Dogs hump, and they aren’t to picky about what they hump. In fact, sometimes they hump nothing at all, they just do it — even if there is nothing nearby. In those moments you can’t help but wonder: “Why do dogs hump the air?”
Even if the humping may look “dirty” to your eye, it most commonly has nothing to do with anything sexual. There are a variety of different behaviors and conditions, even diseases, that can cause your dog to hump air.
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Interestingly enough, and proving that the humping isn’t anything sexual — neutered or spayed dogs hump air too.
If you are completely puzzled by your dog humping air and want to learn what the reason may be, keep on reading.
Why do dogs hump the air?
Humping refers to pelvic thrusting motions in dogs that can be observed in many different situations and circumstances.
While this behavior may be embarrassing to dog owners when their dogs do it in public, it often has nothing to do with your dog wanting to make puppies.
Humping can be seen even in neutered or spayed dogs and the humping motion can be directed at not living objects — like your couch, or even air.
There are a few different reasons as to why your dog may be humping air. We will go over the most common ones.
The excitement doesn’t have to be sexual in order for your dog to start humping.
Pure excitement for simply going to the dog park or getting their favorite treat can trigger humping in dogs.
Dogs may also start humping when you come home from work, or when a person they deeply love comes into their house. Any kind of positive excitement can cause a dog to hump air. It’s just a way to release some excessive energy.
Displacement behaviors are behaviors that to others may seem out of context. If your dog is feeling anxious or had some internal emotional conflicts he may start humping air to relieve tension.
If you notice any other behaviors like confusion, irritability or moodswings in your dog, the humping may be caused by something bothering him.
It’s no secret that dogs love attention. And sometimes when they are super eager to receive some attention, he may start acting up.
If your dog starts humping air the moment you stop paying attention to him — don’t fall into his trap.
If you do give your dog attention after the humping starts, he will think that his plan worked perfectly and will continue humping whenever he needs some extra attention.
The air-humping behaviors will soon strengthen and repeat simply because it’s reinforced from your attention.
If your dog is bored while being at home, and there is nothing better to do — he may start to hump.
Dogs are meant to be doing something, especially working breeds like Samoyeds or German Shepherds. Make sure that your dog has something to focus his mind on even when he is just chilling at home.
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If your dog is feeling bored and starts humping, try refocusing his mind with exercise or a puzzle. This will also be highly beneficial for the development of your canine.
In some cases dog behaviors can turn into ingrained habits, which then when left untreated morph into compulsive behaviors.
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This is when the behavior starts getting out of hand and your dog will start to hump the air like there is nothing better for him to do.
Something Medically Wrong
In some rare cases the air humping can also be a sign of an underlying medical condition.
One of the most common ones are allergies. If your dog is feeling itchy, chances are that he will hump like crazy.
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The allergies can be triggered by food, but also different environmental allergens.
Other type of skin irritations such like dermatitis or bug bites or even scrapes can be triggers too.