Why Do Dogs Hump Their Beds?

With a title like, “why do dogs hump their beds?” you might be expecting some racy canine information. Instead, our answers are G-rated. Well, maybe PG.

But there’s a myriad of reasons why dogs hump their beds. Once we go through the list, you’ll probably be able to identify why your fur baby uses their bed for more than sleeping. From there, you can decide if you want to curb the behavior or let it lie.

  • The Full Picture of Why Dogs Hump Their Beds
  • Is it Possible to Stop a Dog from Straddling Their Bed?
  • When to Consult Your Veterinarian
Dog spread out on a bed

So, Why Do Dogs Hump Their Beds?

If you’re asking the question, you probably know that dogs hump their beds for reasons beyond sexual arousal. Yes, it feels good to them, and, for sure, it’s the primary incentive for the behavior.

You’ll notice that young dogs, especially non-spayed or neutered, will gravitate to those dog beds. Sleeping on them is secondary to them. But the gratification isn’t limited to puppies, although they have more energy to spare.

Beyond the obvious, though, there are quite a few other explanations for dogs humping their beds.

  • Boredom
  • Playing
  • Social Dominance
  • Habit
  • Happiness
  • Anxiety
  • Medical-related


Your little fur baby isn’t looking for a book on their Kindle. They’re not tuned into the latest Netflix series or going to the gym for a workout.

Instead, they head off on adventures like hiding their treats (or your shoe). You might find that your dog stares out the window or chases the cat around to kill some time. Another instinctual way to relieve boredom is to grab their handy bed that’s right there waiting for them.


Depending on the breed, canines can be pretty playful. They show it in different ways, like hopping around or running in circles. They may jump on you or tear their favorite toy to shreds.

Some dogs also hump their beds as a form of play. They don’t think of it as we do and don’t feel shame or embarrassment. It’s not like that to them at all. When some dogs hump their beds, they’re just playing and having fun.

Tip: Casper makes an excellent dog bed with a built-in play area.

dogs showing social dominance

Social Dominance

Doggos are as territorial as they are playful. If your furry friend isn’t an only child, then x marks the spot.

You’ll find that dogs hump their beds to stake their claim. Their bed is exceptional, and it’s just for them. In this case, you might find the behavior preferable to peeing on it to declare ownership!


It might sound way too easy, but mounting their dog bed might just be a habit. If your pet has been with you since puppydom, then it’s not just possible but probable that this is the reason.

Whether your little guy or girl has been neutered or spayed, it still feels good to them. So, if they developed a habit of using their bed as a plaything, it’ll continue as long as they have the energy to spare.


While happiness is another simple explanation, it’s a viable one. When dogs are happy, they bounce around (think Snoopy!) and look for ways to showcase their good mood.

You’ll find that many dogs hump their beds after dinner. That’s when they’re most satisfied and happy.


For the most part, dogs interact with their beds for positive, lighthearted reasons. But our last two explanations are a bit more serious.

Symptoms of anxiety are just as varied in canines as in humans. Your fur baby might demonstrate some strange behavior that doesn’t seem to make sense. But it could be attributed to anxiety and ways to deal with it.

For example, you’ll find that dogs scratch at bed sheets when they’re feeling anxious, afraid, or unsettled. So, turning to their dog bed is another way to provide comfort, relief, and distraction.


In addition to anxiety, there could be other medical issues prompting dogs to hump their beds.

Burning and itchy skin are the top symptoms of allergies in dogs, and it’s tough for them to find relief. Do you notice that your pet is rubbing their face on furniture or blankets, or rolling around on their backs, trying to work out the itch? If so, then it might also explain their affinity for their sleeping spot.

When the catalyst is medical-related, we suggest that you touch base with your veterinarian. The cause could go beyond allergies, like urinary tract infections or other skin disorders. So, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

How to Prevent Your Dog from Humping the Bed

Dogs humping their beds prompts different reactions. Some pet parents choose to ignore it, while others want it to stop immediately.

dog with toy

New Toys Could Do the Trick

If it really bothers you and you don’t think it’s health-related, distraction is the best way to deter the behavior. We wouldn’t suggest making a big deal out of it. Yes, you could move the bed. But if it’s always in the same place and you change this up, you could make things worse.

One of the best ways to change the situation is to give your doggo some other things to play with, so they’ll steer clear of their dog bed. A fun chew toy is ideal. But it might not be as simple as one and done. Some pets are particular about their toys, so some experimentation is in order. Buy a few different things and see what works.

When Does Your Dog Hump the Bed?

Another consideration is the pattern of behavior. If you notice that your dog heads for the bed after dinner, then focus on that time. That’s when you pull out all of the stops – maybe a walk or some one-on-one playtime with you. It’s also the ideal time to introduce some new chew toys.

The goal is to develop new habits instead of simply saying no to the old.

When To Consult Your Vet

As you now know, dogs hump their beds for various reasons, and most are natural. But we don’t want to close this out without leaving you with some food for thought.

When your dog has other things going on, like itchy or sore skin, anxious behavior, or you can tell they’re in pain, be sure to call your veterinarian immediately. The bed might be a way to find some relief to more significant problems. At the very least, a quick call to your vet will put your mind at ease.