why does my dog wipe his feet after peeing
There is a lot of information about marking, but there are also some other reasons dogs wipe or dig after relieving themselves. Dogs will behave different types of behavior depending on their environment, whether they are in a public place, contained in a limited area and their background. As shown by animals from overcrowded and inhumane puppy mills. So observed behavior can be an aberration of natural behavior and sometimes an adaptation of being kept in captivity. It is natural and right to derive animal behavior from it's natural state in the would, but behavior within the context of captivity cannot always be definitively explained. As with the pawing on the ground with elimination and defecation. Dogs will also scrape or wipe their paws, or make digging actions after elimination or defecation for hygiene reasons. One reason dogs scrape their paws after urinating or defecating is to clean their paws and another is to cover their waste. Similar to cats covering their mess, but not as thorough. You'll also find they scrape away from the direction of any food or water source or place that they sleep.
If you observe a dog that does not cock his or her leg to urinate, the urine pools and usually the dog will extend their back legs in a display as they are wiping their paws clean. There are observable differences between how dogs scrape and dig after going to the toilet, depending on the ground surface, and how they have relieved themselves. Sometimes they will be more digging with front paws included in an attempt to cover up the faeces, other times the paws will be scraped backwards from behind the mess in an attempt to wipe urine from them. When there is plenty of earth and leaf matter on the ground, a dog will make a better attempt of covering up fecal matter, than well relieving themselves on a lawn. Then there will be the more theatrical scraping, which is consistent with marking. , canines such as wolves, dingoes and foxes may kick the ground after elimination for sanitary reasons. They are simply covering up the mess.
Why do Dogs Wipe Their Feet? Have you ever seen your dog wipe its hind feet on the grass? Usually, dogs do this after defecating or urinating, and it seems an absurd behavior.
However, there are many natural reasons your dog wipes its feet after going to the toilet. You may even be surprised to learn that you can observe your dogвs health through this action. Dogs of every variety, from domesticated miniature poodles to wild Alaskan wolves have a strong hierarchical system. They must establish which dog is the Alpha, or leader of the pack, which dog is the omega, the bottom of the pack, and every position in between. You might assume that size and breed have something to do with how dominance structures are arranged between dogs, but research has shown this not to be strictly true. In fact, dominance behaviours in dogs often surprise their owners. All too frequently, the smallest dog in a multidog home gains the top pack position, and people observing this oddness are left scratching their heads. If youвve seen this happen you might wonder why the bigger dog doesnвt exert its size and muscle to gain priority over the smaller dog. The reason, scientists have discovered, is as odd as the behaviour. Dogs scratch at the ground after squatting in order to spread their scent markers.
If youвve been the owner of a single dog for many years, you may have noticed that your dog began to scratch the ground less often as time progressed. This doesnвt mean your dog is getting lazy about staying clean, because itвs a misconception to see paw wiping or scratching as a cleaning behaviour. In the opposite scenario, if youвve recently adopted a second or third dog, you may notice your first dog suddenly scratching the ground as if itвs trying to dig to the earthвs core. Again, your dog isnвt trying to get extra clean to make a good first impression on the new company. The scratching behaviour is all about building a pecking orderвwhoвs at the top and whoвs at the bottom. So, youвve noticed the smallest dog in the home is the one who lords over the other dogs. Youвve noticed that the smallest dog is also the one that scratches the most after defecating or urinating. Youвve seen the little one follow the bigger ones around the yard, sure to pee on the same spot as the bigger dogs every time after the bigger dogs have peed.
Youвve witnessed the not-so-subtle pecking order being established. Not muscle, not size, not even aggression sets up the pecking order in a dog pack (if you own more than one dog, you have a pack). Scent dominance creates the pecking order, and the dog who most aggressively scent marks its territory is the alpha. Of course, if the smaller dog is forced to fight, it can loose its dominance by being beaten by a larger dog, and fighting does determine rolls, but when in peace, if dogs arenвt aggressive, their scent markers prevail. Now, as a final note, if youвve noticed your dog scratching the ground less, and its always been a heavy scratcher, this can be a sign that the dog is having health problems. Commonly arthritis leads to less scratching behaviour. If you observe your dog scratching less, check its feet, legs and joints. If it whimpers or retracts its leg away from you while you check, you may want to visit the vet. An arthritic dog leads a difficult life, and many inexpensive medications can restore joy to the canineвs life.
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