The Age Old Question
I know its silly but I actually know the exact date my now 14 mo old puppy started lifting his leg. To some it can be a milestone event – like suddenly your little puppy has turned into a man. While that certainly is placing human emotion and even a human concept on your canine companion, it is still interesting to relate the leg lift to some change in development within your dog.
To best answer the question of why our pups pull their legs up high, I’m going to rely on our good friend Aly and her team over at Why Does My Dog _____?
Leg lifting essentially gets their urine up higher – close or at most dog’s nose level. Raised urine spray also is more likely to be picked up and have the scent travel in the wind. This is why it’s called “marking” the dog is literally marking that spot and leaving behind information that says, who they are, whether they have their sex organs, where they are in sexual maturity, around how big they are given the height of the urine and how long ago they were there. The higher a dog get their urine to stick, scientists say the taller they may seem to the other pups in the hood – because you know, he must have been tall to get it up there!
While it is not as common, many female dogs left their legs too. This can be to get across the very same information as their male leg-lifting counterparts. While height is not as easily achieved for the ladies, I still have seen some impressive stream placement.
So next time you’re out for a walk and your pup is sniffing around in bushes or on the local fire-hydrant, just think to yourself that they are checking up on their pee-mail – reading community notices, seeing how long ago their friend Archie stopped by and if Bella is getting ready to come into season!