Does your dog not let you out of her sight?
Does she lose it when you leave the room?
Have you tried to take your dog to dog training 101 classes only to have your dog . . .
- be the class clown?
- do his own thing?
- not even pretend to listen to you?
- snap, bark and/or lunge at other dogs in the class?
- “protect” you from all of the other dogs, maybe even people?
Let’s work on ending all of that.
This is the first BITE from Step 1 of the 5 Steps of Dog Code – where you learn to work with your dog’s instincts (code) for survival.
This first instinct is all about food.
Without food (and water) the dog pack dies. In other words, food drives the dog pack (family)
There are very concrete rules about eating in the dog pack (family).
Rules your dog knows very well, but you don’t.
This week you want to get in the habit of not leaving your dog’s food lying around the house and yard.
You are beginning to relieve your dog from his duties of dog parent – provider, protector and decision maker.
It’s your first step toward becoming the dog parent – provider, protector and decision maker.
If you are experiencing any of the above problems, your dog does NOT view you as being in a parental role.
If your dog eats his meal, but leaves food in his bowl “for later,” pick it up and put it away – either up where he can’t get it, in an area he can’t get to, or back in the container it came from.
If your dog leaves bones or chews (rawhide, pork chomps, pig ears, hooves, bully sticks, etc.) around the house or yard (buried “treasure” in the yard, under sofa cushions, in dog toy baskets, etc) pick them up and either put them away, as you would for leftover food, or throw them away.
Dog parents (see “What Is Dog Code? Part 1“) let the others members of their family (pack) know when and what they can eat. They are the decision makers, the providers. You are working on becoming your dog’s dog parent.
Food to dogs = $$ to us. Whoever has it, is the parent – provider, protector, and decision maker.
Watch your dog as you remove leftover food, bones, and chews.
More often than not, he will get concerned about what you are doing with his “money.”
He’ll watch you closely.
He’ll understand that things are changing.
His role is changing.
Phew! What a relief!
Did you know most dogs do NOT want to be the dog parent? Seriously. They don’t.
But if they don’t see a competent dog parent around, they will step into the role because it MUST be filled.
They will also always check to make sure you still want the role of dog parent. If they sense you are falling down on the job, they will step into the role.
This is when you see those anxiety-ridden, yet fierce dogs. Or dogs who bark at everything, seeming to not understand just what danger is. Or separation anxiety that seemingly can’t be helped.
We’ll learn more about those behaviors in future BITES.
Live, Love, Bark,
Does this make sense to you? Let me know in the comments.
Also, share what your dog does when you pick up his food. 😉