Why does my dog hump his bed?

Dog Humping His Bed

There are several reasons why a dog may hump his bed. The following summarizes the reasons why this may occur.

by Guest Blogger, David Huner

Dogs humping the bed is not limited to male dogs only. Even females indulge in the act oftentimes. There are several reasons why dogs indulge in this act, and some of these areas a result of natural causes. The following summarizes the reasons why your dog humps his bed frequently or temporarily.

Why Does My Dog Hump His Bed?

  • It may be sexual, play, excitement, breed aggression, or a medical issue
  • You can train this behavior away if not a medical issue.
  • Humping behavior may be a medical issue, so you should examine your dog when you observe this behavior.

It is Sexual in Nature for the Dog

It is quite common to see a dog humping in public places, sometimes, they hump their owners’ legs, and sometimes they do it with other dogs. Mounting is a natural position for dogs, and unneutered and unspayed dogs under the age of one year will likely hump more frequently than older dogs. Therefore, it is expected that the dog might be exercising his sexual stimulation and aggressiveness by humping the Dog Bed. Humping should not always be associated with signs of sexual desires in dogs; it could be due to several other things.

It Could Mean a Sign of Excitement

While humping is natural for most dogs, your older dog may hump his bed as a sign of dominance. It could simply be a reaction to a bed that excites the dog. If you just bought a bed or spray the dog bed with an exciting spray that induces excitement in your dog, he could naturally show off his excitement by humping the bed or even the pillow.

Humping outdoors, on the other hand, may show that the dog has not been socializing for a long time. Sometimes a dog may start humping in reaction to the arrival of some visitors at home or seeing some other dogs around.

You Didn’t Make Him See it as a Bad Behavior

Another reason why your dog humps his bed is that he sees the act as playful behavior. Dog owners who find humping irritating often scold the animals for such. If you don’t make your dog realize that humping is bad behavior, he may see it as part of a normal play or day, the same way he sees barking and jumping. If you don’t incorporate anti-humping rules in a dog’s behavioral training, he will likely hump his bed, especially when you are not around to see him.

He is the Aggressive Breed Type

The genetic predisposition of a dog to humping can also be the reason why your dog humps his bed regularly. Certain breeds like Rottweilers and Chihuahua are known to hump their beds and their owners’ legs and even the legs of visitors.  This can become a highly embarrassing situation for dog owners.  With these breed types, you may only be successful in distracting them from humping for a while before they resume the act.

Medical Issues

It is wrong to assume that humping is a sexual act, especially in male dogs. Sometimes it could be a result of medical issues such as skin irritation and prostate problems. The possibility of humping being of a sexual nature is more common in younger dogs than the older ones. For instance, prostate problems often result in urinary incontinence, but you may continuously notice the dog humps because of the pain associated with the issue. Similarly, when the skin around the genitals of the dog becomes inflamed and irritated, the dog may only show his displeasure by humping his bed. Therefore, it is important to conduct a physical and medical examination on your dog when you notice frequent humping of his bed.

When is Humping the Bed a Problem?

Brief humping of the bed may be a normal play or show of excitement of your dog, and that may not be a source of concern. For instance, while running or playing outdoor, some dogs may take a turn in humping each other in a harmless expression of interest or excitement. Humping becomes an issue when your dog indulges in it several times within an hour. It is important to detect this issue very early and discover its underlying cause before creating a major conflict between you and the animal.

Can You Train Your Dog to Stop Humping?

Yes, it is possible to train a dog to stop hunting, but the issue is that you may never know when he starts doing it, especially when he is in his bed.

As mentioned above, humping may be a sign of medical issues. If, for instance, your dog is constantly licking or chewing its own body, it could be a sign of distress and need for urgent medical attention. Therefore, the first step you should take in helping your dog overcome excessive humping behavior is to help him get medical help when necessary.

Secondly, your dog may hump his bed when he does not get enough stimulation, especially through exercises.  You should also check any issue that may be aggravating the problem within their private space. If you are the busy type, you may want to schedule a weekend exercise routine as a start to distract your dog and reduce humping behavior. You may want to add extra few minutes early in the morning or late in the evening before you begin your normal day’s work.

Once you have ruled out the medical and environmental triggers of humping, you can turn to behavioral fixes for the humping behavior. Since humping is about domination, the main training should be about making the dog realize you are in charge. This training calms the dog because he will learn to trust you and behave even when you are not around him.

You should pay attention to the time period when your dog normally humps his bed and repeat the “Stop” command until your dog stops humping the dog. You may also install the voice command that relays your voice message every hour, especially when you are not with the dog.


As mentioned earlier, not all bed-humping behavior should be linked to some sexual aggressiveness. Many are borne out of environmental and medical causes, and a thorough investigation into the issue can bring a lasting solution.

About the author

David Huner has always been a dog lover, which is why it’s not a surprise that he decided to combine business and pleasure and become a dog trainer. But, keeping his dog-training knowledge to himself was never his plan. Instead, he wanted to share his knowledge with the world, so he created a blog called PetTrainingTip.com. Now he is sharing lots of tips and tricks there.