The Five Golden Rules

The five golden rules of dog trainingIn many of my posts and videos I mention the Five Golden Rules. These form the foundation of my training. They are the underlying principals of controlling dog behavior. If you ask me how my method differs from other dog trainers then I think it would be best summed up in a little story. It is not a dramatic story, but it captures the essence of what I do.

I was fortunate to consult with a dog and her owner recently, and realized again that a normal ‘dog trainer’ would never be able to help this little dog. Because you have to go to the root cause of the behavioral problem to solve it, and that is something that very few trainers do.

About a month ago I received a phone call from a lady named Kelly who lived an hour’s drive north of where I live. She had a little Bichon Frise called Terri who for over 2 years had suffered from terrible itching, self chewing and self licking. Kelly’s vet had tried everything he could possibly think of in the way of drugs and finally suggested that it could be a stress-related behavioral issue. Kelly contacted me and that’s how I found myself in her living room, talking to her and the family about Terri. As we spoke, Terri chewed and licked herself at regular intervals, although apparently far less than usual, and her little legs were brown and aggravated from years of incessant licking. She was a sorry sight.

My solution was simple. As is always the key, I treated the cause of the problem, which involved showing Terri that she was not in charge and that she could relax rather than sit there stressing and licking herself. That was it.

You see, dogs have a pack mentality, and Terri had assumed the very stressful role of being leader of the pack. She had taken on the responsibility of looking after all her pups (human family members) and protecting the den (the house and property) and it had her wound-up like a clock spring.

So, I taught the family five lessons, which I call the Five Golden Rules of becoming the Pack Leader – none of which have anything to do with “Thou shalt not lick, chew or scratch oneself!”. Rather they were simply the principals that had to be put in place to give Terri the message that she no longer ruled the house. Rule no.1 for example is a very powerful feeding routine that immediately got Terri’s attention.

Two weeks later I received a lovely email from Kelly saying that the chewing and licking had stopped. Well, I have to admit I was very pleased (I always am when I hear that I have been able to help) but I was not surprised – over the years I have seen every single issue stopped by putting in place these Five Golden Rules. They are the foundation of becoming the Pack Leader in your home that must be put in place before ANY training can begin. Without them you are wasting your energy, money and time.

five golden rules hands

Once you establish these Five Golden Rules into your dogs daily routine you will have given your dog the message that you are the Pack Leader. Without the rules you are giving them the message that they are. It’s as simple as that.

Over the years people have told me how applying just one of the Five Golden Rules has totally transformed their dog. Now, imagine what happens when you are doing all five WRONG – and most people are!

The rules are all very easy to put in place. Four of them take virtually no time at all, in fact they can save you time. And of course there is no force, fear or aggression used.

That’s why I love this method and why I love what I do.

With the rules firmly in place many of the issues you are facing will simply disappear. And with results like that you can’t help but love the Five Golden Rules. I teach all the Rules in my video training website, The Online Dog Trainer.

About being the pack leader:

  • Being the pack leader is something that you need to be for your dogs their whole lives – this allows them to relax and enjoy life
  • Everyone in the house needs to be giving your dogs the same message: the 5 Golden Rules
  • Many dogs will spot your slightest weakness or mistake regarding the 5 Golden Rules and exploit it! – So stick to them 100%
  • The more you are the pack leader the more your dog will watch you and respond to your behavior and simply follow your lead – training becomes easy
  • Establishing yourself as the pack leader is the start to solving every problem and the basis for having the dog of your dreams

Looking for more kind, gentle dog training methods? I encourage you to check out my program, The Dog Calming Code!

I encourage every dog owner, all over the world, to learn the Five Golden Rules.


Doggy Dan Signature .

Doggy Dan

Doggy Dan is the founder of The Online Dog Trainer, a wildly successful online training program for dog owners. His goal is to continue to share his unique approach to dog training with like-minded people who wish to make a difference in the world of dogs. His training methods focus on creating and building the connection between dogs and dog owners, and are shared and used around the world.

17 Responses

  1. I do agree with all the concepts you’ve presented in your post. They’re very convincing and will certainly work. Nonetheless, the posts are very short for beginners. May you please lengthen them a bit from next time? Thank you for the post.

    1. Hi Nancy,
      If you head on over to my membership website you can learn more about the 5 Golden Rules…..otherwise known as The Dog Calming Code! All the Best, Doggy Dan

  2. We have had a pup now for about 5 weeks, she is a cross basenji/collie, lovely little girl, when she is being good. she is 13 weeks old.
    We play with her a lot and take her out.
    But a couple of times a day she suddenly turns extremely naughty, chasing around at fast speed and nipping ankles on the way, doing all the things she shouldn’t do. She knows she is naughty and if we move her from the thing she wants to do, she nips and talks back and growls. Many times she has drawn blood. Every morning when I do her breakfast she grabs hold of my clothing and that includes my ankles. She is definitely a dog who likes to controle.
    Then once it’s out of her system she will want to be friends and completely change back to a loving little girl.
    We Don’t know whether this will be forever or is it just that she needs training.
    Please help. Thank you.

    1. Hi Petula,
      It is really common for young puppies, and even mature dogs, to have periods where they can be a little crazy! In fact dog owners often refer to this as a case of the ‘zoomies’ where dogs run around wildly, seemingly out of control! If your puppy is at risk of hurting themselves, or you, or the craziness goes on for too long then I generally suggest placing the puppy in their crate or puppy pen for some chill-out time. If you are unable to do that then having everyone leave the room they are in for a few minutes can help snap them out of it. When puppies get over-tired or over-stimulated they can get a little crazy and sometimes they need help to calm back down. This type of behaviour does generally calm down as puppies mature. Best, Doggy Dan

  3. Tried to get your videos. We live in Japan but banking from Canada. We are not getting payment approval, either through paypal or credit cards with sufficient balances. Help!

    1. Hi Hazar, I would check out my website
      Its $1 for the 3 day trial. Then you will either have sorted out your issue or like the site and choose to continue which will be $37/month. If you wish to cancel during the trial then you can. The cost is only $1 so a small investment…I’ve worked with a lot of Huskys and there are a few in the site 🙂 Best, Dan

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