How to stop your chihuahua humping or mounting things


A lot of owners get frustrated by humping or mounting behaviour, it’s embarrassing when your dog starts to hump or mount another dog in the park or attaches themselves to a visitor’s leg.

Dogs humping or mounting is often interpreted as a sexual behaviour and causes confusion to owners whose dogs have been neutered, spayed or is female. However, it is normal and even dogs that have been neutered will hump from time to time. They find it comforting, and while it is a form of canine masturbation, humping and mounting is not all about sex.

Domination, not necessarily

There has been some suggestion that dogs will mount another to show that it has a higher status or rank. That they will mount another dog when there are other dogs around to witness it. But this might not be the case.

For a dog to be considered higher up the pack, the dog that is being mounted would need to show submissive behaviour. Although you do get some dogs that object to another dog mounting them, often the other dog being mounted just carries on doing his own dog stuff and doesn’t seem to mind.

So, if this mounting or humping is not an aggressive behaviour what is it?

Humping can be tied to social awkwardness and your dog not quite getting the meet and greet right. Or it can be a way of the dogs asking the other dog to be friends. But don’t hang your hat on this and assume it’s OK for your chi to go about humping other people’s dogs. It’s generally not a well liked behaviour and very misunderstood. It could end up causing trouble in the park.

Displacement behaviour

Humping could also be your chihuahua trying to channel a flood of different emotions. This could be excitement because a visitor comes to the house, happiness at going out for a walk. It can also be a way of alleviating stress, anxiety or loneliness. This is when you may see them hump a favourite toy or the leg of a visitor.

Part of play

Both male and female puppies will hump each other while at play and it’s considered a normal part of their social interaction. Play is very important to a puppy’s development and helps them learn dog manners and a host of important life skills like play biting softly.

Illness

It can also be the sign of a urinary tract infection or itchy skin, so if it’s a new behaviour for your dog then get it checked out by a vet.

If dog humping or mounting behaviour is normal, should you try to stop it?

If your chihuahua is mounting the legs of visitors, then stopping the behaviour is a good idea. No one is going to enjoy having a chihuahua enthusiastically hump their legs when they visit. If they do, you probably don’t want them around either! Your chihuahua is overstimulated or over excited by the event that’s happening. People coming into the house, lots of noise or movement. Dogs have a limited repertoire of ways to relieve pent-up emotion.

If your chi chi is continually mounting soft toys and cushions, you need to look at what’s going on day to day. It might be a sign of stress brought on by boredom or other issues around the house. It’s sometimes hard for us humans to understand what causes our dogs stress. Everything that happens in your dog’s day will pay into his ’emotional bucket’ even happy events. Humping may be an outlet for this emotional tension.

Mounting other dogs in the home

It is entirely normal behaviour, and as long as your other dogs don’t mind then really, it’s nothing to worry about, but if it’s a habit that extends to other dogs outside the house you may run into difficulty with other dog owners so, finding a way to redirect the behaviour may be a good idea.

How to stop dog humping or mounting

The good news is it’s reasonably easy to stop your dog from humping or mounting. There are a couple of ways you can do this, depending on how ‘seasoned’ your dog is.

#1 Distraction

If you’re out and you can see your chihuahua is about to mount another, interrupt with a distraction. Throw a ball, call him to you, make him sit for a treat. Then when the moment has passed and he is interacting with the other dog nicely, praise his good behaviour.

#2 Paws on the floor

When your dog mounts another dog, gently but firmly nudge him off so his paws are on the floor. The moment his paws are on the floor reward your dog enthusiastically. Use some of your dog’s dinner allowance to reward rather than fill them up with additional treats. Food is food to a dog.

If you are out and about, how has this interaction happened? Generally it’s better if your dog is ignoring other dogs rather than running up to them.

#3 Calm Time

If you are indoors and your dog mounts a visitor’s leg, try #2 first. If this doesn’t cure it then calmly remove your dog from the situation to give them time to calm down. Put them behind a stair gate or in a crate with a long lasting chew. Chewing and licking is calming for a dog. Or you could scatter feed some of their daily food allowance in the garden or on a snuffle mat so they can spend a happy time foraging. This is a very calming activity for dogs, it’s called contrafreeloading.

Don’t allow them to rehearse the behaviour. If humping is what they do in certain situations then look at the situation and resolve it. Calming your dog down with a passive calming activities is best and managing the situation. If people are coming around, give your chihuahua something to do so it’s not running around getting more and more excited. This is how bites happen.

Can neutering and spaying stop humping or mounting?

Owners assume that humping is a sexual behaviour and that having a male dog neutered will solve the problem. But all dogs will mount regardless of gender. It can be apart of normal puppy play, over excitement (not sexual) stress related or a dog being unsure of how to greet another dog.

While I recognise that neutering and spaying must be done in certain situations. I don’t advocate rushing to get your male dog neutered. Neutering can cause other behaviour and health issues for your chihuahua, especially around becoming fear aggressive. You can read more about neutering here.

You should never neuter your dog as a way of altering behaviour. Training positively is always the way forward.

Take Away

If your dog is humping it’s stressed and over stimulated by the environment or a situation. Mounting is not hilarious and shouldn’t be ignored or encouraged.

About the author

Louise Kirby

My name is Louise Kirby and I’m a freelance writer and certified Pro Dog Trainer. I adore and train all breeds but have a special interest in chihuahuas and their rehabilitation. Chihuahuas are awesome little dogs, spunky, full of joy, loyal and tenacious. But some present with behaviours that make them a challenge to manage. I’m on a mission to restore the relationship between owners and their dogs. To help you get back the dog you always dreamed of. That’s why dog training is a happiness project!

Join the happiness project now!

Your chihuahua transformation starts with a free discovery chat to see how I can best help you. Please get in touch I look forward to hearing from you. Together we can get back the dog you always wanted.

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1 thought on “How to stop your chihuahua humping or mounting things

  1. Cheryl Register Reply

    I have really enjoyed ready your tips, all of them! It’s amazing what I have learned. I thought I knew most everything I needed to know, but it turns out, I have not merely enjoyed reading them but have learned more that I ever knew! Thank you so much!

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