Why Do Female Puppies Hump Toys? The Surprising Truth!

Why Do Female Puppies Hump Toys? Female dogs are known for humping their toys. Humping is not sexual behavior but rather an instinctual response to stress or establishing dominance with other female dogs.

When you see your innocent puppy humping their toys for the first time, you may think it is hilarious and want to capture the incident on your smartphone, or you will be horrified and think that your new puppy is a sex fiend that is going to embarrass you on walks for years to come.

While this may be cute when they're little, it can become problematic when they grow up and continue to hump objects such as your leg or couch cushions. You may be especially concerned if you have a little girl pup, as sexual humping is usually associated with male dogs.

If you are in this strange situation, you may be wondering – why do female dogs hump their toys? In this article, we will cover all the bases and try to explain this behavior. 

  • Why do female puppies mount?
  • Is it normal for a female dog to hump objects or other dogs?
  • Why do dogs hump soft toys?
  • At what age do female puppies start to hump?
  • Is it normal for an 8-week old puppy to hump?
  • Should I stop my 8-week old puppy from humping?
  • Is it normal for a 3-month-old female puppy to hump?
  • Should I let my dog hump stuffed animals?
  • Should I let my puppy hump a pillow?
  • What does it mean when a dog humps another dog?
  • Should I let my puppy hump its toys?
  • How do I stop my puppy from humping things?
  • Why Do Female Puppies Hump Toys?
puppy mounting leg

Why do female puppies mount toys?

Female dogs are known for humping their toys. Humping is not sexual behavior but rather an instinctual response to stress or establishing dominance with other female dogs.

This dog behavior is not limited to female dogs. Male dogs also hump toys, although it occurs less frequently in male dogs. The dog's age also affects the frequency of humping a toy. Puppies and adolescent female dogs tend to hump more regularly than older dogs.

However, humping is a normal dog behavior among very young dog breeds. Humping dog toys is a form of dog communication, and dog owners should learn to recognize the various dog behaviors associated with humping dog toys.

For example, humping dog toys may indicate that the dog needs more exercise or has too much energy for its environment.

Is It Normal For A Female Dog To Hump Objects Or Other Dogs?

The anatomy of a dog and how dogs mate leads us to assume that it should only be male dogs with the urge to hump. So why on earth is your little angel, a female puppy, not even having reached maturity yet, humping her teddies like a rabbit on heat?

Don't panic; your female dog is not sexually confused. It is very typical for both male and female puppies to hump their soft toys, each other, and your guests' legs if they have the opportunity. Why? Because it's fun!

Suppose a puppy discovers the joys of humping. In that case, it can keep them entertained for a long time, which means they have essentially developed their unique way of relieving boredom, anxiety or dealing with the times they don't have your full attention.

Mounting soft toys provides heaps of mental and physical stimulation and helps to spend excess energy. It's so enjoyable or reinforcing for some puppies that they can quickly develop an addiction that carries on into adulthood.

Of course, just because humping behavior is a perfectly normal puppy activity doesn't necessarily mean that you should encourage it.

Mounting behavior isn't quite so cute when your female dog grows up into an adult dog. Then it can cause a whole array of problems for you and your dog.

At what age do female puppies start to hump?

It can be super annoying when your dog is mounting dog toys, but it's normal for female puppies to hump dog toys. Puppies are born with no sense of morality and will hump anything they can get their paws on.

So if you have a little girl puppy, she might start humping her dog toys at a very young age. This dog mounting behavior usually tapers off as the dog matures.

Many dog breeds will hump their dog toys, and it can start from the time they are just a few months old to when they are a year or more in age.

Is It Normal For An 8-Week Old Female Puppy To Hump?

Yes, it is normal for female puppies to humps dog toys. Humping dog toys are quite a typical dog behavior when your dog reaches adulthood as well. It's their way of relieving boredom, playing, and anxiety.

However, even when your female dog is an adult dog, humping dog toys can become compulsive.

This dog behavior isn't limited to female dogs either; male dogs also hump dog toys. The dog's age affects the frequency of humping dog toys with puppies and adolescent female dogs.

dog humping toy

Should I stop my 8-week old female puppy from humping?

No, you should not stop your 8-week old puppy from humping. Dog humping is a behavior that can develop in any dog breed and is generally seen as playful.

Although it might be uncomfortable to watch for some pet parents, allowing your pup to hump toys or other objects for an extended time will not be recommended.

Is it normal for a 3-month-old female puppy to hump?

No matter the age of your puppy, you should discourage humping toys and other objects. This is a normal part of male dog behavior, but it isn't something for you to encourage in your female pup.

If no other signs indicate she's in heat, humping is likely just an act of dominance or a sign that she needs more exercise. Also, the fact that she's young and all-female would indicate that this is normal puppy behavior.

Isolated, non-sexual humping is a normal part of the development process for all female dogs. At her age, she's just learning status and dominance in her pack.

How can I break my female dog's habit of humping?

Many female dogs hump their stuffed toys or other soft items as a way of self-soothing. When this behavior gets to be too much for you, it's time to step in and put a stop to your dog's humping.

The key is to stop the behavior before it becomes established. For example, try squirting your puppy with a water bottle when he starts to hump something.

Should I let my female puppy hump a pillow?

Yes. It's normal for a dog to hump pillows, stuffed animals, bedding, and other fabric items. It's probably a sign that she misses her mother and littermates, commonly referred to as separation anxiety.

It would help discourage this behavior, but you don't have to freak out about it. Instead, you can do a few things to help her get through the phase and save your pillows in the process.

How should I respond to my puppy's humping pillow?

When she starts to hump a pillow or blanket, use your best no-laugh, no-smile, no-nonsense voice and say "No" firmly.

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Why Do Female Dogs Hump Soft Toys?

Puppies and even older dogs often find enjoyment humping soft toys, pillows, or even bunched-up areas of your duvet. All of these objects have a few things in common:

  1. They are easily accessible and can be found all over the house, making the activity all the more enticing for a dog who likes to hump things.
  2. They are all soft and malleable objects that are easy to grip onto and mount or maneuver.
  3. They are warm, comfortable, and familiar, which brings me to the third and final thing.

If your dog has been humping these same objects before, then they are likely to have their scent all over them, which makes them highly desirable humping objects, as they have already been "claimed" by your dog.

Puppies, in particular, aim for soft toys as they are a perfect size and are associated with playtime, enjoyment, comfort, and often excitement, which is usually at the route of humping behavior in dogs.

If your puppy is humping their soft toys, it could be their way of spending excess energy or even expressing pent-up anxiety. Puppies have so many things to get stressed about because everything is a brand new learning experience that they have to get used to and understand.

Being left alone, for example, can be very difficult and stressful for a young puppy because they don't always know that you are going to return. Some dogs relieve their stress by barking or howling, chewing and licking or biting, and often peeing or pooping in the house.

Other puppies discover the joys of humping and subsequently turn to this as a coping mechanism.

What Does It Mean When A Dog Humps Another Dog?

When a dog humps another dog, it can mean something quite different from when a puppy humps their toys, especially when talking about adolescents and older dogs.

When dogs reach sexual maturity, humping other dogs can be attributed to releasing sexual tension or responding to their instincts to mate. 

This may be true for both males and females, as females in heat often hump other dogs or objects to relieve stress simply because it feels good. If dogs have been spayed or neutered, they may still hump other dogs, but this is less common.

Does Fixing Your Dog Stop Female Dog Humping?

Often fixing a dog is a way of calming down undesirable behaviors like humping or aggression. But if you have an overly dominant dog, male or female, they may attempt to mount other dogs to assert their dominance over them.

Mounting or humping another dog can also be part of the play according to PetMD. An overexcited female dog may exhibit this behavior and get into trouble with other dogs that don't find it socially acceptable.

This can lead to nasty fights, which is one of the reasons that you might want to discourage the behavior early on when you first notice it in a younger pup.

Should I Let My Puppy Hump Its Toys?

At first, you may find it highly amusing or even adorable to watch your puppy humping their toys. Children especially can be fascinated by the behavior and want to encourage it because they find it entertaining and funny.

But here are some of the many reasons why you should discourage the behavior as early as possible.

  • A tiny puppy may look cute or funny humping a soft toy, but a fully-grown female dog humping the cushions on your sofa is not going to have the same effect.
  • An adorable new pup humping their toys can provide some comic relief for your guests, but when your puppy is older, this behavior will become bothersome and embarrassing when you have guests over. It may even make your guests feel uncomfortable or appalled, and they might decide to stop visiting you altogether.
  • A puppy that humps its toys can quickly move on to humping other things, like people's legs. What could be mortifying for you than your dog, no matter how big or small, grabbing hold of your guest's leg at the dinner table or while they are attempting to drink a cup of tea?
  • A fully-grown dog can quickly destroy toys and cushions during a humping session by scratching and biting. Humping can be upsetting, annoying, and expensive if you have to keep replacing your things.
  • A dog that humps isn't necessarily a happy dog. Your dog could be suffering from an obsessive-compulsive disorder that adds to and reinforces any anxiety your puppy is experiencing. You should help your dog find healthier ways to relieve stress so that humping doesn't turn into an anti-social behavioral problem.
  • If you have a dog that tends to hump other female dogs, you and your dog will not be widespread in the dog park!
  • Your dog might end up in a fight and get badly injured if he chooses the wrong dog in the garden to hump. This will inevitably lead to an expensive vet bill and potentially further behavioral issues in the future. You may even have to keep your dog on a lead in public places, depriving them of the freedom to run free and get exercise.

How Do I Stop My Puppy From Humping Things?

If you have discovered that your puppy knows about humping, and you have decided to try and nip it in the bud before it takes hold, well done! You are doing both yourself and your dog a huge favor by taking action early on.

The number one rule is not to punish your pup when it comes to puppies and undesirable behaviors. Instead, teaching your puppy what to do and what not to do should always be done through positive reinforcement training methods. This means ignoring mistakes and providing heaps of praise and reward for wins.

To stop your dog from humping its toys, you can try several things:

  • Distract your pup by replacing his fun activity with the one you find more suitable, like engaging him in a game of tug or ball or focussing your pup's attention on learning fun tricks and commands.
  • Remove the humping object so that your puppy can't use it, or replace it with a toy he can't hump, like a rubber Kong filled with treats that will keep him busy and occupy his brain.
  • Ensure that your pup gets enough exercise and mental stimulation so that he is too tired to hump his toys and instead settles down amongst them to have plenty of those all-important puppy naps.
  • Leave your puppy with toys that will occupy him in a positive way when you want him to spend some time alone. For example, chews and treat dispensers are great boredom busters.

Summary

A puppy that humps its toys is amusing for a while, but don't forget that the amusement will be short-lived, and instead, you will be left trying to figure out how to stop your dog from doing something he now relies on.

So take action immediately for the best results. And if you have an older dog that has an inappropriate humping habit, try to get to the route of the problem because humping objects is rarely a good thing for your dog in the long run.

(Last Updated On: August 27, 2021)
Liz
 

I'm a self-employed blogger, life-long pet parent, and lover of dogs and somehow manage to have time to pursue another of my passions - writing. I’m the primary contributor and editor of PUPPY FAQS. I love to write about nutrition, health, and care of puppies. In my spare time, I volunteer at my local dog shelter. If you have a question that needs answering, please leave a comment below, and I will do my best to explain it.

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