dog humping leg

TRAINING YOUR YOUNG DOG TO STOP HUMPING LEGS

It can be very embarrassing when your dog starts humping a visitor’s leg. This is what I have learnt and how I’ve trained my dog to stop doing it.

DON’T FLATTER YOURSELF, IT’S NOT ABOUT THE LEG

Your dog does not have a sexual attraction to your new pair of Levi’s. Your leg is just what happens to be around when your dog is looking for an outlet for some pent up sexual energy. It might do it with a toy, a piece of furniture or anything that it can get a grip on and mount. There is no emotional connection to the object, it is merely an object to them.

In younger dogs, the behaviour is usually an outlet for sexual energy, but it is also common in older dogs and neutered dogs, including females. This has led dog behaviour experts to conclude that humping is not necessarily a sexual outlet. For some dogs, it can also be a part of playing with other dogs, in the same way they sniff out each other’s backsides or bark at one another.

THE DOMINANCE MYTH

The old-fashioned way of viewing humping was that it was a sign of dominance over the receiver. This theory has been widely debunked as a myth. Dog behaviour experts noticed that even in dog relationships where they displayed socially equal behaviour, like licking each other’s noses and muzzles, humping still occurred on some occasions. Your dog humping your leg does not mean it believes it is the dominant party in the relationship in any way.

STOPPING YOUR DOG FROM HUMPING

It is quite an easy behaviour trait to put an end to, but you need to address the issue while the dog is still quite young. Once the dog realises that this is not an acceptable way of interacting, they will stop humping. Simply distract the dog with another activity, give them another toy or chase them playfully in a different way. Do this every time it tries to hump something and be sure to reward it for completing the alternative activity. Your dog will soon learn that humping is not an acceptable behaviour to exhibit.

Shouting at the animal for humping or punishing the behaviour won’t help. The dog doesn’t know that what it is doing is abnormal and may not even register it was doing it. Getting angry will only confuse the dog and won’t address the behaviour.

You shouldn’t have to suffer the embarrassment of a humping dog for too long. But if you are embarrassed when visitors come over and your dog proceeds to get intimate with their leg, simply explain to them what it means. Hopefully, that will diffuse the awkwardness of the situation and they will understand it a little better.

 

 


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mm
Madeleine Park
madel@dinga.com.au

Madeleine is a real green thumb and spends most of her time outdoors in her garden if she is not outdoors somewhere else.