When your dog pauses to sniff another dog's 'pee-mail' it is picking up a fair amount of information.
Studies into scent marking by dogs have shown that by sniffing another dog's urine your hound may be able to ascertain the following information about the dog that left the scent:
- Whether the dog was male or female.
- If female, whether the other dog is in, or coming into heat.
- Whether the dog is spayed or neutered.
- Old or young.
- Sick or healthy.
- Stress level (happy or sad).
A study conducted in 2011 by scientists Anneke Lisberg and Charles Snowdon also threw up some interesting findings such as...
- Male and female dogs were equally likely to urinate upon entering a dog park but male dogs were shown to urinate more frequently than females.
- Intact males of a social higher order are more likely to over-mark (urinate over another dog's scent. Interestingly, female dogs were shown to never over-mark and simply adjacent-marked (urinated nearby).
- Female dogs spend a lot of time investigating the urine scent of both unfamiliar male and female dogs while male dogs are shown to be primarily interested in what other male dogs urinate on.
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