Training

Start training your dog to come when called. Then, when they're exhibiting the behavior that you don't want, in this case humping, you can call them away at the first sign. Breaking the habit that has developed.

Time Out 

Another option is to put the dogs in time out as soon as they start humping. The idea here is that they will learn that participating in humping behavior causes all the fun to stop and it is not something that they should continue.

Consistency and Effort

Just like all training, without consistency and effort your dog will get confused and the behavior will continue through no fault of their own. Come up with a plan and make sure everyone follows it, every time.

Should Training Collars Be Used?

Now, the final part of the question was that David's wife is thinking of getting a training collar and by this, I presume an electric collar or a shock collar. 

Training collars are very easy to use incorrectly. The results of this can mean that it either ends up reinforcing the behavior, or leaving a dog stressed and scared without having a clue why they are being punished.

They are not something that I would recommend at all. If you are not getting anywhere with some of these other suggestions, then the next best course of action is going to be to enlist professional help. Get in touch with a local dog trainer or behaviorist to come up with a plan designed for your dog and their exact situation.

This will give you the best chance of putting a stop to their humping once and for all!


The above is a transcript taken from “The Dr Alex Answers Show”.

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