I've noticed when we go to the dog park, there are certain dogs that try to hump most of the other dogs, including our much larger male lab mix. Why do those dogs do that?

1 Answer 1


The dogs just "show them who's the boss".

Unfortunately many interpret this as being gay or aggressively offensive, which simply isn't true. Of course there could be more behind the whole thing in a male/female combination, but usually it's really just to mark dominance and part of playing/socializing.

Same is true for dogs trying to hump human legs. If one does, just shove it away (just like other dogs do), unless you want to drop in rank.

So if other dogs try to hump your lab, just let it solve this "issue" on its own, unless the dog can't or they're not properly socialized (i.e. they don't know when to stop or are somehow hindered).

  • 1
    I once met a dog-owner who thought her dog licking other dogs mouth's meant her dog was being promiscuous. The owner would excessively chastise the dog whenever this happened, leading to the dog being even more anxious and submissive (licking = "you're the boss!"). Just another example how many dog behaviors aren't sexual at all and mean something completely different in the dog world.
    – rlb.usa
    Aug 11, 2015 at 15:21
  • Many human behaviors often labelled as sexual have much more to do with grooming behavior... and some folks forget that a dog's mouth is the only "hand" it has.
    – keshlam
    Aug 11, 2015 at 15:40
  • @keshlam I think the dogs just have those desires as us humans on top of the fact they have no clothes... (that be nice every once in a while). I just think some animals try to be Alpha and so it sometimes (as I've seen in dog parks) lead to some crazy dog fights... Aug 12, 2015 at 16:29
  • @blenderwarror: true enough
    – keshlam
    Aug 12, 2015 at 16:49

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