Gender norms and pets

This past week a couple of seemingly unrelated things happened to make me wonder how everyone genders (or doesn’t gender) their pets.  One of my friends is trying to adopt a puppy and my section of the power grid decided to take an extended vacation.  Normally I wouldn’t bother mentioning either of these, but because I was bored and had nothing to do except try not to set my apartment on fire with an over-abundance of emergency candles I decided to head out and explore my new neighbourhood (just moved, for those of you who don’t read the Tumblog).

One of the stores I found was one of those trendy, posh dog stores.  The kind that caters to fashionable types with lap dogs in purses.  I like dogs (who doesn’t like cuddly animals?) and thought I’d stop in to see if there was anything I could get for my friend’s potential pup.  Not like a new puppy owner can ever have too many chew toys or balls to chase.

I was absolutely floored by how much of what was sold was gendered.  Pink, furry dog collars with “Diva” and “Princess” written on them in script.  Red plaid collars with “Butch” or “Killer” in block capitals.  Now, I suppose you could make a case for a pink, furry “Diva” collar being for gay men and the red plaid “Butch” ones for lesbians, but I don’t think that’s really what the manufacturers had in mind.

I hit up Target later to stock up on more candles and a camp stove and decided to see what their pet section looked like.  More gendered collars, toys, beds, clothes, etc.  Maybe it’s just me, but when I had dogs I never really put them in gender specific things.  Hell, they didn’t even have gender specific names.  So is this a new trend or is it something that’s been going on forever and I just didn’t notice?  Do you guys get gender specific accessories for your pets?  Anyone out there with a boy dog and Diva collar?