Powered by Max Banner Ads 

A trip to the dog park is a fun time for our dogs.  We love walking along the trails with them and although Sydney prefers the humans, Rodrigo and Blue love the opportunity to play with other dogs.  Mouthing, growling, jumping, running, and chasing are part of the play.  What about the dog humping?  Lately, dog humping (or mounting) has become a growing concern for two reasons…

1.  Some dog owners are nervous when one dog mounts another, not wanting their dog to be dominated.  I’ve also encountered dog owners who mistakenly see the mounting as sexual and worry that their unspayed or neutered dog will become pregnant.

2.  Sometimes the dog humping leads to fights and there is nothing that ruins a dog park day faster than when play turns to fighting and we all hear the yelping.

I don’t want my dog to be seen as aggressive, so I’ve made a point of watching his body language and stepping in right before the dog humping starts, making Rodrigo sit until he settles down, and then releasing him to play.  Although some feel that mounting is a natural part of play, I’m working to train Rodrigo not to mount dogs at the park through positive reinforcement.

Here are a few more ideas on how to train your dog not to hump other dogs…

Fanna Easter CPDT-KA, KPA CTP is the National Dog Training Lead for Petco

After all the studies and polls, it seems humping is caused by stress or and/or a over stimulated dog. For example, in a dog park this can be a dog that is playing with other dogs roughly. Humping is often part of their play “repertoire”. Most dogs ignore the humping, however pet parents of the “humpee” seemed to be the most concerned, and most people separate the dogs. Humping can be a learned behavior, so I would recommend separating the dogs as soon as the pet parent sees the activity beginning.

I have a 98lb Bouvier that has humped other dogs since he was a baby. Since humping is part of his “play behavior”, and it happens so I always inform other pet parents this may or may not happen. Most of the time everyone laughs and I separate the dogs once the activity begins.

Lindsay, ThatMutt.com

For the most part I like to get involved before the humping escalates to a growl or a snap from one of the dogs. So I will give a voice correction – “hey!” and distract both dogs to break up any tension. It’s only natural for dogs to try to hump other dogs.

It’s part of working out their “pecking” order. But sometimes it can become a problem at the dog park with so much energy and such a wide variety of dogs, many with poor social skills. So in general I think it’s best to prevent humping as much as possible. If the dog seems to be humping all the time and causing problems, it would be best to socialize the dog in smaller groups first rather than the large group at the dog park. I would have the owner teach a solid “watch me” command to be able to get the dog’s attention at all times. The owner should also teach the dog solid obedience skills – sit, stay, down, come – so he or she can get control of her dog at all times. These skills should be worked on to perfection outside of the dog park first, then work on them with more distractions and eventually practice at the dog park.

Rachel Friedman, MSW, LISW, A Better Pet LLC

Dog humping dog is a normal behavior in dogs. While it certainly has sexual connotations in certain situations, it’s also fun. And doesn’t always have even a whiff of sex involved in it. I mean c’mon, there are so many things a dog can do. Without opposable thumbs there are real limits. So humping is in that repertoire of dog behaviors.

Like any behavior, if it isn’t a problem, don’t fix it. But if it is, and dog park people can be anthropomorphic and queasy about perceptions of sex, then teach your dog a drop dead reliable recall. So if he’s humping (or doing anything you don’t want for that matter), call him back. If you’re consistent, then he’ll start to go, and I’m paraphrasing “Say, every time I start humping Fideaux, My Peep calls me over. When I get there, he tells me “good boy, go play.” Hmmm. When I don’t hump Fid-Oh I don’t get interrupted from my fun play activity. Ergo, I will stop humping.” 

And if he doesn’t come when you call him, you’re not a benevolent leader and you shouldn’t be giving him freedom in the dog park until he learns it! So teach him! Need to know how? Hire a positive trainer!

Sarah Westcott, CPDT-KSA, Doggie Academy

In an ideal world, dogs would work out the whole humping issue on their own. Ideally, Dog A would hump Dog B. If it bothered Dog B, he’d correct Dog A appropriately and Dog A would respect that and cease the humping.

However, not every situation is ideal.

I will use my dog, Hank, as an example because he humps and gets humped.

If Hank is humping a dog and the other dog’s owner is uncomfortable, I will intervene. I will pull Hank off, ask him to sit, give him a bit of a time out to calm down and then release him to go play. Even if the other dog is dealing with Hank appropriately and the other owner is overreacting, I will still intervene. In addition to being a good dog owner, we need to be good neighbors and respect the feelings of our fellow dog owners.

If Hank is humping a dog and the other dog is unwilling to correct him, I will intervene in the same way. Some dogs will be too timid or scared to correct a humping dog, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t mind the situation. You cannot allow your dog to be a bully and we need to act as guardian for a dog that will not stand up for himself. If I’m unsure about the dog’s body language, I will pull Hank off and see what the other dog does. If he comes back for more, then he’s enjoying the play and I will allow them to continue to play. If he runs away, than I was correct to pull Hank away from him.

I am also a proponent of the “3 strikes and you’re out” rule. If Hank humps another dog and I pull him off for any reason, sometimes he will run right back to that dog and hump him again. If I have to pull him off 3 times, we immediately leave the dog run. I give Hank 2 opportunities to change his behavior and if he does not make a different choice then the result is the end of play time.

Hank is very good about giving appropriate corrections to dogs that hump him, so when the humping dog’s owner is embarrassed I will let them know its ok. They usually laugh when I tell Hank that he deserves it for all the humping he does!


 Powered by Max Banner Ads