dog training

What Is Dog Code? Part 1


This is going to be a many part series that will explain and, hopefully, help you work with your dog.

Why so many parts?


We are all very busy, and though we want instant success, we all know anything worth having is worth taking the time to develop.

Since all of the steps do take time to explain and work on, let’s break them down into bits and pieces that are easy to do in a short amount of time.

Sound good?

Then let’s start by setting the stage.

I will be referring to this picture for the rest of this post:

dog training


We want so much for our dog’s to understand us, but have we paused to try to understand our dogs?

The 5 Steps of Dog Code is a step-by-step system designed to help you understand your dog and use that understanding to gain your dog’s love and trust.  When you have that love and trust, training is much easier.

The first thing to understand is how a dog family works.

In the first part of the picture – Dog Pack – the diagram shows a model of how a dog pack works.  There are an alpha male and female.  Consider them the parents of the pack.  In essence, they really are.  They are the pair that makes all the big decisions.  What’s dangerous, what’s not.  Who eats when, what behavior is tolerated, etc.  The 5 steps hinge on these big decisions and go into further detail.  Right now, just understand that all (usually) the puppies born from this pair will make up members of the pack.  Siblings with parents.  A family.

In the middle of the diagram is – How It Is.  This shows how your dog views himself within your family (for most families I come across).  Your dog believes she is in the parent position.  That means she gets to make all of the big decisions.  This can result in:

  • guarding food
  • guarding toys
  • guarding you
  • separation anxiety
  • barking at EVERYTHING
  • doesn’t feel the need to listen to you
  • sits on you with no regard to your wishes
  • many more “problems”

The last diagram shows how it – Should Be.  All the humans in the house are looking out for your dog.  You are all making all the big decisions for her.  Once she is on board with this (everyone will have to follow the 5 Steps) those “problems” listed above, will begin to disappear.  Your dog will relax, calm, and begin to listen.  You’ll get to see her true personality.

This is what we all want.

This is what YOU want.

A dog who loves, respects and trusts you.

And you get it by being a loving, kind parent.



Next week we will finish setting the stage, so look out for part 2.

Live, Love, Bark,


Where is your dog in your family?  Why do you believe that is her position?  Let me know in the comments.




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