Watching your dog poop with his leg up is a hilarious sight to behold.
Naturally, a dog should squat to poop, but that has not always been the case. Instead, most dog owners have noticed their dogs lifting one of their legs to poop. When this happens, in most cases, the scenarios are usually very hilarious or just weird.
So, why does my dog poop with his leg up? Your dog poop with his leg up because he’s marking the territory with his poop, has developed a new quirk or is trying to spread his scent to get the attention of a female dog or he’s constipating.
But wait – there’s more!
Suggested reading: Why does my dog drool when he poops – Is it Normal? (new tab)
Read on below to discover more reasons why your dog lifts his leg when pooping and how you can train your dog to end the behavior if you are uncomfortable with it.
9 Reasons my dog poops with his leg up
1. They’re just being territorial
Dogs have an instinct for marking, especially when they are in a strange environment as a way to register their territorial presence.
Dogs marking their presence can often happen when they’re on a walk or hike. To mark their presence in the area, they lift one of their legs to pee. However, they sometimes poop, which is kind of weird but totally natural.
So, there’s nothing to worry about concerning this behavior, as it’s just a dog instinct on display.
2. Dogs are also copycats
A dog’s behavior can be easily influenced by the behavior of other dogs around them. So if your dog hangs around with dogs that exhibit bad habits, there’s a high chance that your dog will exhibit similar behavior.
It is called allelomimetic behavior.
Allelomimetic behaviors are when other animals follow the actions or behavior of an animal that they associate with.
If your dog has the habit of pooping or peeing with his legs up, there’s a high chance that he developed the habit from watching other dogs do it.
Having seen the behavior from somewhere, he must have loved it
3. He is Scent Spreading
Most dogs poop/pee with their legs up in an attempt to publicize their sexual availability to other dogs. This behavior is mostly found in dogs that have not been neutered.
When a dog still has its sexual organs intact, it will try to make itself available to other dogs for mating.
Un-neutered Dogs usually lift their leg when pooping/peeing when they experience their heat cycle. When a dog lifts their leg, they spread their hormonal scent.
Hence, if you have a dog that hasn’t been neutered spayed, it’s very likely that it will lift its leg when pooping or peeing.
A spayed or neutered dog is less likely to lift its leg.
4. Your dog may just be confused
It’s believed that dogs sometimes get confused in their minds regarding what they do. In some cases, when dogs get confused, they may lift their leg while pooping, and sometimes they as well may poop and pee simultaneously.
Although this may not be the only reason your dog lifts his leg when pooping. Many other reasons may be responsible for it, but you have little or nothing to worry about if your dog exhibits this behavior.
5. They’re trying so hard to not mess themselves
Some dogs are fast learners, primarily when a good trainer is assigned. Dogs also know when to adjust and adapt to a new way of life.
If a dog notices he has been pooping on his body, for example, his leg, when pooping directly on the ground, he may think about how to avoid that going forward. In some cases, the dog decides to lift his leg to avoid pooping on his leg or any part of his body.
In this case, your dog may be lifting his leg in order not to poop on his body.
This could also be according to your relationship with the dog.
For example, if he poops on his body, do you get harsh on him? This may trigger your dog’s instinct to avoid further pooping on his body, hence lifting his leg.
6. When the surface is higher
Dogs have different funny behaviors, and one such behavior is pooping on a higher surface. The reason for doing that may differ, but many believe they find comfort in such a position.
So when a surface is higher for them, they may lift one of their legs to help them achieve their target.
This is one method pups often use in pooping on surfaces believed to be higher than them. This may be why your dog poops with one leg above the ground.
7. Your dog may have be constipating
Many reasons can cause a dog to experience constipation. These include insufficient fiber in the diet, lack of exercise, dehydration, blocked anal sac, and so on.
When your dog experiences constipation, he may find it difficult to poop. In trying to beat the difficulty, the dog lifts one leg up to help open the excretal organ to ease the passing of its poop. This is another cause of why dogs lift their legs when pooping.
How do I stop my dog from lifting his leg when pooping?
As mentioned earlier, if your dog lifts up one of its legs when pooping, it shouldn’t be much of a concern as there’s nothing inherently wrong with this. Still, most dog owners find this weird and may want to put a stop to it.
If this is the case, here are a few methods to help stop this behavior.
Training dogs to stop lifting a leg up when pooping can come in different ways, including correcting him the moment you notice this. This is why dog training is essential.
If your dog is already used to cue words, you can firmly say “no leg up” or “bad dog” whenever he is pooping with one leg up.
Be consistent with this approach, and don’t forget to praise him when he corrects this behavior by pooping the right way.
Continuous practice of this will help the dog desist from lifting his leg when pooping. Alternatively, veterinarians or dog trainers can help you train the dog to stop the behavior.
Neutering or spaying can help stop your dog’s leg-lifting habit when pooping. This is because when the reproductive organ is removed, whether partly or entirely, this creates a sort of discomfort which prevents dogs from lifting their leg when pooping. This applies to both male and female dogs.
Your dog will adhere to your commands and directives when you prove to him that you are the leader of the pack.
However, this does not include any form of physical punishment but a habit that you keep correcting each time your dog behaves in a way you’re uncomfortable with.
After a certain period, your dog will come to abide by your leadership rules and respect your commands, including “no leg up” when pooping.
Erase His Marks
If you notice your dog leaving his mark in an area, clean up the area thoroughly with vinegar and water or citrus-based sprays. This will prevent your dog from remembering his marked regions.
Final thoughts on why your dog lifts his leg to poop
Many reasons are associated with dogs lifting one of their legs when pooping. However, the grounds are not worth batting an eyelid for as they’re just natural, behavioral acts.
If you ever find your dog putting up with this act, you may let it because it’s just doggy behavior, or you can try to put an end to it.