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The Scoop: How Dogs (and Wolves) Pick Potty Places

If you've got a male dog, I'm betting you notice his gravitation to certain spots to do his business – North has his favorite hydrant and lamp posts in our neighborhood. I knew about the reasoning behind marking, but a new study takes that one step further. It explains that dogs aren't just choosing the same spots, they pick prominent urban landscape features that "maximize visual impact and odor distribution."
Not to get too graphic here, but this study is the first to examine the poop side, looking at fecal marking of wild wolves to see how choices can tell others about territory control, mating status, and more. If you're not to queasy from poop talk, read more.

Of the 101 "droppings" examined, 74.8 percent were in conspicuous spots showing that wolves chose places and plants of a certain height, diameter, and type, frequenting popular locations and multidirectional crossroads. Lisa Peterson, director of communications for the AKC weighed into Discovery News, adding:

That's probably why when little dogs urinate, they often lift their back leg up as high as possible – sometimes looking as though they're nearly falling over – because they're trying to pee as high as they possibly can.

So here's your homework: Next time you're out, pay attention to see if your pooches prefer to do no. 2 in the same spots on your daily walks and if they use a super-high leg lift for no.1!

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