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Why do male dogs lift their legs to pee?

For dogs, urinating is not just to eliminate water waste - it is also important for marking their presence and their territory. This is why you may have notice that your dog will wee multiple times on your walks, but only with a very small amount each time. This is so that they can tell all other dogs in their area that they were there and they mean business!

Dog lifting leg funny

Why do dogs cock their legs when they urinate?

Lifting a leg makes it easier to urinate higher, and therefore mark a larger area. This in turn leaves the message that the dog is bigger, more dominant and should not be messed with. This is often why when out on a walk, your dog will try to aim as high as possible on to a tree, fire-hydrant or fence. 

“It might be uniquely beneficial for small dogs to exaggerate their body size and competitive abilities through relatively high scent marks if this enables them to avoid direct conflict,” writes Dr. McGuire. “In contrast, large dogs, with greater competitive abilities, would have less incentive to avoid direct conflict.” *

With this said, not all male dogs lift their legs. This behaviour is generally rare in puppies - its developed when the dog gets larger and therefore more likely to want to assert their dominance.

Puppies will generally start off with the 'juvenile' lean stance, and then normally after 9 months will start to begin to lift their legs. 

dog lifting leg meme

Do female dogs lift their legs?

While this is a behaviour largely associated with male dogs, females have been known to act in the same way. This is usually only the case when they would like to send a message when they are further from home and isn't necessarily due to a preferred stance. 

Will male dogs lift their legs on Oui Oui Patch?

They might do! If this is the stance preferred by your dog in the park, chances are they will be tempted to do the same on their Oui Oui Patch! This is why we will be introducing super cute Oui Oui Patch Leg Lifters! 

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Sources:

Dr Mcguire.  https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1558787818300704?via%3Dihub

Pet MD

https://www.petmd.com/dog/behavior/why-do-dogs-lift-their-leg-pee

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