Dog Has Poor Aim, Piddling on Himself
Q: My dog doesn’t lift his leg to urinate. This is a problem because he piddles on his own front legs. His beautiful cream-colored coat is turning yellow. Getting this 50-lb. dog into a bathtub everyday is getting old. The vet says everything is okay, and my dog may catch on, eventually. I can’t wait until eventually. Do you have any advice? J. A. G., Peoria, IL
A: Invest in a doggy shampoo company’s stock – then buy lots of it. Your dog’s inability to cock his leg isn’t sexual so much as it has to do with social maturity, or a lack thereof. Your vet might be right, as some guys just mature slowly – and it may happen on its own. If your dog is generally a submissive and shy guy, encourage him to be more confident and more outgoing. Invite friendly dogs to your house or meet at the park for play sessions. Teach him tricks, and reward him with major praise. Also, an upbeat and fun training class can boost confidence.
However, some dogs just aren’t cocky enough (sort of speak). Veterinary behaviorist Dr. Karen Overall, says she had an Australian shepherd, named Flash, who was rescued from a shelter. Flash never became assertive enough to cock his leg, However, she did train the dog she calls “my slopped boy” (using really yummy treats) to look at her while he piddled, so he urinates between his legs instead of on his legs. Training your dog to do this could be your only salvation, short of buying shampoo by the carton.