What should you do if your dog humps your baby? One of our readers was in touch to ask about a particularly tricky situation – her dog has begun humping the new addition to the family. The really tricky part is that the new addition isn’t another dog – it’s a baby. Understandably, this pooch’s new behavior needs to be halted in short order.
Generally speaking, a dog humping is relatively harmless. It’s a natural response to excitement, and if he or she is not neutered or spayed, you’ll see humping more than if they are. If the humping is occasional and seems limited to certain things like a dog toy, it can probably be ignored.
What should you do if your dog humps your baby?
What cannot be ignored is when your dog begins humping frequently or out of the blue, like when you bring home a new baby. Humping behaviors are often a sign of stress or anxiety in your dog, and for our reader, that is the most likely explanation for why the dog has particularly targeted the baby. A new family member is a big deal to your dog, and putting a stop to the humping behavior as quickly as possible is critical. Follow these tips to bring back the dog you know and love.
- Separate the dog initially. The safety and comfort of humans in your life is important, so if the only way to ensure that is to put the dog in a crate, that’s what needs to be done. Make sure not to yell at your dog, as that will only make the stress worse. Calmly say “no,” and escort him to his crate.
- Introduce an item that smells like the baby. Try to familiarize your dog with the baby by getting him used to the scent. If the dog humps the baby blanket or other item you introduced, remove it immediately.
- Have your dog on a leash. Until you can trust that your dog is ready to be around your baby, put him on a leash in the same room you’re in. He wants your attention, so depriving him of your time is not the answer.
- Praise your dog when interactions with the baby are positive. Get down on the floor with both your dog and your baby and give lots of affection, praise, and treats to your dog as he behaves properly with the baby.
If you have tried the above steps and are still seeing problems, visit the vet. It is possible that there are medical issues that need to be addressed.
Hopefully, all it will take to stop your dog from inappropriately humping objects or people is some attention and a little training. Make sure to come back and let us know how these tips worked for you or what else you’ve found to be successful. Humping is a behavior none of us is fond of and all of us would like to stop!