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Why Your Dog Incessantly Sniffs and Pees on Walks

Researchers have found that there are very good reasons why many dogs sniff and pee repeatedly on a walk, and it may have little to do with actually relieving themselves. Especially if you own a smaller dog, you'll find these discoveries fascinating.

dog scent marking

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • When you take your dog for a walk and he sniffs and pees, and sniffs some more and pees again, he’s scent marking
  • Research suggests dogs scent-mark to assert social status, find potential mates, get info on unfamiliar dogs and limit potentially threatening interactions with other dogs
  • A recent study shows that small dogs scent-mark more often than larger dogs, perhaps because due to their size, interactions with other dogs can be especially risky
  • When it comes to marking differences between the sexes, male dogs tend to over-mark, whereas females tend to adjacent mark
  • Since there’s obviously a whole lot more going on with dogs when we’re walking them than we know, it’s a good idea whenever possible to let your canine companion take the lead on walks and do his doggy thing

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