Can Dogs Be Gay? What You Need To Know About Your Pup’s Love Life!
We’ve all seen it at the doggie park. That moment when one dog (let’s be honest, it might be yours) starts humping another. There might even be a bit of…er… licking. You blush, joke with the owner, and quickly call your dog back. But what if your pet’s new friend is the same sex? Can dogs be gay? Is it sexual behavior you should be allowing? Here’s what you need to know about the wonderful ways of the animal kingdom (and, spoiler, there are a couple of species that exhibit homosexual behavior. Well, sort of).
Can Dogs Be Gay?
The first thing to think about is that animals don’t have the same definitions or restraints regarding sexual orientation as humans do. In the animal world, it’s often not a ‘thing’. Does it feel good? Then your doggo is probably going to do it.
That includes humping a dog of the same sex in the dog park. Or your leg, or a particularly cute toy they have. Of course, if there’s a female dog in heat, many male dogs will probably pay more attention to her, but that can easily change the next day when they’re back humping their male friends.
So, does that mean your dog is gay? Bisexual? Well, think about it with humans. When it comes to sexual orientation, homosexuality isn’t just about humping or ‘gay sex’. There are romantic and emotional factors at play too. Just because your dog is humping other male dogs (or female dogs) doesn’t mean they’re gay. They’re doing what feels good in a doggie world that isn’t restricted by societal norms. I mean, they’re humping in the park for a start anyway!
Maybe can dogs be gay isn’t the correct question we should be asking ourselves.
Why Do Dogs Hump?
There are many reasons why your dog might be humping other animals of the same sex. The main one, though, is that it just feels good.
Both male and female dogs can use humping as a form of play. Puppies, especially, are happy to hump other puppies and older dogs too.
Whilst human children are taught what’s appropriate play and what isn’t, that’s not always the case for our canines. Animals engage in fun activities that feel good – and that’s quite often sex-like behavior.
At a certain stage, puppies and adolescent dogs get a sudden rush of hormones. Like with humans, this can be a bit tricky for them (and dog owners) to deal with. Engaging in sexual behaviors with other dogs – be they of the same sex or not) is very common. As their hormones run wild they want to try new things and see what feels good. Some experts also think that same-sex behavior is a way of puppies practicing for what’s to come later on.
It’s All About Dominance
In some cases, it’s not about sexual preference, whether you have a gay dog, or about sexuality altogether. It’s actually about dominance and the doggie code. Mounting another dog can be a sign of superiority/inferiority and strength. This kind of aggressive and non-playful behavior can often be a sign of a lack of proper socialization.
It’s important for all pups to be well-socialized so that they learn acceptable behavior and don’t develop to be aggressive or anxious. Good training from a young age will help them to understand canine hierarchy without exhibiting unwanted mating behavior with other dogs.
Does Neutering Make a Difference?
It really depends on when you neuter your pup – but it usually helps. An intact male dog is more likely to hump dogs of the same sex, but not exclusively. If you neuter a dog early on they’ll probably grow out of the behavior. If it’s later on, it may be harder for them to change their ways.
What About Other Animals? Can They Be Gay?
Again, this might be a question you’ve asked yourself, but putting the idea of a human’s sexual orientation onto an animal might not be that helpful.
But yes, there are plenty of instances of animals of the same sex engaging in sexual behavior, and even ‘same-sex couples’.
Penguins, for example, are well-known for bringing up chicks with other penguins of the same sex. In fact, Sphen and Magic, two male penguins at a zoo in Australia have recently adopted a second chick from another couple that had two. Female albatrosses also often bond with each other to bring up chicks when the males are away or don’t come back (gulp).
And there are many species that engage in sexual behavior with the opposite sex too. Dolphins, apes, fish, and even fruit flies have sex or engage in sexual activity with the same sex. They, like our dogs, are more concerned about what feels good rather than the sex of the other animal.
Is It A Problem If Dogs Engage In Same-Sex Sexual Activity?
No. Not even a little bit. Of course, it’s important that the other dog in the dog park (and its owner) are not bothered by the behavior but your pup isn’t doing anything ‘wrong’. Dogs aren’t led by sexual orientation – they’re just doing what feels good in the moment. Animal sexuality isn’t the same as for humans.
Dogs that engage in same-sex sexual activity are healthy and happy, which is really what any pup parent wants!
When it comes to canines and ‘homosexual behavior’, it’s best to try not to compare it to humans. Pups don’t define their sexual orientation by sex. Of course, some may do (especially if the female dog is in heat) but it’s very common to see dogs of either sex engaging in sexual behavior with both sexes. It’s even more common in puppies and male dogs that haven’t been neutered. It’s normal behavior and as long as it doesn’t appear aggressive and both parties look to be enjoying themselves, it’s not something you need to stop either!