If you have a furry new pal in your life, you probably monitor everything he does like a hawk, just to make sure that everything is going swimmingly and he's healthy and happy as can be. If you notice that your boy puppy doesn't hike his leg to urinate, don't be shocked. That comes a little later, if it does at all.
When Do Male Puppies Start Hiking Their Legs?
When wee male puppies urinate, they tend to push to the front and squat just as female dogs do. This is not at all abnormal or problematic, so don't fret over it. Male dogs squat universally until they reach sexual maturity. In the puppy stage, you won't notice much of a difference between male and female puppy urination styles.
Age of Sexual Maturity
Male puppies, for the most part, begin hiking their legs during urination once they attain sexual maturity. This usually happens when they are between 6 and 9 months in age, although it often relies on components such as breed size. Sexual maturity can often take a little longer in bigger canines. Although male dogs frequently lift their legs for urination when they get to this age, not all of them do.
Physically mature boy dogs also often engage in hormonal urine marking behaviors -- a means of not only labeling their turf, but also for getting attention from female dogs who are in the area. If you ever spot your puppy starting to lift his leg inside, then you probably just caught him in the act of classic territorial urine marking. Mature male dogs often lift their legs just for normal peeing, but it is especially common for marking purposes. Remember too that some male dogs urine mark without lifting their legs to do so -- it works both ways.
If you get your little one neutered before he is physically mature, then there's a strong chance that he won't ever begin to lift his leg during peeing. He might squat permanently -- no biggie. Not only does early neutering potentially prevent leg hiking in male puppies, it also often stops other behaviors that are linked to sexual maturity, whether urine marking, aggressive fights with other males, restlessness, low concentration or constant frenzied runaway missions. Puppies frequently undergo neutering before they are reproductively mature -- before 6 months old. Ask your veterinarian about an appropriate time period for neutering your pup.
By Naomi Millburn
SPCA of Texas: Urine Marking By Dogs
ASPCA: How Will Neutering Change My Dog?
ASPCA: Urine Marking in Dogs
American Kennel Club: A Guide to Breeding Your Dog
The Humane Society of the United States: Urine Marking - Why Dogs Mark Their Territory
Humane Society of South Central Michigan: Canine Training Institute
Humane Society of North Texas: Neutering Dogs
Dogs - The Ultimate Care Guide; Matthew Hoffman
Why Do Dogs Like Balls?; D. Caroline Coile and Margaret H. Bonham
About the Author
Naomi Millburn has been a freelance writer since 2011. Her areas of writing expertise include arts and crafts, literature, linguistics, traveling, fashion and European and East Asian cultures. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in American literature from Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo.