Why Do Female Dogs Hump?

why do female dogs hump

Most dog owners are familiar with humping, but think of it more as an issue with male dogs. So if a female dog starts humping, it can leave owners wondering “why do female dogs hump?” 

Humping in female dogs is more common than you might think … and there are a bunch of reasons why it’s perfectly natural. But it could also be a sign of some underlying medical problems.   

Let’s talk about the reasons why female dogs hump and what you can do to manage the behavior. 

Why Do Female Dogs Hump?

So you’ve seen your female dog humping and wondered what’s going on. Well, it turns out that there are a few reasons why she might be doing it. Let’s check them out one by one:


Just like us, dogs use play to make friends and socialize. Humping can be part of that playful behavior, and female dogs may use it to initiate play or show that they want to keep the good times rolling. 

Stress Or Overarousal

All dogs, male or female, may hump when they’re feeling stressed or ever over-excited. They may hump another dog, you, or even the furniture, a pillow or stuffed toy. If you think these are the reasons for your dog humping, you may want to find other activities like games or exercise to help calm your dog. 

Feeling Frisky

Humping can also be a form of sexual behavior, though it’s less common in female dogs than in males. Female dogs may hump to show their interest in mating, or they may be responding to the advances of a male dog. 


When female dogs are in heat, they can become more sexually active. Hormonal changes during this time may lead to humping behavior. So, if you notice your female dog humping more than usual, it might be because she’s in heat.

RELATED: Dog humping – and how to stop it …

Why Does My Female Dog Hump All Of A Sudden?

So what does it mean if your female dog never humped before, but has suddenly started? If your female dog suddenly starts humping, it could just be due to one of the reasons above.  

However, a female dog who suddenly starts humping may be doing so because of an underlying medical condition. Your pup may be trying to tell you that something is off with her, or she isn’t feeling quite right.

Urinary tract infections, skin allergies, and other health issues can cause sudden changes in behavior, including humping. These conditions can cause discomfort and itchiness, leading your dog to seek relief through humping. So, if you notice your dog humping all of a sudden, and you suspect it’s not one of the more benign reasons listed earlier, it’s always a good idea to take her to your holistic vet to rule out any potential health issues.

Don’t worry; most health issues can be treated easily with the right treatment. And once your dog is feeling better, she may stop humping altogether. 

RELATED: Home remedies for UTI in dogs …

What Can You Do About Female Dog Humping?

If your female dog’s humping behavior is getting out of hand, don’t worry, there are some things you can do to manage it. Check out these tips:

Distract Her
When you catch your female dog starting to hump, try diverting her attention to something else. Throw a ball for her to chase or play tug of war with her favorite toy. This can help take her mind off the humping behavior.

If your female dog is humping, and the dog she’s humping is unhappy, afraid or uncomfortable, you need to intervene. Some dogs will hump excessively when they get over-excited during play, and the recipient doesn’t always appreciate the attention. Redirect her attention to something else, like her toys or a treat. You can call her away and reward her when she comes. If necessary, put her on leash to remove her from the play area.

Get To The Root Of The Issue
If your female dog’s humping behavior is caused by a medical problem, it’s important to eliminate the underlying issue. See if you can pin the root of the issue down to one of the reasons listed earlier, or take your dog to the vet to rule out any health concerns that might be contributing to her behavior.

Train Your Dog
Training your female dog can also help curb humping behavior. Practice basic cues such as “sit,” “stay,” and “come,” and reward her with treats when she responds. This can reinforce good behavior and make it more likely she’ll listen and understand you when you train her to minimize an unwanted behavior like humping.

RELATED: How to improve your dog’s behavior with diet …

Why Do Female Dogs Hump? | Bottom Line

Now you know that it’s normal for female dogs to hump. Not all humping is sexual, and it may just be her way of communicating or playing. 

But if the humping is getting out of hand, causing issues, or making another dog (or you!) uncomfortable, there are also ways to manage the behavior. 

Next time you want to stop your female dog humping, try:

  • Redirecting her attention
  • Interrupting inappropriate humping
  • Resolving any underlying medical issues
  • Training your dog

Doing all of the above, you’ll not only help your pup exhibit appropriate behavior, but also strengthen your bond.


Why Would A Female Dog Hump A Male Dog?
If you have both a male and female dog in your household, you may also notice your female dog humping your male dog. This behavior can be confusing, but it’s important to understand that it’s not always sexual in nature. Female dogs may hump male dogs as a part of play.

Why Do Female Dogs Hump Other Female Dogs?
Female dogs may also hump other female dogs to play or communicate. Again, this behavior is not always sexual in nature.

Why Do Spayed Female Dogs Hump?
Even spayed female dogs may exhibit humping behavior. Spaying can reduce a dog’s hormonal drive to mate, but it doesn’t eliminate all sexual behaviors. Spayed female dogs may hump as a form of play or social interaction.

Do Female Dogs Hump When Coming Into Season?
Yes, female dogs may hump more frequently when they are in heat. This is due to the hormonal changes during this time.

Why Do Female Dogs Hump A Person’s Leg?
While it may be embarrassing or uncomfortable, some female dogs may hump a person’s leg. This behavior is typically a way of seeking attention.

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