Why Doesn’t My Male Dog Lift His Leg to Pee? Explained

If you are a proud owner of a male dog, you might have noticed that not all male dogs lift their leg to urinate. While the majority of male dogs exhibit this behavior, there are exceptions to the rule. 

If your furry friend squats to pee like a female dog, you may be wondering why he doesn’t lift his leg. In this article, we will explore the reasons behind this behavior, considering factors such as breed, upbringing, and individual differences. 

Understanding why your male dog doesn’t lift his leg to pee can provide valuable insights into his unique personality and biology.

Breed and Genetics

One of the primary reasons some male dogs don’t lift their leg to urinate is related to their breed and genetics. 

Certain breeds are more prone to squatting while peeing. For example, smaller breeds like Shih Tzus, Maltese, and Dachshunds often exhibit this behavior. 

These dogs may have inherited the trait from their ancestors or their breed’s natural tendencies. On the other hand, larger breeds such as German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, and Boxers are more likely to lift their leg due to their size and dominance instincts.

It is important to remember that breed tendencies are not definitive, and individual variations exist within each breed.

Upbringing and Socialization

The way a male dog is raised and socialized during its formative years can influence its peeing behavior. Dogs learn by observing and imitating other dogs, particularly their mothers and littermates. 

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If a male dog is primarily exposed to female dogs or neutered males during its early socialization period, it may develop the habit of squatting to pee. 

Additionally, if a male dog is separated from its mother too early, it may miss out on critical lessons about male dog behavior, including leg-lifting to urinate. Positive exposure to male dogs who lift their leg can encourage the behavior in some cases.

Neutering and Hormonal Factors

Another significant factor that can influence a male dog’s peeing behavior is neutering. Neutering refers to the surgical removal of a male dog’s testicles, resulting in a decrease in testosterone levels. 

Testosterone is responsible for the development of secondary sexual characteristics and male behaviors such as leg-lifting to pee. 

If a male dog is neutered before reaching sexual maturity, typically around six to nine months of age, it may not fully develop the habit of lifting its leg. 

Neutering later in life may have a lesser impact on the behavior, but individual differences still play a role.

Health and Physical Limitations

In some cases, a male dog’s inability to lift its leg may be due to health issues or physical limitations. 

Dogs that suffer from musculoskeletal problems, such as arthritis or hip dysplasia, may find it uncomfortable or painful to lift their leg. 

Additionally, injuries to the leg or hindquarters can also impact a dog’s ability to perform the behavior. 

If you suspect that your dog’s physical condition is hindering its ability to lift its leg, it is essential to consult with a veterinarian to rule out any underlying medical conditions.

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Individual Personality and Preference

Just like humans, dogs have unique personalities and preferences. Some male dogs simply prefer to squat when they pee, even if they are physically capable of lifting their leg. 

It could be their personal preference or an individual quirk that sets them apart from the norm. While it may be different from the behavior typically associated with male dogs, it doesn’t necessarily indicate a problem or abnormality.


In the world of dogs, there is considerable variation in behavior, even among males. 

The fact that your male dog doesn’t lift his leg to pee may be influenced by a combination of factors such as breed tendencies, upbringing, neutering, health, and individual preference. 

Understanding and accepting these differences can help you appreciate your dog’s unique personality and characteristics. If you have concerns about your dog’s behavior or health, consulting with a veterinarian is always a good idea. 

Remember, whether your male dog lifts his leg or not, he is still the same lovable companion that brings joy to your life.