Do Dogs Masturbate: Strange or Normal Activity? Should you Worry?

No matter if you have a male or female dog, you have likely caught your dog humping a pillow. A stuffed toy is also a regular victim. One of the embarrassing questions dog owners have is, ‘Do dogs masturbate?’

Don’t worry, asking yourself this doesn’t make you a pervert.

Dogs will tend to hump things, especially when they really shouldn’t have – such as during a family dinner. So, do dogs masturbate?

Believe it or not – yes, they do. Male and females alike do this, often even after they are neutered or spayed! The reasons behind this are many.

And no, there is not much that you can do to prevent this embarrassing behavior. Some dogs will grow out of it as they age. This means that younger doges are more prone to doing this.

Below are some reasons behind dog masturbation, as well as when you should prevent it.

Why Do Dogs Masturbate?

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Sexual Behavior

No matter if your dog is intact or altered (neutered or spayed), masturbation is a part of a dog’s sexual behavior. It is perfectly normal for dogs to hump other dogs, objects, even the owner’s legs.

Most people aren’t aware that not only intact male dogs do this. Neutered dogs can have erection and ejaculate as well. You can know that a dog is humping as a part of his sexual instincts if you look at his body language.

A ‘flirty’ dog will have his tail up and his ears backward. He may also lick himself, play bows, and have other, similar behavior.

For Fun

Dogs are often manifesting sexual behavior as a regular part of their play behavior. When this happens, dogs won’t display erections, but they will still hump.

Dogs that aren’t well socialized might mount other dogs trying to initiate play. Others may get overly aroused while playing, which will result in humping.

Stress or Excitement Response

Dogs experience stress and excitement in various ways. Some canines might respond to these sensations by humping or masturbating.

For example, an excited dog may hump another dog after meeting him for the first time. Not only that, but stressed or nervous dog may also hump another object, such as a toy or a pillow.

Social Behavior

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Humping is a typical display of control or social status. If your dog wants to prove his dominance, he may hump other dogs in the room.

Erection may be present in this case. Male dogs aren’t the only ones doing this. Female dogs will often mount dogs of both genders to show authority.

Compulsive Disorders

For some dogs, masturbating is a compulsive habit. This is especially common when dogs are stressed. If masturbating becomes habitual, it may interfere with his everyday life and activities.

You should contact a behaviorist if you notice your dog’s mounting excessively.

Do Dogs Masturbate Because of Health Reasons?

Sometimes, various medical issues may be the cause of your dog’s excessive masturbation. These health problems include:

  • Urinary incontinence.
  • Urinary tract infection.
  • Skin allergies.
  • Priapism.

Many of these issues can be severe, and most require medical attention. Dogs who suffer from them will also chew their genital area and lick it, to relieve themselves of discomfort.

When you see your dog rubbing his body on things and licking or chewing himself, contact a vet. These issues require help from a veterinarian and not a behavioral treatment.

What to Do When Your Dog Masturbates Excessively

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Your dog shouldn’t hump other dogs, for various reasons – unwanted puppies being just one of them. However, some dogs become rather aggressive if you try to prevent them in the middle of the ‘act’.

If you think your dog may become agitated and snap at you, you should contact a local pet behaviorist. Certified professional dog trainers may help to treat aggression, as well.

Just make sure that the trainer is experienced with dog aggression, as this expertise isn’t necessary for the certification.

Not only that, but a dog that mounts other dogs may get into trouble. A lot of canines won’t be too fond of this sign of affection. This may end up with an aggressive fight.

That’s another reason why you should prevent your dog from acting this way.

Below are some common tactics you can use to prevent your dog from mounting or masturbating.

Let them Be

Most dogs will infrequently mount, no more than once or twice a day. If they do so to a toy, without bothering you or other dogs, you don’t have to prevent him.

However, if he has a habit of jumping on your or other people’s legs, this can be an issue. The same goes if he mounts other dogs.

Distract Them

Some dogs will exhibit already mentioned signs of sexual behavior before humping. If your dog starts to pan, whine, lick or rub against the person, chances are he’s preparing to mount.

When you notice this, throw him a toy or start playing a game. If your dog knows some tricks, such as sit or shake, ask him to perform them. This will interrupt your dog and make him think about other things.

Teach your dog to leave other dogs alone when you tell him to. This includes various different situations, as well. Once your pet learns what ‘Leave!’ means, you can use this to stop him from humping.

Reward him when he listens to you with a treat. If he doesn’t do as you’ve told him, end his play session immediately and practice more. Try doing so when there are no other dogs around.

Make Him Focused on You

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If your dog continually humps other dogs, teach him to play various games with you. Bring his favorite toy outside and play fetch or tug of war.

This will make him more interested in spending time with you than with other dogs.

Spay or Neuter Your Dog

Unless you plan on breeding your dog, consider neutering him. This won’t always stop a dog from humping, but it will reduce sexual behaviors.

If he’s frequently mounting female dogs, this will prove to be useful. Also, consider spaying your female dogs. Females will hump and mount when in heat, or if they’re around other females in heat. Spaying will reduce this behavior.

Not only that, but spaying and neutering your dogs has other benefits, as well.

Fixed pets will live longer and healthier lives, as spaying and neutering will prevent various diseases. Some of them include testicular and mammary cancer.

This will also prevent the birth of unwanted puppies, which is the biggest reason dogs end up abandoned.

Give Him a Time-Out

If your dog has already developed a habit of mounting you or other people, you have to discourage him. Push him away or sit or stand in such a position that he can’t hump you.

If this doesn’t work, tell him ‘No!’ and take him to a time-out. Leave him alone in a room without any toys for a few minutes. Once the time is up, let him outside and act as nothing happened.

Don’t act angry, as the dog will be confused by this. If the behavior continues, extend the time-out period.

More often than not, this alone won’t be enough to prevent your dog from mounting your legs. This is why it’s always handy to teach your dogs a few tricks.

Performing tricks that make him calm down can be useful to discourage unwanted behavior. If you know your dog humps only in certain situations, for instance, when he’s excited, prepare.

Tell him to perform tick before you do the thing that triggers him. Reward your dog whenever he acts polite.

Avoid Triggers

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If your dog humps out of stress, try avoiding these situations as much as possible. Of course, this won’t always be possible.

If you know a stressful situation, such as going to the vet, is coming, try to reduce his stress levels. An excellent way to reduce his fear of veterinarians is to take him to the ordination to socialize.

Give your dog treats when inside. If your dog gets stressed or excited when you have guests, teach him to sit and treat him.

Visit the Animal Behaviorist or Vet 

Compulsive masturbation commonly won’t go away by itself, and you will have to contact a professional.

A good animal behaviorist will know how to work with you and your canine friend to prevent this activity.

Sometimes, excessive masturbation, especially if followed by licking and chewing, is a sign of a health issue. If this is the case, behaviorist won’t help, and you need to take your dog to a veterinarian.

Do Dogs Masturbate : Bottom Line

If you’ve ever wondered, do dogs masturbate – now you know the answer. Although this question seems embarrassing, masturbation is a normal behavior in dogs.

However, every owner needs to know when to stop it and how to prevent his dog from getting into trouble. Not only that, but excessive masturbation and mounting may be a sign of some underlying health issue. If you notice any weird behavior in your dog, contact your local vet as soon as possible.