Thought Bubbles

Reading Daphne #5 – The Routine!

Last time on Reading Daphne, I was looking for a long term solution to make Daph less anxious at the door. I tried playing music that was supposed to calm her, but being Daphne, she didn’t care about it at all.

Since dogs are creatures of habit and routines, I established a new routine for when the dogs will and won’t get to go outside. This way, Daph shouldn’t be worried about when we’re going to let her outside.

I got a red ribbon and put it on the door when the dogs are not allowed to go outside. The message I am trying send to the dogs is that they have to stay inside/outside when the red ribbon is on the inside or outside door knob. If the dogs persist at going out when the ribbon is on the door, I say “Stay inside” as a verbal cue to reinforce the visual cue (the ribbon).

When it’s time to go outside, I take the red ribbon off, call the dogs and ask them to sit and wait. After they’re calm and patient, I open the door and stand in the threshold. Using a treat, I lead each dog (individually) with my hand over the threshold and out the door. When the dogs are passing the threshold, I give them the treat and say, “Go outside.”

Once they’re outside, I put the red ribbon on the outside doorknob. When it’s time to go inside, I say “Go inside”. Then I take the red ribbon, let them in and put it on the inside doorknob.

In order to track Daphne’s responses, I created a chart that records her reactions to the new routine.  


  • Helping Daphne feel less/not anxious at the door.
  • Implementing a routine so we don’t have to let all the dogs outside a MILLION times whenever they might want to go out.
  • Finding a long term solution that will make Daphne and us happier!

It’s hard to tell if she understands the meaning of the red ribbon on the door because things haven’t been super consistent. Also, there have been technical difficulties.

  • With the rain this past week(ISH) or at least the ground being wet, Daphne hasn’t really wanted to go outside.
  • When Patch, our new Pawfect Endings dog, barked, jumped, and tried to climb his crate, Mom would make a sound the dogs don’t like. That ended up scaring our dogs and now they hate when he barks. That’s a problem because Daphne goes outside (every time) after Breakfast and during that time Patch usually barks and that makes Daph avoid the room.

After observing Daphne these past 2½weeks I think Daph understands that WE tell her when she gets to go inside or outside. She is still asking to go outside by waiting or staring at me at the door. But, Daphne is showing no displacement behaviors when wanting to go out! That means she is not anxious while waiting/wanting to go outside/inside. AND THAT’S A HUGE SUCCESS! 🙂

Daph is a VERY stubborn dog, she seems to understand that we control when or when not she can go out/in. Before, Daph was all anxious and anticipating when will she get to go outside, and how she wanted go outside RIGHT NOW. Now, she seems grumpy at the door because we’re not letting her outside every time she wants. But after a few minutes, she quickly stops being grumpy and finds something else to do!


As a conclusion to the series, I am condensing all the work and research we’ve done for Reading Daphne, and putting it into a final piece!

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1 Comment

  1. natalie dente December 10, 2017

    Hi Anna, looks like things are getting under control with Daphne. Patience seems to be the cure. I am sure Daphne will eventually like having this discipline, No more anxiety she will know what to expect. Congratulations love Grandma Natalie

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