HOMOSEXUALITY IN DOGS

"nobody can fully understand the meaning of love unless he's owned a dog. A dog can show you more honest affection with a flick of his tail than a man can gather through a lifetime of handshakes." – Gene Hill


Dogs are one of the most impartial, unbiased creatures in the human world. You can be a certified criminal or a saint, a dog will love you equally. No wonder that today, a dog is fulfilling the need for understanding, love, companionship and whatnot in so many people across the world. Caste, creed, gender, sex have never come in the way of canine love.

But, can humans reciprocate the same selfless love?

Sadly, a man can not evade societal ways. The sense of community brings with it, life within the 'moral' shackles. Most things are measured in the binary of right and wrong. Sexuality is one such controversial issue. Years have passed for people to break free of this binary and to introduce the multiple folds in sexuality. Our pooches have to go through the same jurisdiction.

To cite 'homosexuality' in dogs is another desperate attempt at imposing anthropomorphic status on the animal kingdom. In an essentially homo-sapien world, it is a pity that the only lens we view our pooch's sexuality is through our terminology, while they have an entirely different animal kingdom.

Domesticate as much as you wish, but can you take away their environmental predisposition from them? No, especially not something as natural as sexuality!

HOMOSEXUALITY IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM

Same-sex behaviour has long been noted in animals of many different species. In 2014, the BBC experimented on a pair of male Humboldt penguins who raise orphaned eggs together at a zoo in Kent, England. You may have even noticed your pet cuddling up to a same-sex pal. But before we can determine whether pets can be gay, we first need to set the baseline for what is considered "gay" in the animal kingdom.

The problem with imposing the this terminology arises from the fact that humans have taken several years to formulate the specifications; say lesbians, gay, bisexual or asexual and more. Animals/Dogs still do not fit into this rigid structure, for them their gender and sexuality is highly subject to fluidity.

The problem with aligning human connotations of the ideology of the term homosexual is that unlike the clear human demarcations within this terminology. Dogs do not like such rigidity, they believe in absolute gender fluidity.

This suggests that when we suggest homosexuality, there is a gap in the projection of this word because there is no specificity for dogs that are they exclusively homosexual, or partly like both the worlds.

Part of their neutrality lies in their disassociation with human society. Hailed from the wilderness, one can tame the physicality of a dog's existence, but not what drives them internally. The critters are still allowed to wander around, do what they like to do, love whom they wish to love.

ROOTS

It is important to know the roots of this behaviour and when did it catch the attention of human beings. As mentioned by many literary personalities, dogs have displayed queer tendencies since Classical Antiquity. The Old Testament testifies to the comparison of a homosexual dog with a male sex worker.

Many scientists believe that this aspect of dog psychology counters Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection. This queer tendency can hamper the regeneration of those specific dogs, for what good are those genes that can not be passed on.

But is there any proven anatomical difference?

Anatomically or endocrinologically, there is no difference between an exclusively homosexual and exclusively heterosexual animal pair.

 Bruce Bagemihl found that dogs inclined towards both the sexes of dogs show a difference in key sex hormones. They seem to have significant differences in testosterone and estradiol levels, as opposed to the ones who are interested in just the opposite sex dog.

 Some homosexual behaviour in dogs can even be connoted as man-made. At the time of heats, if a female dog is administered treatments of testosterone and estradiol, it increases the likelihood of homosexual offspring.

EXCLUSIVITY or LONGEVITY

Primarily these are the two markers of an animal's sexual preferences.

EXCLUSIVITY

Ideally, as mentioned above, animals are not extremely gender-specific, when it comes to sexual preferences. Their cognitive understanding of pleasure comes more objectively than us humans. Remember Maslow's need structure, which has sexual needs as the basic need of a human. So how could the animal instinct in a dog not play and they enjoy the same pleasure?

Dogs divide the sexual act, sexual pleasure, or 'pleasure in general' very meticulously.

1. General Pleasure - Humping and mounting, which is generally the marker for intended sexual activity, is not so, always. Some dogs seek these positions or act just for the sake of playful gestures. So if you see your male or female dogs humping their same-sex others, do not be flabbergasted.

Some dogs even hump or mount to assert their dominance over the other dog. Dog behaviourists noted that gender roles are fluid within the dog community, so sometimes they like to change things a little bit, by humping or mounting on the same-sex partner.

2. Sexual pleasure - Only dog lovers will agree that if there is someone who knows the art of platonic love the best, it is them! Sometimes, two same-gender dogs can happily enjoy non-physical love among them too. With non-physical, we suggest that they do not indulge in the ''sexual act''. From caressing each other to curling up, to even humping and mounting, but they do not end up consummating with each other.

 

3. Sexual act- Some male dogs indulge in sexual bodily gratification only through same-gender partners. Even a female dog in heat cannot entice them, the vice-versa is also true. Such dogs tend to be strict with the gender of their sexual partner. These are the only type canines, that fit into the social terminology of homosexuality.

It is only the same-gender dogs that they get excited for, long for, admire and associate every sexual and non-sexual feelings with Another reference to this temptation, is when a dog gets into the act of sexual activity with the same-gender dog, because of sexual frustration. (link) In human terminology, this phenomenon is also called Prison sexuality. It was seen that a group of intact male dogs got so excited to see a female dog, that out of sexual frustration two male dogs ended up doing the sexual activity themselves.

LONGEVITY

There is another basic difference between animals and human sexuality. Unlike humans, the concept of family does not determine a dog's choice of partner. So, animals can have as many partners as they can, in the wilderness. Owing to their freedom, many dogs exercise their choices quite extensively, irrespective of gender.

DOGS: WOKE & INCLUSIVE

So, it is not a biggie for them. It would not be wrong to say that Dogs have been the mute supporters of the community for ages and beyond. They are “woke” and “inclusive'' members of our society.

Even after their unparalleled aids to human kind. Many dog parents have left their dogs to shelter-home after seeing them humping or mounting the same gender dog. Human insensitivity never fails to make a mark. Without knowing the reasons, or attaining proper knowledge, they resort to abandoning them for their sexuality.

A gay dog, like any gay human being, do not have any physical or psychological deformity. They play, eat, bark, love, all the same!

This shame culture regarding sexuality extends to a lot of mystery on this topic. The main issue with getting a definitive answer to if dogs can be gay is that it is impossible to measure or experiment. Humans control their dog’s behaviour, and we rarely allow them to act however they want. Whenever a dog starts displaying homosexual behaviours, its owners will stop them or redirect its attention to something else.

Years of revolutions and now humans have come to accept the heterogeneity of sexes, lord knows how long it is for our pooches to fight this silent war. The obsession with normality underplays but once this topic is so widely talked about and known for, it will become a part of normal behaviour too. All you have to do is to accept them as they are, shower them with the best of treats and toys with pet store online.