hugapitbull wrote:At this point in time, I can trust Trouble isn't going out of the yard. To keep him from knocking her over when he is excited to go out, I insist Trouble go out the door first. Duke sits to get his collar and leash on, then he backs away from the door and waits for Trouble to go out. As soon as she is clear of the doorway, he is allowed to go out.
maberi wrote:What you are describing is the dominance theory which basically boils down to the theory that dogs will challenge their owners in attempt to rise in rank, and lead the pack (thus why owners should go through doorways first).
Quite honestly I think the dominance theory is a bunch of hogwash. My opinion? Dogs do what works and because of that, they need a consistent structured environment so they know what is expected of them.
Do my guys go out the door first, down the stairs first, etc...? Sure, but if I tell them to wait at the door or at the top of the stairs they do so until I release them. Not because I'm the pack leader, but because sometimes I have to carry things up or down the stairs or don't want them rushing out the door when I need to get something out of the car. Just my opinion
TheRedQueen wrote:I'm with Matt...the going out the door first goes back to dominance theory...which is rooted in bad science. It's not true, and it doesn't matter. My dogs are not going to take over the world because they go out first. It's easier for them to go out and get out of the way rather than have a pack of dogs underfoot. They do have to sit before the door opens...(well, some of them do...Xander and Rip, the old guys don't have to sit anymore).
Marinepits wrote:hugapitbull wrote:At this point in time, I can trust Trouble isn't going out of the yard. To keep him from knocking her over when he is excited to go out, I insist Trouble go out the door first. Duke sits to get his collar and leash on, then he backs away from the door and waits for Trouble to go out. As soon as she is clear of the doorway, he is allowed to go out.
Excellent point, Shanna. We do something similar with Katy because her balance is SO bad now with the arthritis. She's either first or last in/out the door or up/down the stairs.
DemoDick wrote:Not every part of "dominance theory" is crap. It is a bad idea to allow an already pushy dog to barge through a door in front of you, as it can reinforce other pushy behaviors. It's not going to teach him that he's in charge per se, but it certainly can be a symptom of an out of whack relationship. Usually, the problem is not created by letting the dog go out the door first, but another underlying problem.
If a dog is in need of boundaries, we will include teaching him to wait for permission before exiting the house. If everything is generally in order letting him walk through the door (not pull, but walk) first is a non-issue.
As always, the most important thing is how the dog sees it.
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