If your German Shepherd has a habit of humping then you’re probably wondering why and how to get it to stop. This post will give you a number of reasons why your German Shepherd might be doing it and what you can do about it.

So, why does your German Shepherd hump? There are a number of reasons that your German Shepherd might be doing it. Possible reasons include sexual arousal especially if it’s young, looking to exert dominance which is more probable if it’s older, looking for attention, and being stressed.  

And, what can you do to stop your German Shepherd from humping? The best way to get your German Shepherd to stop the humping will depend on the reason that it is doing it. Some possible solutions that are available to you would include getting up and ignoring the behavior and then rewarding it when it’s being well behaved, redirecting its attention to performing a task, giving it lots of exercise and giving it toys to be distracted with. 

It can actually be quite difficult to figure out the exact cause of your German Shepherd’s behavior but it’s important that you take the time to consider it since it will help you to get it to stop more easily.

Possible reasons why your German Shepherd humps you

There are a number of reasons that your German Shepherd might have a humping habit that I will explain below.

Arousal

One possible cause of your German Shepherd’s humping is sexual arousal. If your German Shepherd is unneutered and it is still young then this is likely to be the cause but even if it’s old it could still be the reason. Even though your German Shepherd won’t try to mate with a human or toy or whatever else it might hump it might still do it as a way to masturbate since it feels good for it.

It’s important to stop this behavior as soon as it starts since the older it gets the more this behavior will compound on itself and the harder it will be to stop. You can reduce this behavior by getting it neutered or you can try the ignore or redirect techniques mentioned in the section below.

Related post: How to tell if your German Shepherd loves you

Dominance

Another possible cause of the behavior could be that it is a power play where your German Shepherd is trying to figure out how much power it has and to exert its power over you or other dogs. As mentioned on pets webmd the German Shepherd that is doing the humping might not be the dominant German Shepherd rather it might be unsure of its status and it is doing the humping to figure it out.

If this is the cause then there will likely be other signs of dominance-seeking behavior such as not being willing to listen to your command, aggression or other power plays like trying to sit on you or where you would normally sit or trying to lay down in a position higher than you.

Regardless, you should take measures to prevent this. You can do that by doing lots of training with it so that it sees you as the one in charge.

Excitement

It’s also not uncommon for German Shepherds and other dog breeds to start humping when it gets excited. German Shepherds will often show their levels of excitement by doing outlandish things like humping or rolling in the grass or even mud. If your German Shepherd only seems to do the humping when it gets excited then excitement is likely to be the cause.

To prevent this kind of behavior you should make sure to give it lots of exercise so that you can reduce its hyperactivity and to train it not to by trying the ignore or redirect techniques in the section below. You could also try getting it neutered if you can.

Attention

German Shepherds are a breed that was bred to do energy-intensive tasks for hours daily. This means that they need a lot of exercise to be properly stimulated. If your German Shepherd isn’t getting a lot of exercise then it can promote hyperactive behavior like humping. If you think that a lack of exercise might be the cause then make sure to give it more exercise.

A good way to give it a lot of exercise without needing a lot of effort on your part is to teach it to play fetch.

Stress

Another possible reason that it does the humping is that it is anxious or it is stressed. If this is the cause then it may have come on suddenly after a recent stressful event or it might be due to something that happened when it was young. Some things to consider when trying to figure out if this is the cause would be whether or not there has recently had a stressful event like losing a friend, changing its owner or changing its home.

Ways To Get Your German Shepherd To Stop Humping You

There are a number of methods that you can try in order to get your German Shepherd to stop humping. The best method will depend on the cause of your German Shepherd’s humping and you’ll likely find that combining them will give the best results.

You can look at the book Training Your German Shepherd on Amazon to get more tips on how you can train your GSD.

Neuter it

The first option that you could consider would be to neuter it. By doing so you will be able to lower its sex drive and you’ll be able to reduce its desire to hump things so much. There are also a number of other benefits to neutering your German Shepherd such as allowing it to be more healthy and reducing its urge to roam so you should consider it anyway.

Get up and ignore it

Another option that you can try is to simply get up and leave it when it starts humping. By doing this you will be able to teach it that humping things will result in it not getting any attention and it will help it to stop. After it stops humping and it is being well behaved you can give it a treat as well to reinforce the good behavior.

Try the redirect method

The redirect method is where you tell your German Shepherd to do something else, when it starts humping or when you notice that it is about to hump, and then reward it for doing the other thing. For example, you could tell it to sit, to lay or to stay when it starts humping.

If you haven’t taught your German Shepherd how to stay yet then I have written about how you can do so here.  I have also written about how to teach your German Shepherd “down” and how to come on command in the past here and here.

Give it lots of exercise

It’s also important to take measures to reduce its levels of hyperactivity which you can do by giving it lots of exercise and training.

A good way to give your German Shepherd lots of exercise without having to wear yourself out is to play fetch with it. By doing this you’ll be able to get your German Shepherd to do lots of running in a shorter amount of time.

If you haven’t taught your German Shepherd how to play fetch before then it can be a bit of a challenge but I have written about how you can teach your German Shepherd to do it in the past here.

You can also try walking your German Shepherd with other dogs since they will do a lot more exercise by playing with each other.

Give it distractions

Another option that you could try would be to take its mind away from humping. You can do this by giving it lots of toys and bones to play with.

However, the issue with this method is that you won’t be teaching your German Shepherd to stop the behavior instead you’ll be masking it which won’t make it go away very effectively.

Things to consider about your German Shepherd’s humping

There are some things that you should keep in mind when you are considering why and how to stop your German Shepherd’s humping.

Stop it young

If your German Shepherd is still young and it has a humping habit then now would be a good time to get it to stop. If you wait until it is older then getting it to stop doing it will be a lot more difficult since the habit will be more ingrained. Whenever you see it start humping you should distract it and give it something else to do.

Avoid punishing it

It can be tempting to get your German Shepherd to stop the humping by punishing it but you should avoid doing this. It won’t do much to stop it from wanting to do the humping and it could lead to other problems like distrust, aggression, anxiety and can make it less responsive to your command.

It’s in its nature

A humping German Shepherd isn’t something that you should be overly concerned about. It’s something that all dogs are known to do and it’s a part of their nature to do it.

Related questions

Why does my German Shepherd hump me when we play? If your German Shepherd is humping you when you play with it then it is likely to be due to excitement. German Shepherds and other dogs tend to show their levels of excitement by doing exaggerated things which can include rolling around, jumping or even humping.

Why does my German Shepherd hump stuffed animals? If your German Shepherd has a habit of humping stuffed animals then it is likely to be because it likes the way that it feels. If you want to get it to stop then you can try the redirect method that I mentioned above. You can also get it neutered if you haven’t already.

Why does my German Shepher hump its bed? The cause for this could be dominance to show that the bed is his/hers or it could be because it likes the feeling. To stop this you can try the redirect method or get it neutered.

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