For years now I've avoided saying the word "walk" in my house. As in "lets go for a ..." or "its time for a ..." because the dogs would invariably go crazy. Or so I thought. I'd say to whoever, "lets get ready for a W" instead. So that the animals wouldn't know yet what we were doing and we'd have time to get the leashes, poop bags, cookies etc and not have three large animals running around like crazy because they'd know it was walk time. And whenever someone would ask why we said W and not walk, I'd patiently explain to them the reasons.
But one day someone pointed out to me that I'd said the word walk at least three times in conversation about something else and that none of the dogs had reacted at all. So I tried it, "walk" I said. Nothing. "Lets go for a ..." using that tone of voice we all use. Nothing. "Walkies!!!" Nothing. I tried "Ready!!??" Still no reaction. This was so strange. My older dogs that I'd had in the past had all known what the word Walk had meant. I know this, its why I now never said the word Walk. Thats when I clued in that this was the reason these new dogs (ages 5, 4 and 1 1/2) didn't react to the word, they'd never HEARD it before. I also knew though that they did get very excited when it was walk time, so what was it that prompted this? It wasn't the word Walk, that was for sure. Now that I was paying attention I quickly found out.
That evening when walk time came around I was busy getting ready for our walk but before I did anything else I went down the hall and into the bathroom and when I started to, ahem, go... all heck broke out. Excited dogs ran everywhere. This was the cue. Oh my gosh!!! The sound of pee, it's like Pavlov's Bell.