Can Dogs Be Gay? Is There Such A Thing In Canine World?

Can Dogs Be Gay? Is There Such A Thing In Canine World?

Author WDF Staff | Last updated: Apr 29 2023


Most dog owners experienced unusual dog behavior. You can probably relate to this - you are at the dog park, or one of your friends came over with their dog for a playdate. Suddenly, your dog starts engaging in sex-like behavior with other dogs of the same sex. Owners that are not entirely familiar with dog behavior can ask this question, “Can dogs be gay?”

Understanding canine behavior can help you determine what your dog is doing, and most importantly - why they are doing it. Owners often give their dogs human characteristics and attributes, which we think is absolutely adorable. However, the dog and human brain and sexuality work entirely differently.

Asking the question “Can dogs be gay?” might be a great way to start a conversation about canine behavior. Here is what you should know about your dog engaging in sex-like behavior with dogs of the same sex.

Can dogs be gay?

Dogs and humans have different definitions of sexuality, so dogs cannot be gay by the human definition of sexual orientation. In fact, dogs don’t have a sexual orientation; they pretty much do what they want when they want. Humans can be tormented about their sexual orientation, which can be intertwined with society, family issues, and stigma. Dogs don’t really care about that. They aren’t evolved enough to understand or feel specific sexual attraction towards one sex.

dog running in ocean

Why does my male dog hump other male dogs?

Male dogs humping other male dogs is not uncommon. In fact, female dogs hump male dogs and other female dogs. Your dog might even hump things like plush toys, furniture, cats, or an occasional human leg. Dogs hump for many reasons, and they are not all of sexual nature.

Dogs can exhibit sexual behavior towards other same-sex dogs or objects. Still, that behavior doesn’t necessarily give them sexual gratification. Mind you, it definitely can, and it probably gives them some sort of gratification, but it is not necessarily sexual. If your dog humps other same-sex dogs, it is probably just their hormones running wild. This behavior is a lot more common in younger dogs when their impulses and hormones are relatively new. They cannot control them. Here are some of the most common reasons dogs hump other dogs;

1. Play

Dogs that play together, especially puppies, can playfully mount and hump each other. Humans have a better understanding of what type of behavior is allowed and what is not, but dogs need a bit more time to learn. That type of behavior can be observed in both sexes and is not reserved for a single-sex.

2. Dogs that haven’t been neutered

Dogs that haven’t been neutered or spayed are more likely to display humping behavior. The behavior can be aimed at the opposite or the same sex, and it is fixed by performing the procedure. If you want to know more about neutering your dog, check out this article - Should I neuter my dog?

hounds playing

3. Display of dominance

Some dogs that weren’t adequately socialized can start humping other dogs. This behavior is aimed at both sexes, but it is understandable why some owners might think their dog is gay.

There are many more reasons why your dog could start humčing. Here you can read 7 most common ones - 7 Reasons Why Do Dogs Hump & How To Stop This Behavior

Why are dogs exhibiting sexual behavior towards the same sex?

The term “gay” cannot be defined, or in fact used, in the canine kingdom as it is used in our world. Just because a dog is humping another dog of the same sex doesn’t necessarily mean the dog is gay. There is a vast difference between behavior and sexual orientation.

It is not strange to notice female dogs that start to hump. Many dog owners don't know the reasons why is this happening, and to understand those reasons, make sure to check this article  - Main Reasons Why Do Female Dogs Hump

Homosexuality in the animal kingdom

The main issue with getting a definitive answer to whether dogs can be gay is that it is impossible to measure or experiment. Humans control their dog’s behavior, and we rarely allow them to act however they want. Whenever a dog starts displaying homosexual behaviors, their owners will stop them or redirect their attention to something else. The dog’s behavior is completely conditioned, and to get a clearer definition, we should look at other species.

dog snooping

It is a known fact that other species showed homosexual tendencies and behaviors. However, we cannot completely define it through our definition of sexuality and identity. One of the best examples is the bonobo chimps. They have a love-your-neighbor philosophy taken to a whole new level. Bonobo chimps use intercourse as a way to lubricate social interactions. These primates often have multiple individuals involved in the act, and they don’t really care which sex the participants are.

To be honest, there is no way of knowing if a dog has a long-term attraction toward other dogs of the same sex. Unfortunately, we cannot communicate with dogs in such a way as to give a definitive answer to the question, “Can dogs be gay?”

For now, most dog owners and behaviorists claim dogs don’t feel the attraction or are more interested in one sex or the other. They act on their impulses which are highly conditioned and have not been tested adequately.

What do if my dog humps too much?

If your dog starts to hump too much, it is essential that you address this problem immediately. Humping can be natural behavior in dogs, but excessive humping might be a sign of a certain underlying issue that is bothering your dog. To solve this problem, you should

  1. Consult with your vet - ensure that there are no medical issues that contribute to this behavior
  2. Provide proper exercise and mental stimulation - the well-exercised dog is less likely to exhibit different problematic behaviors
  3. Consider neutering or spaying - for some dogs, this could be a way to solve the humping problem
  4. Seek professional help - if nothing seems to work, you should consult with a professional dog trainer or behavioralist for guidance

World Dog Finder team

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