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11 Weird Reasons Why Dogs Masturbate + 3 Tips To Stop It

Do Dogs Masturbate

It’s a chill day and you had friends over.

You show them your pooch, and as usual, your visitors play with your canine.

Then suddenly, your dog starts masturbating.

Whether they’re humping a pillow or just a random friend’s leg, or arm…

It’s very embarrassing.

You just want this to stop and not have awkward encounters with your dog.

Continue reading to learn:

  • 11 weird reasons why dogs masturbate.
  • What methods dogs use so they can “have fun”.
  • 3 tips to stop your canine from “playing” with themselves.
  • And this is just the beginning…

Do dogs masturbate?

Dogs masturbate because they are in heat and do not have a partner they can mate with. Canines also play with themselves due to stress or anxiety. Some dogs masturbate because they met another member of their species and got turned on. Medical issues can also cause your dog to rub their genitals.

11 reasons why dogs masturbate

#1: They are in heat

You might not know this, but your pooch also feels the need to mate. They just don’t do it for reproduction purposes only. Dogs have urges that need to be met.

And when these urges come, canines usually can’t control them, and some show it by masturbating. Dogs don’t have an understanding of complicated human social etiquette. 

Because of this, our furry friends just whip it out to try and relieve themselves. But the downside is there’s a tendency that your dog will do it in front of friends.

It can get embarrassing and frustrating, I know. It really can ruin a chill hangout with friends. Or, maybe, your visitors will find it funny. It depends on your friends.

You’re just chilling in one corner and they suddenly display signs of masturbating. Here are some of these according to ASPCA:

  • Humping.
  • Mounting.
  • Licking their genitals.

“Yeah, I do see my dogs sometimes do this.”

And it’s pretty normal behavior for canines to show these kinds of actions. Masturbation and being in heat are part of their psyche.

In female dogs, there is a cycle for when they feel in heat. And during this time, they’ll be more open to accepting advances from male canines.

According to AKC, female dogs get in heat once every 6 weeks on average. And this period typically lasts between 2 to 4 weeks.

Some female dogs not only just let males mount them. They even actively go out and seek a partner they can mate with.

If you want to control your female pooch’s pregnancy, you can start by tracking their cycles. It can help to know when they might find a partner.

You might also want to know: Can Dogs Get Sexually Attracted To Humans? The Truth

#2: It’s raining

Dogs Masturbate When It's Raining

I can see your eyebrows raise when you read that heading. I know how you feel, it got me shocked, too, when I first learned about this.

Who knew that rain and seasons can have an effect on dogs and their sexuality? Although seasonality of sexual activity in animals is pretty common.

As mentioned earlier, female dogs try to find mates every 6 months. But apparently, male canines become more “turned on” during the rainy season.

“Is this real?”

Yes, it is! According to research, scientists have observed the mating behavior of canines in India. And they found out that during the rainy season, dogs mate more.

In warm countries such as India, it makes sense that canines give birth during showery times. This is because resources such as food and water are in abundance.

When dogs give birth to pups during the rainy season, their kids will have higher chances of survival. But interestingly, in India, they “make kids” during this time.

Why does this happen?

The study says that it might be connected to chemistry and canine hormones. Male dogs have the ability to mate any day of the year as long a there’s a female available.

And one of the ways they find mates is through smelling their hormones. When a male dog detects that there is a female in heat within the area, they are urged to mate.

This push to mate isn’t done by their peers, but by their own brains.

“Okay… then why do they have sexual activity during the rainy season?

It’s because, in places like India, dogs smell a lot of things. And the scent of female dogs in heat can be covered.

When it does rain, the environment clears and the smell of hormones can be clearly detected.

This can also be what’s happening with your pooch. After a rainfall, they can easily detect female dogs who are in heat. And this can make them want to mate and therefore exhibit masturbating actions.

I’ll discuss more this in #3.

#3: Their noses can smell dogs in heat

As mentioned in #2, dogs’ mating habits increase during rainfall. And this is because they can clearly smell female canines in heat.

However, rainy or not, your dog can still smell when another canine is ready to mate. This will be more heightened if you live in a quaint place with low olfactory noise.

These locations are usually in the rural area where there isn’t a lot going on. Not many cars can disrupt the natural scent of the atmosphere in the places mentioned.

Factories will also add to the olfactory noise in an area. Fumes, smoke, and other pollutants can disturb your dog’s nose.

However, there are still some canines who can smell others who are in heat. And when this happens, they start to masturbate out of excitement.

“Dogs can smell that in the air?”

Yes, their excellent noses can. According to Dr. Buzhardt, dogs have around 100 million olfactory receptors. This is part of the reason why they can smell hormones from across the neighborhood.

In comparison to a human’s nose with only 6 million receptors, canines’ smell is superior. And being able to detect female dogs in heat could happen more in scenting breeds.

Dogs’ noses can sometimes be very sensitive.

According to research, wolves and dogs bred to detect scents have the best noses. They performed best in the smelling tests that were given to them.

This is in comparison to dogs with short noses and non-scenting canines. Here are examples of scenting dog breeds:

  • Beagle.
  • Dachshund.
  • Bloodhound.
  • Basset Hound.
  • Belgian Malinois.
  • German Shepherd.
  • Labrador Retriever.
  • Bluetick Coonhound.

#4: It’s part of their play behavior

Dogs are playful by nature and this is evident in their need to have activities in a day. Canines who aren’t taken out for walks and exercise may feel depressed.

Adding an exercise routine to their schedule can help your pooch be happier. It can also lessen the chances of them getting rowdy inside your home.

Where else would dogs release their energy and urge to play? In some cases, canines chew on blankets, shoes, and other household items.

Neglect of their need for physical activity can lead you to have a “destroyed” home. Now, this can be forgivable if your pooch didn’t destroy anything valuable.

But if your dog damages something pricey and has a sentimental value, it can be frustrating.

Now, what I stated are worst-case scenarios. There are ways your dog can show their play behavior. And these ones are less destructive and harmful to your home.

Some canines play hump and mount random objects when they feel like being playful. Do you see your pooch trying to “have sex” with a pillow? This can be one of those times that your dog is just being playful.

Actions like these don’t necessarily mean they’re masturbating. Or are in need of mating. Some are just bored and they try to start playtimes.

If your pooch does this without any erections, then chances are they’re just playing. Especially if they’re mounting dogs after a long day of being alone.

Your pooch just might be looking for playmates.

Actions like these usually happen to dogs who haven’t been properly socialized. Let’s discuss this in #5.

You might also be interested in: 15 Weird Reasons Why Your Dog Is So Hyper All Of A Sudden

#5: They lack socialization

One reason why your pooch doesn’t know how to behave is because of poor socialization. Unwanted behavior will arise when you don’t socialize your dog with other canines. 

This conduct will also translate to humans. What I mean is when your pooch sees other people, they might try to mount and hump their legs.

All these actions are a way for your dog to solicit playtime. As mentioned earlier, they’re just looking for playmates.

In some cases, canines get over-aroused when they see other dogs. Some jump around and generally show exaggerated excitement.

There are other pooches who would also try to mount and hump their dog friends. This action can easily be translated by fur parents as masturbating.

It’d help if you socialize your dogs at an early age. This way, they won’t go crazy with the sight of another canine or people.

According to WebMD, the first 3 months of a dog’s life are very important. This is when they start to learn behaviors and acquire habits.

Your pooch could be taught by a trainer or sometimes their siblings. If you know how to train dogs, you can do it yourself, too.

The recommended time for your canine to socialize is between 7 to 8 weeks. You can enroll them in socialization classes. This way, they’ll have more formal learning and your dog will be handled by professionals.

But before you let your canine out into the world, it’s best to get them vaccinated first. So that when they meet other dogs, they’ll be safe.

You’ll never know who your pooch meets and what diseases they can get. According to research, dogs are host to around 60 diseases that can transfer to humans.

For you and your dog’s safety, get them vaccinated.

Read also: 5 Reasons Why Your Dog Barks When The Doorbell Rings + Tips

#6: You gave them rewards

Rewarding Your Dog With Treats

Did you know that hitting your dog while training isn’t going to increase its effectiveness? It can make you and your pooch’s relationship strained.

Injuries, bruises, and wounds can also occur if you punish your dogs. Something that no loving fur parent would want to happen to their pooches.

The proper way to train your dog is by using positive reinforcement according to the VCA.

One of the quickest ways for dogs to learn behaviors is through giving rewards. Because they can associate the act with good things, they’ll do it again.

And the good thing about using this technique is your dog’s obedience will still be there even if you’re absent. Using fear on the other hand will make your pooch follow you if only you’re around.

This is why some dogs poop inside their homes at night.

The effectiveness of this training technique can also make your pooch mount more. Their random humping can also increase because of the rewards you give.

“Wait. I don’t think I gave them any prizes for masturbating or even humping.”

Well, maybe not directly. Sometimes, we unknowingly give our pooches rewards for certain behaviors.

You do this by giving them:

  • Pets.
  • Toys.
  • Rubs.
  • Treats.
  • Attention.

All these can help reinforce behaviors. Especially if you give it to them during or after they do the act.

The most common one you might’ve accidentally given your dog is your attention. I mean, when you see them with an erection and humping things, you try to reprimand them.

Even if the purpose of talking to your dog is to make them stop, they can interpret it differently. Instead of your pooch stopping the act of masturbating, they’ll likely do it again.

You might also be interested in: 13 Surprising Reasons Why Dogs Like Their Ears Rubbed

#7: They learned it from other dogs

Canines are fast learners and they absorb information quickly. As mentioned previously, if you use positive reinforcement, they can learn quickly.

However, training with their hoomans isn’t the only way your pooch acquires knowledge. They can also learn from watching other dogs.

Some pooches even go out of their way and “train” their siblings.

Just watch this dog who taught their bro to sit for treats:

This is nature’s way of helping canines survive for long. Since dogs are pack animals, their ancestors traveled, hunted, and slept together.

Because of this relationship between every canine, they usually pass on knowledge. One way they do this is through their hunting methods.

As they track and find their meal, adult canines lead the hunt. While the younger ones participate and learn.

Through this, all the mistakes of the past will be avoided. And the behavior that can help canines survive will be passed on.

In the modern days, dogs still have this skill – learning by watching others.

A study shows this relationship between canines.

In the research, they tested 8-week old puppies and their ability to learn. The pups were taught how to solve a puzzle.

The teachers were a human, their mother, and an unfamiliar dog. Without a doubt, the puppies did learn how to solve the puzzle.

They also found out that the pups were more likely to learn when the unfamiliar dog taught them.

In the case of masturbating and humping, it’s likely your pooch learned it from other dogs. Especially if you have 2 or more canines in your home.

Going to the park may also influence your pooch’s behavior. They can see all sorts of doggy behavior there and will pick one up.

#8: They have a medical issue

Another reason why your dog masturbates is because of health problems. Or at least they look like they’re doing it because of some irritations.

Medical problems have the tendency to change your dog’s behavior. One well-known weird behavior your pooch does when they have a medical issue is scooting.

You’ll be chilling at your home and then suddenly your dog is dragging their butt on the floor. Depending on the crowd, this behavior can disturb or make your visitors laugh.

Whatever the situation, it can definitely raise some eyebrows.

And another behavior that can catch your attention is masturbation. If your dog does this, you need to check them out – they might have problems with their genitals.

It doesn’t necessarily mean something fatal happened to them. However, your pooch could be experiencing pain and other forms of discomfort.

Examples of these serious medical issues will be discussed in #9, #10, and #11.

Check out next: 15 Weird Reasons Why Dogs Scoot Their Butt On The Floor

#9: Compulsive disorder

I know this isn’t necessarily a genital-related problem. However, mental issues can make your dog repeat behaviors without any context.

Ever seen a dog run after its tail like crazy? How about pooches who stare at the wall for no reason at all?

These behaviors are only a few examples of actions that indicate compulsive behavior. To give you a little idea, it’s kind of similar to OCD in humans. But isn’t exactly the same. Let me explain why.

I say “similar”, because OCD in humans means they’re having thoughts that are obsessive. Examples of these actions are:

  • Unnecessary counting.
  • Foot and finger tapping.
  • Repeating of words said.
  • Cleaning excessively and repeatedly.

In a dog’s case, we can’t call it OCD because we can’t know what types of thoughts they have. Since we do not have the technology for that yet. 

Whether your canine has obsessive thoughts or not is the key factor to calling it OCD. This was thoroughly explained by Dr. Radosta.

“Then what do we call it, then?”

Compulsive disorder is the correct term for it.

And when your pooch has this, they tend to repeat behaviors. Usually, ones that do not make any sense. Just like the example I mentioned earlier – running after their tail obsessively.

What’s the point? Did their tail hurt them? Do they wanna bite it? Is there a reward for it? Nobody knows.

This can also be what’s happening when your dog is masturbating. It can be a compulsive behavior that they do “just because”.

You may also wonder: 11 Surprising Reasons Why Dogs Stare At The Wall (2022)

#10: UTI

Another common medical problem in dogs is UTI. This is also known as a urinary tract infection.

This disease happens when your dog’s genitals have bacteria. These foreign objects can run up their urethra and bladder.

This health issue is sometimes very painful for dogs. You’ll see some pooches cry when they try to pee.

Others will try to pee a lot of times when they’re outside. Another sign that a dog has UTI is that they “forget” their potty training. And just pee inside their homes.

One common sign that your dog has this disease is frequent licking of their genitals. To the untrained eye, it might look like they’re fondling themselves.

And through this behavior, your dog might feel a little bit of relief. They then repeat all the licking making it seem like they’re masturbating.

#11: Priapism

Simply put, Priapism is a disorder that makes your dog have erections. The weird thing about it is these happen without any sexual stimulation.

Your pooch could just be having a nice afternoon then suddenly they got an erection. One way they try to relieve any discomfort they have is through licking. 

Here are some of the causes of Priapism in dogs:

  • Drugs.
  • Trauma.
  • Myelopathy.
  • Vascular defects.
  • Masses in their penises.

If you see any erections in your pooch, try to check their surroundings. If there are no visible sexual stimulations, then you might need to have them checked.

How do male dogs masturbate?

Male dogs masturbate by rubbing their genitals on objects. They find soft things like blankets, pillows, and toys, then mount and hump them.

Some male canines lick themselves as a way to masturbate.

How do female dogs masturbate?

Female dogs masturbate by finding objects they can rub their genitals onto. This can be your leg or your arm.

Others would thrust their hips onto other dogs. Female dogs may also try to mount other animals such as cats.

3 tips to stop your dog from masturbating

#1: Don’t encourage them

As mentioned, accidentally giving your pooch rewards can make them repeat an action. As much as possible, when you see your dog masturbating, don’t give them attention.

Pets, rubs, and other forms of stroking your pooch.

If you really have to give them attention, try to limit your actions to ones that make them stop. You can try lifting them and moving them away from their spot.

You can also try to engage your canine in an activity. Show them toys that are of high value to them. You know the one… the plaything that they never seem to let go of.

#2: Use vocal cues

If your pooch is well-trained, then you probably have trained them to obey commands. You can use this as another way to make your pooch stop masturbating.

Try calling your dog out and say “stop that.” And when they do halt what they’re doing, you can give them treats to reinforce the behavior of not masturbating.

#3: Physically remove yourself away from them

This applies when your pooch tries to hump you. They can either target your leg or your arm.

If this happens, you need to distance yourself from your canine. You can try pushing them away lightly. Then turn away from them and sit in such a manner that they can mount you anymore.

If they still won’t stop, try telling them, “No. Stop that.” then take them to another room.

When should you visit a vet?

You should visit a vet when your dog’s masturbation has become chronic. If you see your pooch mount and hump things several times a day, it can be a reason to go to the vet.

Especially if they’ve been doing it for several days in a row. Try to observe your pooch’s behavior, too. If they whine or are showing signs of pain and discomfort, have them visit the vet.