The other day, our dog, Ryder, stealthily picked up the cat’s empty food bowl and brought it upstairs to his favorite human. This is the same dog who picks up full bowls of dog food and moves them away from our other dogs to eat by himself, always leaving a trail of kibble.
It doesn’t take Google to figure out why our dog brought up the cat’s dish. It was 6 o’clock, and he was hungry. The cat’s food dish is easier to pick up then his dog bowl which is sunken into an above ground feeder to make it easier for a larger dogs to eat.
But dogs can sometimes exhibit odd behavior that leaves us wondering, Why does my dog do that?
In a new series of blogs, The Ranch Pet Resort and Spa is going to examine the behaviors we often find odd in our dogs and our cats!
Addressing the Elephant in the Room-Why Does My Dog Hump Other Dogs?
Dogs hump other dogs for a variety of reasons that aren’t always sexual in nature. In fact, both male and female dogs hump; both spayed and neutered dogs hump. But why?
If a male senses a female is in heat, then he will mount her due to his testosterone. But there a variety of reasons a dog humps another dog or even humans and these include:
- Sign of play
Dogs often seek the attention of the ones they care about the most, and humping can be a behavior a dog exhibits to greet its human or to show how excited it is. Legs are an easy target to hump, as is a back if a person is sitting down.
While annoying and embarrassing, humping a person is a normal behavior for a dog. To decrease this behavior, redirect your dog with a toy or a behavior that is more appropriate such as playing fetch, doing a food puzzle, or chewing on a treat.
Some dogs hump because they are anxious or nervous and the stress is exhibited by humping. Redirect your dog by calming it and having it sit next to you while you pet it and reassure it.
Dogs have a pack order, and a more assertive dog might turn to humping to show its status in the pack. This behavior isn’t normally the first behavior a dog exerts to gain status, but it clearly indicates to another dog who is the alpha dog and leader of the pack.
Dogs hump when they are playing. This is a common behavior often seen between a dog and a cat who are companions. When a dog humps a cat, it can be a sign of affection or a reaction to a conflict between the two.
When Does Humping Become a Problem in a Dog?
The humping behavior in a dog is usually not a problem and can be redirected with the tips we mentioned above.
In the event your dog humps obsessively, this may be a sign of a more serious behavior problem. Talk to your vet or a behaviorist who can help you determine why your dog humps and what action to take.
For more information or resources regarding humping, please refer to this article.