Is My Dog Gay?
The question of whether different sexual preferences exist in the world of dogs is a controversial one and one which different people have different theories on. More often than not when you go to a dog park, you’ll witness a slightly embarrassed dog owner (not that there’s anything to be embarrassed about!) desperately trying to pull his or her dog off another of the same sex. What does it mean? Is the dog gay?
One predominate theory is that dog’s mounting other dogs has little or nothing to do with sexuality and is rather all about dominance. It’s one dog trying to assert itself in the hierarchy over another dog. This theory does make some sense. You can see this sort of behaviour in many different ways dogs interact. Sometimes you’ll see a dog try and stand over another or put its paw on the shoulder of another. You may also have noticed your dog acting submissively to other dogs for example by looking down and lowering its head with the another dog. These are all different forms of one dog asserting dominance over another or accepting a more submissive role compared to the other.
While this theory makes sense, it doesn’t fully explain why at least some of the time you’ll notice the mounting dog is noticeably ‘aroused’ when you pull him/her off. Researchers at the University of British Columbia have observed and documented over 500 animal species that have exhibited homosexual or bi-sexual behaviour- defined as sexual activity, affection, pair bonding or same-sex parenting. This behaviour has been observed particularly in mammals including Bonobo apes, elephants, giraffes, lions, monkeys and sheep.
In dogs it’s likely that while the majority of the time it’s dominance, there are definitely dogs out there that get sexually excited by mounting other dogs of the same sex, and there are definitely dogs out there that get more sexual excitement from dogs of the same sex than that of the opposite sex so yes, it’s likely that homosexuality in the world of dogs does exist!
Whether its dominance related or homosexuality related, if you are the owner of a dog that likes to mount other dogs of either sex at the park and it makes you uncomfortable, or is making other dogs/owners uncomfortable, pull your dog off and make it sit for 15 seconds. This will calm the dog down and teach it that if it wants to keep playing, it can’t go round mounting other dogs without permission!
Happy Mardi Gras!