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Tag: urination

Aiming high to leave their mark

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No matter how big your male dog is you’ve probably noticed, and maybe wondered why, when he finally finds what upright object he wants to pee on, he often strains to aim as high as he can.

The answer is — and perhaps this is more a matter of male behavior than canine behavior — he’s trying to impress other dogs.

canine_urine_marking_dog_behaviorScience and conventional wisdom generally concur that sharing urine scents serves to let dogs get to know each other — that it’s a method of honest communication.

But now a group of researchers is saying that — honest as it otherwise is — there is some deception going on, especially along smaller dogs who are even more likely to hike their legs as high as they possibly can to leave the impression that they’re bigger than they really are.

In a study published in the Journal of Zoology, Betty McGuire and her team at Cornell University found smaller dogs tend to urinate more often than larger dogs, and they’re more likely to aim higher when focusing on vertically oriented targets.

handstandpee“Assuming body size is a proxy for competitive ability, small adult male dogs may place urine marks higher, relative to their own body size, than larger adult male dogs to exaggerate their competitive ability,” McGuire said.

Like this little fella (left).

The researchers went so far as to follow adult male dogs while they (the dogs) urinated on walks, then calculated the angle of their legs when raised during marking. They (the researchers) compared those calculations to the dogs’ height and mass and measured the height of the urine marks on the dogs’ chosen targets.

“Small males seemed to make an extra effort to raise their leg high — some small males would almost topple over,” McGuire told New Scientist. “So, we wondered whether small males try to exaggerate their body size by leaving high urine marks.”

The researchers said it’s likely the goal is to deceive other male dogs, but I suspect it is to impress the ladies, too.

D.K.-Metcalf-595x334Perhaps it emanates from that same source that gives some small dogs Napoleon complexes, making them make up for their lack of size by being louder.

But, I’d argue, neither is limited to canines.

Go to any bar and you can see pretty much the same thing, minus the fire hydrants, lampposts and urination, but with the same kind of loudness, strutting, poking out of chests, boasts, and little white (or yellow) lies.

Seems that, when it comes to the male of the species, neither dogs nor humans are above a little showing off.

Expressing yourself, doggie style

As was the case with our kudzu dogs, this one requires just a squirt of imagination.

Ace and I were walking the streets of downtown Missoula when we saw a chocolate Labrador stopping to pee — well, not really stopping at all, which was the interesting part.

For almost half a block, he zig-zagged along the sidewalk, leaving a squiggly trail behind him.

Perhaps he, or his owner, had no time to stop — maybe the human had an urgent appointment, or maybe the dog had a weak bladder; or maybe, just maybe, the dog was expressing himself in the other meaning of the phrase.

Maybe he’d discovered a way around not being able to speak human — and it’s just a case of no one having discovered his amazing ability yet.

Sure, it doesn’t look like much now, but let’s see what happens when we turn it sideways.

Don’t bother moving your computer; allow me:

If I’m not mistaken, it spells Missoula, Montana.

Potty Patch: The indoor option for your dog

Previously available only on the Internet, the Potty Patch — basically a porous slab of artifical grass situated atop a drainage tray — will now be available at PetCo, one of the nation’s largest pet retailers, and will be sold under the American Kennel Club name.

Eagle Eye Marketing, makers of the indoor doggie restroom, announced the marketing breakthrough yesterday.

The three-tiered doggie restroom is perfect for patios and indoor use, says Eagle Eye Marketing, and serves as a valuable training aid, getting dogs used to relieving themselves on grass, or what appears to be grass. It is the only product of its type endorsed by the American Kennel Club, Eagle Eye says.

In fact, the AKC has done more than endorse the product. The non-profit organization has agreed to it being sold under their brand.

As for the product itself, the top portion is made out of a soft artificial grass specifically designed to let liquid flow through. The collection tray holds up to a gallon of liquid. It comes in two different sizes, regular (17″ x 27″) and large (27″ x 34″).

“We are very excited to finally have Potty Patch available at PetCo,” said Simon Wright at Eagle Eye Marketing. “This is a big milestone for us and we look forward to even better serve our customers. For extra convenience, Potty Patch is no longer available exclusively online but you can actually go to the store and see it first.”

Potty Patch is available through the product’s website, www.pottypatch.com.

Another doggie mishap on the Today Show


A pair of puppies livened things up on NBC’s Today Show this morning, bloodying the chin of co-host Lester Holt and shredding the stockings of another.

Holt was promoting what was coming up on the show, when the Rottweiler pup he was holding got squirmy, nipped him in the chin and pawed him in the face.

As Holt continued with the script, blood began flowing from his chin.

“Oh he cut you! Oh my gosh!” Al Roker says. As cohosts wipe his chin, Holt tries saying something about Obama, then gives up. “Nobody’s listening to what I’m saying,” he says.

It was the second canine mishap on the Today Show in two weeks. Last week, on the show’s fourth hour, a dog urinated on stage, leading Kathie Lee, who was already scolding the dog for scratching, to berate the dog even more.