Pugley and Nelly are, according to their owner, ‘lesbians’, but discussion of the matter sent Holly Willoughby and Philip Schofield into an inevitable giggle-fest.
By Published on 10 Jun 2019
Watch the YouTube clip of the interview below with the pugs’ owner Christine King and vet Dr Scott Miller. Things start off normally with an introduction to the dogs and their story so far. But when Holly delves deeper into the owner’s claim that the dogs are gay things take a turn for the worst.
Philip’s suggestion that the pugs are just ‘friends with benefits’ causes Ms King to retort that the dogs ‘have a love’, and Dr King to suggest the dogs should ‘celebrate’ their love.
Can animals be gay?
Homosexual behaviour in complex mammals is well-documented. However, the motivations for such behaviour are not fully understood because most species have yet to be studied in this light.
Some scientists believe the perception of a ‘gay’ animal is a by-product of the human interpretation of homosexual activity between animals. Researcher Simon LeVay suggest that although homosexual behaviour is common in the animal world, long-lasting predispotion to homosexuality is very rarely seen.
Thus, for King to suggest that her pugs are in a lesbian relationship is taking things too far.
Ironically, Ms King regarded her assumption that one dog would pine for the other as being 'too human'. In fact pining is something seen across the board in higher mammalian societies.
Researchers agree that a long-lasting and active homosexual orientation is unheard of in the animal kingdom with the exception, of course, of humans. However, LeVay acknowledges that domesticated sheep in particular seem more prone to exclusive homosexual behaviour.
‘About 10% of rams (males), refuse to mate with ewes (females) but do readily mate with other rams,’ according to LeVay.