Are there Homosexual Dogs?

March 27, 2019
Some dogs exhibit unusual sexual behaviors: like males that want to be with other males. So, many owners ask, are there homosexual dogs?

Dogs’ behavior can be especially strange sometimes. You may have seen dogs of the same sex engaging in intimate behavior, and wondered if there are homosexual dogs, or if that’s just normal behavior.

Homosexuality in the animal kingdom is a complex issue. We still have so much to learn about the nature and behavior of dogs. However, in this article, we’ll look more in-depth into the possibility of homosexual dogs.

Is there homosexuality in the animal kingdom?

Many decades ago, scientists tried to answer this question. Logically, in order to find out if animals can be homosexuals, they had to observe their behavior in a very detailed manner.

Their research allowed the scientists to demolish many myths about animal sexuality. For example: the classic evolutionary theories have led us to believe that animals have sex for the sole purpose of conserving the species. 

According to this logic, relationships between animals of the same sex would be meaningless, since they could never create offspring. However, these days, it’s known that humans aren’t the only species that have sexual relations for pleasure.

Many other species in the animal kingdom, such as dolphins, chimpanzees and even dogs, also practice sex without reproductive intentions. They are simply fulfilling their body’s needs and desires.

All of this data strongly changes the view that relationships between individuals of the same sex would be ‘illogical’ in the animal kingdom. In fact, there are many accounts of ‘homosexual’ behavior in different animals. This is the case of Japanese macaques, pandas, and bonobos.

Does that mean there are homosexual animals?

The fact that animals have sex or are stimulated by individuals of the same sex doesn’t necessarily mean they’re homosexual. Homosexuality is a concept invented by man to designate human relationships or behaviors. 

Animals and their social structures aren’t governed by the same codes as human society. Therefore, comparing our sexuality or imposing our language to explain an animal’s nature and behavior will always be limiting and ineffective.

So, there aren’t any homosexual dogs then?

If the question is, can dogs practice sex or be sexually stimulated by an individual of the same sex, especially if they’re in heat, the answer is yes. However, if the question is whether or not dogs can be homosexual, or gay, it’s not possible in principle. 

Some owners wonder if there are homosexual dogs.

The fact that a dog can freely express its sexual instincts with the same sex doesn’t mean that it rejects the opposite sex. Neither does it mean that it prefers to relate to individuals of the same sex. It simply means that their sexuality isn’t determined or limited to the terms that man invented. 

Sexual instinct is an essential part of canine nature. Each dog can express his sexual desire in different ways. Of course, as owners, we have to be aware of the importance of preventing unwanted litters and fighting street overcrowding.

This absolutely doesn’t mean repressing or punishing certain behaviors just because we think they’re linked to sexual desire. Instead, make sure your dog has the proper reproductive control, such as sterilization or castration. 

If dogs can’t be homosexual, why does my dog get on other dogs of the same sex?

This question is extremely common among owners and is related to the lack of knowledge of canine behavior. Just because a dog gets on top of another dog of the same sex, doesn’t necessarily mean the action is sexual. 

A puppy on top of another one.

In puppies, for example, this is a natural behavior. It’s all a part of their learning in that very active phase of their lives. During their puppy stage, the puppies have to learn how to behave like dogs. That’s why they ‘rehearse’ adult behavior with their siblings.

In adult dogs, if a dog is constantly on top of other dogs and objects, it may be a sign of stress. Your dog needs to stimulate his body and mind daily to channel his energy in a positive way. By doing this he will be able to maintain a balanced behavior. 

A sedentary lifestyle and lack of mental stimulation can result in behavioral problems. Also, dogs may naturally get on top of one another while playing.

Lastly, a dog may get on top of another dog, or objects, to relieve some discomfort in their genitals or urinary system. Of course, this may cause some confusion for those who are observing it.

Degenerative diseases that cause pain in the hind limbs can also lead to this behavior. Therefore, if your dog tries to mount everything he sees, we recommend taking him to the vet.