Click here to learn more.
Squatting and leg lifting are acceptable behaviors in
dogs of both sexes. You heard right: Males may squat to relieve themselves, and females may choose to lift a leg.
Studies suggest that regardless of whether or not a canine is spayed or neutered, some dogs will choose to only squat when it's time to do their business.
Most of the time, squatting to urinate is normal — and not a sign of a health problem.
“I wouldn’t worry unless it’s a change,” says board-certified veterinary behaviorist Dr. Karen Sueda, DVM, of the VCA West Los Angeles Animal Hospital. "Say, if a male dog who has always lifted his leg suddenly stops, and starts squatting."
No one knows for sure how or why leg lifting got, ahem, kick-started. There are only theories about urination styles, including one that surmises that males lift their back legs to better mark territory, as well as to spray higher and appear bigger to other pups who sniff their urine. Others speculate that leg lifting evolved as a way for dogs to simply avoid urinating on themselves.
A new squatting behavior may be a sign of a medical issue, including arthritis, orthopedic problems and even a hormonal or neurologic condition.
Squatting may also be a symptom of urinary incontinence, Dr. Sueda adds. “The dog may not realize that he is urinating and only squats in reaction to a stream of urine coming out,” she says.
If you do notice a change, visit your veterinarian. A physical exam and bloodwork may reveal the root cause of the problem.
But if it’s not a new behavior, don’t sweat the squat. Unless the pooch shows signs of pain or discomfort, he’s probably doing his business as usual.
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Thank you for subscribing to Petwire. Look for the latest newsletter each Wednesday.
A Good Samaritan found Gidget, a Jack
Russell Terrier from Philadelphia,
wandering near Portland, Oregon.
Animal Planet's Victoria Stilwell strongly
opposes breed bans — they don't stop
dog bites and lead to…
With 40,000 animals poached each year
for the ivory trade, it might not be long
before elephants disappear…
These pets can't wait for the season's
cool weather, beautiful autumn foliage
and (of course) plentiful leaf piles.
When Rafael Mantesso and his wife split,
he was left with an empty house and his
beautiful Bull Terrier, Jimmy Choo.
We asked the pros what it takes to get a
cat recognized as an official breed in the
United States, Canada and the U.K.
When she's not curled in your lap, the affectionate and elegant Birman will gladly play fetch or chase a ball.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.
Thank you for subscribing.