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15 Reasons Why Female Dogs Hump Stuffed Animals + 3 Tips

Why Do Female Dogs Hump Stuffed Animals

Guess what, humping toys isn’t only limited to male doggos.

Because girls can do it too.


Are they doing it for the same reasons?

Read on to learn and discover:

  • What makes female dogs hump stuffed animals.
  • Why do small puppies and spayed canines mount toys.
  • When you should be alarmed by this humping dilemma.
  • 3 tips to help you decide if you should let them do this or not.
  • And a lot more…

Why do female dogs hump stuffed animals?

Female dogs hump stuffed animals because they’re so happy, sending play signals, over-aroused, releasing pent-up energy, lonely, anxious, in heat, or having conflicted emotions. They can also do it due to comfort, OCD, skin allergies, ovarian tumors, UTI, vaginitis, or prenatal masculinization.

15 reasons why female dogs hump stuffed animals

#1: They can’t contain themselves

Most people view humping as a sexual or dominance thing.

But what if…

A female puppy does it?

Is she going through puberty?

If she’s below 6 months old, it’s unlikely. So this behavior can also be nonsexual.

It could be that humping plushies have become their default response to excitement. Like when some canines carry their favorite toys out of joy.

So they may do this when their humans get home. As well as when they meet other pups and people.

This might be a habit developed at an early age. And teens and adult dogs can do it as well.

Check this out next: 13 Reasons Why Dogs Hump The Air (Uncontrollably) + 7 Tips

#2: They’re sending signals to play

Researchers reveal that male dogs tend to social play (e.g., mounting and chasing) more than females.

However, girls can still hump as playful behavior.

Especially small pups below 16 weeks. As they’re in the stage where they have high levels of energy.

“But why do they do this on a stuffed toy?”

This could be due to a lack of proper socialization when they were young.

Because of this, they’re confused about how they should act. They’re so eager to play with others but they don’t know how to initiate it.

You might also like: 19 Reasons Why Your Dog Winks (Back) At You With One Eye

#3: They’re in hyperarousal

Aside from being a humper, do they also have trouble focusing?

And always lunge at anyone?

Same with male dogs, females can also be in a state of hyperactivity.

“What is it?”

It means that their humping has nothing to do with mating. But rather with their inability to calm down.

This is different from simply being happy or excited.

It may look like they just need to use their pent-up energy. Or they’re being super friendly to everyone.

But the truth is…

A hyperactive dog is under constant stress. They’re always worrying and on alert. And they’re anticipating some actions.

So even at rest, Merck Vets say that they’ll have high heart and breathing rates.

For this reason, they can already be over-excited at the beginning of a play. And to redirect their energy, they have the tendency to mount on things.

Plus, they’ll also show other signs, such as:

Note: This is more common in puppies. However, if this behavior isn’t corrected, they may do it until they’re adults. Which can be more difficult to manage.

#4: They’re burning off excess energy

Female Dog Humps Stuffed Toys To Burn Excess Energy

It could be true that male Fidos are more playful and active than females.

This is because girls mature earlier than boys, a dog behaviorist says. And this is also the reason why they learn commands faster.

But, females can be as energetic too. And it doesn’t mean that they need less playtime.

So if they don’t meet their daily needs of exercise…

They might resort to doing unusual things. Like humping toys or pillows.

You may also wonder: Why is my dog so hyper at night?

#5: They’re lonely and want attention

A dog humping a teddy bear would surely incite reactions from people.

Some will give a hearty laugh, pet, or talk to the pooch. While others may scold and chase them around.

And whether it’s positive or not, canines will think of it as a form of attention.

So female dogs might also do this to be noticed. Especially when they feel lonely, insecure, or want some cuddles.

#6: They need an outlet for their anxiety

You might have heard that licking is a sign of an anxious pooch.

The act itself is soothing for them which somehow relieves their stress. So humping stuffed animals can also be similar to this.

And a female Fido may do this more often because…

One study on 13,700 Finnish dogs found that girls are more fearful than boys. While males are more aggressive and hyperactive.

Out of those canines, 32% were also said to have noise sensitivity which is the main cause of anxiety.

So the sounds of thunder, a truck passing by, or booming fireworks can make them find comfort in their plush toys. And hump to release tension.

But if this persists for days…

Did anything happen before this behavior appeared?

Because any big changes in their life can affect them negatively. May it be in their routine or environment.

As a result, they’ll be anxious and have pent-up nervous energy. And they don’t know what to do with it.

So they seek comfort in familiar things. And their stuffed animals must be helping them get through it.

#7: They’re conflicted

If female dogs do this out of context, it could also be a displacement activity.

“Oh, what’s that?”

According to experts, it’s a result of 2 conflicting emotions. And it’s observed both in animals and humans.

For example, some visitors came into the house. So a pooch might have the urge to go and greet them.

But if they’re strangers, they can also be afraid of them at the same time.

This will frustrate them as they don’t know what to do. So they end up doing another thing instead. Say, licking, hiding, or in this case, humping toys.

#8: They have obsessive-compulsive disorder

Your Dog Has OCD

Too much of anything is bad.

So when a female dog seems to be humping more often and intensely, it might be a sign of a compulsive disorder.

This is different from a canine mounting due to excitement and nervousness. Because this can happen at the most random times. So there’s no real reason behind it.

Plus, it’ll be hard to put an end to this behavior as they can’t control it. Like chasing tails, spinning in circles, and stargazing.

“So what causes this?”

According to AKC, OCD or obsessive-compulsive disorder may be a result of:

  • Arousal.
  • Frustration.
  • Constant anxiety.
  • Lack of attention.
  • Under stimulation.

It’ll be hard to determine this on your own. Because this is a combination or a more severe form of the reasons mentioned above. Like hyperarousal and boredom.

But with the right treatment and reduced stress levels, this can be resolved. And of course, the earlier it’s diagnosed, the better.

Speaking of odd behaviors…

Reading tip: 7 Surprising Reasons Why Dogs Like Period Blood (& Lick It)

#9: They’re ‘in season’

Does their humping also come with a raised tail and play bows?

This could be mistaken as an invitation to play. But if they’re not spayed, they can also be sexually frustrated.

They might be humping toys because they’re not ready to mate yet. Or they’re prohibited to do so which causes frustration.

Based on Pets WebMD, before the ‘estrus cycle’ or heat, there’s a first phase called ‘proestrus.’

This may last up to 7 to 10 days. And it’s when a female’s vulva (genitals) will swell and bleed.

They’ll start attracting males during this. However, they’re not prepared to breed yet.

“But what if a spayed female does this?”

Having dogs fixed may not guarantee that they’ll not hump anymore.

But it’ll be way less often than before. And this can happen if there’s ovarian tissue left after surgery.

It could still release estrogen in their body. And this sex hormone will cause them to show signs of heat like an intact female.

Note: Removing the remnants shall be done if a spayed female still goes into heat. Why? Because they’re still at risk of developing tumors and cancers.

#10: They only do it for comfort

Some female dogs can also hump stuffed animals for pleasure.

They might have discovered that the action feels good. Or they’ve learned it after being in heat.

But, this could also be a habit developed in puppyhood.

Like a ritual for comfort as plushies are soft and cozy. So they may also do this as they get ready for bed.

#11: They feel itchy down there

Dog Feels Itchy Down There

Aside from OCD, humping several times a day might also be due to skin allergies.

They could be scratching themselves as the motion eases the itchiness a bit. Or they’re releasing their frustration by mounting.

This may be a reaction from certain food, flea bites, or pollen from grasses.

“But can all dogs have allergies?”

Any canine may have this.

But vets say that these are mainly inherited. And the breeds that are more prone to this are:

  • Terriers.
  • Bulldogs.
  • Retrievers.
  • Shih-Tzus.
  • Lhasa Apsos.
  • Chinese Shar-Peis.

Note: Finding the allergen can be hard and tricky. It may require skin testing, blood test, or food trial (giving them a bland diet). 

Learn more: Why does my dog rub itself on the carpet?

#12: They have ovarian growths

Is the behavior observed in an intact female?

If they have a swollen vagina with a discharge, it can be due to ovarian tumors. And humping might be their way to relieve discomfort.

“How do they get this?”

Specialists say that it could be a combination of reasons. And one of them is genetics.

The breeds who are at higher risk are:

  • Boxers.
  • Poodles.
  • Pointers.
  • Boston Terriers.
  • Yorkshire Terriers.
  • German Shepherds.

If a dog has this, she’ll also show other signs, such as:

  • Lethargy.
  • Pyometra.
  • Thinning of fur.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Fluid buildup in the chest.

Don’t forget to check out: 9 Reasons Why Your Dog Keeps Looking At Their Back End

#13: They have a urinary tract infection

Are they also straining while peeing?

If yes, it’s possible that they have a urinary tract infection or UTI.

This is more likely if their urine also smells different than usual. Like ammonia or a fishy odor.

It’s said to be the most common infection in dogs. And studies show that 14% of all canines may have this.

Take note that older females are also more prone to be infected. Same with pooches who have diabetes based on experts.

“What are its other symptoms?”

They’ll be making constant attempts to pee. As well as dripping urine in the house.

And you’ll know that something’s wrong if they’re well house trained. And this is a new behavior.

#14: They suffer from vaginitis

Does the female dog also lick her genitals?

And are males attracted to her even though she’s not in heat?

If so, these are the usual signs of vaginitis, and she may have it.

Her vagina is inflamed. And this causes pain which can make her hump things.

The known causes of this are:

  • Cysts.
  • Abscesses.
  • Vaginal trauma.
  • Foreign bodies.
  • Sexually immature vagina.
  • Urinary tract infection/UTI.

Note: Vets say that this is usually resolved after 1 estrus cycle (heat). But if it happens again, antibiotics may be given to them.

#15: Prenatal masculinization

Lastly, there’s one theory on what may have caused this.

It’s called ‘prenatal masculinization.’ And it simply means the transfer of male hormones.

This might happen when there are more boys than girls in a litter. So it can affect the behavior of females.

“What are the effects of testosterone?”

These are known to cause aggressiveness. As well as frequent mounting in boys.

So a female who has high levels of this may hump more than other girls. And she can also tend to be aggressive.

“Is this really possible?”

One research says that it’s observed in mammals. And a great example of this is female hyenas.

Did you know that they have a ‘pseudo-penis’?

It’s similar to what boys have. But it’s only a female organ that has grown bigger.

This is due to the high levels of testosterone in their body. And what’s more interesting is that…

The amount in females is even greater than what male hyenas have.

3 tips on what to do if your female dog humps stuffed animals

#1: Let her be a dog

If her humping only happens once in a while, and it’s only done with plush toys, you can just let her be.

It’s a normal and harmless behavior in canines. Particularly when they’re sexually aroused. 

Plus, she could also be exploring things at her age. Which may be crucial in their growth and development.

So as long as she’s not a habitual humper, it’ll be alright.

#2: Observe and take appropriate action

Does it seem like she’s doing it for another purpose?

If so, watch her closely. And pay attention to her body language.

If possible, record a video of her while doing the behavior. Then review it and evaluate if there are actions that need to be taken.

For example, if she’s humping due to:

Attention: Ignore her while she’s doing it. Only speak or pet her when she finally settles down. This will make her realize that rewards are only given if they’re on all fours.

Anxiety and stress: Stick to a routine. Remove or avoid the triggers. And make her conquer her fears by ‘desensitization.’

If she’s afraid of a certain noise or person, gradually expose her to it. Do this with treats and continue until she’s okay with it.

Under stimulation: Take your dog more often and engage her in new fun activities. Ensure that you exercise both her mind and body.

Hyperarousal and OCD: Ask a dog behaviorist to guide you on how to properly train a hyperactive pooch. Because one method may not work for all. And it’s best to consult an expert to avoid making it worse.

Medical conditions: List down the signs you’ve noticed. Then bring them to the vet clinic right away. Because some ailments might need them to be spayed like ovarian cysts.

Once all health problems are ruled out…

#3: Teach her another behavior

Some dogs might also hump because they don’t know what to do during play. Or when they’re feeling so much joy.

And if she doesn’t have canine pals at home to learn the right behavior, you can help her instead. 


Ask her to do basic commands or tricks before she starts humping. Like sitting down or coming to you.

Remember, the timing is important. Because you can’t correct her after she’s already done it.

Sure it’ll be hard to constantly watch them. And it’ll also take much of your time.

But, if you’re consistent with the distractions, she’ll soon learn that being calm is more favorable.

Note: Reward her whenever she stops mounting toys. Shower her with treats and praises.

Should I let my dog hump stuffed animals?

You should let your dog hump stuffed animals if they’re only doing it occasionally. Although it seems like ‘rude’ behavior, remember that they’re not aware of it. And they’re only following their canine instincts.

This is also common in puppies who are so energetic. And this behavior may lessen as they grow up.

But if they seem anxious or bored, it’s not healthy to leave them like this. So figure out the stressors. And make sure that they’re getting enough stimulation every day.

If they also start doing it on people, try redirecting their attention to something else. Like throwing treats or doing tricks.

However, if they’re not being their usual self, they might be in pain. And they need medical attention.