Is Your Dog Pesty? Give Them The Benefit of the Doubt

Before you dismiss your dog’s pesty or weird behavior as your dog being pesty, consider a medical reason behind it.

I just want to come in so I can go back out.

Every now and then a funny picture of a dog, captioned with the above text, circulates social media. Is your dog just being a pest or is there a good reason for wanting to go back out right after you let them in? That is the question.

Is Your Dog Pesty? Give Them The Benefit of the Doubt
Jasmine in the yard. Her belly was upset.

The truth is, one can never know for sure. What is one to do? Ignore the request or oblige your dog potentially creating an unwanted routine?

Yes, dogs can be pests sometimes

Particularly when it works. You put all the work into teaching your dog to ask for the door when they need to potty only to also teach them that they can get you to let them out for any ol’ reason such as checking up on the squirrel in the yard.

And the one time you decided to take charge of things is the time when they really need to go and you end up with a mess.

Giving the benefit of the doubt

Quite a while ago I decided to give my dogs the benefit of the doubt. Not because they don’t ever find a way to abuse that but because they usually don’t.

Some of these quirks are quite funny. Cookie will ask to have her water bowl refilled not because she wants water but because she wants the empty bottle. Yeah, every now and then she’ll actually take a drink but in general, it is the bottle she’s after.

She however only does that when she’s bored and wants something to do. Whose fault is it that she’s bored? Mine. Well, usually not mine but the weather’s. When it’s way too cold for walks, or when it’s all icy, we need to stay in the house. I don’t know about your dogs, but no amount of indoor play and activity makes up for a good walk with Cookie. She gets bored, looking for something to do.

So I refill the bowl and she has to sit for her bottle.


The first time ever Jasmine should have been given the benefit of the doubt she was quite little. She was the smartest dog ever and was potty trained in a week. That time, after dinner, hubby let her out to potty. She peed, returned into the house, and asked for the door again.

Hubby decided she was just being a pest and didn’t let her out.

Just as he turned away, she pooped in the middle of the living room. She should have been given the benefit of the doubt.

There were times when she’d go through the exercise of going in and out a lot. I too figured she was just being a pest. Except that sooner or later she had runny poop. Usually later. Back then we didn’t know that she was suffering from IBD. It’s fair to assume that her belly was uncomfortable, even though nothing was coming out [yet]. She thought she might have had to go. She thought that several times until she actually did.

I learned to give her the benefit of the doubt.

Even though I often cringed at having to go open the door for her every five minutes. Ever had an upset belly? Ever went to the bathroom several times on false alarm?


So when Cookie did that to me, I too gave her the benefit of the doubt.

She’s actually quite a good girl. And if she gets pesty, she has a reason. Each time I felt she’s just being a pest (but gave her the benefit of the doubt), she did have to go and had runny poop.

So that is my rule. Giving the benefit of the doubt.

What about you? Did your dog ever drive you crazy like that? Did he have a good reason?

Related articles:
Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog: Changes in Behavior
Canine Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Jasmine’s IBD—Undiagnosed For Five Years

Further reading:
Is Your Dog’s Bad Behavior Caused by a Health Problem?

Categories: ConditionsDog careDog health advocacyReal-life StoriesSymptoms

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Jana Rade

I am a graphic designer, dog health advocate, writer, and author. Jasmine, the Rottweiler of my life, was the largest female from her litter. We thought we were getting a healthy dog. Getting a puppy from a backyard breeder was our first mistake. Countless veterinary visits without a diagnosis or useful treatment later, I realized that I had to take Jasmine's health care in my own hands. I learned the hard way that merely seeing a vet is not always enough. There is more to finding a good vet than finding the closest clinic down the street. And, sadly, there is more to advocating for your dog's health than visiting a veterinarian. It should be enough, but it often is not. With Jasmine, it took five years to get a diagnosis. Unfortunately, other problems had snowballed for that in the meantime. Jasmine's health challenges became a crash course in understanding dog health issues and how to go about getting a proper diagnosis and treatment. I had to learn, and I had to learn fast. Helping others through my challenges and experience has become my mission and Jasmine's legacy. I now try to help people how to recognize and understand signs of illness in their dogs, how to work with their veterinarian, and when to seek a second opinion. My goal is to save others the steep curve of having to learn things the hard way as I did. That is the mission behind my blog and behind my writing. That is why I wrote Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog, which has turned out being an award-winning guide to dog owners. What I'm trying to share encompasses 20 years of experience.

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