Male Dogs who Never Lift Leg

I’m just throwing this out because it’s something I’ve noticed with male dogs.

Everyone I know with a male dog has had their dog neutered. There’s a marked (no pun intended) difference in the temperament of the dogs who, even after neutering, continue to exhibit leg lifting, or “marking,” behavior. Not indoors or anything like that, but I’m talking dogs that on walks, etc., that continue to pee on mailboxes, posts…anything “markable.”

The ones I know that keep leg lifting are much more assertive.

I myself have an 8mth neutered male who has never been anything but the non-dominant, “I love everyone” type.

My sister’s 10yo rescue she’s had for 8+yrs is the same way; never lifted his leg on anything. I would trust him with anyone.

Another acquaintances 3yo golden is the same - squats to pee and the kindest beast on 4 legs.

The couple neutered males I know of who continue to be the marking type, while “nice” dogs, do have a bit of dominance in their personality.

So just asking:
Among NEUTERED male dogs:
Do you see different behavioral/temperament traits between dogs who continue to lift their leg, and those who don’t?

Our male dog, neutered at about 8 month never lifted a leg to mark anything for years! My daughter started to bring her un-nuetered male Dane to visit here while she was working. They run and play well together, wear each other out. Our dog watched the Dane mark things around our large fenced yard, started marking the same bushes!! He copies what he sees the other dogs do, good or bad.

The Dane was not neutered because it can cause bone and growth problems in large breed dogs who continue to grow unto past age 2yrs. Gets the hormones messed up that control growth. Daughter saw some terrible specimens of Danes neutered or spayed at young ages. Poor bone growth, weedy, over-sized, so she did not get her dog done. He is a very handsome dog in excellent weight, gleams in the sun, bone proportional to his size. Beautiful mover chasing squirrels.

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I should have said my dog is a smaller one, 30 pounds. Mix of Shelty and Cocker Spanial, never going to grow large. So I had him neutered at under a year old. Wanted to make sure his urethra was as big as it would get. I know male cats can have issues because the urethra quits growing when nuetered. Not sure on dogs, did not think to check on it, so I waited to “be safe.” The Vet was willing to nueter him at 3 months!!

There are so many factors that I don’t know that you’ll have a consensus. Age at neutering is a big one. Imagine castrating a 5 year old boy - you certainly would not be surprised if he did not exhibit many traits associated with mature males. He would probably epitomize the “I love everyone” temperament. That’s like neutering a 16 week old puppy.

Socialization is another big factor. Dogs raised with other dogs behave differently; and whether those dogs are altered or not can change the pack dynamics.

And then there is the temperament of the dog itself. I had a male who was not neutered until he was 15 months; but lived with another intact male his whole life. For some reason he rarely lifted his leg. In contrast, my other males (all intact) have never squatted to pee after 10-12 weeks or so. No real explanation other than his temperament.

Even bitches can/will mark territory by lifting a leg and or urinating as high up as possible. Every dog/bitch has a different place in the pack and I suspect marking is a big part of demonstrating that rank. And the rank itself is definitely about temperament, not physical age.


From what I understand, lifting the leg is a learned behavior for young males. It could be that neutered males that are around other males at an early age, will learn to lift their legs. They might also have more confidence because they are more dog sociable. They put their mark higher on that spot because they feel confident about their territory. I don’t count dog park socializing so much because it can be very stressful for the dog, unless they have a regular group they have a chance to bond with.

Our GSD was over 18 months old when he was neutered because of bone growth plates. We have a secure fence around our farm, so it was never an issue worrying about him getting to females. He was never a daddy. He is two now and is just starting to lift his leg more. He struts more, too. He’s feeling really good about himself and secure in his territory. That’s what it seems like.


My dog was found on the side of the road when he was approx a year old, and he was neutered right before I brought him home a few months later. He definitely loves to lift his leg and mark stuff on walks and he DEFINITELY portrays some of the dominant male behaviors… he’s little so I don’t have to worry about him being dangerous per se but I can almost always tell the sex of an incoming dog when we’re out on walks - younger or unaltered males, he starts panting heavily, straining on the leash, hair raising up, etc. from hundreds of feet away, whereas if the dog is female or an older male he’s much calmer.

He mainly really only does this on walks, and we have worked very hard on keeping his attention on me and keeping the leash slack, but it’ll still happen now and again.

Interestingly, he also does agility and couldn’t care less about any of the dogs there at classes and trials, male or female. He is sweet to everyone he meets and I hardly ever see his hair raised! I think it’s because he feels confident at the agility field, lots and lots of positive associations with the place, and he’s never had a bad experience with any dog there because they’re all well trained by responsible owners :joy: the dogs he encounters out on the city streets are a different story!!

I tend to avoid dog parks but he has been to our local little dog park a few times, and people will often bring their tiny puppies in there to play with the little dogs. It’s the same story with me always being able to tell the dog’s sex based on my dog’ s behavior towards it :roll_eyes: but he is very obedient to his mom and if I use a certain tone he will leave them alone; what’s hard is when the other dog won’t leave HIM alone.

The lady who owned the barn where I boarded my horses had the sweetest neutered male standard poodle. Never lifted his leg; always squatted like a lady.

Nope, not really.
However, as mentioned above by @S1969, there are many different factors that can contribute to any perceived differences….
Breed, age of dog when neutered, training )or lack of), other dogs in the household, & more…

Just 2 quick examples…
Our previous Lab had a typical Lab temperament… super friendly & easy going. Nothing changed after he was neutered.
One of my current GSDs was neutered at 26 months (due to being a cryptorchid). He was an asshat as a puppy & still is an asshat LOL.

Neither typically lifted their leg to pee.

I have two Aussies - one I got as a 2 year old (now he’s 4), one as a 4 month old (now he’s 1 plus). The older one pees lifting his leg if there is something upright but will squat otherwise. The younger one the same, except if he has to poop while he’s got his leg raised, he’ll do that with one leg in the air. Yup. He’s my dork for sure.

According to my dogs (beagle mix) paperwork, he was neutered at 6 months. He squats unless peeing on something specific. He is very submissive, but is a fear biter.

My previous lab was a female who would lift her leg to pee occasionally, kindest, most gentlest dog ever but she was definitely an alpha when it came to other dogs.