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How to correct humping behavior?

This is a place to gain some understanding of dog behavior and to assist people in training their dogs and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. This can cover the spectrum from non-aversive to traditional methods of dog training. There are many ways to train a dog. Please avoid aggressive responses, and counter ideas and opinions with which you don't agree with friendly and helpful advice. Please refrain from submitting posts that promote off-topic discussions. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!

  
Daegan

Roll down the- window!
 
 
Barked: Fri Mar 25, '11 8:28am PST 
Yesterday was Daegan's first trip to the dog park ever. He very much enjoyed himself, and I had a good time watching him enjoy himself...except for a new problem I didn't know he was going to have.....he still humps, despite being fixed.

It was a HUGE embarrassment to hear people laughing, and spot Daegan from a distance grabbing onto another dog's shoulder and humping it's face. The next time, he did it, once again, I heard people laughing, and grabbed him by the collar and told him to stop. Then I had to apologize to the owners and tell them I wasn't sure why he was doing this and that he's fixed (so they don't have to worry about him impregnanting the females). They laughed it off and said it was alright, and some owners told me their fixed dogs do the same thing.

The scary part was that he was bitten and snapped at three times for doing it. He wasn't hurt; it was more like warning snips and growls.

How do I correct this behavior? I never had a chance to correct it until now because I wasn't aware that he would still be doing this. What should I do? Keep taking him to the park and just keep correcting him if he does it? He only does it to other dogs (male and female), and I can't teach him not to do the behavior unless he does it, right? So that means more embarrassing trips to the park? confused
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Gunner

All legs and no- tail
 
 
Barked: Fri Mar 25, '11 11:26am PST 
In his case, I'd bet he's humping either because he's frustrated (wants to play but isn't quite sure how to initiate it) or overstimulated. The good news is you can work on this. I wouldn't stop taking him to the park, but you definitely need to pay close attention to him as he clearly isn't reading the signals (biting and snapping) other dogs are sending him to stop. Mounting isn't necessarily a bad behaviour, but because some dogs do not tolerate it, you want to work on eliminating the behaviour.

Watch his behavior closely and the moment he even looks to be going to hump another dog (most dogs have a specific body posture they show when going to mount), redirect him to you. Call him over to you, have him perform a couple of commands, then release him to go back to playing. If he is persistent in his mounting, use time outs. Give him an enough cue (stop what you are doing) and if he doesn't, leash him up and leave for a short period of time, let him calm down, and return. Dogs generally pick up quickly that mounting means play stops and will stop the behaviour.
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Daegan

Roll down the- window!
 
 
Barked: Fri Mar 25, '11 11:40am PST 
Thank you, Gunner. That was very helpful. I'll definitely try that next time! way to go
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Samson

Work? What's- that?
 
 
Barked: Fri Mar 25, '11 1:34pm PST 
Mounting is normal dog behavior in play. You kind of signed up for that when you got a dog. It might seem embarrassing to you but it is perfectly normal for him. You of course need to watch to intervene in the case that a fight would break out but he should learn pretty quick what dogs do and don't want to play like that.

Your dog isn't a human...you shouldn't force him to play like one. What you need to work on is making sure that he understands warning signals. Samson does not seem to understand them either from a neighbor black lab that wants absolutely nothing to do with him (not related to mounting behavior, it's just when Samson even gets close to him).

except for a new problem I didn't know he was going to have.....he still humps, despite being fixed.

Being "fixed" has almost nothing to do with humping. It's rarely a sexual behavior, and even in the cases where it is, having a dog castrated (unless you do it very very early before it is IMO safe to do it, and even then, it doesn't completely eradicate it from what I've seen) does not completely eliminate sexual behavior, it merely "mutes" it.

Heck Jake never humped at all until he was castrated, based on that, you could argue that having him castrated made him hypersexualized. (Note I don't believe this, the point I'm making, is that whether a dog has his balls or not, he's probably going to hump).

Samson will very rarely mount and I've never seen him hump at all during play. Yet, he's intact. Go figure, huh?

Edited by author Fri Mar 25, '11 1:41pm PST

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Daegan

Roll down the- window!
 
 
Barked: Fri Mar 25, '11 3:10pm PST 
Samson: I know that there are dogs who are fixed that hump, and somehow I knew someone was going to mention it. I've seen more female humpers than male ones in my life, and most of them were fixed too. Getting a dog fixed helps calm the humping, though, I know that for sure. I've never had a dog that did this before, so I'm not really sure how to handle it.

I'm not forcing Daegan to do anything. If I was trying to make him play like a human, I would keep him from sniffing butts too. bol laugh out loud But I AM trying to keep him from getting hurt because the other dogs did NOT like him doing that.
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Samson

Work? What's- that?
 
 
Barked: Fri Mar 25, '11 9:34pm PST 
Getting a dog fixed helps calm the humping, though, I know that for sure.

Not really. Like I said, humping is not usually a sexual behavior. And if that were true, Jake wouldn't exist - who only started humping after he was neutered. Or Samson who doesn't do it at all.

Like you said yourself, you've seen more female, altered humpers.

Edited by author Fri Mar 25, '11 9:35pm PST

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Henry Miller

He's a tramp,- but they love- him!
 
 
Barked: Fri Mar 25, '11 9:58pm PST 
Welcome to my world! red face
We go to the park every day.
Henry humps when he is being ignored by his play partner. He humps when he is over stimulated, and he humps unneutered adolescent males. Henry is neutered.
In my opinion, it's really a "know thy dog" and "know thy dog park" situation. I know a lot of people on dogster do not think this behavior should be tolerated at all. This is how I handle it:

Basically, if it makes the owner of the dog being humped uncomfortable, I stop it. Henry and I just go to another part of the park and play fetch.

When another dog snaps at Henry for humping, it's actually much more effective than if I try to stop him. Henry would never challenge another dog in that situation. He just scoots off with his tail tucked and the humping is over.

Henry has actually met his two best friends, Charlie and Prince, through humping—I swear. Everyday Henry would hump one of them. Since the owner didn't care, I didn't stop it. It always turned into play with just a little humping here and there. Now Charlie and Prince's owners have become my best friends. We have play dates at each other's homes all the time. I take care of their dogs when they go out of town and they take Henry when I go out of town. In fact, Charlie is spending 5 days at my house right now. Henry and Charlie have been best friends for three years now and Henry rarely humps him anymore. cheer He still humps Prince all the time. red face
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Abner

Basset Hound- with a Flatty- suit on
 
 
Barked: Sat Mar 26, '11 12:21am PST 
I'm not crazy about humping because
1. It always hinders whatever Abner's doing and I really want him to run when I take him to the park
and
2. I've seen it escalate a situation more than once.

For example, today there was this big black lab mix (intact) who was running around and humping many dogs. He went up to Abner and did it, and I was already trying to get Abner off a puppy (she was fine, but Abner was doing a bit too much bitey face) and we almost had a situation. Abner snapped at the humping dog (he won't let big dogs do it to him most of the time) and the humping dog snapped back, so Abner snapped again. I just pulled Abner away a bit and he ran off and it was fine, but I don't enjoy the extra policing, and the worst happenings are with owners who don't intervene anyway.


TL;DR

Thanks from some of us with humpable dogs, but it isn't a HUGE deal. It might prevent the occasional brawl though. Redirecting will probably be most effective, as stated before. =D
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