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How to correct a puppy's humping problems?

asked 2016-05-08 15:20:54 -0500

My puppy is about 4month old, and whenever he meets strangers, he tends to bark and run around like crazy. I think that this is a socialization problems and am working on socializing him more. But the thing is, after he gets used to the stranger, he can start approaching them and if the stranger welcomes him, there are times when he starts to hump them. I usually take him away when he does that, I don't know if that is what I should be doing but I don't want him to hump my friends or in fact, anyone. When I first got him (2 and a half months old), he was shy around me but did not bark or go crazy. And after a day, he tried to hump me too. I just ignored him and later on, he stopped trying humping me, but that doesn't apply to strangers he just got used to in a few minutes. He also tends to hump his bed after he smells it, I don't know if its the scent that gets him excited or what, but I mainly want to stop him from humping random people. And also, what is the best way to socialize our puppy? We just moved to a new area and don't have many friends to invite over, and he barks like crazy whenever a stranger approaches so I don't know if going to a public place is the best idea because he barks really loud, sometimes growls, and runs around like crazy and occasionally goes into a playing position too.

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4 Answers

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answered 2016-05-09 20:35:24 -0500

First, is he neutered? Like humans, adolescent dogs have a ton of hormones raging through their systems that sometimes take over the rest of their brains. If he's not neutered yet, this could greatly improve, or even eliminate, your humping problem.

Second, you mentioned he has previously been shy with new people, but now gets very excited. Humping can be a stress behavior and a sign of over-stimulation. It may be his outlet of choice when he's excited and perhaps a little nervous. In this case, redirecting him may be your best course of action, ideally before he starts to hump - I'm sure you've gotten good at spotting the behaviors that lead up to the initial humping. When he starts to get that look about him, lure him away with something he can't resist, like a good chew toy or stuffed Kong to give him something more socially appropriate to do when he's excited. If you're consistent enough, you can eventually pair the preferred behavior with a cue, like "get your __" in situations where he's likely to want to hump, and if the alternate behavior is rewarding and rewarded enough, he may start to choose it on his own. If you slip up and he gets to hump, calmly remove him like you've been doing, and wait until his attention is off of the target and on you before rewarding a new, appropriate behavior.

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answered 2016-05-11 03:19:59 -0500

Based upon your questions and previous advice I'll break my answer down into three categories:

  1. Is humping normal? What can be done to stop it?
  2. Should I be concerned about socialization? What should I do?
  3. Should I neuter my four month old dog?

In order of importance

A. The most important thing for the four month old dog is a wide variety of social and environmental exposure. This can not be recreated at an older age. You get one chance for this critical exposure time. I'd highly encourage daily "field trips" with your dog. Take him to the park to meet people and walk on playground equipment. Take him to a welcoming pet food store to pick out a treat and walk on their floors. Go get ice cream on a warm day and meet all the customers. You are only limited by your imagination -- but its easy to find dog friendly people.... You wont regret this time spent.

B. Humping attempts are fairly normal for a puppy. Calm, consistent, and firm non-tolerance of attempts to hump you and your guests will extinguish the behavior in time. Generally it shouldn't be a long term worry. Redirect to an acceptable behavior.

C. Fixing a four month old dog does have some potential pitfalls (growth rates, etc.). The issues you raise are behavioral and enviornmental and have non-medical solutions. I'm not saying to NOT fix your dog, but I think that some careful consideration should be given before electing to do it on a four month old dog. I'd consult with a medical professional that you trust.

Best wishes,

Mark

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answered 2016-05-29 08:59:29 -0500

He should be neutered first to see if that corrects the problem. If it doesn't then every time he is about to hump someone pull him off of them this is pretty much teaching discipline. With his barking I suggest that you train him out of it. Whenever he barks try your best in getting his attention.

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answered 2016-05-23 01:01:27 -0500

Does your dog understand "no" means "no"? I think if you train him understand "no" and stop when you say it, you can correct a lot of behavior that you do not want him to do. Humping is pertty normal not only for male dogs, but also for female dogs! They hump on something/human by expressing dominance. My dogs were humping on each other, blankets, even my cats and human legs/arms before. After correcting them everytime when they tried to hump on people, they know they are not supposed to do it to anyone. I don't think you need any training class, this is totally self-trainable.

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