In this scenario, the dog definitely knows that you got mad when she has done this in the past. But there’s a good chance that she doesn’t understand why you got mad. For all the dog knows, you yelled at her because she didn’t leave a big enough puddle! This is why I tell clients that you should NOT discipline your dog when potty training unless you catch her in the act of relieving — it will only confuse her. Making your expectations clear to your dog can be challenging!
Getting your dog to take her lead from you (in ALL situations) can be difficult as well. Most dog owners confuse their dogs by sending mixed messages. When you tell your dog to sit, or stop barking, or stop pulling on the leash, it sends the message to your dog that you think you are in control — that you’re the one making the decisions. However, if you let your dog walk out
In reality, these examples are oversimplified. It is the very subtle details of how you carry out these actions that communicates to your dog whether or not you are in control. It’s not merely going through the door first that sends your dog the message that you are in charge, but how you go through the door first. If your dog is not taking her lead from you, it may be that you are sending mixed messages about who’s in charge that you don’t realize you are sending.