Why Do Dogs Hump The Air?

Dogs hump the air for various reasons, some of which are pretty understandable, while others may leave you scratching your head.

If you are a dog owner, it is essential to know the answer to the question, “why do dogs hump the air” so that you can address any underlying issues.

This article will explore why dogs hump the air and explain each reason for the humping behavior.

Reasons Why Dogs Hump The Air

dog jumping against mans leg

Dogs hump the air for a variety of reasons.

And before we start going deeper into the reasons, it’s necessary to say that female dogs hump, as well as male dogs do.

Some dogs do it out of excitement or playfulness, while others may do it to relieve stress or anxiety.

Humping can also be a sign of dominance (mostly a male dog does it) or may be indicative of an underlying medical condition.

If your dog is humping the air excessively, it’s essential to consult with your veterinarian to rule out any health concerns.

Excitement And Play

One of the most common reasons why dogs hump the air is out of sheer excitement.

Dogs often resort to humping while playing with other dogs or people, suggesting a level of enthusiasm and energy.

Generally, this type of behavior is not considered sexual behavior.

If your dog is humping in response to excitement, you can redirect their attention with toys or treats to help create alternative behaviors.

Stress And Anxiety

Dogs may also engage in air-humping when feeling stressed or anxious about something.

That could be due to fear or because they’re overstimulated by specific environments (or other animals).

It’s essential to understand why your pet might be feeling anxious or stressed and to find ways to help them better cope in these situations.

Seeking Attention

Dogs will also hump the air to get attention from their owners.

Giving your extra pup affection when they’re humping could encourage them to continue the behavior.

It’s best to ignore your pet’s air-humping and redirect their attention to toys or treats instead.

To Show Dominance

In some cases, dogs will hump the air as a sign of dominance over other animals or people.

This behavior can become problematic if you have multiple pets in the same household, as it might lead to aggression.

It’s essential to understand why your pet might be displaying this behavior and to take appropriate measures to reduce it.

Underlying Medical Condition

In rare cases, air-humping could signify an underlying medical condition such as hormonal imbalances or urinary tract infections.

If your pup is humping excessively, it’s essential to consult with your veterinarian to rule out any health concerns.

Poor Socialization

Dogs that have not been adequately socialized may also engage in air-humping to assert themselves and show dominance over other animals or people.

Dogs need to receive proper socialization early to know how to interact appropriately with others.


Dogs may also hump the air out of boredom.

If your pup doesn’t have enough to do, they might resort to air-humping to entertain themselves.

To help prevent this type of behavior, ensure you provide plenty of mental stimulation and physical activity for your pet daily.

Suppose you’re unsure why your pup is using air-humping.

In that case, it’s best to consult with your veterinarian or animal behaviorist, who can help identify any underlying issues that might be causing the behavior and advise how to manage it.

Understanding why dogs have those humping behaviors is key to preventing this behavior in the future.

How To Stop Your Dog Humping The Air?

brown dog laying on the floor looking very sad

Dogs hump the air for several reasons: to relieve stress, boredom, or excitement.

It can also be a way for dogs to show dominance over others.

If your dog is humping the air, there are several things you can do to discourage the behavior and help them redirect their focus.

Discourage The Behavior Firmly

When your dog is humping the air, it’s essential to be firm and tell them “no” in a stern voice.

That will help show your dog that this is unacceptable and should not be repeated.

Positive Conditioning Training Techniques

Positive reinforcement training can help teach your dog acceptable behaviors and provide rewards for doing what you want them to do.

For example, if you reward them with treats when they stop humping the air, they will associate good things with stopping the behavior.

Spaying Or Neutering

If your dog has not been spayed or neutered, then this could be why they are humping the air, as it is a way to express their desire to mate.

Male neutered dogs and will not hump that much as before.

Having your dog spayed or neutered (a male dog, as well as female dogs) can help reduce the urge to hump the air and other inappropriate behaviors, such as marking territory inside the house.

little white brown dog looking into the camera

Cure Boredom

Dogs need plenty of physical activity and mental stimulation to stay happy and healthy.

If your dog is bored, it may resort to humping the air out of boredom.

Try taking them on more walks or providing them with interactive toys that will help keep their attention and distract them from humping the air.

Help To Relieve Their Stress

Dogs are susceptible animals that can easily pick up on our stress levels and emotions.

If you think your dog is stressed, try to help them relax by providing a calm environment and time to destress.

Aromatherapy, massage, or just spending time with your dog can help re-establish the bond between you and your pet.

Redirect Their Focus

If your dog humps out of excitement or boredom, try redirecting their focus onto something else, such as playing with a toy or getting some exercise.

That will help take their mind off the air-humping and give them something positive to do instead.

Overall, it’s essential to be patient when trying to stop your dog from humping the air, as it may take some time before they stop this behavior.

With the proper guidance, you can help your dog stop humping the atmosphere and enjoy a happy and healthy life together!

Following these steps can help discourage this behavior and provide your dog with an outlet for their energy.

little white dog humping a toy

When Should You Be Worried About Your Dog Humping The Air?

In most cases, you don’t need to worry about your dog humping the air.

However, there are some instances when you should be concerned.

If your dog is persistently humping the air and appears to be doing so for no reason, or if he’s humping someone or something else besides inanimate objects, it could be a sign that he’s anxious, frustrated, or aroused.

If this is the case, you may want to consult with a behaviorist to help get to the root of the issue.

Should You Let Your Dog Hump The Air?

It’s a bit controversial topic, but many people seem to think you shouldn’t let your dog hump the air.

The main reason for this is that it can be seen as a sign of dominance or aggression, and it can also be quite frustrating for you and your dog.

Instead, try teaching your alternative dog behaviors, such as sitting or pawing at you to get what they want.

Before You Go…

Now you know the answer to the question, “Why do dogs hump the air?”.

If you want to learn more, read the following articles too!

Or watch this video:

Dimitra Kokologianni, DVM
Dimitra holds a Masters’s degree in public health and a Bachelor’s degree in veterinary medicine. She is a versatile professional with over 7 years of experience. Her passion for animal welfare and preventive medicine makes her an excellent resource for our readers.