Off the Grid  Retirement at our remote log cabin in Colorado

Friday, December 09, 2016

Rite of Passage

Posted by: Rick

On the 28th of November, Lynne and I along with the three dogs took a walk to the pond and back. We needed the exercise, and it gave us a chance to "run the trap line" (of game cameras). Bella and Destin know the trail and like to lead. Hailey follows behind to take advantage of our trail-making in front of her.

Just past Serenity Point, I saw Destin lift his leg to pee on a tree! Lynne didn't see it and was a bit skeptical of my claim, I think.

Lifting the leg to pee is a real rite of passage for a male dog. I'm not sure of the exact reasons they do this, but I've always believed there were two reasons. First, as the dog grows and changes physiologically, he is more and more likely to pee on his front feet when using a squat pee. (When I try to pee while lifting my leg I end up peeing on my other foot, so this does not work for people.) The second, and probably more valid reason is so they can mark vertical surfaces with their pee thus marking their territory. (This does not work for me either.)

Destin failed to accomplish this second goal on his first attempt. The pee still ended up on the ground, but close enough to the target tree that it was clearly not a squat pee.

We document everything with the camera.

A day or two later, he lifted his leg to pee on the bale of hay we have in the meadow. Success! He hit a vertical surface. Lynne still did not see this and remained skeptical.

But, on a subsequent walk, she caught him in the act.

Destin, marking his territory.

This is a sign of a maturing dog and the onset of interest in the opposite sex. He is already bugging Hailey and Bella, but they let him know that the bitches run this house. We are likely in for a fun winter.

Comments:

Having had 5 neutered male dogs over the last 30+ years, we know about marking.  When we had more than one male, marking the interior or the house was a compulsion for the boys.  In late September we lost Max, our 16+ year old Pom, so the “last man standing” is Noogie. He still marks, but at a significantly reduced frequency.  We have a dog door, so these aren’t “accidents.”
Have a “dry” winter!

Congratulations Destin! You have become a man. Your bulldog cousins are proud of you. They are only squatters, but of course, they are girls.

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