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Pee, poop, kick, scratch, dig up the landscaping. . .WHY?!?!?

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  • Pee, poop, kick, scratch, dig up the landscaping. . .WHY?!?!?

    Is there a definitive answer as to why dogs do that kicking/digging thing after they pee? I've mostly read that it's part of marking behavior - spreading the scent. But I do remember a study done years ago (like in the 80's) that was somewhat inconclusive. The study used unneutered dogs, dogs neutered early, and dogs neutered after maturity. They couldn't find a pattern.

    Interestingly, my ACD cross (neutered in early puppyhood, as he was born at a rescue) NEVER does this - he pees or poops and then is ready to move on. My hound, neutered at around age 1-2, can flat out destroy some landscaping post-pee, and you'd better not be standing directly behind him or you risk a divot (or worse - he's been known to fling turds hither and yon after a poop) in the eye.

    I've seen some dogs do it totally unrelated to bathroom activity, and I have NEVER seen a female dog do this.
    Last edited by Mara; Nov. 23, 2011, 09:08 PM.

  • #2
    my female dog does. Neutered. After pooping only. She never pee-marks.
    My neutered male dog pee-marks a lot and he never does the kick the ground thing.
    I've also owned two neutered female dogs who were both champion pee-markers and one did the kick-the-ground thing and one never did.

    have you ever seen another dog react to the kicked ground? I haven't. If it were "spreading the scent" you'd think they would at least sniff it in passing.


    • #3
      My female spayed corgi does the kicking thing. Not always, but sometimes. Dunno why.
      I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry


      • #4
        My dogs do the scratch dance too. Usually my Smallest female. She thinks she is hot stuff. LOL.


        • #5
          My ancient, neutered Pug does the scratch-kick so hard after he does a poo that he literally lifts his hind end off the ground. And he snorts really loud as he is doing it.


          • #6
            I've never noticed a pattern. My quick sample:

            My ACD Mix, adult Female, Spayed at 12 months - does it
            My Border Collie, female, not yet spayed at 7 months - does it
            Neighbor's adult Pit Bull, male, not neutered - does it like crazy
            Mother's Brittany, adult male, neutered at 6 months - never did it
            Brother's Lab, male, neutured at 8 weeks - does it like crazy

            Males do seem to be more enthusiastic about it.


            • #7
              My cocker always did and none of the other dogs ever did it. The day after my cocker died, my hound started the habit. I like to think she left a bit of her spirit with us.


              • #8
                Two female beagles, both spayed at 9 mths old. The dominant older female (2 yrs. old) pees and poops and does the fling the landscape routine. She also will pee mark by squatting and lifting one of her hind legs up over the top of where other dogs have peed.

                Younger beagle, 1 yr. old, never landscapes after doing her business.

                All of my previous German Shorthairs, 6 of them, both males and females would scent mark and landscape.

                Spayed female Corgi would landscape after every pee.
                Lost in the Land of the Know It Alls


                • #9
                  According to my sister-in-law's vet (we were just discussing this an hour ago in my front yard, watching the dogs do their thing), the reason the dogs to that is to express their anal glands (which is a good thing), and so there is some scent-related function behind it as well.

                  Just thought I would pass that tidbit along.
                  There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams


                  • #10
                    According to my sister-in-law's vet (we were just discussing this an hour ago in my front yard, watching the dogs do their thing), the reason the dogs to that is to express their anal glands (which is a good thing), and so there is some scent-related function behind it as well.
                    I can absolutely believe the anal gland thing. My cattle dog (neutered at 11 weeks) has always had anal gland 'issues.' He doesn't scratch and kick all the time, but when he does he does it FEROCIOUSLY and DESTROYS the landscape. My other two who have been 'optimum poopers' rarely do this (both are adult rescues and were neutered/spayed in their later years.) My pup is deafblind and couldn't understand the first thing about marking territory so the anal gland thing makes sense.


                    • #11
                      The anal gland info does make sense. The corgi has anal glands that clog up. Big dog has never had a problem in that area ever, and he's never done that kicking thing.
                      I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry