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Monday, August 15, 2005
Why Do Male Dogs Lift Their Legs to Urinate?

Contrary to popular belief, the reason dogs lift their legs isn't to avoid "missing" and squirting their legs by mistake. Whenever you ask an expert any questions about animal behaviour, be prepared to receive the answer "to map territory". So it is with the matter of dog urination.

Most dogs are compulsive in their urination habits and have favorite "watering holes". By lifting a leg, the urine flows up and out much farther, extending the boundaries of the male's "territory". From a dog point of view, evidently, the bigger their territory, the better.

According to veterinarian Ben Klein, the lifting of the leg seems to be linked to the testicular hormone. Puppies who have been castrated before the age of four months tend not to lift their legs to urinate, with no obvious ill effect.

Why Do Dogs Love to Put Their Heads Out the Windows of moving Cars? But Then Hate to Have Their Ears blown Into?

Dogs like to put their heads out of car windows because they are visually curious. Many dogs are not tall enough to have an unobstructed view of the outside world from the front seat, and most dogs are too short to have any forward or rearward view from the back seat. Poking their head out of the window is a good way to check out their surrounding and enjoy a nice, cool breeze at the same time.

But blowing in a do' ear, even gently, can hurt it, not because of the softness of the skin or the sensitivity of the nerves, but because of the sound of the blowing. One way a dog is tested for deafness is by the vet blowing into the ear of a dog as playfulness. The external ears of the dogs are full of sensory nerves that help to prevent trauma injuries and preserve hearing. The dog's ears can't trap all the debris sticking their heads out of a car window, that causes ear infections in dogs.

Why Do Dogs Have Wet Noses?

Most healthy dogs have wet noses most of the time. If a dog has a dry nose, it might just mean it has slept in a heated room, or buried its nose between its paws for an extended period of time. But it might mean also that dog is dehydrated, often an early warning sign of illness. What causes the wetness of dogs noses, here are some theories:

1. The lateral nasal glands in a dog's nose secrete a fluid. Some of these glands are the opening of the nostril and may be responsible for most of the moisture, but no one has proven how these secretions get to the tip of a dog's nose(there are no glands on the exterior of the nose)

2. Dr. Howard Evans at Cornell University believes that the wetness is probably a combination of secretions of the lateral nasal glands and the (nasal) vestibular glands.

3. Dr. Don Adams, a specialist in the respiratory system of canines At Ioawa State university, adds the dogs often lick their noses with their tongues. Much of what we perceive to be secretions on a dog's nose might actually be saliva.

So what function might a wet nose of the dog serve? Here are several theories:

1. Most likely, the secretions of the nasal glands help dog dissipate heat. Dogs don't sweat the way humans do. They dissipate most of their heat by panting with their tongues hanging out, evaporating from the moist surface of the tongue. While they pant, most of the air enters through their nose, which is more efficient
the mouth is evaporating water vapor.

2. Lateral nasal glands contain odorant binding particles that help the dog smell. Dr. Dieter Dellam of Cornell University told us that all animals can smell better when ordors are picked from a moist surface.

3. Dr. Adams thinks it is possible that the lateral nasal glands might be connected with salivary functions.

4. The wetness is a cosmic joke meant only to spoil the life of anyone who writes about it.

(abstracted from the book: Why do Dogs Have Wet Noses? by: David Feldman)
posted by infraternam meam @ 11:36 PM  
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Name: infraternam meam
Home: Chicago, United States
About Me: I am now at the prime of my life and have been married for the past 25 years. Sickly at times, but wants to see the elixir vita, so that I will be able to see my grandchildren from my two boys.
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