When I was pregnant with my first child my spay/female dog would mount my leg anytime I sat down, she would actually wait for me to sit down, and then jump on my leg and mount away. After I had my baby she acted like it never happened and she had no interest in me in ‘that way’. Then when I was pregnant for a second time, same thing all over again.

Do dogs become sexually stimulated by human scent, hormones?

I am meeting more and more dogs that are labeled as aggressive, or dominant aggressive by other professionals, and when I meet them I don’t see it at all. What I am finding however are dogs that are super confused, emotionally unstable, under exercised mentally and physically (by a long shot), and have found certain self stimulating behaviors to cope with their daily life.

Why? It’s hard to say. The quality of their life, or lack there of in some cases, is most definitely a contributing factor. But there are hundreds more dogs I work with, with similar back grounds, that do not turn to self stimulating sexual behavior that is triggered by human scent. So there must be something genetic with these dogs, and underlying personality trait, that when triggered, this behavior comes to the surface.

I would imagine for the same reason some humans have fetishes, or certain sexual preferences, for self stimulation/arousal. While we are all human, we for sure are not all the same in this department, I believe this to be largely true for dogs as well.

Since January of 2014 I have worked with no less than a dozen male dogs, and half as many female dogs, that self stimulate/arouse with human scent. And not the cute mounting of a toy or pillow, but full sexual stimulation, mental masturbation, whatever you want to call it.

These dogs were all spay/neutered before sexual maturity, so that doesn’t seem to be a contributing factor. These dogs have been all breeds, all sizes, and all ages. Their initial training is all over the place, some with a heavy hand, others with reward based training, and some had none at all.

And these dogs are fine until they are not. And when they are not, depending on their various triggers, they will bury their nose in the hip girdle area or genital area of a human, with great persistence, and start to muscle up, breathe more rapidly, eyes widen, and then start to either muzzle slam into the person, nip at their upper thighs, air mount, or knock a person over to mount them.

At the beginning of the year I walked away with some pretty big bruising around my hip girdle area from one dog. Muzzle slamming is not muzzle punching, muzzle slamming from a large fully muscled dog hurts like hell, and happens fast. This particular behavior had not been noted on the owners history form because they had focused on behaviors that were much more overt, barking, growling, lunging.

NOTE TO DOG OWNERS – anything you notice with your dog is worth mentioning, anything, big or small!

Now that I have a better understanding of self stimulating behavior from human scent, and the precursor body language, this has been avoided. Plus I wear an extra long padded coat now!

When social pressure is applied to pull these dogs away or call them away, a full redirected aggressive display erupts.This is what earned these dogs the label of ‘aggressive’. But in reality, they were so super stimulated, aroused, and ignited with every ounce of their being, this really was the only thing to be expected.

I tried finding research papers on hormones, species specific arousal, cross species sexual arousal, pheromones that cross species identification, and I really couldn’t find anything. Lots of ‘dog porn’ stuff that comes up, but nothing to identify this behavior.

NOTE TO CANINE RESEARCH CENTERS – this is worth studying and looking into on a deeper level. Why? Why are dogs self stimulating on human scent when they go into conflict with what ever their triggers are in life?

At one point I wondered if it is me? My stage in life, my body scent, my hormones? But it turns out that these specific dogs did this with men, women, and their own owners.

Once these dogs were put on a protocol with appropriate management, consistent handling, mental and physical exercise appropriate for the dog, these dogs seemed a bit less confused, they had a level of settle the owners had not seen before, and there was no self stimulating on human scent. HOWEVER, if the owner was inconsistent in anyway, this behavior proved to be there, alive and well. Not your everyday dog, and not a dog that people are signing up for.

So here are my words to dog owners, if you do not have a problem, please do not create one by being a sloppy dog owner. Choose your puppy wisely and do your research. Be consistent, be thoughtful, be loving, and learn, learn, learn as much as possible (and not from TV)

Here is to an interesting and curious life sometimes, Nancy

“… pheromones are species-specific. Thus, it really isn’t surprising that exposure to nonhuman pheromones does not directly influence sexual attraction in humans.

However, it is possible that these substances have an indirect effect on desire – a scent or odor may elicit a pleasant emotional response which, in turn, may increase sexual feelings.

In addition, it is likely that a particular scent or odor that has been paired repeatedly with a sex partner or with sexual activity (for example, a specific brand of cologne or perfume) may come to produce a learned desire response. Of course, these types of elicited or learned responses do not constitute a true pheromone reaction. Science will continue to advance…” Pamela Regan PhD


    1. Thank you for publishing your research. I started having a hunch about my little dog’s behavior so I googled it. I googled “female pheremones trigger male dog to become sexually aroused.”

      My Jack Russel/chi started to become a sexual pretador to my sweet, loving, large, 90 pound, German Sheppard/Sharpai teddy bear of a dog. Things have escalated rapidly. It started with my JRC sniffing and gentle licking on my GSS. Then it progressed to vigorous licking. Then humping any part of my GSS it could reach. My GSS teddy bear has gone from not caring, looking mildy annoyed, growling and now to biting at the JRC. I bought a calming collar for the JRC. I did nothing. We tried calming treats…no change. Now it is interrupting the whole household for the second night in a row…we separated them…the big dog was first in my daughters room…but paced around unhappy. Then he was let outside. Then he was left to have the whole upper floor of the house to himself…again the barking. He is so sleep deprived from the activity of the smaller one, he is confused, anxious and barking to come back to the room that the JRC is in. The JRC cannot be put in another room by himself, for he will bark all night.

      And…the kicker?

      This all coincides with my recently new physical activity, nightly, with a wonderful, amazing man. A man with whom I share a very strong connection. …as in the strongest connection I have ever felt, so I am very happy…does happiness give off a scent? I know that the physical arousal of both of us does. In fact, hormones pheremones and scents abound in my house at the moment…

      1. I think the “Symbiotic” bond between man & dog/Animals probably began very early on in Man’s existence,.You talk of arousal due to scent’s,but the communication which can in some instances take place between human’s & Dogs as well as some other Animals (Horses for instance) can involve much finer senses.You mentioned Happiness having a scent,well it may not have a scent,but certainly the dog/animal can detect your mood level and react accordingly.Loneliness appear’s to have a universal frequency all of its own,just as Happiness,Joy,Fear & Humour do,but how each animal actually detects it is open to discussion,but there’s no doubt,some Male dogs are aroused by some humans natural odours,Im not aware of this in any animal species other than Dogs & may be due to our two species having spent millions of years together and might well be natural but Harmless quirk of fate!

  1. @These dogs were all spay/neutered before sexual maturity, so that doesn’t seem to be a contributing factor.
    I am confused about this. Why do you think it is not possible that neutering might influence this particular canine sexual behavior? I realize you are not conducting structured research on this subject, but if all the dogs you’ve observed this behavior in ARE neutered, it seems this could very well be a factor.

    1. Hi Elaine, I thought about the phrasing after I published this article. The spay/neuter should also include “before sexual maturity, and no signs of hyper sexual activity or play mounting as a puppy play behavior”. I guess it could be a factor, but it didn’t really pan out that way. I still dig and dig to see what I can find, and weirder and weirder things come up. Sexual arousal from another species scent as a copying mechanism when a trigger is present. This might be my new hobby for this year… Nancy

  2. I think we’re missing the fundamental question here- Why do our bodies produce a scent with creates sexual behavior in dogs.Why at the biological /genetics level has this odd stroke of fate come about? I feel there is much more to be understood about this subject , but an open mind is essential . Nothing in nature happens by accident ,it is all part of the divine plan

    1. Derek, interesting questions. In my experience it seems to be a specific personality that I am seeing in dogs, and a specific upbringing that is triggering this behavior. Totally not scientifically tested, just my experience. Nancy

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