Humping is a common behavior in both male and female dogs. Owners tend to get embarrassed when their dogs do it publicly, but it is a normal part of a dog’s life.
Beagles, like all dogs, might start to hump when they reach puberty, around 6-8 months. It is tempting to yell or pull them away, but you need to understand that dogs reach sexual maturity and can breed around six months.
Your dog might hump because it feels gratifying. Other reasons can be releasing excess energy, stress, excitement, and even dominance. If it occurs too frequently, it can be a medical issue.
This article will help you look into the reasons and suggest ways to deal with the situation.
7 Reasons Beagle Puppies hump
The deed may look sexual, but the reasons behind it can vary and surprise you.
The obvious reason is puberty or sexual desire. Dogs become sexually mature at 6-8 months. Pillows, toys, other dogs, and people’s legs are subjected to a dog’s humping. Humping is also usually accompanied by flirting: raised tail, play bow, and pawing.
Your Beagle might hump because of the hormonal urges, and they want to prepare themselves for future mating. It is like practicing for the real thing.
You need to understand that sex in animals doesn’t occur only for reproductive purposes. Dogs might masturbate if they are not allowed to approach other dogs. They can stimulate themselves for pleasure and relief.
2. Excess energy
Beagles are an energetic and active breed. Puppies, even more. No matter what their age, they need daily exercise. If your dog hasn’t been getting enough physical stimulation, they will find other ways to let out the excess energy.
Therefore, they will find any nearby object, dog, or person to hump. They want to get your attention. So, they may act out or display behavior that will get a negative reaction.
Moreover, puppies have nothing to do but find ways to fill their time.
If you want to train them to reduce humping, this is the best time. It will prevent them from developing the habit as they grow older.
3. Stress or Over Excitement
Your Beagle may hump a random object as a coping mechanism to deal with stress. As we know, they are prone to separation anxiety. If left alone for a long time, they become stressed and anxious.
Being fearful of loud noises also makes dogs stressed. If they are in a new environment, they will resort to humping to relieve the stress from being thrust into an unknown setting.
Contrary to the point above, dogs also start humping if they are over-excited. Pillows and stuffed animals can become the recipient of your dog’s affection. New visitors or meeting other dogs can be a source of joy and they become enthusiastic or overstimulated.
- During stressful situations, try to remove them and deal with them positively.
- Keep your dog on a strict schedule and provide regular exercise.
- Try to reduce their anxiety by finding out what is aggravating them.
When dogs aren’t trained to socialize properly, they may get aroused around other people or dogs. They may be playing a game, and when you or the other dog goes to settle down and ignore them, they will begin to hump.
It means that the owners did not do a great job teaching them how to play with others. If they are not used to playing with other dogs, they can become overstimulated.
You will either need a dog behaviorist or provide them with the appropriate stimulation. This is the time they discover what is acceptable and what is not.
5. Compulsive Disorder
Dogs can develop OCD too. When dogs hump regularly or excessively, they will start to rely on it to deal with the emotions, stress, and excessive energy.
This is apparent in neglected and abused dogs. They will have developed this habit before you had them.
If humping is used to handle stress and isolation, they may depend too much on it. The habit can go out of control, affecting the ability to function normally in everyday life.
6. Show Dominance
Dogs may hump to show dominance. However, not all dogs that hump are dominant. They will hump to see how many will receive such behavior because they are anxious or stressed about their place among the pack.
Mounting also helps establish dominance in a litter, pack, or a social group of dogs.
Although it can be non-sexual, you need to convince them that you are in charge. You are the alpha and above them in the social hierarchy. With productive training, you can assert your authority. It should reassure their trust in your authority.
7. Medical Problem
If your dog is licking, chewing, rubbing its private parts on the floor, or showing any signs of distress while humping, it can be a medical problem. Excessive humping might be their way to self-medicate; a medical issue can be painful, and to relive that pain, they will engage in humping.
The following issues can be present:
- Urinary Tract Infection
- Skin Allergies
- Prostate problems in male dogs
In case of any medical problem, take your dog to the vet to get a proper diagnosis.
How to Stop this Behavior
Many owners get displeased when they see their dog humping in a social space. It is not necessary to stop because it is natural. However, it can also be dangerous when they do it with sharp objects and get themselves injured.
You can try the following ways to reduce the humping:
Your Beagle will lick or rub their private parts before they start humping. When you suspect they will hump, distract them or redirect their attention with a toy or treat they like.
Provide them with alternative behavior. Give them something else to do like walking or playing with the toy.
Basic commands can also help you correct their behavior.
Be prepared beforehand when you take them to a dog park. Bring toys, treats, and praise them. The redirection will draw their attention from an unwanted behavior to interact acceptably.
2. Exercise and Training
It is easier to tackle the humping problem if you notice it when it first starts. You or others may think it is funny but it will be a problem for you in the long run. Since dogs can hump to release the stored energy, you can provide them daily exercise to reduce it.
Drain their energy with walks, runs, and playtime sessions. Daily exercise will help let out all the stress and aggression.
Training can also curb all the pent-up excitement.
Whatever you do, do not overdo exercise and training as they are still puppies.
“Stop”, “Leave it” and “No” are some of the basic commands you can use when they start humping other dogs or people. Others may dislike getting humped and react negatively. So, you need to teach your pup all these commands.
Supervise your dog in social situations. When you see the hump coming, say “Stop”, take them away and wait for them to calm down. Repeat and then Reward.
Make them understand that you are the leader.
4. Neuter and Spay
It has been known to reduce the dog’s sexual drive, but it still won’t completely stop your Beagle from humping. Moreover, it is more challenging in dogs that are already rooted in this habit. Even after neutering and spaying, dogs can still hump for pleasure.
Nonetheless, you can try this method and even add obedience training.
Things to Avoid
- Inappropriate punishment can have the opposite effect. It can generate anxiety and lead to humping behavior. So, don’t scream at them or behave harshly. Understand that this is natural.
- Don’t give attention when they are humping your leg. Any attention means you are rewarding their behavior.
- Don’t keep the particular toy or object your dog tends to hump. Remove it from the equation until the behavior is corrected.
- If they are humping other dogs, don’t try to pull them apart harshly. Divide them gently and give them time to calm down.
Make sure they have access to chew toys and provide many activities to burn their energy.
Humping can involve reasons other than sexual ones. It is not for us to judge our dogs for their humping but to observe why they do it.
Lack of exercise leads to pent-up energy. Stress and overexcitement can make humping an unhealthy coping mechanism. Even if it is natural, you cannot promote it into a habit.
Use positive reinforcement and redirection to reduce the frequency. If you suspect a medical problem, take them to the vet.
If you found the information illuminating, share the article and let us know your thoughts in the comments.
Dr. Aram Baker has been with Santa Clarita Animal Hospital since 1995 and his special interests include behaviour medicine and dermatology. He graduated from the Cleveland Humanities Magnet Program in Reseda, CA and attended California State University at Northridge where he received a Bachelor’s degree in biology. He went on to pursue his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine at the University of California at Davis. He also spent time in the zoological medicine department at U.C. Davis during his Junior and Senior years. He is dedicated to caring for all pets big or small, young or old with compassion, patience, kindness, and love.