Monday, November 17, 2014

Dogs That Don't Bark

This is a list of truly bark-less recognized dog breeds. They make other noises to communicate, but they don't bark typical of domestic dogs.

Australian Dingo 

Indonesian Dingo

African Basenji

Carolina Dog
(Southeast United States)

Santal Hound of India

New Guinea Singing Dog

Telomina of Malaysia

Monday, November 3, 2014

Why Do Male Dogs Lift Their Legs to Urinate?

I documented our puppy's development by taking a photo each week and noting changes in his biology and behavior.
Was Gus a
late bloomer?
Most dogs begin lifting their legs somewhere between 6 and 12 months of age.  Yet even at a year, Gus was not yet a leg-lifter.

Boys squat to piddle
until at least six months.

It wasn't until 14 months that Gus lifted his leg to urinate. This caught my attention and I wondered about the biology of leg-lifting, so I did a little research. This is what I found out.

Leg-lifting behavior is hardwired, not learned. Within the first few months of leg-lifting, dogs reveal a side preference as to right rear or left rear leg-lifting. Leg-lifting side dominance is consistent with side-preference of front paw use. (See my post about canine side-preference.)

He's a southpaw.

He's a righty

In dogs, muscle strength develops front to back. Head first, then neck, front legs and paws, finishing up with hind legs and tail.   This means puppies don't have the muscular wherewithal to stand on three wobbly legs while one is lifted.
Getting up on the couch? Little guys use their front
legs because that's where their strength is.  Within a
few months they jump up using their hind legs.
The onset of sex hormones such as testosterone, even in dogs who were neutered at a very young age,  is directly related to when dogs lift their legs. Since the behavior is related to sexual maturity, and some breeds mature more quickly then other, then my question is:
Is timing of leg-lifting breed specific?  

If anyone knows the answer, please comment.