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Will Spaying or Neutering Keep My Dog From Humping?

There’s no beating around the bush, dogs like to hump. Sometimes it’s our leg, sometimes it’s that cute doggie at the dog park. Despite our embarrassment, it's important to know that dog humping is a perfectly normal activity. Neutering (for male dogs) or spaying (for female dogs) is known to prevent frisky episodes, but it may not be enough to halt your dog’s urges all together. Dogs mount for different reasons and not all of it is sexual. Check out the science behind humping and why neutering isn’t always a deterrent.

Why dogs hump

As a puppy moves into puberty, he or she is flooded with a surge of hormones. These hormonal changes occur around the eighteenth month and create a number of personality changes. Dogs not neutered or spayed at this time will become bolder and feisty as high levels of testosterone flood the brain. Male dogs experiencing puberty will hump more than usual at this time.

Does spaying/neutering work?

Many of us believe that once the family dog is neutered, mating behaviors cease to exist. While in most cases this is true, neutering alone may not stop the behavior. Vets warn it can take up to six weeks after surgery for excess testosterone levels to leave to leave a dog’s body. Even with the lack of sex hormones, your dog may still want to hump things.

Learned behavior

Neutering/spaying a dog is best done as your puppy enters puberty. Once a dog enters adulthood, humping has become a learned behavior. Breaking this habit will prove to be more difficult as your dog ages in spite of any surgery.

Stress triggers

Sometimes dog humping isn’t a mating behavior. Stress, anxiety and pure excitement are enough to trigger mounting. When this happens, it's good to know that this is simply a normal part of being a dog. Look for ways to de-stress or calm down an over-excited pooch as a form of prevention.

Humping is a natural part of a dog’s behavior. Neutering and spaying help ease urges, but sometimes stress and excitement are enough to trigger your dog’s natural instinct