Why Does My Dog Hump My Arm?

Ever wonder, “Why does my dog hump my arm “when we’re just sitting together?”

You’re not alone!

Many dog owners scratch their heads over this funny and sometimes awkward behavior.

In this article, you will learn the simple reasons behind why dogs do this, and ways to help if it happens too often.

So, if you’re curious to understand your furry friend better, stick around and let’s uncover the mystery of this behavior.

Why Might Your Dog Hump Your Arm?


Let’s start with the joyous moments in a dog’s life.

Imagine when you return home after a day away.

Your dog’s enthusiasm is palpable, and everything from their wagging tail to their excited yips screams happiness.

Sometimes, this overwhelming emotion translates to them humping objects or people.

It’s like a kid who’s so thrilled they don’t know what to do with their energy.

A fun fact many dog owners might not be aware of: toys that mimic prey, like squeaky toys, can help channel this excitement elsewhere, reducing the chances of the arm becoming the target.

Feeling Stressed Or Worried

Dogs, just like humans, have feelings.

And when they’re uneasy or anxious, they might display behaviors that seem odd to us.

Humping can be a response to stressors such as thunderstorms, new visitors, or even a change in their daily routine.

Here’s a handy tip: playing calming music or introducing a safe space like a den or crate can create a sanctuary for a nervous dog, making them feel more secure.

Just Playing Around

Dogs are playful by nature, and sometimes, they incorporate humping into their play.

It’s their way of experimenting with social interactions, not too different from children playing house or pretending to be adults.

It’s crucial for dog owners to understand the difference between playful humping and aggressive or dominant behavior, ensuring playtime remains friendly and non-threatening.

Wanting Attention

Everyone loves a bit of attention, and dogs are no different.

If they feel they aren’t getting enough of your time, they might resort to behaviors like humping to make you sit up and notice.

Many dog owners might not know this, but implementing a consistent play and training schedule can prevent such attention-seeking actions.

Rewarding positive behavior, like sitting calmly or fetching a toy, can make a world of difference.

Trying To Be The Boss

The world of dogs is filled with unspoken rules and hierarchies.

In their way, dogs try to find their place in this world.

Humping can sometimes be an expression of dominance.

It might surprise some dog owners to learn that this isn’t just a male dog behavior; females can display it too!

It’s essential to teach our dogs that while they’re loved, certain behaviors, especially dominant ones, aren’t acceptable.

Feeling Funny Feelings

Puberty isn’t unique to humans.

As dogs grow, they undergo hormonal changes and start discovering their bodies.

This exploratory phase might lead them to hump objects or people.

A useful piece of information: while spaying or neutering can reduce such behaviors, it’s crucial to weigh the pros and cons and consult with a vet before making decisions.

Feeling Bored

We all know the saying, “An idle mind is the devil’s workshop.”

In the dog world, an idle dog might just end up being a mischievous one.

Boredom can lead them to engage in various activities, and yes, humping can be one of them.

A pro tip for dog owners: introducing mentally stimulating toys or enrolling your dog in agility courses can keep their minds active and engaged, reducing the chances of such behaviors.

Not Knowing How To Act

Social cues can be confusing, especially for a dog in a new environment or around unfamiliar faces.

This uncertainty might manifest as humping.

An advice nugget for owners: regular socialization from a young age, through puppy classes or dog park visits, can equip your pet with the confidence to navigate different situations.

Doing It Over And Over

Behaviors, once learned, can be hard to unlearn.

If a dog has gotten into the habit of humping, it might require consistent intervention and training to change this behavior.

One thing many owners might not realize is that using positive reinforcement techniques, like treats or praise for displaying good behavior, can be more effective than scolding.

Can’t Help Doing It

Sometimes, despite our best efforts, a dog might engage in compulsive humping.

It’s not always about pleasure; sometimes, it’s a deep-rooted behavioral issue.

In such cases, a consultation with a pet behaviorist might be beneficial.

Pee Problems

If a dog experiences discomfort while urinating, they might hump objects to find relief.

A diet rich in cranberries and blueberries can promote urinary tract health, but always consult your vet before introducing any dietary changes.

Itchy Spots

Just as we might wiggle or scratch when we have an itch, dogs might hump to relieve an itch, especially in their private areas.

Regular grooming and checking for fleas or ticks can prevent these itchy issues.

Is It Okay For My Dog To Hump My Arm?

Every behavior, from tail wagging to barking, tells a story.

But the tale of humping is a layered one.

Good and bad things about it:

On the brighter side, occasional humping can be a display of excitement or just plain old playfulness.

But too much, especially directed at humans, can make social situations tricky.

Here’s a surprising tidbit: even female dogs hump, not just the boys.

So, it’s essential to understand the behavior rather than the gender.

On the other hand, humping can be puzzling because dogs might see it as harmless, while humans, especially those unfamiliar with dogs, might misinterpret it.

How To Help Your Dog Stop Humping

Know Why They Do It

Imagine if you had a habit and everyone just told you to stop without understanding why you did it.

Frustrating, right?

The same goes for our furry friends.

From playfulness, seeking attention, to health issues—there’s a story behind the hump.

Show Them Something Else

Did you know that some toys are designed to reduce humping?

Puzzle toys or toys that mimic prey can be excellent distractions, channeling their energy elsewhere.

Ignore The Humping

It sounds strange, but sometimes, ignoring is the solution.

Dogs often hump for attention.

No reaction from you might make them realize it’s not worth it.

Teach Them The Rules

Consistent training is a gem.

A cool fact: dogs are among the few animals that can understand human gestures and voice tones.

Use this to your advantage!

A firm “no” can work wonders.

Play And Train More

A tired dog is a good dog.

Engaging them in activities like fetch or tug can minimize their humping tendencies.

And the bonus?

You both get to bond!

Keep Them Calm

Calming collars or even certain dog-friendly essential oils can soothe an anxious dog.

And an insider tip: sometimes, a soft piece of clothing with your scent can be the best comforter.

A Trip To The Vet

If all else fails, it’s always good to get a professional opinion.

Sometimes, a vet can help:

Just like we have doctors, dogs have vets who understand their world inside out.

Should You Be Worried?

Every pet owner wants their fur baby to be the happiest and healthiest version of themselves.

Recognizing when a behavior crosses from quirky to concerning is crucial.

Knowing when it’s a problem:

Continuous, obsessive behavior, coupled with other symptoms or drastic mood shifts, should ring alarm bells.

How to make sure your dog is happy and healthy:

Engage with them, love them, and always keep an eye out for anything out of the ordinary.

Remember, when it comes to your dog’s well-being, you’re the superhero they rely on!

Before You Go…

Now you know why your dog humps your arm.

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.