Why Do Male Dogs Lift Their Leg So Often

All dogs mark their territory by leaving small amounts of urine, the male more so than the female. You can liken it to putting up a fence; it lets other dogs in the neighborhood know he has been there. The scent enables dogs to identify the age, gender, and rank order of every dog that has marked that spot.

When you take Buddy for a walk, he intently investigates various spots and then lifts his leg to deposit a few drops of urine to cover the area, thereby reclaiming his territory. Male dogs also have a special fondness for vertical surfaces, such as a tree or the side of a building. Corners of buildings are a special treat. Height is important because it establishes rank. Comical contortions can be the result, such as when a Yorkshire Terrier tries to cover the mark of a Great Dane. Females don't seem to have that need, which explains why they can do their business in a fraction of the time it takes a male.

Both males and females may also scratch at the ground and kick the dirt after urinating to spread their scent, thereby claiming a larger amount of territory.

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