Marking their territory | Sunday Observer

Marking their territory

I learned that all dogs squat to pee when they are puppies. Male dogs, as compared to females, have a higher tendency to learn how to lift their legs while peeing. This usually happens between the ages of six to twelve months. Both male and female dogs’ urine mark—males start between six to twelve months of age—but typically it is the male that is most enthusiastic. And, it is the intact dog able to produce puppies that exhibit the most prominent behaviour.

Some dogs learn from other dogs how to pee with their legs lifted, some learn by themselves, and some never learn. An interesting finding indicates that male dogs’ pee with their legs lifted times at when they want to claim a certain territory. Dogs are territorial animals.That is a fact, and when they want to say ‘this is my spot,’ they tell other people and animals by marking it using an assortment of ways. For a male dog, peeing isn’t only about getting rid of his liquid waste, it’s also a form of declaration to other dogs that this is his territory by marking with his scent.

You may be wondering what marking has got to do with the need to pee with his leg lifted. Lifting the leg allows dog to aim better and spray their pee higher up. Dogs prefer to aim higher up and on an object such as a lamp post, so that their urine scent can be carried by the wind and disseminate more easily so that it is easier for other dogs to notice it.

For dogs, urine is not gross or undesirable, in fact it is interesting and exciting and a way of signing their name to something. It is also a way to sense what other dogs have been in the neighborhood and a way to show confidence and to advertise mating availability! They use urine marking to show their dominance and to mark what they think belongs to them. In most cases, dogs mark their territory with a small amount of urine. They tend to lift their back leg and urinate on an object or area, thus claiming it as their own. This is called urine-marking.

Regardless, how does peeing somewhere get the message across that this is their territory? Both male and female dogs’ urine mark males start between six to twelve months of age but typically it is the male that is most enthusiastic. And, it is the intact dog able to produce puppies that exhibit the most prominent behavior.

Actually, a dog’s urine contains heaps upon heaps of information within its scent about that specific dog, something that is lost on us humans. Simply through the scent of the urine, another dog can know the sex, maturity and social status of the one who left the scent. The scent of urine tends to fade as soon as it contacts the air. That is why dogs constantly freshen with new markings on top or near the original. Some pups become so enthusiastic, they seem intent on throwing their hip out of joint to baptise everything they can reach!

All dogs are different. However, there are several factors which could influence whether your dog ends up peeing with his leg lifted or remains squatting while peeing.

Lifting a leg to stand on three and pee is a behaviour that does not need to be modified or worried about. As long as your dog is not peeing in unwarranted places, lifting his leg should be fine. This natural and healthy behavior lets your dog participate as a member of the animal community.

The angle of leg lift could also have nothing to do with the urine signal, and everything to do with the dog itself. Different breeds could simply have different biophysical abilities when it comes to joint rotation and muscular lifting power. So it could just be easier or more comfortable for the small dogs to raise their paws.

The scent of urine tends to fade as soon as it contacts the air.

When you do your thing on the throne, nobody tells you how to do it. You shouldn’t tell your dog how to do his business either. If he wants to raise that leg, let him. The only thing you might want to tell him is where to go if he’s not in the right spot.

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