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736 Views 11 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  deezeldog
Sam (b/f) doesn't like it when I let apollo go out the door or up the stairs before me. He said he doesn't want apollo to think that he is leading me. I told Sam that apollo is a submissive dog (cuz he was previously abused) and that I can't see apollo having "dominance issues" over us. However sam still says he wants me to go up the stairs or out the door before apollo, he says he knows apollo doesn't have issues now, but if he is gunna have dominance issues he wants to nip them in the bud now. I think this is silly. What do you guys think?
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Rowan is very submissive and I am trying to make her wait and come behind me. They said at obedience class that someday you might be carrying a baby or an armful of groceries out the door.. and you don't need a 75 pound dog barreling you over to get out first - so if I were you.. .I would follow Sam's recommendations - it only teaches your pupper manners... afterall, we are the leaders of the pack. :)
Thanks, I can see your point. I just thought it was silly cuz the only reason sam gave was "i don't want him to think he's the leader of the pack".
The only time I let the dogs go up or down the stairs before me is when we are going up/down downstairs to do wash. other wise they must wait for me..
When we were in Alaska we took a tour of a musher's camp...got to see a demo and meet some of the dogs.
There was this HUGE ex pen with about 15 dogs in it and one small gate. The woman who ran the place told us that the same dog comes out of that gate first everyday, every time no matter what. It was pretty cool to see ALL the other dogs, back off and allow the pack leader to come out first.

Even though we dont have dominance issues with Aidan nor Emma, I still tell them move back and make them wait and allow me to go out first. The stairs, i dont worry about too much but the doors, I insist on them moving back and letting me go first.
This comes in handy when I dont have a feee hand, or if someone else is watching them. It's good manners for them to wait for their people to go first.
I see where he is coming from...he just wants to make sure Apollo knows his place and wants to reinforce that. But I also see what youre saying...this is already a submissive pup so no need to overkill the point, right? But training them to do this makes good sense for other reasons besides dominance/submission.
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You hit the nail on the head Weheartlabs. I can see where sam is coming from now, lol wish he could see where i was coming from
I always make the girls sit and wait for me to enter the door first. You never know when you're going to have a situation when you need them to do that.
Tal just naturally seems to want to wait on me when I pass thru a door. The only exception is when I am taking his kong to him before leaving in the am. He is so excited he will just run to his crate and wait for me to bring his kong and oput it in his crate.
I dont think going through the door first will make them "leaders of the pack". It will just make them think they can do whatever they want. Have you ever been somewhere and your dog got scared and got behind you? If your dog is the leader of the pack then he will stand in front of you in a dangerous situation to protect the pack. I agree its just good manners. I dont want a dog squeezing his way through my legs to get in. I make murphy sit and stay outside the door, then when i walk in I give him my release word and he comes in.
I think its very easy to get caught up with this dominance theory stuff, and its really not necessary.

Should dogs wait before being released out the door? Yes, for safety's sake. Does it matter who goes first? Not really. I recall seeing a Cesar Millan show where the owner had a door that opened inwards - she had taught her dog to sit/stay as she opened the door, then released the dog as she stayed in the doorway. Milan insisted that she was going to have problems down the road if she let the dog go ahead of her - so he made her go through contortions to go out first, hold the door open and then release the dog. What's the point? The dog was well behaved, sitting nicely till released.

I think dogs know we aren't other dogs, and trying to mimic dog/wolf behaviour is misguided at best (and the alpha/dominance hierarchy theory has been pretty much discounted by wolf researchers anyway)
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We are working on this with Sadie. She was doing really good for awhile, but then the kids started letter her go out before them and it has kinda going downhill. Sadie is a pretty submissive dog too, but for me it is more manners and safety! She has came sooooo close to taking out my 2yr old, I open the door and have my daughter go first and me behind her (she needs manners too lol) then Sadie. Well Sadie gets so excited that she just wants to run outside and practically pushes Aubrey (my 2yr old) off the steps (no rail either).

So try and look at is as manners more than dominence!
Usually I want my dogs to go up of down the stairs ahead of me so I do not have either of them smacking into the back of my knees. If they are going to rush to the door because the bell has rung or something I do not want to risk the fall. Typically they don't follow me up or downstairs (Diesel will sit on the stairs to the basement and wait for me to come up when I am doing laundry). When I wallk back to the stairs to climb back up, I send him on ahead of me. I fell down those stairs backwards once --- do not wish to repeat that ever again.

I used to do the whole sit and wait thing with my older dog, who is a dominant member of a very high drive breed. I finally realized that it was not necessary. Her respect of me is not hinging on who walks through the door first.
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