When your Pit puts nose to ground and starts sniffing and walking in that all too familiar body language, chances are a deposit is soon to happen. Looking for just the right spot your family pet is being selective and for a good reason. But it’s not just about doing number one or two as much of it involves communication.
Not only does your Pit perform a natural bodily function but in the process leaves his/her calling card. Dogs live in a world of smells that humans can’t appreciate. It is said that a dog’s nose can detect a single drop of urine in 100 gallons of water. But why would a dog want to? Well there’s a message in the pee-mail which can give lots of information to the sniffer. A dog can determine in one sniff how many dogs have been to that spot, the sex of the dog(s), whether spayed or neutered and how close a female is to her breeding cycle.
It’s also about one’s turf. A Pit will sniff out another dog’s calling card and trump that card by playing his own on top of it. The top card always wins and says to the next sniffer, this is my turf. It is called over-marking.
Not only is pee-mail important in communication between dogs but poop can be just as effective. When a Pit strains to poop the anal glands are expressed leaving valuable clues about the dog as well as marking the turf. A reason to sniff fresh poop could be to determine what recent food has been ingested in hopes that some may be nearby.
Some believe that pee-mail or scent marking may be a way dogs avoid conflict. To the dog passer-by it says I’m the resident dog here so stay away.
Scent marking while most common in males is also practiced by females. A female usually does not over mark the scent of another dog but will mark nearby.
Next time you take your Pit for a walk, remember it’s like a dog’s version of a trip to the library.