What does it mean when a dog humps his/her toys?

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I'm a wild and- crazy gal!
Barked: Thu Dec 2, '10 3:44pm PST 
I've seen Gracie do this several times already with her stuffed tiger, and I was just wondering why dogs do this. I know that when dogs hump each other, they're either mating or establishing dominance. But when a dog humps a toy, what does that mean? I think Gracie does it because she just really likes that particular toy. But, I don't know for sure. Could the fact that she's not spayed have anything to do with it?

What does everyone else think?

Edited by author Thu Dec 2, '10 3:46pm PST


A lesson in- unconditionnal- love
Barked: Thu Dec 2, '10 4:20pm PST 
"when dogs hump each other, they're either mating or establishing dominance"

LOL I think it is not quite that simple smile

I think that humping her stuffed animal is probably a self-soothing, self-gratifying behavior.

ETA oh and BTW you are TOO cute cloud 9

Edited by author Thu Dec 2, '10 4:27pm PST


Barked: Thu Dec 2, '10 5:03pm PST 
Luka used to do this often but I have now only seen her do it once in the past 3 months. When I saw her do it, I would just take the toy away (she would get VERY confused) and ignore her for 2 minutes or so. Then I would give it back. If she started again, I would take it away again. After a while, I think she realized "huh.. if I do this behavior, my toy gets taken away".. and she rarely does it now, if ever!

Dozer ~ CGC

Life is about- clicking and- sleeping
Barked: Thu Dec 2, '10 9:38pm PST 
... It means it's time to get them fixed.

I've heard of puppies doing this around six months (the age when they begin to develop sexually). Usually they grow out of. I'm not sure exactly WHY they do it, I think it's one of those odd dog behaviors such a poop and grass eating.

Woo-woo- whineybutt
Barked: Thu Dec 2, '10 10:16pm PST 
Uhmmm.. Dozer.
Spayed and Neutered pets hump and mount too. shrug It has nothing to do with sexual maturity.

Nare has been mounting Great Dane legs and pillows since he was 6 weeks. It's how they express excitement and sometimes relieve stress. And, naturally, a dominance thing as well.

Center of- attention 24/7!
Barked: Thu Dec 2, '10 11:11pm PST 
Sprite is neutered, and still does this once in a while with various pillows or rugs we have laying around. I don't really know why they do it..but it's definitely normal. If you don't want him doing it, take the toy - or whatever it his he's humping - away. I like Luka's idea smile
Becky RNCL

My Hat is Two- Sharks
Barked: Fri Dec 3, '10 8:01am PST 
Humping is most often a stress release behaviour. While neutered dogs can and do still hump, it is a sexual behaviour as well. It is not related to 'dominance'.
Kitsune- Trouble

Divide and- cuddle!!
Barked: Tue Dec 7, '10 9:38am PST 
I think it can be a stress release/ soothing behavior. Kit has been neutered since he was 7 months old (he's almost 2 now). He has this one toy that he humps...but he's only ever done it to this one particular stuffed animal. We call it his "wife", because he also licks and sucks on it's face and does this weird thing where he sucks on it and kneeds it with his front paws at the same time. shrug

For him, all that stuff, humping included, seems to be some kind of soothing/calming behavior for him. He most commonly does it at night, when we are all starting to calm things down and get ready to go to sleep. It doesn't bother me at all so I usually just let him do it, especially since he's always only done it to his one toy. If we have company or something, I'll usually put that toy away for awhile just to avoid any awkwardness.

I'm a trilingual- dog!
Barked: Tue Dec 7, '10 9:44am PST 
Lots of reasons... smile

Sometimes dogs just do it when they get too excited. Doesn't have to be in a sexual sense, either.

We've got 2 little girls here and one of them humps other dogs in the house, including our male dog..

If you don't like it, redirect it. wink

support the- rabid
Barked: Thu Dec 9, '10 9:42am PST 
Paris humps her "bobo" toy in the evening too. She is also spayed. Nicky is glad she is finally leaving his face alone!

[edited to change author]

Edited by author Thu Dec 9, '10 9:43am PST