The Hierarchy of Dog Needs was created by ISCP Affiliate Linda Michaels MA, and Linda’s graphic clearly illustrates the essential requirements that must be met to ensure that dogs are able to lead healthy, happy and fulfilled lives.

Our students and graduates at the ISCP use the Hierarchy of Dog Needs as the basis for their assessments and their work with dogs and their carers, and I highly recommend that all dog professionals and guardians download it from Linda’s website at and refer to it often.

Until recently the focus has been primarily on meeting dogs’ biological needs, but these are only the foundation of good caregiving. There’s now abundant evidence through scientific research studies that dogs’ emotional, mental and social needs are no different to ours, and that a lack of attention to any of these vital areas has a major impact on wellbeing, welfare and behaviour.

Force-free methods have been proven to be far more effective than the old (and scientifically disproved) force/dominance methods, because these encourage and build trust, cooperation and enduring affection between us and our dogs. Trust, understanding, the ability to observe and listen, and clear communication are the four cornerstones for life-enhancing relationships. The Hierarchy of Dog Needs is a wonderfully simple guide that shows how we can achieve the best for (and from) our canine companions. Thank you, Linda!

Lisa Tenzin-Dolma, founder of the ISCP

About Us

The International School for Canine Psychology & Behaviour Ltd educates students of canine behaviour in the most up to date methods, and places a strong emphasis on positive dog training and rehabilitation.

The ISCP Charter

Student Study Guide

Terms and Conditions



1 Walcot Gate
Walcot Street
Bath, Somerset

Registered Company Number: 10983218

VAT registration Number:
344 8638 71

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • YouTube

Privacy Policy

The International School for Canine Psychology and Behaviour Limited (The ISCP) takes your privacy seriously. We are committed to protecting your personal information.

Our Privacy Policy sets out how we use the information that you provide us with as part of your enrolment on one of our courses and throughout the period you are studying with us.

Contact Us

To contact the ISCP, please email

If you would like to have a phone or Zoom meeting to discuss our courses, please email us with your time zone, dates and times that would be convenient for you, and we will arrange this.

Please note our office hours below.

Office hours: 9am to 5pm GMT on weekdays.
Closed on Saturdays and Sundays.