Monday 21 November 2016

Bertie presents his Pee-hD Thesis...

May I introduce myself as Bouncing Bertie Boffin, recently reconfirmed in the post of Director of Scientific Studies for Blogville.

Today I am reporting on the results of my very important investigations concerning the pee-holding abilities of my fellow citizens.

First all I want to say a big Thank You to those who contributed such valuable data, without which none of this work would have been possible.

As you may remember, it all came about after my journey back from Switzerland, where I lasted for 17 hours on the ferry back to Newcastle before I decided I really did need to release the pressure on my bladder. And I wondered how, in similar circumstances, my friends might fare?

To put this study on a proper scientific footing, I formulated three, no actually four, hypotheses that I wanted to test. There were:

1. That bigger dogs would be able to go for longer than smaller dogs before needing a pee.
2. That middle aged dogs would do better than the very young and the very old
3. That female dogs would hold it in longer than male dogs as they have less apparent need to decorate lampposts and trees etc.
4. In all circumstances, that dogs would be able to hold out far longer than their human carers.
Before moving onto the detailed data analysis, I should first address issues relating to my methodology.

A certain person (i.e. Gail) has suggested that my sampling may be flawed in that several of those who answered interpreted my question as an open invitation to boast about their own bladder capacity, or even (yes that would be you Wyatt) to exaggerate the weaknesses of irritating younger siblings, thus skewing the data. To which I answer, how dare she impugn the integrity of my fellow Blogville citizens!

On the subject of admissible data, I did agonize long and hard about whether the information submitted by the only non-canine participant, should be included. To circumvent any difficulties, I decided (for the purposes of this study only) to treat a certain Diva and Former Mayoress Madi, as an honorary dog. I trust this is acceptable to all.

OK, so on to the data, which I have presented in the table below. Please note that a few dogs seemed reluctant to disclose their weight - Dory's gang guilty here - and in these cases (highlighted in the table) I either used an average weight for the breed, as provided by Wikipedia, or made an educated guess based on photographic evidence.

For my first hypothesis, as you can see from the following graph, there is a weak correlation (R-squared = 0.16) between size (measured in terms of weight in kg) and time before needing a pee. I am sure that dog owners will in future use the equation presented on the graph to calculate how long a particular pup not included in this study might be expected to 'hold it in'.

As for the effect of age, you will see below that I have matched the data to a polynomial curve which totally convincingly confirms my theory that pee-holding ability reaches an apex in the middle years of life. This is also supported by the anecdotal evidence you provided, especially on the topic of embarrassing 'leakage' in extreme old age.  

To test for the gender difference I analysed the data using the appropriate statistical test (student's t-test)  and found, somewhat unexpectedly, there was no significant difference between the males and females who took part in this study. Maybe that whole 'dogs are from Mars and bitches from Venus' thing is the pile of tosh that some of us have always suspected...

My fourth finding is perhaps the most important. Although I did not specifically ask for data relating to humans, several of you volunteered evidence on this topic anyway. (In some cases, might I say, we perhaps had a little too much information, although I personally do sympathise with that fact that Sarge suffers disturbed nights due to excessive toilet flushing...) Anyway, the message comes through loud and clear.

Us dogs can, on average, go 13.7 hours before we need a pee, and our humans cannot even begin to compete. 

Finally, I note that the amazing data you provided has suggested further lines of enquiry, and I am now hoping to secure a major financial award (or the equivalent in treats) to pursue the two following questions:
  • Several of you including, Petite-Chose and Inca, Bella Roxy and Macdui, Cobi and Otto, mentioned that your retention time increases significantly when you are faced with going out in the rain, especially thunderstorms. This naturally make one want to investigate the impact of future climate change on the strength of dogs' bladders.
  • Location also seems to be important (Gus, Trilby, Macy Blue and Tootsie) and I was particularly interested in Gus's reluctance to 'release' in New Mexico, Texas and part of Louisiana. I would like to test the hypothesis that the ability to wait before peeing may, in the USA, vary according to the state, and that in extreme cases, dog owners may have had to relocate because of this.
So those are my results of my research. I am confident that this novel and important study merits the award of a Pee-hD degree. And of course I am happy to answer any questions arising from any of the work presented here.


  1. Well Bertie, that is some thesis ! One of which you can be immensely proud. We're also proud to see that our peeps very first Labrador, Sultan was the one who could last the longest. We don't know if he would have managed even longer if thunderstorm hadn't passed over ! It's not something we girls want to try to live up to! Of course both of us have had babies, so that does make a big difference (ask any human lady). Petite-Chose has had 26 pups and Inca has had five - before we came to Coppa's house. Now we are just retired and enjoying life.
    We enjoyed taking part and look forwards to seeing photos of your Pee-hD presentation.

    Love from Petite-Chose and Inca xx

  2. that was super interesting to read Bertie... many thanks for sharing so much canine wisdom :o) I think female people and female dogs are different, you showed the evidence. We are not even out of my village, when my momma looks for a tree... or a bush :o)

  3. We are sorry that we didn't get data to you for this, but we don't think that we would have changed it. We can hold it for a long time but sometimes like to pee on the floor for fun. Well done Dr. Bertie!

  4. We have appointed ourselves your "committee" and approved the Pee Hd thesis unanimously. We would be happy to write recommendations for funding or for the Nobel Prize.

    Gus and Teka

  5. Hari OM
    Bravo Bertie lad, this is fine evidence supporting the theory that, in fact, there are lot more similarities than differences between sexes and between species! It was interesting to read of the climate effects; angel Jade was one who would not go if it was wet out, and it used to worry me that she might explode. What this evidence appears to show is that bladders are manageable in the 'mind over matter' context... therefore your suggested further study could be most interesting! Excellent work young man! Hugs and wags, YAM-aunty xxx

  6. Mmmmm...gosh WHAT a lot of hard work and finkings you put in to this Bertie, I am VERY impressed (and totally confused!) I understand that its not true I came from Venus butt could come from Mars? Cool!!!!!
    Loves and licky kisses
    Princess Leah xxx

  7. My time is very different depending on my mood. If I'm able to go out regularly, then my schedule is also pretty regular. But when something happens that makes me not WANT to go out -- such as it's storming and Momma doesn't want to walk me and expects me to go in the YARD like some kind of animal -- then I can hold it for a reeeeeeeally long time!

  8. Wow Bertie you have been working hard. I think you certainly deserve the PeeHD Thank you for sharing the results of your research. Looks like I am the youngest contributor BOL - nose licks and love from Moth xx

  9. Dear Bertie, Pee-hD, and resident Scientific expert in Blogville. First of all it is absolutely okey dokey fine by me to be included as an honorary K9! Some of my bestest furiends are K9s.
    Second of all you are obviously the smartest K9 I know. Your charts and grafts and analysis are well done and very clear and precise. don't tell anyone but I had to help mom figure them out...she is chart challenged.
    Third, Dear Gail you have 200% left two Southern girls almost speechless. We are amazed by all your calculations.
    Last and for sure least you have made mom and I LOL/MOL this morning. Bravo Bravo Well done and standing ovation
    Madi and mom

  10. What a brilliant analysis. I am so sorry my mom didn't enter my data into this scientific survey, but I see that I am probably consistent with my pal, Gussie, the only WFT who volunteered for this PeeHD worthy endeavor. Bravo Bertie!!!

  11. this is excellent resarchBertie well done

  12. This is the most comprehensive peesearch I've ever seen. Not only fully carried out analysis but also presented in an entertaining and informative manner. You are an absolute genius and thoroughly deserve your Pee-hD as well as lots of doggie treats. Well done!

  13. Oh my dawg all those analysis and data was stupendous! You are like an Einstein. Girls always hold pee longer than boys in this house...sometimes
    Lily & Edward

  14. Oh Bertie, we are sorry, we forgot to mention that Sultan was about 14 years old at the time of the 26 hour very long thunderstorm ! Hope this hasn't upset your calculations too much.

    Petite-Chose and Inca xx

    1. No worries. I was just delighted you took part in my important and very scientific research.
      Toodle pip!

  15. Bertie - For older males - 2 or 4 legged - 17 peeless hours on a ferry to Newcastle would be a challenge.

  16. OMD Dr. Bertie... we CELEBRATE your PEE H D. OMD you SURELY do Deserve it... THIS was FABULOUS...
    Now we have a Thought..(Scary isn't it?) ... we wonder if there is a correlation between the HORDING of THUMBS and the LACK of BLADDER Control.
    THAT would teach the PEEPS a REAL lesson... if they would only SHARE the THUMBS...with US.. THEY wouldn't be Constantly needing to Pee...
    BUTT we digress... Congratulations on the FINE Research and stuffs. It was nothing short of BRILLIANT... BRAVO

  17. Well founded research, as always. SHE would like to point out in defence of the humans that dogs don't drink coffee!

  18. Wow! You really did some studying on this! We just know we can wait a long time and mom cannot. It was fun seeing the facts though!

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

  19. I CAN go for quite a while (my clean carrier and an airline flight as a baby puppy proves this), but WHY? when peeing is just so much fun.

  20. Such a wonderful and thorough thesis Bertie (even if Mama forgot to give our weights!)!! We will call you Dr. Bertie from now on...and I do believe a Blogville position promotion is in the works!!

    Dory (18lbs), Jakey (16lbs), Bilbo (7lbs) and Mayor Elect Arty (16lbs)

  21. What an impressive piece of work, Bertie! Millie (black lab/greyhound mix, 10-1/2 years old, weight around 40 pds.) is scolding me for not submitting her data (head hung in shame). For what it's worth, apparently she can wait FOREVER if faced with going out in the rain.

  22. Dear Bertie,

    That is very good science, and very interesting! The data is on charts, so it must all be true!

    Did your committee pass you? Are you now Dr Bertie?

    One small correction before you publish this work, I am a girl-dog, not a boy-dog.

    I look forward to your graduation picture, in a cap and gown I presume!


    1. Oh Cobi, I am sorry, and thank you for pointing out my error. I shall of course correct it in the final published version.
      Toodle pip!