Why Your Golden Retriever Humps You


If your Golden Retriever has a habit of humping then you’re probably wondering why and how to get it to stop. This post will give you a number of reasons why your Golden Retriever might be doing it and what you can do about it.

So, why does your Golden Retriever hump? There are a number of reasons that your Golden Retriever might be doing it. Possible reasons include sexual arousal especially if it’s young, looking to exert dominance which is more probable if it’s older, looking for attention, and being stressed.  

And, what can you do to stop your Golden Retriever from humping? The best way to get your Golden Retriever to stop the humping will depend on the reason that it is doing it. Some possible solutions that are available to you would include getting up and ignoring the behavior and then rewarding it when it’s being well behaved, redirecting its attention onto performing a task, giving it lots of exercise and giving it toys to be distracted with. 

It can actually be quite difficult to figure out the exact cause of your Golden Retriever’s behavior but it’s important that you take the time to consider it since it will help you to get it to stop more easily.

Possible reasons for your Golden Retriever’s humping

There are a number of reasons that your Golden Retriever might have a humping habit that I will explain below.

Arousal

One possible cause of your Golden Retriever’s humping is sexual arousal. If your Golden Retriever is unneutered and it is still young then this is likely to be the cause but even if it’s old it could still be the reason. Even though your Golden Retriever won’t try to mate with a human or toy or whatever else it might hump it might still do it as a way to masturbate since it feels good for it.

It’s important to stop this behavior as soon as your Golden Retriever starts since the older it gets the more this behavior will compound on itself and the harder it will be to stop. You can reduce this behavior by getting your Golden Retriever neutered or you can try the ignore or redirect techniques mentioned in the section below.

Dominance

Another possible cause of the behavior could be that it is a power play where your Golden Retriever is trying to figure out how much power it has and to exert its power over you or other dogs.

As mentioned on pets webmd the Golden Retriever that is doing the humping might not be the dominant Golden Retriever rather it might be unsure of its status and it is doing the humping to figure it out.

If this is the reason then there will likely be other signs of dominance-seeking behavior such as not being willing to listen to your command, aggression or other power plays like trying to sit on you or where you would normally sit or trying to lay down in a position higher than you.

Regardless, you should take measures to prevent this. You can do that by doing lots of training with your Golden Retriever so that it sees you as the one in charge.

Excitement

It’s also not uncommon for Golden Retriever’s and other dog breeds to start humping when it gets excited. Golden Retrievers will often show their levels of excitement by doing outlandish things like humping or rolling in the grass or even mud. If your Golden Retriever only seems to do the humping when it gets excited then excitement is likely to be the cause.

To prevent this kind of behavior you should make sure to give it lots of exercise so that you can reduce its hyperactivity and to train it not to by trying the ignore or redirect techniques in the section below. You could also try getting it neutered if you can.

Attention

Golden Retrievers are a breed that were bred to do energy-intensive tasks for hours daily. This means that they need a lot of exercise to be properly stimulated. If your Golden Retriever isn’t getting a lot of exercise then it can promote hyperactive behavior like humping. If you think that a lack of exercise might be the cause then make sure to give it more exercise.

A good way to give it a lot of exercise without needing a lot of effort on your part is to teach it to play fetch.

Stress

Another possible reason that it does the humping is that it is anxious or it is stressed.

If this is the reason then it may have come on suddenly after a recent stressful event or it might be due to something that happened when it was young.

Some things to consider when trying to figure out if this is the reason would be whether or not there has recently had a stressful event like losing a friend, changing its owner or changing its home.

Ways To Get Your Golden Retriever To Stop Humping

There are a number of methods that you can try in order to get your Golden Retriever to stop humping. The best method will depend on the cause of your Golden Retriever’s humping and you’ll likely find that combining them will give the best results.

Neuter it

The first option that you could consider would be to neuter it. By doing so you will be able to lower its sex drive and you’ll be able to reduce its desire to hump things so much. There are also a number of other benefits to neutering your Golden Retriever such as allowing it to be more healthy and reducing its urge to roam so you should consider it anyway.

Get up and ignore it

Another option that you can try is to simply get up and leave your Golden Retriever when it starts humping. By doing this you will be able to teach it that humping things will result in it not getting any attention and it will help it to stop.

After your Golden Retriever stops humping and it is being well behaved you can give it a treat as well to reinforce the good behavior.

Try the redirect method

The redirect method is where you tell your Golden Retriever to do something else, when it starts humping or when you notice that it is about to hump, and then reward it for doing the other thing. For example, you could tell it to sit, to lay or to stay when it starts humping.

If you haven’t taught your Golden Retriever how to stay yet then I have written about how you can do so here.  I have also written about how to teach your Golden Retriever “down” and how to come on command in the past here and here.

Give it lots of exercise

It’s also important to take measures to reduce its levels of hyperactivity which you can do by giving it lots of exercise and training.

A good way to give your Golden Retriever lots of exercise without having to wear yourself out is to play fetch with it. By doing this you’ll be able to get your Golden Retriever to do lots of running in a shorter amount of time.

If you haven’t taught your Golden Retriever how to play fetch before then it can be a bit of a challenge but I have written about how you can teach your Golden Retriever to do it in the past here.

You can also try walking your Golden Retriever with other dogs since they will do a lot more exercise by playing with each other.

Give it distractions

Another option that you could try would be to take its mind away from humping. You can do this by giving it lots of toys and bones to play with.

However, the issue with this method is that you won’t be teaching your Golden Retriever to stop the behavior instead you’ll be masking it which won’t make it go away very effectively.

Things to consider about your Golden Retriever’s humping

There are some things that you should keep in mind when you are considering why and how to stop your Golden Retriever’s humping.

Stop it young

If your Golden Retriever is still young and it has a humping habit then now would be a good time to get it to stop. If you wait until it is older then getting it to stop doing it will be a lot more difficult since the habit will be more ingrained. Whenever you see it start humping you should distract it and give it something else to do.

Avoid punishing it

It can be tempting to get your Golden Retriever to stop the humping by punishing it but you should avoid doing this. It won’t do much to stop it from wanting to do the humping and it could lead to other problems like distrust, aggression, anxiety and can make it less responsive to your command.

It’s in its nature

A humping Golden Retriever isn’t something that you should be overly concerned about. It’s something that all dogs are known to do and it’s a part of their nature to do it.

Related questions

Why does my Golden Retriever hump me when we play? If your Golden Retriever is humping you when you play with it then it is likely to be due to excitement. Golden Retrievers and other dogs tend to show their levels of excitement by doing exaggerated things which can include rolling around, jumping or even humping.

Why does my Golden Retriever hump stuffed animals? If your Golden Retriever has a habit of humping stuffed animals then it is likely to be because it likes the way that it feels. If you want to get it to stop then you can try the redirect method that I mentioned above. You can also get it neutered if you haven’t already.

Why does my Golden Retriever hump its bed? The cause for this could be dominance to show that the bed is his/hers or it could be because it likes the feeling. To stop this you can try the redirect method or get it neutered.

If you would like learn everything that you need to know about how to have a happy, healthy and well-behaved Golden Retriever, take a look at this Golden Retriever ebook.

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