By Sunday, September 8, 2019 0 No tags Permalink

Squat, lift or both – which does your dog prefer when it’s time to water the grass?

Harley does it all #renaissanceDoodle

I have no idea why this subject baffles me so much. Just about everyday when I walk the Boys I think – 

today is going to be the day

As we head out I’m thinking – is today the day?

What “day” you ask?

The day that four and a half year old Jaxson will lift his leg over a scrub, bush, or blade of grass as he empties his bladder. 

Not happening…

Sort of a peculiar stance don’t you think?

He continues to squat every single time.

Three years ago I wrote a post titled leg lifts vs. squats. Initially I thought Jax was squatting because he was a puppy.

Those days are gone, I mean – he is still my “baby” but he will be five years old in December and I just don’t think this leg lifting thing is happening.

I’m not “bothered” or “haunted” by this – just curious, so I did a little digging.


According to Dr. Betty McGuire – a senior lecture at Cornell University who studies scent markings in shelter dogs:

There are two predominant patterns for male dogs; the typical raised-leg posture with one rear leg held up, and the juvenile lean-forward posture where the dog keeps all feet on the ground. Graduating to leg lifting is not a forgone conclusion since there is no “rite of passage” age when all male dogs begin leg lifting.

Everything You Need to Know About Leg Lifting

She definitely had Jaxson’s number…

Unlike Harley, Jaxson always wants to look at me while he does his business…

Yet even after reading the article – I still wanted to know why MY male dog didn’t engage in leg lifting. But what I did find sounded like a bit of a reach #keepingitreal

One study found in order for male dogs to regularly engage in leg-lifting behavior, they would have had to been exposed to testosterone around the time of birth

Really? I can’t even begin to process that.


Seems that’s the term to describe Harley’s leg lifting patterns. He exhibits no preference as to which leg goes up when he’s doing his business…

He will water just about everything!

But he’s also a squatter. In one walk he can alternate like he’s doing aerobics – lift, squat, lift, squat…

There’s never any indicator/pattern on when/why he decides to squat – never!


Since I’m pouring my deepest most ridiculous secrets out to you 🙂 – have you ever paid attention to the smaller dogs who raise their leg so freaking high they look like they’re going to topple over at any minute.

I’m talking high like this…

This takes true balancing talent – I ca’t lift my leg that high – can you?

Well let me tell you – I found out why, and you won’t be ready for this one. 

Small dogs want all the other dogs who pass by to think he’s much larger! If they urinate high up on a surface, the urine can flow downward covering a greater area, which leaves a stronger message to anyone who passes by. Starting up high may make a dog seem bigger than he actually is. 

Why Do Small Dogs Lift Their Legs Higher to Pee


According to PetMD there are twelve different positions that a dog uses to pee, and the positions have meaning. #notmakingthisup

Check it out – see if you can identify your dogs position (both male and females are discussed).

If I understand the descriptions correctly I see Jaxson alternating between two positions – 

  • Flex
  • Squat

Harley would be best described as –

  • Raise
  • Elevate
  • Squat 
  • Flex
  • Lean

Like I said, it’s rather interesting (either that or I need a life) #dontlaughatmejustloveme

Let me know which one best describes your pup…


If you read our post on Pavlov’s Theory I wanted to tell you that I believe our “classic conditioning” strategy is working. Harley – the begging Doodle – is hard to find these days. He seems content working for hugs, high pitch voices of praise and belly rubs…

Thank the Doodle we’re working this out!

As always – thanks for stopping by – we love our friends!

Make Monday special – be kind to someone ❤️

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