Why Wont My Dog Lift His Leg To Pee?

If you find your male dog peeing by squatting or any other method, you might wonder: why wont my dog lift his leg to pee? Isn’t it normal for dogs to do so? Read on, you might be surprised to know that it’s not!

Dog peeing style is unique. Most male dogs usually lift one of their hind legs to pee, mainly on vertical surfaces, so that the urine can fall and cover a large area. The urine serves two purposes:

The first is that the male dog eliminates all the wastes from his body in the form of urine. The second is it leaves a urine mark so that any dog that passes by the path where he urinates can know his presence. 

However, female dogs usually don’t lift their legs while urinating. Most female dogs pee in the squat position. If you have a male dog and he is not lifting his legs to urinate, you might find this very unusual. 

However, let me tell you, there are several urine positions of dogs. Lifting their hind leg is just one of the various urine positions.

Why Wont My Dog Lift His Leg To Pee

The article discusses all such questions related to the peeing style of male dogs. Continue reading for an engrossing nugget of information about why your dog pees the way it does.

Male Dog Peeing The Truth About Lifting Their Legs to Pee

In 1970 researchers did a study on 60 male Beagles 53 female dogs. All the dogs were adults and were not neutered. The researcher found that there are12 different urinating positions of a dog. One of them is standing in which the dog stands, pushes its hind legs backward, and urinates.

However, there can be other reasons why your dog may suddenly change its urinating position. For instance, he may change his peeing style because of stress and anxiety or when you take him to a new environment. 

Moreover, if you have spayed or neutered your dog, he may not like to lift his legs and urinate. It can also signify a medical problem like your dog may have joint pain or urinary tract infection. If your dog has changed his urination style, it’s best to take him to the veterinary doctor to ensure there is no health problem.

Why Doesn’t My Dog Lift His Leg To Pee?

There are several reasons why your dog is not lifting his leg while peeing. I am listing some of them below.

#1. You Have Spayed Your Dog

Neutering is a surgical procedure in which the testicles are removed so that your male dog can no longer procreate. It is estimated that nearly 60 percent of dogs don’t lift their legs after spaying during urination. So, if you have neutered your dog recently, this could be why not lift your legs while peeing.

#2. Your Dog Have Submissive Behavior

Dogs can have different personality traits like human beings. Some male dogs are dominant and urinate in a certain way to mark their territory. 

On the other hand, some dogs are submissive and don’t like to pee by lifting their legs. So, if your dog has submissive behavior, he will not like to lift his leg and pee.

#3. Unique Nature Of Your Dog

Your dog may simply not like the urinating style, i.e., to lift leg and pee. He chooses another urinating style like standing and peeing or a squat position like a female dog and urinating.

#4. Joint Problem

Your dog may have a joint problem (such as hip dysplasia, arthritis) due to which he is not lifting his legs while urinating. So, it’s best to talk to a veterinary doctor about the change in urination style.

#5. Urinary Tract Infection

Your canine friend can have a urinary tract infection, which can be why he is not lifting his leg while peeing.

Why Wont My Dog Lift His Leg To Pee

How To Teach A Dog To Lift Leg When Peeing?

Lifting legs and urinating is not an inborn habit in male dogs. Most male dogs urinate in two styles, i.e., leg lifting and juvenile lean posture.

Male dogs usually start urinating by leaning forward and extending their hind legs towards the back. But they begin lifting their legs and urinating after getting sexually mature. 

A male puppy will get sexually mature at six months of age. Medium to large breed puppies may get matured after nine months of age. 

If you have a male dog who is not lifting his legs while urinating, you can train him. However, the training may require time, effort, and patience. I will discuss a few steps below that will help you teach your dog to lift the leg while peeing.

#1. Bring a Large Number Of Treats For Your Canine

You have to first bring any treats or snacks for your puppy.

#2. Call Your Dog

Call your dog and allow him to stand near you. Allow your puppy to relax and calm completely.

#3. Hold Treats On Your Hand

Try to hold a few treats in front of your dog’s nose and allow him to smell.

#4. Lift His Leg

You can start feeding your dog by lifting his hind limb in one hand. Try to feed your dog slowly so that he will have to practice lifting his leg.

#5. Start With A Command Word

You can start with a command word after a few days. Give him as many treats as possible when he listens to your command and lift his legs.

#6. Say The Command Word When The Dog is Peeing

Once your dog becomes a master in this method, take him outside and say the command word during his urination. If your dog lifts his legs and urinates by listening to your command word, then reward him by giving his favorite treats or snacks. You have to continue the method for a few weeks.

Why Wont My Dog Lift His Leg To Pee

Can I Pee On My Dog To Show Dominance?

No, you should never pee on your dog to show dominance.

Sometimes your puppy urinates on the floor of your house when greeted, scolded or when they are nervous, which is also called submissive urination

There are other reasons for submissive urination, like if your dog has an incontinence problem or has a urinary tract infection, then they pee all of a sudden on the floor of your house. 

Some sick people pee on their dogs to show dominance or stop the submissive urination problem. It is absolutely pathetic behavior. 

You never pee on your toddler when he misbehaves with you: so why with a defenseless dog? You will spoil the relationship with your puppy if you start peeing on him to stop the submissive urination problem.

There are various ways and methods to stop the submissive urination problem of your dog. You can talk to a veterinary doctor about the issue. If your dog has a medical problem, the doctor will prescribe medicines to resolve the issue. Some canines will stop the submissive urination problem when they become one year old.

Frequently Answered Questions

#1. Is it normal for a male dog to squat and pee?

Yes, it is normal for a male dog to squat and pee.

 Most puppies squat and urinate after their birth. But as the male puppies become sexually mature, he lifts his leg and starts peeing. The hormones make a male dog more dominant, and he starts marking his territory so that a female dog can know his presence.

But some dogs will continue peeing in squat positions even after they get sexually mature. It is normal, and you don’t have to worry about it.

But remember, if your dog was lifting his leg earlier while urinating and suddenly changed to a squat position, then it could be a medical issue. For instance, he may have arthritis, orthopedic problems, or urinary incontinence. So I suggest you take your dog to the veterinary doctor if he suddenly changes his urination style.

#2. How do I train my leg to pee with his leg up?

Use treats to encourage leg lifting behavior.

The best way to train your dog to pee with his leg up is to put another male dog with him who used to lift his leg while urinating. Your dog will copy the behavior. 

Another way is to raise your dog’s hind leg on the one hand and start offering him treats. Try to feed your dog slowly to get accustomed to lifting his leg. You can train him by using a command word.

 When your dog is fully trained, take him outside and say the command word while urinating. If your dog pee by lifting a leg, reward with as many treats as possible. But if you do not do it, don’t discourage him or scold him. It indicates your dog needs some more training.

#3. At what age do male dogs lift their legs to pee?

At around 6 to 12 months of age.
Male dogs usually start lifting their legs and urinating at 6-12 months by age.

Remember, both intact and neutered dogs can lift their legs and pee. But it is commonly seen that a neutered dog pees in a squat position rather than lifting legs.

#4. Will my dog ever lift his leg to pee?

Around the first 12 months, you might expect to see this behavior coming in.

Many male dogs will start lifting their leg when they become sexually mature or reach 6 to 12 months of age. So you can expect your dog to lift his leg and pee when he attains sexual maturity.

A Few Final Words

A dog can have various peeing styles. But it’s common for a male dog to lift his leg and urinate on vertical surfaces. He uses his urine to mark his territory and to let other dogs know about his presence. 

Other dogs can know many things by smelling the urine because their nose has 300 million olfactory receptors, which is relatively more than a human being. They can know about gender, social status, health condition, intact or neutered, and many more.

But if your dog does not lift its legs while urinating, there can be various possible reasons stated above. We thank you for reading the article, and you can ask us any queries related to doggie peeing behaviors in the comments below.

Do read other articles that we have written on this topic such as Why Does My Dog Pee On My Clothes? And Do Dogs Poop And Pee At The Same Time?