Every morning I leave the bedroom with Roxy and Buster running and leaping towards the backdoor for our morning potty break. With the addition of Sonny, nothing changed initially because he was sick and we were going out separately; so I crated and fed them while taking him out the front door.
For the last week and a half, I leave the bedroom and Roxy runs to the backdoor and Buster runs to Sonny's crate. I approach his covered crate, (he's usually laying down,) and as I approach, he presses himself up against the far side of the crate, watching me intently. So, I open Sonny's crate without talking, without looking at him, without making any noise or providing encouragement in any way.... I walk away and ask Roxy and Buster, "Want to go outside?" after I've sufficiently turned the corner into the kitchen. That's when I hear Sonny's paws scramble to follow us to the backdoor.
He's been slowly relaxing when I approach his crate, because only good things happen when I come near him. I only approach his crate for feeding, opening/closing the door, and random acts of yummy kindness. He has been quicker to leave his crate, and he now seems to know what "Outside?" means, so he's more comfortable with the process.
Today, however, we experienced a small (large) miracle.
When I got there, he play bowed to me, in our normal morning-play-before-we-go-outside routine... and he offered the first noise I've heard him make yet, a little woo-woo-woo growl while he bowed.