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Can Dogs Be Gay? Animal Sexual Behavior Explained

Grant Piper

By Grant Piper

Silver-tipped samoyed

Some people seem convinced that their dog is gay. It is easy to fall into this mode of thinking because of a dog’s behavior. People tell themselves, “If my dog were a person, they’d definitely be gay.” So, can dogs actually be gay? Unfortunately, it doesn’t exactly work like that, so the answer is not really.  Dog’s brains, emotions, and sexual behavior do not work the same way people’s do. They are much simpler and are driven by instinct, not emotion or preferences. Here is what science says about it.

Divider-Dog bone- New

Seemingly Homosexual Behaviors

Many owners see their dogs exhibit seemingly homosexual behaviors, such as cuddling with other dogs, humping dogs, and bonding with dogs of the same sex. In the human world, these kinds of behaviors would indicate potential homosexual feelings, but that is not the case in the dog world. Dogs’ brains are not as developed as humans. Dogs do not have complex emotions or multi-level thinking. According to science, you need these things in order to have preferences that would make your dog gay.

Casting human qualities and traits onto dogs is called anthropomorphism, and it happens all the time. But just because you cast your human-centric views onto your dog doesn’t make your assumptions true. Anthropomorphism can make it difficult for humans to truly understand animals because it clouds reality by cluttering it with complex human traits that animals largely cannot feel or experience.

Why Science Says Dogs Can’t Be Gay

There is a broad consensus on the question of whether dogs can be gay. Scientists, psychologists, and veterinarians have weighed in, and they all agree that dogs cannot really be gay. Not in the way that people understand. The fact of the matter is that dogs are lacking the advanced thought needed to make specific choices that would set them apart as homosexual versus heterosexual. In many situations, dogs have very little agency. Dogs are primarily driven by their instincts and the social dynamics at play. Since instincts are so strong, dogs cannot think through a situation and make a choice based on a preference that goes against their instincts. That means that dogs cannot be gay in any meaningful way.

Beagle standing on the field
Image Credit: José Somovilla, Pixabay

No Emotional Connection

Dogs do not form emotional connections to one another the same way that people do. Dogs are not monogamous. They don’t mate for life. Dogs don’t date. They don’t form couples or partnerships. In short, dogs have no real way to form a relational connection with another dog in a way that humans would recognize. Dogs can become friendly with one another, they can form packs, and they can have leaders, but they don’t form emotional connections in the way that humans do.

Without these deep emotional connections, it is hard to label a dog as gay. In fact, science says that the lack of this type of connection makes it almost impossible for dogs to be considered homosexual.

No Sexual Preference

Dogs do not have sexual preferences the same way that people do. When female dogs are in heat or when male dogs are on the prowl, they are driven by powerful instincts to mate. They are not looking to have sex for pleasure. Even when dogs hump one another, it is not out of a sexual desire or preference, it is about dominance and communicating hierarchy. Without the ability to form a strong sexual preference or desire, a dog cannot really be considered to be homosexual.

Female Dogs Hump
Image Credit: Spik and I, Shutterstock

No Gender Preference

Similar to sexual preference, dogs have no gender preference. Dogs will form bonds with one another based on their instinct and based on the social dynamics of the area they are in. Being male or female has little to do with your dog’s behavior. If a dog lives in a house with another dog that they get along with, they will form a bond with that dog no matter what gender they are. Dogs do not prefer one gender to another. Choosing one gender over another based on a preference is one of the pillars of homosexuality. Dogs have no way to process this kind of emotion or thinking so they can’t really be gay.

Is My Dog Gay?

Unlikely. You might have seen your dog exhibit some behaviors that you think make them gay, but that is not the case. Your dog is likely forming bonds and partaking in behaviors based on their instincts. However, they don’t have any real preferences. Dogs don’t have sex for pleasure. They don’t seek mates based on preference. They don’t prefer one gender to another. They don’t form couple-like relationships. All of these things disqualify dogs from being homosexual in the same way that a human is.

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The consensus is that dogs cannot be gay. Some scientists admit that there is not enough information to make a strong case one way or another. It is impossible to truly tell what an animal is thinking. That is what can make them so challenging to deal with. Most people realize that dogs simply lack the advanced level of thinking and preferences that is a prequalification for being homosexual.

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Featured Image Credit: Zanna Pesnina,Shutterstock

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