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Why Does My Girl Dog Pee Like A Boy? 3 Possible Reasons

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By Nicole Cosgrove

white dog peeing on a brick wall

Male dogs are known for lifting one of their back legs while peeing. In contrast, most people imagine female dogs squatting down when they pee—not lifting their back legs. As a result, you might be worried if your female dog is peeing like a boy.

You’ll be happy to know that there is likely nothing wrong with your female dog. All dogs pee for two reasons: to go to the bathroom and mark their territory. Whenever dogs mark their territory, they almost always lift their hind leg. Although males are more likely to mark their territory, females can also mark.

To learn more about why your girl dog is peeing like a boy and whether you should be worried, keep reading.Divider 2

The 3 Possible Reasons Your Girl Dog Pees Like A Boy

1. She Is Marking Her Territory

dog peeing on door
Image Credit: Teeradej, Shutterstock
Should I Worry? No
What Should I Do About It? Nothing!

If your female dog is peeing like a boy, it’s most likely because she is marking her territory.

Dogs will often mark their territory with urine because it expresses certain pheromones that other dogs can smell.

All dogs are territorial to some degree, but males tend to be more territorial than females. It is for this reason that most people associate the lifted hind leg with male dogs. Male dogs are more likely to mark territory even though females mark too.

So, your female dog is likely marking her territory if she is peeing like a boy. There is nothing to worry about if this is the case. It’s simply your female dog being a dog.

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2. She Is A Working Breed

Dog Pee on Grass
Image Credit: Ching Louis Liu, Shutterstock
Should I Worry? No
What Should I Do About It? Nothing!

Even though males are more likely to mark their territory than females, certain breeds are more likely to mark than others. Studies have found that working dogs are much more likely to mark than unworking breeds, especially females.

A working breed is one that was bred for working purposes. Farm dogs, guard dogs, and hunting dogs are all examples of working breeds. More often than not, working breeds will mark their territory because they are usually competing with other dogs that they work alongside.

Working dogs tend to be more territorial. This is especially true of hunting dogs, guard dogs, and other working breeds that are kept within the home. If you have a female dog that happens to be a working breed, this may explain why she is marking her territory more frequently than other female dogs.

3. She Is Small

dog near a puddle of pee looking at the owner
Image Credit: MCarper, Shutterstock
Should I Worry? No
What Should I Do About It? Nothing!

Even though working breeds are often large and most likely to mark their territory, small females mark their territory as well. Just like any other dog, most small breeds will mark their territory by lifting their back leg.

Small dogs will lift their legs when marking their territory to look larger. They do this to hopefully scare away any dogs viewing them while they mark. The larger the dog is, the less likely that the other dog will try to take the territory.

However, some small dogs lift their back leg even when they are peeing just to go to the bathroom. The reason for this is that going to the bathroom is a vulnerable moment for most dogs. Small dogs will try to make themselves look larger to scare away any predators. Lifting their back leg is one way to make themselves look larger.

In other words, small dogs sometimes lift their hind legs just to make themselves look bigger, both when they are going to the bathroom and marking their territory.

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Do Girl Dogs Pee Differently?

Female dogs tend to squat when they pee, whereas male dogs lift their hind legs. This difference is largely attributed to the fact that males are more likely to mark their territory than females.

However, there is no right way for each sex to pee. Sometimes, female dogs lift their hind legs, whereas male dogs squat. It’s completely normal for girl dogs to pee like male dogs, even though they’re more likely to squat than males.

When Should I Contact My Vet?

If your girl dog pees like a boy on occasion, you have absolutely nothing to worry about. Your female dog is likely just marking her territory, just like any other dog. You don’t need to contact your vet if your dog is not showing any signs of pain or discomfort.

There are some instances when a female dog peeing like a male is a sign of a deeper problem. If your female dog has always squatted when peeing and has suddenly started lifting her hind leg while going to the bathroom, there might be an underlying problem.

If there is an underlying problem, your dog will often have other symptoms as well. Common things to look out for are whimpering, irritability, and lethargy. If your dog is experiencing other symptoms on top of the change in bathroom habits, there likely is an issue.

In the case that your female dog is now only going to the bathroom like a male, and this has not been an issue before, you might want to contact your vet. The vet will do a thorough evaluation of your dog’s body to make sure there is no underlying problem causing the change in behavior.

male poodle peeing
Image Credit: ThamKC, Shutterstock

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If your girl dog is peeing like a boy, it’s likely because she is marking her territory. Even though male dogs are more territorial than females, female dogs can mark their territory as well. This is especially true if you have a working breed.

In other words, you don’t have anything to worry about if your girl dog is peeing like a boy. Only contact your vet if your dog is suddenly changing its bathroom habits and demonstrates other symptoms that may suggest an underlying problem.


Featured Image Credit: Charlie Goodall, Shutterstock

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