This is possibly one of the most awkward help articles I’ve ever had to publish on Doggysaurus. However, it probably isn’t as awkward as you felt when your dog started humping your boyfriend!
All jokes aside, what is it that makes dogs do this? I’ve heard stories before about dogs humping at inappropriate moments, but this is a particular one that has some interesting behavioral reasons.
Here’s the short answer first, but I do encourage you to continue reading as I will go more detailed with the response. There are some tips about your boyfriend humping dog in here you can’t afford to miss if you want to save your relationship!
Why does my dog hump my boyfriend? Your dog will hump your boyfriend when you hug and kiss him for reasons such as jealousy, wanting attention, to exert their dominance, excitement, playfulness, and possibly sexual gratification if not neutered or spayed.
If you want to know how you can stop it and how you can get into the mind of your dog before this happens, please do read on.
Why does my dog hump my boyfriend and not me?
You have a romantic dinner planned. The candles are lit. The wine bottle has been uncorked. The food meal is in the oven… the local pizza delivery number is nearby in case all goes wrong!
Your boyfriend comes through the door right on time. You give him a kiss and a hug… and then humping hell breaks loose!
Your dog decides to greet him too, but in his own special way. That means two front legs wrapped around him, furiously pumping and humping at his shins. Awkward just doesn’t really describe this moment.
You pull your sexually charged dog away and apologize to your beloved in embarrassment. Whilst your boyfriend is in the bathroom, you take out your phone and type the magic words:
Why did my dog hump my boyfriend?
Trust me, this isn’t one to ask Alexa out loud.
Well, believe me, I do know where you’re coming from. When I was younger, we had a dog that tended to hump guests to our home, including school friends I invited over as a kid.
I know how mortifying it is!
The first thing to understand about why your dog is humping your boyfriend is that the humping is very rarely about sex. If your dog has been spayed or neutered, it is likely not sexual at all.
The second thing to understand is that humping happens regardless of your dog’s gender. Both female and male dogs hump in about equal measure. Whilst it might be your boyfriend today, it could be that a friend or work colleague becomes the next humping victim.
The bottom line is that your dog likely humps your boyfriend because they are excited, or they are being playful. Or… they are jealous of the attention he is getting from you and they want to exert their dominance.
Handy Hint: If your dog still needs to hump perhaps try divert their attention towards a toy or pillow?
Only in situations where your dog has not been spayed or neutered could it be interpreted as sexual.
In that case, it’s not really about your partner at all, but could be due to your excitement about seeing him, which then transfers to your dog.
But not always.
Read on for all the reasons why your dog humps your boyfriend and not you. There’s detail about why dogs hump and how you can stop them from embarrassing you during your romantic evenings in the future!
4 reasons why your dog is humping your boyfriend
1. They are jealous and want to be dominant to gain attention
Often dogs will hump because they want to be the domineering one.
When your dog sees you kissing your boyfriend, there’s a possible element of jealousy. That means your dog will want to gain the upper hand and prove they are the dominant one… and humping your boyfriend can make them the alpha.
Then, once the humping of your boyfriend starts, it means your attention will quickly turn the dog and away from the partner who was momentarily the object of your affections.
Handy Hint: I’ve written a guide which includes some tips on how you can show your dog who the pack leader is if you are seeing dominance problems.
2. They are excited
The term “arousal” is almost always used in a sexual way when we are talking about humans. But that’s not the only definition. The second definition of arousal is:
“The causing of strong feelings or excitement in someone”
You can arouse anger. You can arouse fear. And, in this can, your partner arouses excitement for your dog, meaning they are just happy to see them – and that can manifest itself with a manic humping episode.
Jenna Stregowski, RVT, from The Spruce Pets writes the following advice:
“Usually, dogs aren’t emulating mating behavior when they hump. Nonsexual arousal is more likely to provoke a dog to hump. It’s just a way for the dog to burn off energy or relieve stress.”
They could be seeking attention and releasing that pent up energy when they hump your boyfriend’s leg. This is another reason why humping is such common behavior in puppies who are overly excited about everything and everyone.
This was definitely the case for my dog when I was a kid.
When he was young, he would hump every guest whilst also spinning in circles in the excitement of seeing them.
Normal behavior? Yes. Annoying? Also, yes.
3. They are playing
Just like rough-housing and tug-of-war, humping is a way for dogs to play with each other. It’s very commonplace to see dogs hump each other during play – particularly as young puppies and sometimes as adults.
It’s like play fighting. We don’t particularly understand it but each to their own, right?
In this case, it is also not a sexual thing at all. Your dog is simply playing with your partner in this way. If they haven’t been socialized not to hump humans, they will just see your partner as fair game like any other dog.
4. They haven’t been spayed or neutered
This is the only case where the sexual argument makes sense. If your dog has not been spayed or neutered, your dog may be humping to release their sexual energy.
However, even in that case, it’s still not really about your boyfriend. It’s more like they are using your partner’s leg as a masturbation tool.
I know… awkward isn’t it?
It’s not about any sexual feelings they may harbor for your partner. They are just working out their pent-up energy.
How to stop your dog from humping your boyfriend
So, I hope you now understand that your dog’s mounting of your partner is not personal. The basis of it all is playfulness and working through that extra pent-up energy and excitement they have. It’s all fun and games.
Don’t worry too much!
That said, it is a little bit embarrassing so here are my recommendations for stopping humping behavior.
Solving the issues behind the humping
We went through 3 reasons why your dog may be humping your boyfriend, so let’s attempt to solve them one by one.
Too much excitement to a degree is inevitable if your dog is a young puppy. The best course of action is desensitization by way of socialization. Those are just fancy words for saying you need to get your dog used to interacting with other people by meeting lots of people.
For my dog, puppy classes and frequent social trips with other humans and dogs lessened that over-excitement he had whenever we had guests.
To solve humping through playfulness, a good tactic is to make sure that your dog is all played out by the time your boyfriend or guest arrives.
Play a thorough game of tug-of-war. Go for a brisk, long walk. Play a mentally stimulating game of doggy sudoku indoors. Here’s a suggestion on Amazon.
Whatever will engage your dog’s attention and make them a tiny bit calmer will work wonders.
Spaying or neutering
This is pretty self-explanatory but spaying or neutering your dog will quell a lot of behavioral issues in one go…. not all though!
Humping your boyfriend is just the tip of the iceberg. Here are some other behavioral problems saying or neutering can fix:
- Less desire to escape and wander.
- Decreases aggression.
- Decreases clinginess.
- Reduces “scent marking” (urinating) in the house and other undesired areas.
In conjunction with “solving” or lessening the underlying cause of your dog’s humping, you should be training your dog in good canine habits and manners.
Training is essential in every dog-owner relationship. Don’t be afraid to correct your dog for bad behavior.
The basis of training your dog not to hump or mount your houseguests mostly boils down to correction in the moment. There is no use trying to teach them not to do something they aren’t doing at the time.
Your dog needs to understand the direct correlation between your correction and their behavior.
When you catch your dog humping someone’s leg, gently pull them away and say “no” firmly. This should send the message that you are upset by this behavior.
Likewise, every time your dog greets a houseguest in a “polite” way, meaning, not jumping, overpowering, or humping them, reward your dog with positive affirmations.
With positive reinforcement and time, your dog will learn how to behave nicely with guests and strangers.
Training should be the basis of your correction here. Teaching your dog not to hump your partner or any other house guest will have the most longevity out of all of these tips.
However, sometimes, during the training process, you want a quick fix. The quickest fix of all is distraction.
Using food or games strategically to distract your dog when your partner is coming to visit is a speedy tactic to diffuse the situation. A squeaky toy is particularly effective as the noise is so enticing to young dogs.
You can even involve your partner in distracting them.
As soon as your partner walks through the door, they can have a treat or squeaky toy in their hands that can engage your dog straight away. Your dog will be too busy to bother mounting their legs!
Though distraction is a pretty foolproof tactic, as I said, it is only a short-term solution.
Consistent training and solving the underlying causes of mounting behavior are the most sustainable ways of squashing this behavior once and for all.
If you and your boyfriend go on to have a long-lasting relationship, these humping episodes will be something that you won’t help but look back on with laughter in years to come.
Whilst it might be embarassing today, it’s the dinner party conversation piece for years to come!
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Image in header licensed from Storyblocks.com.