Dog Humping the Air: 7 Probable Reasons and Easy Cures

Your guide to finding out why your dog is humping the air.

There is no doubt that dogs are some of the most playful animals out there. They’re extremely loving and loyal. However, in certain situations, you may feel yourself getting embarrassed when you look over and notice your dog humping the air. Moreover, it is also painful to see your dog trying to do that.

Now, there are various reasons why your dog is uncontrollably humping the air. Note that, the reason may not always be related to raging hormones. There are various other probable reasons why your dog is acting out. 

So, if you wish to know the reasons along with some effective cures for them, then continue reading!

Is it Normal for a Dog to Hump the Air?

dog humping the air
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If you’re scared for your dog who keeps humping the air, don’t be, because the answer is no

This situation may get weird for you, but it is totally normal. Members from the canine family, such as dogs, have the habit of humping. It could be anything from toys, to people’s legs, to the air. 

However, it becomes necessary for you to know the reason for this. Additionally, there are also plenty of ways to discipline your dog in a friendly and effortless manner. 

7 Reasons Why Your Dog is Humping the Air

Whenever you sit to eat, you see your dog humping the air. Whenever you go out with your pet, they are again doing the same thing. This might bring the question – ‘why does my dog uncontrollably hump the air?’

Well, the answer lies in the below-mentioned reasons. 

1. Over-excitement Brings Out The Worst

One of the major reasons why your dog is humping the air uncontrollably is because of excitement. 

You may commonly observe that whenever your dog is close to their favorite human or even an animal, they will start humping the air. 

It is definitely a shameful act where humans are concerned. However, for animals, like dogs, it is simply a harmless way of showing that they’re happy to be around you. 

It isn’t as common as a dog wagging its tail or running around in circles. Yet, there are certain dogs, of different breeds, who showcase this behavior. 

So, if you notice that your dog only humps the air when they are close to their favorite human or animal, then it is because of over-excitement. 

2. They Want to Dominate the Rest

In reality, dogs still have their dominating genes. It is quite natural for them to show their dominance in front of other people and animals. So, certain dogs may growl to show dominance while others start humping the air, as crazy as it sounds. 

Dominance is one of the most common causes of why your dog is humping the air. They simply want to prove their dominance amongst other animals. 

This type of humping is usually seen in houses where more than one dog is present. Sometimes, a dog may want to dominate the others. They may start humping the air in front of them. 

So, if you have bought or adopted a new dog or puppy, then this is the most probable reason why your dog is humping the air. 

3. Playtime Is All They Want

As mentioned above, dogs are playful animals. They want to play, run around, and have fun whenever they are with other dogs. However, what if they’re unsure about how to seem playful? Well, they start humping the air. 

Many dogs dry hump the air when they want to be playful. This type of case is usually observed in dogs who weren’t taken out for playing with other dogs at a younger age. It is because the dog doesn’t know how to react and isn’t good at socializing. 

So, if your dog only humps the air during the playtime and when it’s around other animals, like dogs, then it could be the reason. If you’ve adopted the dog, then also you can look out for this particular reason. 

4. Stress and Anxiety are the Culprits

Another common reason why your dog is humping the air is stress and anxiety. Some dogs tend to become quiet while some might growl. However, there are certain dogs who hump the air when they’re stressed or anxious. 

There are several reasons why your dog is stressed and anxious. If they are new, maybe they haven’t gotten used to the new environment. If there are other dogs present, keep an eye as they may be bullying this dog. It’s quite common for dogs to bully other dogs. 

Your dog may also be feeling lonely and anxious. So, try to spend some time. However, don’t try to hug them and invade their space, as they may feel more anxious. 

5. Female in Heat

It’s not always about your dog. Sometimes, a female dog in heat can also cause your dog to hump the air. 

It is quite common when you have an unneutered dog and a female dog in the same household. The heat pheromones may attract the male dog and cause them to send signals to the female dog regarding mating. 

Again, it is quite normal and natural in dogs to do this. However, it may cause a lot of inconvenience for you and in certain conditions, a carton of puppies!

6. Underlying Medical Reasons

If none of the above-mentioned reasons apply to your dog, then your dog may have an underlying condition. Usually, it isn’t a serious condition. 

So, if you notice your dog humping uncontrollably, look out for certain medical problems. These problems include – genital infection, hyperthyroidism, or prostate cancer in male dogs. 

7. For Seeking Pleasure

One of the most obvious reasons why your dog is humping the air is because they are seeking pleasure. 

You may observe such type of behavior in unneutered or unspayed dogs. 

Is Humping Bad For Dogs?

As mentioned earlier, humping is a natural instinct of dogs. Even after certain dogs are neutered, they hump as old habits die hard. 

Now, humping isn’t necessarily bad unless it’s a medical emergency. However, it can put you in an embarrassing position when your dog starts humping in front of others. Additionally, it can also cause conflicts between your dog and other dogs. 

Hence, it becomes necessary to bring your dog back in line. 

Effortless Methods to Prevent Your Dog From Humping the Air

Now that you’ve read the explanation about your dog’s behavior, it is time to also read about how you can stop it. 

Remember that if your dog has this habit for a long time, it may take some time and patience to get rid of it. 

1. Show Them Who is the Leader

As mentioned above, dominance is one of the most common reasons why your dog is humping the air. In this situation, you need to show them who’s the actual leader. 

So, here’s what to do: Try to say NOin a loud and clear voice while your dog is humping. Ensure that you don’t sound too angry as it may scare your dog. You just have to sound commanding and dominating. 

You can also use a whistle to bring your dog’s attention to you and to remind them that this behavior isn’t tolerated. 

It is necessary to know that you shouldn’t hit your dog. This can cause feelings of anger and resentment towards you which you don’t want. 

2. Ignore Your Dog

When dogs show love or want attention, they tend to hump. So, you need to ignore them in such situations to show that they’re not getting your attention by humping the air. 

In this case, try to not maintain eye contact or even look in their direction. You can also turn or walk away from them to prove your point in a better way. 

3. Divert Their Energy

Dogs may hump when they’re playful or too energetic. So, try to direct and divert their energy elsewhere. 

Whenever your dog starts humping, try to stop them. Once they stop, take them out to play fetch and run. You can also bring them certain interactive toys available in the market that can keep them busy. 

This way they’ll learn how to play and, redirect their energy there rather than humping the air. 

Incorporating some mental stimulation games into your dog’s daily agenda is a great way of diverting their attention.

4. Do Not Encourage This Behavior

When you laugh or smile at your dog even jokingly when they hump the air, you’re encouraging them to do more. So, if you’re doing this, it may be the time to stop and get strict. 

Instead of smiling when your dog does it, try to ignore your dog. If they don’t stop, you should command them to not do it in a firm voice. 

5. Take Your Dog to the Vet

If your dog continues this type of behavior even after you have tried everything, contact your veterinarian.

If you haven’t gotten your dog spayed or neutered, your veterinarian may ask you to get it done. However, in the case of other medical issues, the process differs. 

So, before it gets serious, set up an appointment with the vet. 

6. Make Your Dog Trust You

Stress and anxiety may cause humping. If you feel like your dog is anxious, coax them lovingly, and patiently. 

You can take them out for walks or give them training treats to make them love you and trust you. Don’t forget to give them some space though. 

Final Thoughts

Getting your dog to stop humping the air may take some time and patience. So, don’t get too harsh on your little dog and try to understand the reason. 

In the end, all your dog needs is your love, time, and care. Give them that and they’ll definitely understand you and stop this behavior. 

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