The couple were used to their golden retriever’s strange method of letting them know he wanted to go outside. To them it was just commonplace. However, it became more pronounced when they moved into a new house, leaving his owners both amused and baffled.
In the absence of mind-reading, humans don’t know for sure what our pets are thinking. We can read their body language, and when we get used to their idiosyncrasies, some of it makes sense. But then they go and do something completely out of left field.
Take a dog’s toileting habits, for instance. Did you know that a 2014 study revealed 57 dog breeds prefer to poop while looking to the north or to the south? One theory behind this is that they’re responding to the Earth’s magnetic field. Ultimately, though, it’s a mystery.
Of course, spending two years researching dog poop positions probably reveals more about us than it does the dogs. But humans have a desire to understand the world around us, including how our furfriends think. Their behavior can be alien to us, but it can also be a source of entertainment.
Anyone with pets can probably tell you a myriad of stories about how their best friends entertain them. Indeed, the amount of funny cat and dog videos on the internet speaks volumes in that regard. One story in particular has gone viral as of late.
When one Tumblr user requested a funny anecdote about dogs, another with the screen name normalgiraffes told a doozy. It centered around the way they had trained their own pupper. But the OP (original poster) recounted how the dog added his own twist to their instructions.
To begin with, normalgiraffes explained the dog’s original directions. They wrote, “We trained the dog so that when he wants out, he goes to the front door and waits.” However, the pooch seemed to think that this behavior wasn’t a clear enough signal.
“Somehow, in his little golden retriever brain, he interpreted this to mean ‘go to the front door and lick it,’” the OP continued. The adorable dog’s addition to the rule did actually serve a purpose, though. It helped to make his intentions around the exits clearer.
“If he’s at the door but isn’t licking it, he doesn’t need to go out. He’s just chilling,” normalgiraffes revealed. “So this was our routine – when he wants out, he goes to the front door and licks it.” And the system worked… until circumstances changed.
The storyteller told a captive internet audience how their golden retriever’s behavior had gotten even stranger. “We moved house,” normalgiraffes reported, “and he got very, very confused.” Dogs thrive on consistency, so the location change had an unusual impact on their pooch’s routine.
According to normalgiraffes, “He knew he had to go to the front door when he wants out. But this was a new house with obviously a door that was completely new to him.” The poor dog couldn’t get his head around the change.
Furthermore, the confusion reflected in his behavior in quite an unusual way! Even though normalgiraffes’ new condo only had one exit that the dog used frequently, he still never adjusted. Roughly a year later, the retriever was still acting strangely.
The OP confirmed, “He still has no idea where the front door is in this house. No idea at all. Now, whenever he needs to go out, he will go to any random door and start licking it. And I mean any door.”
“The bathroom door, my bedroom door, my closet, the goddamn door of a kitchen cabinet, even,” normalgiraffes listed. As long as it was within the doggo’s reach, no entrance or exit was safe from his licking tongue. The retriever’s owner didn’t understand his endearing quirk, though.
Normalgiraffes said, “I don’t know if he’s really smart or really dumb. Because clearly, he understands conceptually what a door is. I don’t know if he thinks my closet or the kitchen cabinets lead to outside, or if he’s just hoping to find doggie Narnia.”
Although the retriever’s yet to find his magical gateway, the OP says he’s still trying. “Every goddamn time he wants out, he’s right there licking the glass door to the shower or something. He doesn’t alert us he needs out any other way.”
What that basically means is that if the dog’s owners can’t find him they have to go looking! They’ll invariably find him lapping his tongue against something in the vain hope it’ll open up outside. It might be unusual, but normalgiraffes wouldn’t have it any other way.
“He’s the biggest, dumbest dog I have ever met in my life,” normalgiraffes said. “And I could not love him any more. He’s perfect.” It would seem that many on the internet agree that he’s a good boy. However, they disagree with him being dumb.
One of the commenters wrote, “He’s smart. My dog lets me know she has to go out by sh**ting on the floor.” Another concurred that normalgiraffes’ retriever is definitely clever. “If you let him out no matter which door he licks,” the commenter said, “he is the smart one. Maybe lazy, but smart.”
While we might not understand the methods of our pets, they can be incredibly funny! And perhaps there’s a reason behind their behavior, even if we don’t know quite what it is. Either way, we still get to see the videos and pictures, so it’s win-win.