My dog humps when anxious – what can I do?

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my dog humps when anxious - what can I do

Nobody enjoys being anxious, and that includes your dog! Dogs that are anxious tend to show their anxiety in different ways.

One way you can tell your dog might be anxious is when he humps things or people. That’s probably something you wish wouldn’t happen.

But there are ways to help. Let’s jump right in!

My dog humps when he’s anxious – why?

It can be pretty annoying when your dog humps. It gets especially frustrating when you have company over, and your dog decides that now is the time to start humping!

Whether your dog is humping furniture or people, this is behavior you most likely wish would stop. It’s not fun trying to shoo your dog away from humping something or someone.

Luckily, there are things you can do to help your dog stop by showing him that this is behavior you don’t like and teaching him what to do instead.

But before we get into that, we have to learn more about why your dog is humping in the first place.

First, make sure you check out these related articles:

He doesn’t know what else to do

There are several reasons why a dog might start humping. The thing to understand about humping is that it’s very normal behavior for dogs.

And it isn’t always sexual! In fact, reproduction is only one of the many reasons why dogs hump.

Anxiety can trigger a range of different reactions in your dog. And one of them is humping. Your dog humps when he’s anxious because he doesn’t know what else to do with this emotion.

When you feel anxious, you probably tend to feel pretty overwhelmed. The same thing happens to your dog. All those emotions can make him feel confused, and he may not know where to direct them.

The only thing your dog might be able to think of doing in that situation is to start humping because everything else is so overwhelming!

if your dog humps when he's anxious, it's likely that he's also showing other signs
Humping is just one of the signs of anxiety.

He needs to get rid of that built up energy

Getting anxious makes your dog’s brain release a lot of different chemicals. One of these chemicals is called cortisol, and another is adrenaline.

Cortisol and adrenaline are important hormones in both your dog’s body and your own. But sometimes they can feel like they’re working against us.

When your dog starts feeling anxious, the cortisol and adrenaline in his body trigger his fight or flight response. This would have been helpful for your dog’s ancestors, who lived in the wild.

But it’s a little less helpful for domesticated dogs!

Basically, what’s happening is that your dog suddenly has all this extra energy in his body! And even if there’s nothing to be truly scared of, all of that energy needs to be released somehow.

Unfortunately for you, the way your dog might choose to release this energy is by humping. Your dog might feel like it’s a good way to release his pent-up energy, even though you disagree!

You can help him by showing him better ways to release energy instead.

Anxious dogs might also display other unwanted behaviors

If your dog humps when anxious, then that probably isn’t the only thing that he’s doing. Your dog most likely is showing other symptoms of anxiety, even if you don’t realize that’s what they are!

If you think that your dog might be anxious, you should know these 9 signs that a dog is stressed.

When dogs get stressed out, they tend to demonstrate this through body language. A stressed dog might start licking his lips a lot, pant excessively, or throw tantrums. You might also find that he starts shaking or whining a lot.

There are many other signs that your dog is stressed too. The important thing to notice is when your dog starts getting reactive.

A reactive dog might not be able to make logical decisions in a situation, which could get you both into trouble. That’s why it’s important to help your dog calm down if he’s feeling anxious.

reactive dogs can get into trouble! it's best to calm this guy down fast

What can I do if my dog humps when anxious?

Being anxious isn’t fun for your dog. Just like it’s not very much fun for you!

If your dog is anxious and starts humping, that’s not only annoying for you. It’s also a sign that your dog is feeling a fair amount of distress.

As a dog parent, it’s your responsibility to help your dog and find ways to decrease his anxiety. Here are a few tips that you can try.

How do you calm down a dog that wants to hump?

Dogs that are anxious need to be helped. There are lots of things you can try to help your stressed dog settle down.

There are three main things to do when your dog humps because he’s anxious: Find and remove the triggering stimulus, hold him still, and act calm yourself. All of these will help your dog settle down again.

Let’s talk about these in more detail.

One of the first things that you want to do is remove your dog from the stimuli. Determine what’s making your dog anxious, and either get it away or take your dog away from it.

If your dog is still reacting to the stress after you’ve taken him away, try holding him still. You’ll want to hold him from behind with one hand gently taking his collar from behind and the other hand holding his chest.

When dogs get super stressed and anxious, they stop being aware of their bodies. By holding him still, you’re bringing his awareness back. This will do a lot to help him calm down.

While you’re trying to help your dog, it’s important to remember to stay calm yourself. If you are acting super anxious or talking loudly, that’s only going to ramp up your dog’s anxiety. Instead, stay calm. Move slowly and speak quietly.

Remember, you’re trying to model the behavior you want to see in your dog! This is one of the key elements of modern dog training.

hold him, stay calm, and get away from the trigger. this is the fastest way to calm your dog, too.

If you’re looking for more ways to calm your dog down, here’s how to calm a stressed dog naturally.

How to stop your dog being anxious

If you and your dog are in a situation that’s making him anxious, there are ways to help. But an even better thing to do is to try and prevent your dog from getting anxious in the first place.

Stay proactive and work with your dog to stop his anxiety from happening!

There are lots of things you can do to help keep your dog from getting anxious. One thing to try is to set up a routine.

When your dog has a routine in place, you’ll probably find that he’s much less anxious in general. That’s because your dog has a much better idea of what to expect and when.

Other things you can try include crate training your dog. Your dog’s crate is a nice, safe space for him to relax and settle down. If you haven’t crate trained your dog yet, here’s how to crate train a dog easily in 13 steps.

You should also make sure to give your dog enough exercise. Try to give your dog the exercise he needs without giving him too much.

Over exercising your dog can also result in some potential issues!

If you’re wondering how much exercise you should be giving your dog and what kind of exercise is good for him, these related articles will help:

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How to calm a sexually excited dog

Most of the time, humping has nothing to do with a dog wanting to reproduce. But that’s not denying that there will be times when it does.

If your dog is sexually excited, you might be wondering what you can do to help him. The good news is that there is something you can do that will help your dog and your community.

Spaying or neutering your dog will help diminish your dog’s sexual urges. Once your dog is old enough to get spayed or neutered, it’s important to make an appointment with your vet!

Getting your dog fixed won’t just help decrease your dog’s sexual arousal and prevent humping. It can also prevent serious illnesses like pyometra.

Once your dog is spayed or neutered, it will also prevent other dogs where you live from getting worked up about your dog being around. It’s a win-win for everyone!

If you’d like to learn more about spaying and neutering, make sure you take a look at this article: What Is the Best Age to Neuter or Spay a Dog?

Related questions to dogs humping when anxious

We’ve talked about why dogs start humping when they’re anxious. But you might not have had all of your questions answered yet.

If you’re still wondering a few things, here are the answers you’re looking for.

Is dog mounting a sign of dominance?

When we think about dog mounting, we often assume it’s sexual. But as you know now, that’s very rarely the case!

Dogs might hump because it’s the only way they know to deal with their anxiety. But dog humping can occur for other reasons too.

One reason why your dog might be humping is to display dominance.

If your dog is displaying dominant behavior over other dogs or people, this can lead to problems down the line. It’s important to work on training your dog to lessen this behavior.

fights, humping and mounting can also be dominance behavior

Do dogs hump when frustrated?

If your dog humps, it might not be because he’s anxious.

Does your dog get frustrated and then start humping things? Whether your dog is humping furniture or people, this is probably pretty frustrating for you too!

Dogs will display their frustration in different ways. Some dogs will bark or whine to tell you that something isn’t going their way.

Other dogs will try to release the pent-up frustrated energy by humping!

Should I let my dog hump his toys?

If your dog humps his toys, you might be wondering if it’s okay to let him continue doing that.

Humping is completely normal behavior, and dogs hump for a variety of reasons. One thing your dog might do is play hump his toys.

There’s nothing wrong with letting your dog hump his toys, as long as it isn’t bothering any humans or other dogs in the house.

Also bear in mind that humping is often a sign of anxiety or boredom. So before you just let your dog hump his toys, make sure there isn’t something else going on!

My dog keeps licking me and trying to hump me, what can I do?

If your dog is constantly licking you and trying to hump you, that can get annoying very quickly. You probably wish there was a way to tell your dog to give you some personal space!

This type of behavior, especially if it’s excessive, is a sign that something might be wrong. Your dog might be feeling super anxious, and he humps and licks you because this is the only way he knows to soothe himself.

It could also be a sign that your dog is just bored. You might not be doing enough with him at home.

Make sure that your dog gets plenty of healthy exercise and mental stimulation throughout the day.

Mental stimulation can also be a wonderful training tool if used correctly. Check out Braintrainingfordogs to learn how to train your dog to be the best dog he can be by using mental stimulation! Or have a look at Dogpackr’s review first to see if it’s a fit for you and your dog!

Field Dogs 300 x 600

Why is my male dog trying to mount my spayed female dog?

If your male dog is trying to mount your female dog and your female dog is spayed, then you’re probably wondering what’s going on.

Remember, dog mounting is usually not sexual! If your dogs are both fixed, then reproduction probably isn’t the aim here.

Your male dog might be trying to display his dominance over your female dog. Your dog could also be trying to alleviate any anxiety.

This might also be behavior that your dog picked up as a puppy. Nobody may have told him it’s inappropriate, so he thinks it’s okay to keep doing it!

You can use positive reinforcement dog training to help your dog stop humping.


If your dog is humps often, that can be bothersome. You’re probably looking for a way to help your dog stop.

The good news is that if your dog is humping because of anxiety, there are ways you can help! Try the above tips to lessen your dog’s anxiety and keep him from humping.

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