My Puppy Is Humping at 8, 9, 10, 12, or 16 Weeks? Is This Normal?

Is your puppy humping at a young age? You know your puppy cannot possibly be sexually mature at this age, but you still wanted to confirm anyway, right? Yes, your speculation is right; puppy humping at such a young age should be blamed on other forms of psychological triggers other than on sexual arousal.

can dogs sense when something is wr...
can dogs sense when something is wrong with their owner

A puppy humping at 8, 9, 10, 12, or 16 weeks is much more common than you think. The behavior can be attributed to many factors such as anxiety, dominance, happiness, boredom, playfulness, and discomfort.  

In this post, we should discuss in detail why puppies hump at 8, 9, 10, 12, or 16 weeks. We will start by discussing whether this behavior is normal among young pups, followed by how to stop your young pooch from humping. For your convenience, we will also discuss in what cases the behavior requires an expert’s consultation. Let’s begin!

Is It Normal for My 12-Week-Old Puppy to Hump?

Puppies typically hit puberty at around 6 to 8 months, and sexual maturity in dogs is often witnessed at around 9 months or beyond. So, if your 12-week-old puppy is humping, there are many psychological factors that can play a role behind such behavior, and sexual maturity is clearly not one of them. 

Many dogs start marking their territory from about 10 to 12 weeks of age. While it is true that dogs will want to become more assertive and dominant with age, humping dogs doesn’t always equal a dominant dog. In fact, in many cases, dogs will hump to check their status in the pack instead. And, if your underage dogs are taking turns humping on each other, please refrain from making wild guesses as it is most likely just playful behavior. 

While mounting can be one of the ways some dogs try to assert their dominance, more often than not, humping can simply be an indication of stress, overexcitement, or excessive energy in your pups. Just like wagging their tails, it is something they do to relax and express themselves, and while some pups stop non-sexual humping with maturity, some need to be reminded that humping is not cool.

Is It Normal for My 8-Week-Old Puppy to Hump?

If your pup is humping at 8 weeks, be assured that it is normal behavior among pups. And, no, the reason why your pup is humping at 8 weeks old is nothing sexual. Your little pooch is probably overjoyed, is full of energy, or is anxious or stressed and isn’t aware of how to translate the emotion physically yet, thus, the humping. 

While it can be confusing and, at times, embarrassing if your pup is humping at such a young age, you need to remember that they are still babies, and you cannot possibly expect them to act like good doggo. If your pup starts humping when seeing new guests in the house or when an unwelcoming or anxious situation arises, the act is driven by stress. Their playfulness can also start whenever their favorite human comes home or when they’re extremely excited.

In most pups, humping can simply be a playful behavior where they channel all their energy into innocently humping on something or someone. Therefore, if your pup is humping at times, that’s absolutely okay, and you simply have to let them grow out of the behavior. If you embraced your 8-week-old pup from someone else’s ownership, it is likely that they have already developed the humping habit.

Is It Normal for My 9-Week-Old Puppy to Hump?

No matter their gender, a 9-week-old pup humping is common. From cushions and squeaky toys to other pets to even humping on their human buddies, there comes a phase in almost every puppy’s life when they hump anything or anyone nearby. As we’ve discussed above, such behavior is most likely an expression of playful behavior, excitement, or anxiousness in many pups. 

Many pup parents often are bewildered when they witness their female pup humping. Contrary to what many believe, non-sexual humping is quite common among female pooches as well. Just as human infants indulge in all sorts of silly actions all the time, pups humping sometimes isn’t that of a big deal either.

Unless your 9-week-old pup is humping excessively to the point of embarrassment in front of other guests or hurting other pets, serious strategic treatment or training is not necessary. That being said, you wouldn’t want to let your young pup develop a habit of humping either. While the scenario can be hilarious at times, refrain from laughing as it can further encourage the behavior. Instead, distract them from the behavior subtly without creating a big fuss about their actions.

Is It Normal for My 10-Week-Old Puppy to Hump?

Yes, it is normal for a 10-week-old puppy to hump, and many will stop the behavior in a few weeks or months when they are respectfully trained against it. 10-week-old pooches are adorably small, and the innocent humping is most likely elicited from boredom, stress, or extreme delight. 

Many pet parents have mentioned on the internet how their pup humps when they’re bored. So, it is imperative that you’re giving enough time and attention to your pup so that they don’t feel neglected. If your 10-week-old pooch humps whenever they’re happy and excited, you can ignore their brief humps or gently distract them.

When your 10-week-old puppy humps, try to analyze their surroundings and if there are any triggers to elicit such behavior in your pup; something very exciting or distressing. However, if you’ve recently brought home a 10-week-old pup, there are possibilities that the pup might have developed a compulsive humping habit, which should be discussed with an expert instead of simply punishing the pup and forcing time-outs on them.

Is It Normal for My 16-Week-Old Puppy to Hump?

A 16-week pup is learning to express their emotions; they’re curious and playful. As your pooch is growing rapidly during this period, they can look quite big at this age. However, every pet parent should realize that although sexual maturity is just a few months away in their 16-week-old dog, they’re still babies, and their humping is still very much non-sexual.

It is common for pet parents to want to neuter their 16-weeks-old humping male pups as soon as possible. However, please note that while neutering reduces sexual humping in many pooches, one cannot guarantee the procedure will have the same impact on pooches humping due to other underlying reasons such as boredom, stress, joy, or compulsiveness.

If the pooch shows signs of stress or starts humping whenever they are uncomfortable with situations going around, you need to pinpoint the underlying stressor. Your 16-week-old might be distressed by a new pup or a baby in their home, or they might be suffering from an undiagnosed illness. Pet parents should observe the behavior well, understand the triggers first, and take actions accordingly to prevent the ‘socially inappropriate’ behavior from repeating frequently.

What Age Is Normal for A Puppy to Hump?

A puppy can be motivated by various psychological reasons to hump at a young age, and sexual needs in mature dogs are also likely to induce such behavior. When it comes to mounting driven by sexual maturity, the normal age for a dog to hump is anywhere between 6 to 12 months. Remember that even if your doggo has been neutered already by this age, there are still chances that they continue to mount. 

That being said, as we’ve discussed above, some pups can instinctively start humping at as early an age as 8 weeks. Therefore, if your pup is humping before they hit maturity, that’s also completely normal. Also, remember that both male and female dogs can hump regardless of their age.

However, a pet parent must be observant of this habit and ensure that their pooch’s humping habit hasn’t become too disturbing and frequent. Sometimes, excessive humping can indicate underlying health issues such as allergies and urinary tract infections. Moreover, in some cases, your pooch can also become aggressive when you try to stop this habit. Such scenarios call for a consultation with a veterinary doctor or a dog behaviorist as soon as possible.

How Do You Stop My 8, 9, 10, 12, or 16-Week-Old Puppy from Humping?

According to experts, one cannot possibly stop their pooch from humping completely, and they shouldn’t try to do so either. However, if your pup has been excessively humping lately, it sure is worth a shot to prevent the occasional behavior from becoming a habit, and the sooner you intervene, the better. Distracting your pup, helping with their stress, dimming their excitement, or consulting with an expert are some ways to prevent your 8, 9, 10, 12, or 16-week-old puppy from humping. 

While it is completely fine if your pup occasionally humps for a brief time, you can lessen the occurrences by distracting your pup with other fun games and playtime with you. You can also give them some tough love and order them against doing so whenever they’re caught in the act. And, please make sure to treat them if they stop humping at your request.

However, if the habit has already formed and your pup is embarrassing you in front of guests and strangers, you should consult an expert regarding the underlying reason and the best course of action forward. Your dog’s vet might suggest you let the pup grow out of that phase or suggest neutering to help subside the issue. Or, in case of any health or behavioral issues, a proper medical treatment plan or behavioral training might help with the situation.

Conclusion

We hope we have answered your queries about why your puppy is humping at 8, 9, 10, 12, or 16 weeks. Please note that humping at such a young age is normal and non-sexual. While humans have been long associating humping with sexual behavior, more often than not, it is just a playtime behavior among pups. So, unless the humping is chronic or seems to have a stressful trigger behind it, distractions and subtle discouragement should help your pup grow out of the habit. In case of excessive humping, always feel free to reach out to a dog behaviorist or a vet doctor.