Why Does My Dog Hump Me And No One Else?
[All you need to know]

Aaron Rice Expert Dog Trainer
Written: January 17, 2022

Imagine you have some guests at home; they could be your friends, colleagues, in-laws, or boss. Suddenly, your dog comes running towards you and starts humping one of your legs. How embarrassing is that? 

Some dog owners are comfortable neutering the dog to avoid such unwanted behavior, while others are skeptical. But it is essential to know the exact reason behind why your dog humps you. Yes, you read it correctly; apart from sexual desires, there can be several other causal links related to this.

In this article, we will delve into those reasons, followed by preventive measures that you can employ to control/prevent it from happening further. So, let’s dive into it, shall we?

Reasons Behind Your Dog Humping You

The obvious reason that comes into mind while any dog humps or mounts on another dog of the opposite gender is for sexual reasons. This can be characterized generally by a masculine instinct looking to mate. But, on the contrary, even female dogs and canines that have been neutered also exhibit the same humping tendencies. So the reason can’t be only sexual, right?

Apart from the master’s legs, dogs hump almost anything in their sight, such as hands, poles, stuffed toys, etc. There is no correlation between the time and place where they do it. It could be at home, in the park, road, or wherever they feel like it. In effect, they hump on almost anything where they can lean on.

In addition, they may also do it on nothing, i.e., air-humping. Some people may think there is a psychological disorder with your dog, but this action is perfectly normal as well. So let’s look at some of the primary causal factors of humping by dogs:

Out Of Happiness 

Your dog may be excited or overjoyed due to a particular reason, and they are humping to express it. For instance, they may be happy to see you back home after you were away for a considerable amount of time.

Another typical example is humping you in the presence of strangers like guests as a result of their anxiety. Sometimes they do it out of affection where there is no erection.

Attention Seeking Mechanism

If you are not giving them proper attention where they look or bark at you, your dog would probably resort to humping to get your attention. It can be difficult to ignore this action as an owner, unlike the other attention-seeking activities they showcase.

Your dog may be running around the house, and you might have been busy with some other work. Then suddenly, you notice them mounting on your leg. They can even extend this same pattern to others at home desperately trying to get some sugar from you.

Anxiety Issues

We have noticed more cases relating to anxiety when it comes to the reason behind humping. When dogs do not receive adequate home training on how to behave around people, especially strangers, there can be chances of an anxiety build-up. The same logic is applicable when they are around other dogs.

They resort to humping to relieve stress due to this uncomfortable situation or the fear of socializing. You can notice that their face will remain expressionless in this case, unlike when they hump due to happiness.

Sexual Arousal

The elephant in the room when it comes to dog humping. Whether you accept it or not, dogs hump primarily due to a need for sexual release. Neutering also may prove useless at times, as we have seen neutered dogs exhibit the exact behavior.

Male dogs experience an erection while humping, and you can also notice a tinge of excitement in their eyes. Some dogs do this as a part of their masturbation exercise. They find the most accessible object in their vicinity and start the humping until they find release.

These were some of the commonly seen reasons behind the humping of dogs. In the upcoming section, we will look into some control measures you can employ to stop this embarrassing act.

How To Control Your Dog’s Humping

By now, we know that neutering need not be a solution to stop the humping. As a responsible pet parent, you need first to identify why they are performing the act.

Obedience Training 

Dogs love to get attention from their owners. Sometimes giving stern commands is better than totally ignoring them. Teach them some instructions like “No” or “Stop” the next time they hump you.

Any such words can be of help, provided you have used them earlier to stop an action from happening. Once you utter the command, then turn around and ignore them or leave the room. This action of yours will make them realize that humping is considered to be undesirable behavior.

Return to the room after 5-10 minutes and teach them the command again. When they start responding positively to it, reinforce the learning by feeding them their favorite treats or telling comforting words.

Repeat this exercise regularly and try to increase the duration when you are out of the room and notice the improvement.

Redirecting Attention or Causing A Distraction

Distract your dog from humping further by proving it an alternative amusement. For instance, you could try throwing a chew toy or a nice juicy bone. These items will keep them occupied for hours at a stretch.

If they take the bait and go after the toy that you offered them, praise that response and let them know what a good boy/girl they are to reinforce the distraction.

Compulsive Disorder

Unfortunately, it may be the case that your dog is repeating this behavior as they suffer from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). If so, the best thing you can do is to get it medically treated.

Never perform self-treatment as it can aggravate the issue. Seek the help of a registered veterinarian or get an appointment with a professional dog trainer. They have the required experience and know-how needed to come up with a customized remedial treatment plan.

Physical Exercise

When your dog does not receive adequate physical exercise, they will feel the urge to expend the pent-up excess energy in undesirable forms like humping.

To get rid of the excess vigor, craft out a well-laid out workout regime for your dog. It can be daily jogs, fun outdoor games, and other training activities/sports. We recommend having walks of 25-30 mins on 2-3 days a week.

This will tire them and help avoid the tendency to unnecessarily hump on any random object they can find, including you, the owner.


Although there is no assurance/guarantee that neutering will entirely eliminate the humping issue, you can try this to reduce the excessive repetition of the same. 

We have seen cases where the frequency of humping went down in a neutered dog. This applies to both the male and the female gender.

Additionally, a soft blow with the elbow can also help stop the humping. Make sure it is gentle and does not hurt them. It should only act as a warning sign from you.

Social Status 

Dogs are genetically programmed to hump other dogs so as to attain a dominant social status. When this is the case, ignorance is the best option, provided they do not repeat it too frequently.

But in the case of dogs humping humans, the reason may not be dominance. So you would need to check if it is any other factor or not. 

Never involve in dangerous training methods to prove that you are superior or alpha. This can cause the dog to physically and mentally exhaust themselves and can prove to be fatal.

Genital Infection or Irritation

Sometimes dogs hump as they suffer from some form of itchiness or irritation around the genitals. As a countermeasure, they will try to rub the infected area around other dogs by humping.

In case you notice this, take them to the vet at the earliest.

Mental Stimulation

Your dog may be exhibiting this behavior due to a lack of proper mental or cognitive activity levels. This can lead to boredom and signs of depression in dogs which can be trouble. 

To prevent this, make it a point to engage them in regular attention-enhancing games and dog puzzles that will keep their mental activities at optimum levels.

Providing them toys with food hidden in them can be especially rewarding. A stuffed toy can keep them hooked for hours and make them happy and excited at the end of it when they receive their favorite snacks.

Dogs facing issues like depression and anxiety attacks need treatment. Making them participate in therapy sessions can be extremely rewarding. We have seen many cases where dogs improved from severe cases of anxiety-related issues that included humping. Positive results were shown in a few weeks in some cases.

Peer Socialization

It is imperative to make your dog participate in socializing activities from the infant’s face. This will lay a good foundation for teaching them the right way to behave around other dogs as they progress into adulthood.

You can take them to doggy daycares and in parks/pet stores with other pups present. Leave them alone for a while and let them learn to interact with one another rightly.

At our dog training institute, we make dog socializing sessions part of the weekly plan, and it has helped in the behavior correction of several dogs. The younger they are when they begin to socialize, the better it is for their character development.  

Concluding Remarks

In most cases, humping is harmless and an instinct that most canines have. In case you feel embarrassed around guests at home while your dog humps, educate them and make them understand the reason behind such activity.

Take the effort to identify the reason behind the humping and devise a preventive measure accordingly. Please make use of the pointers we have mentioned in this article. In case none of them work for you and your dog, never hesitate to get medical attention.

When your dog faces mental disorders like OCD, it can be highly tricky to control it suddenly. Therapy and obedience training can also help when your dog suffers from severe mental issues like stress and anxiety.

We hope you could pick up insights from experience shared in this piece handpicked from our elite set of dog trainers and based on their rich and vast experience in the pet care niche.