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Gabby does the strangest thing and I can't figure out why.

When we come home from class or where ever, and I open the door to let her in, she won't go in. She is right there waiting for the door to open but once it is, she still is just standing there. I thought at first it was because her sisters would all be there blocking the way, but there have been times recently that is not the case, and she still does it. Today when we got home from the agility trial, Quinn, Belle, Teddi were outside. By the time hubby got Gabby out of the crate, there was no one in the house, I called her in. She got to the door and stood there. Slowly she came in. Then I go to put her outside, she won't go out. All the others come in, she still won't go out. Last thing I notice she is all 'rigid' her tail is up in the air (not wagging) and she is not behaving poorly, but she is posturing, her hackles are not up. Then just like that, she is normal, and wants to go out.

I know Gabby has a dominant personality, and she wants to be the alpha dog (below the humans) in the house a roll I won't let her take from Belle. Though Belle really does not consider herself as dominant, the others have allowed her to be. However I find this behavior peculiar, as it is partially dominant (the posturing) but then very stand offish with the not going in the house. Do you think it could be because the other dogs "beat her" into the room by never leaving it? It's just something she has done, that I am trying to figure out.

Today I was in the house, door was open other dogs were outside, and she was not walking through the door. Often it takes 'coaxing'. No she has NEVER had an altercation coming through that door. Thoughts?
 

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Kate
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Maybe she's going through a fear phase? I'd double on conditioning her to go in and out throughout the day without her sisters leading the way.

The good thing is it sounds like she won't ever be a open door runner.
 

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OH she will run OUT a door in a heartbeat if she thinks she is being left behind. It's coming "in" the house. I don't get a fear vibe from her. There is more 'attitude' going on. At first I thought it was just "all" the dogs in her face. However it isn't always when that is the case, there may not be any dog there.

I guess I am trying to understand what she might be doing so then I can figure how if necessary to deal with it. I would hate to one day open the door and have her lay into one of my dogs. I don't think it's that but that is my concern.
 

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Humankind. Be both.
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Hard to say why she's doing it, but if she starts to posture like that, try asking her to sit.
Doorways are often areas of high arousal in multi-dog households - especially the front door which leads to all the exciting comings and goings. I try to get my dogs to sit or wait at the front door rather than go in/out at will. To me, it's not about my being dominant over them ... it's just about making sure nobody gets too excited b/c overly excited brains don't think as clearly and in that state, it's easier for someone to take offense to an otherwise innocent situation.


Also, be careful about the humans deciding on the actual rank and file of the dogs' relationships. Often we may want dog A. to be "dominant" when in reality, dog B is the dominant one and dog A is just fine with that ... and in our attempt to keep trying to elevate or maintain our idea of dog A's status, we introduce conflict.
 

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Mine all run out the front door all together. Then they come back in sporadically. However if I take Tiki's BFF, Basil to work (and not Tiki), there is a lot of vocalizing when Basil walks in the door at night. If Tiki comes to work with Basil there is no vocalizing when they come thru the door. Since there is no aggression, I have not tried to fix anything
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Doorways are often areas of high arousal in multi-dog households - especially the front door which leads to all the exciting comings and goings. I try to get my dogs to sit or wait at the front door rather than go in/out at will. To me, it's not about my being dominant over them ... it's just about making sure nobody gets too excited b/c overly excited brains don't think as clearly and in that state, it's easier for someone to take offense to an otherwise innocent situation.
This makes sense. Just a note, this is our 'garage' door not the front door. I have never seen this behavior coming in the front door. Yes the other dogs are approaching excited. Usually to see me not Gabby. No one really misses her. LOL We do make them sit, and be "organized" when we are letting dogs out on walks or other (except the back yard) if Gabby is coming in with Quinn this behavior does not show up. Just perplexing.

Also, be careful about the humans deciding on the actual rank and file of the dogs' relationships. Often we may want dog A. to be "dominant" when in reality, dog B is the dominant one and dog A is just fine with that ... and in our attempt to keep trying to elevate or maintain our idea of dog A's status, we introduce conflict.
I also hear you on this. Gabby is a five letter word. She has never behaved inappropriately in any sense... yet. However I have seen glimmers of serious 'tude in multiple occasions. The one time she was pushed, she stood her ground, but did not engage. When she came in our house, she instantly moved over Quinn and Teddi. They are soft personalities, and just "whatever" type of dogs. Not instigators at all. Belle has had her position based mostly on size and hierarchy, she has been here the longest. What I am seeing more recently is Gabby "pushing" her around. I will NOT stand for that. Belle is not resisting, and doesn't really care, but there is no reason for Gabby to jump on her and knock her around. This is not in play, Gabby just runs over and tries to take her out. Nope that is NOT happening. I correct Gabby for her inappropriate behavior, and leave Belle alone. Belle will let Gabby be the alpha, I just won't let Gabby push Belle around. Does that make sense? Belle is "weaker" because of her embolism. I worry she could get hurt too. Belle actually likes Gabby, she doesn't really care one way or the other about Teddi or Quinn (another strange behavior) so there is no reason for Gabby to not be nice to Belle.

This could be a maturity issue with Gabby. She is becoming an adult dog. All my girls are fixed, there should be no hormones involved. It's just pack behavior. I do remind my girls quite frequently that this is MY house, MY rules. No one pushes me around. I was just commenting on Gabby's personality around the other dogs as a general comment to maybe help figure out what is going on coming into the house through the garage door.
 

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Kate
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Gabby does the strangest thing and I can't figure out why.

When we come home from class or where ever, and I open the door to let her in, she won't go in. She is right there waiting for the door to open but once it is, she still is just standing there. I thought at first it was because her sisters would all be there blocking the way, but there have been times recently that is not the case, and she still does it. Today when we got home from the agility trial, Quinn, Belle, Teddi were outside. By the time hubby got Gabby out of the crate, there was no one in the house, I called her in. She got to the door and stood there. Slowly she came in. Then I go to put her outside, she won't go out. All the others come in, she still won't go out. Last thing I notice she is all 'rigid' her tail is up in the air (not wagging) and she is not behaving poorly, but she is posturing, her hackles are not up. Then just like that, she is normal, and wants to go out.

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Today I was in the house, door was open other dogs were outside, and she was not walking through the door. Often it takes 'coaxing'. No she has NEVER had an altercation coming through that door. Thoughts?
The parts in bold sound like some kind of fear type behavior...

My guy sometimes does similar things when it comes to going inside some buildings. Once I get him through the doorway, he's fine. In his case, he's the complete opposite of dominant. He will avoid conflict rather than challenging it.

Your girl may be posturing because something spooked her in the past. And she's a challenger. And she's obviously not as big a flake as my guy since she can be coaxed through the doorways. It doesn't matter if she even remembers what it is. She may grow out of it or not. Or it's just something you train her out of with repetition and conditioning.
 

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no clue...
 

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Is there a central heat/air conditioner running, washer or dryer going or something that could be making a strange vibration or funny noise around the garage door? I have a friend whose Lhasa loves riding in his truck but he cannot turn on his radio in the truck or the dog goes bananas. Even talk radio or classical music makes no difference.
 
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