This 2nd part of What Is Dog Code, Setting The Stage, explains how the whole method works.
Basically, it is the outline for your success formula.
It shows how all of the different training methods gain traction when you build the foundation (The 5 Steps of Dog Code).
The Foundation. You have to get the foundation part right before you can expect good results from traditional training type programs. Have you ever attended basic training programs and watched how all the dogs are all over the place? The majority of the dogs aren’t even trying to listen to their owners? Those owners probably do not have the foundation part right.
The foundation (Dog Code) is about how to be the parent in a dog family. It’s about letting your dog know you can take care of all the big problems (we’ll go over what dogs think are big problems in the 5 Steps), which creates trust between you and your dog. It’s a lot like you would take care of all the big problems for your young children, and they trust you to do that. This trust allows your dog to relax and be herself (problem behaviors like barking and separation anxiety begin to fade away).
After the foundation come the three pillars of success.
Pillar 1: Taining – Includes food rewards, training harnesses, positive training, clicker training, etc. Your bag of tricks to get your dog to perform and/or behave. Yes, some dogs will perform and listen without the foundation, but for a lot of dogs, you must have the foundation in place before they will be comfortable enough to listen/follow your directions . . . willingly.
Pillar 2: Energy – The way you do things, not just what you do. Are you calm, angry, fearful, sad?
Your dog is amazing! She will pick up on your emotion and tend to you. Sad? She will comfort. Angry? She might cower, or just go off to a quiet place. Fearful? She might feel she needs to defend you.
This will all begin to make a lot more sense as we go through the 5 Steps of Dog Code.
You will see why being calm in many situations will allow your dog to calm down, relax, be herself and want to listen/follow your direction.
For example. My dog Wally really freaked out about a snowman we tried to pass on our walk the other day. It was dressed up wearing a scary, scowling mask. I was thinking nothing of the snowman, but Wally panicked when we approached.
I kept calm, brought Wally back to my side, held calm energy, then showed him the snowman. I then reached out to the snowman. This is when he felt confident enough to come closer. He sniffed the snowman, and was ready to carry on with the walk. We had no more problems with snowmen.
I showed him I had it handled (took care of the big problem). I showed him he could be calm with snowmen. I also showed him I was not angry with him (Wally has a past I know nothing about, but fear was likely a big part of it).
Pillar 3: Consistency – sticking with the 5 Steps of Dog Code day in and day out.
Your dog will know when you have let go of any part of the 5 Steps and may start to behave in a manner you don’t want.
Reassess where you have relaxed, tighten back up, and your dog will be back to her happy self again.
Goal: The results you are trying to achieve.
It all starts with the foundation – The 5 Steps of Dog Code.
Don’t jump right into training without the foundation in place. You’ll end up frustrated, so will your dog.
You don’t have to figure out the foundation on your own because I am going to give you the 5 Steps of Dog Code and break them down into smaller bite-sized bits.
Why break them down?
You are busy! Working on one bit at a time helps your success.
Live, Love, Bark,
P.S. Even though this is just an intro before going into the 5 Steps, if you have any questions, just let me know in the comments.