Percentage of urinations by dogs that involved a raised hindlimb as a function of age as a continuous variable. Data are shown for male dogs (A; two shelters pooled) and female dogs (B; two shelters pooled). Vertical dashed lines indicate the approximate separation between juvenily and adult age classes (dashed line on left) and the separation between adult and senior age classes (dashed line on right).

Introduction to Research

During the spring of my sophomore year at Cornell University, I was fortunate enough to be recruited by Dr. Betty McGuire for a long-term research project studying the urinary scent-marking behavior of domestic dogs and determining the effects of factors such as sex, age, or body size.

During this process, I became intensely interested in the laterality (handedness) shown by certain individuals during raised-leg urinary behaviors. I collected data throughout my junior and senior years and wrote up my findings as a senior honors thesis and for publication in Applied Animal Behaviour Science (Gough and McGuire, 2015). A follow up study focusing more intently on body size was published in the Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research (McGuire and Gough, 2017). This project has resulted in multiple other publications focusing on various aspects of urinary behavior, physiology, and mechanics (McGuire, 2016; McGuire and Bemis, 2017; McGuire et al. 2018)