Is It Normal for Dogs to Hump Stuffed Animals?

by Melissa Schindler Google
    Rex and Ms. Bunny have a special relationship.

    Rex and Ms. Bunny have a special relationship.

    Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

    You were sitting down to enjoy dinner with your friends when Rex skipped in hauling his stuffed toy, Ms. Bunny. Your friends uttered "awwww" at the adorable pooch, only to watch him mount and violate Ms. Bunny in the public forum. It may embarrass you or give you a good laugh, but Rex's relationship with his stuffed pal shouldn't worry you. It's perfectly normal for him to hump stuffed toys.

    Feeling Frisky

    The most obvious reason Rex humps his hapless toys is because he's "in the mood." You may prefer not to think about it, but it's perfectly natural for him to get sexually excited -- even if he's been neutered, in many cases. While a dog who hasn't been fixed is more likely to hump, your fixed friend won't necessarily stop feeling frisky just because he had the big snip, though some do. Both male and female dogs hump. In most cases humping is harmless, but it can become a compulsive behavior. Keep an eye on how often Rex humps. If he's doing it all the time to the point that it interferes with his daily life, he should visit his vet or a certified dog trainer. Frequent humping could also be a sign of some diseases, like a urinary tract infection. If he's recently begun the behavior, take him to the vet.

    Overexcitement

    Rex may hump for nonsexual reasons as well. If he's feeling really excited, he may hump the nearest thing he can find. While this may appear sexual in nature, it's just a way for Rex to get out some excitement. It's likely to happen when he's in a situation that provides a lot of stimulation, like at a dog park or when he's playing with his pal. If Rex humps his buddy, he's not necessarily coming onto him; he may just honestly be excited to see him.

    Anxious Mounting

    If Rex is feeling anxious, he may start humping away on his favorite stuffed animal. Just as when he's feeling excited, he may find an outlet for his anxiety by humping. This could entail risk if he humps something other than an inanimate object -- for instance, another dog who doesn't appreciate the attention and responds with aggression. Don't let Max get too close to an unknown pooch who could attack if Rex gets too friendly. Warn visitors that Rex may hump things or latch onto their legs. If a stressful situation, like visiting the vet, triggers the behavior, try desensitizing him: Have him visit the vet frequently just to say hello and perhaps get a treat. Soon, he'll associate his former fear with happy thoughts and be less likely to hump during the circumstances at hand.

    Attention-Getting

    Boredom and loneliness can trigger your dog to start humping one of his toys to get your attention. He may remember how quick you were to respond the last time he violated Ms. Bunny and thinks it's a good way to get you to pay attention to him. To show him humping is undesireable, your job is to just get up and walk away, showing him no attention at all. Giving him attention, be it loving or scolding, to stop his humping will actually reinforce the behavior. Give him attention in ways you can appreciate, only when he's not humping. Find time every day to give your buddy some stimulating time with you. He may stop giving his loving to his stuffed pals.

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    About the Author

    Melissa Schindler has been writing professionally since 2010. She writes about pets, animals, technology and parenting for various websites. Also a fiction writer, she is author of "Houston After Dark." She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from Texas State University.

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