Elimination Patterns in the Laboratory Beagle

In: Behaviour
Randall H. Sprague Department of Psychology, University of California, Berkeley, Calif., U.S.A.

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Joseph J. Anisko Department of Psychology, University of California, Berkeley, Calif., U.S.A

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Twelve distinct elimination postures were recorded during the present study. Females employed a wider variety of urination postures, eight compared to four in the males. On the other hand, more males urinated during more tests and did so more frequently than the females. Too, the males showed a considerably lower urination latency than the bitches. Females tended to evacuate the bladder all at once while the males would deposit a small amount of urine many times and continue to pseudo-urinate even though no urine was expelled. In the males, urination appeared to be oriented toward the scent of other males or toward conspicuous vertical objects while female urinations tended to be distributed at random. Although most elimination by the females was aimed at the ground, a substantial number of their urinations were directed toward vertical targets as well. The defecation rate was low in both sexes, being slightly higher in the males. Five defecation postures were used by the males as opposed to two by the females. Of the postures observed, two were formerly thought to be used for urination only. Both sexes showed some defecation on vertical targets. Almost one-fourth of male defecations were placed on the fence. A small amount of ground scratching was done, most of it by the males, who scratched only after urination. Scratching appears to function as part of the marking behavior of the dog. It may help to disperse an animal's odor over a wide area as well as making a conspicuous mark on some surfaces.

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