Before Matt and I let our dogs outside, we make each of them sit and wait for their name to be said before they can exit. We pay attention to who sits first, second, third, fourth and fifth and that is the order they are allowed outside. We do this for two reasons:
1. It helps to prevent the dogs from bum rushing us while we’re opening the door and therefore makes sure the door doesn’t get flown open while ripping our arms off. Yes, this is how excited the dogs get about going outside. If you even say the word ‘outside’ their ears perk up.
2. It’s a great practice of dominance for us. This method helps us to establish that we are the dominant leaders of the pack and that they have to be calm and collected before they are rewarded.
I would say about 96% of the time, Gizmo is the one to sit first. She is a smart dog and she knows that if she sits first, she gets to go outside first getting the lead on the prairie dogs and other creatures before the other dogs join her. Gizmo’s main love is of the outdoors and she’ll do anything to be there, including sitting and waiting patiently for her name to be called.
The other day, Matt was inside and said, “Do you guys want to go outside?!”
Immediately, all the dogs jumped up, ignoring the fact that some of their legs had fallen asleep and proceeded to stand as close to the door as possible. However, Matt remembered that he might have left the gate open and needed to check that it was closed first. So he exited the door first without letting the dogs out with him. I should point out that he exited our front door. We have two entrances to our house which we have labeled our front door and our sunroom door. Since Matt was nearest the sunroom door upon his return to the house, he decided to let the dogs out through that door. However, Gizmo, having seen that Matt exited from the front door, expected him to let the dogs out from the front door upon his return as well. This notion seemed obvious to her. She didn’t think that perhaps Matt would accidentally best her and return through the sunroom door instead.
Matt opened the sunroom door and let all the dogs out except Gizmo, who was patiently waiting for his return at the front door.
After all the dogs were out and seeing that Gizmo hadn’t come yet, Matt called her, “Gizmo! Gizmo!”
She came running like the wind through the house to meet Matt at the sunroom door to which she stopped abruptly noticing that she was the last dog in the house. She gave Matt a very angry look as if to say, “How dare you let the other dogs out before me when it was I who sat first and waited patiently!”
After her long stare down, she left the house with attitude and if she could have, would have been stomping her feet on the way out. Later that night, Gizmo refused to go outside for their after dinner outing. She was protesting Matt’s decision to let her out last from before, and the rest of the night she looked angry and was very stand-offish. Funny how each dog has their own dogality. Gizmo, who is passionate about the outdoors, got her buttons pushed by Matt although he didn’t realize he was going to be offending her.