Ask an Expert - Obsessive teddy bear humping

Buddies-hd.jpg
Ask an Expert - Obsessive teddy bear humping

1

Q: My dog, Misha, obsessively humps one of her teddy bears, which is fine, if embarrassing when we have company over. Just wondering why on earth she does this.—Red-faced in Red Hook, Brooklyn

A: I still remember one of my classes: five small dogs doing choo-choo train with each other.We just stood there and had a good laugh for a moment, then redirected them to other behaviours. In your case, you might be thankful that at least Misha is humping her teddy bear rather than a human or another dog.

Biologically, it is appropriate, natural, sexual behaviour, but it may graduate to an obsessive/compulsive behaviour—something that is repeatedly done when the opportunity is there. Some environments can trigger this behaviour. Try to determine when she started doing this and what was happening in the environment at that time.

It would be helpful to first rule out whether Misha has any itching or irritation in the genital area as she may find the humping action eases her discomfort. I always like to rule out any medical concerns first.

Is she suffering from any anxiety, stress, or boredom that can cause her to do this? It can take place as well in a conflict situation, where she wanted to do an activity, but you haven’t allowed that to take place. She therefore redirects her energy to another behaviour such as humping teddy. She may just find pleasure in the humping which, of course, has now become a habit.

Begin the process of decreasing or eliminating this behaviour by teaching her an “off” or “leave it” exercise and reward with small tidbits of food. Also remove all the soft toys for now, introducing ones that can still be self-rewarding such as the Kong, Busy Buddy, or Treat stick filled with goodies. Additionally, find other outlets for her. Redirect her behaviour to some basic and fun training skills; i.e., sit, down, rollover, games, positive and fun classes, longer walks, and playtime with you.

Add a comment

Comments (1)

I'm impressed. You're truly well informed and very intelligent. You wrote something that people could understand and made the subject intriguing for everyone. I'm saving this for future use. Vivian <a href="http://www.imarksweb.net">Marks Web</a> www.imarksweb.net
Wed, 06/20/2012 - 17:51

Dog of the Week!

Meet: Harley