Do dogs masturbate?

This post will talk about canine masturbation. Did you know that dogs masturbate? In this post, we will talk about canine masturbation and how this practice is considered natural for dogs. However, the excess of dogs masturbation can indicate some pathological problems.

Do dogs masturbate?

yes. Dogs can masturbate. Masturbation is a natural practice for some animals including dogs. Dogs usually start masturbating after entering puberty at 4 to 7 months. And they tend to masturbate for the rest of their lives.

Both male dogs and female dogs can masturbate themselves. However, the excess of masturbation can become a problem for tutors, especially for tutors of male dogs, who are embarrassed with the dog who likes to masturbate with objects, other animals, with the legs of visitors and even the tutor’s leg.

Excessive masturbation can be a sign of behavior changes and can be an indication of canine stress and anxiety. Care is needed to improve the dog’s quality of life.

About male dog masturbation

Canine masturbation happens when a male dog uses toys, clothes, and even the owner’s leg to make copulation movements. Thus, the stimulation of the foreskin on the glans, causes the animal to have an erection and even ejaculation. After the act, the dogs lick the penile region to clean up the place.

About female dog masturbation

Females, on the other hand, can stimulate themselves by licking the vulvar region. it is common that between 6 and 7 months of life. This is a sign that she is discovering her body and preparing for a sexually active adult life.

Health problems associated with dogs masturbation

Canine masturbation is considered natural for the species. However, you should be aware because excessive masturbation can indicate health problems or even behavioral deviations linked to stress and anxiety in dogs.

Health problems, such as hormonal disorders that can be caused by tumors, glandular hyperplasia and others, can increase the amount of circulating sex hormone, which can rise the frequency of canine masturbation.

Some autoimmune diseases can cause the dog’s body to start reacting against itself. Thus being able to inhibit, or favor the production of some hormones that can increase the dogs’ will of reproduction, what makes the dogs masturbate more.

For the diagnosis of such pathologies, it is necessary to consult with a veterinarian who will probably evaluate the animal’s clinic, and will perform some blood and imaging tests for the correct diagnosis of the pathology. And so the veterinary will properly treat the dogs.

The excess masturbation can favor inflation and even infection of the preputial or vulvar region. If discharge, redness, swelling and increased frequency of licking are observed in the region, the animal should be taken to the veterinarian for the best treatment.

Behavioral disorders

Many dogs live alone and in small environments like apartments. Which results in restless and anxious dogs. Stress is basically an excessive build-up of tension. 

Canine masturbation leads their body to release some hormones that cause the feeling of pleasure and happiness, thus calming anxiety and stress. That’s why many dogs end up masturbating constantly.

To improve the quality of life of these dogs it is advisable to:

  • Increase the number of physical activities such as walking and training;
  • Increase stimulation for toys and play;
  • Adopt another companion to the dog;
  • Having contact with other dogs, such as in day care centers and hotels.

The stimulation of walking and training are considered physical stimuli that release pleasure hormones. In addition to being excellent for contact with the tutor who generally spends most of the day outside the house.

Stimulation by toys and games are necessary as mental stimuli for dogs, making them busy and distracted. In this way, reducing anxiety and behavioral deviations presented by these dogs.

Dogs are animals that originated from wolves, and in the wild these animals lived in packs. Thus, when an animal has company, it increases the number of games between animals, thus increasing physical activity, reducing the dogs’ stress and anxiety.

Currently, day care centers and day care centers are becoming more and more famous. This type of establishment favors contact between dogs and other animals, who spend the day playing and doing physical activities.

For dogs that live alone in apartments, contact with other animals can be extremely beneficial. Apart from not being alone at home, dogs reduce behavioral disorders that can result in health problems for the animal.


In this blog post, we were able to find out more about canine masturbation. And how excessive masturbation can indicate behavioral changes such as stress and anxiety. In addition, constant masturbation can lead to inflammation and even infection of the genital region of dogs, requiring Veterinary evaluation.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Do dogs masturbate?

Does castration solve excess masturbation in dogs?

Castration can help in some cases, but in more stressed and anxious dogs, neutering will not help. For cases of dogs with behavioral deviation, training is indicated, increased physical activity, stimulation with toys and games and contact with other dogs, such as in day care and hotel for dogs.

What can I do to reduce my dog’s stress?

Improving the quality of dogs life with:

  • Increasing the number of physical activities such as outings and training
  • Increasing stimulation for toys and play
  • Having more than one dog
  • Having contact with other dogs, such as in day care centers and hotels.

My dog is licking the genital area a lot, is this normal?

Excessive licking in the genital region can mean disease, so the animal should be taken to the vet for evaluation.


Beaver, B. V. (2001). Comportamento canino: um guia para veterinários. Roca.

McGreevy, P. D., Wilson, B., Starling, M. J., & Serpell, J. A. (2018). Behavioural risks in male dogs with minimal lifetime exposure to gonadal hormones may complicate population-control benefits of desexing. PLoS One, 13(5), e0196284.

Mialot, J. P., Thibier, M., Toublanc, J. E., Castanier, M., & Scholler, R. (1988). Plasma Concentration of Luteinizing Hormone, Testosterone, Dehydroepiandrosterone, Androstenedione Between Brith and One Year in the Male Dog: Longitudinal Study and hCG Stimulation. Andrologia, 20(2), 145-154.

Starling, M., Fawcett, A., Wilson, B., Serpell, J., & McGreevy, P. (2019). Behavioural risks in female dogs with minimal lifetime exposure to gonadal hormones. PloS one, 14(12), e0223709.

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