For your Dakota (most Dodge vehicles), you DO NOT need to use an external computer hookup to pull the codes.
Instead all you need is ignition key.
Without starting engine, turn key ON-OFF-ON-OFF-ON ... then leave in ON position.
The digital display on the dashboard will now indicate that diagnostics are running.... after a while (minute or so), the display will indicate any errorcodes. (or tell you there are none)
Many of todays computer-controlled vehicles have little "tricks" which you can use to re-program them...for example, On a subaru, to turn OFF the seatbelt chime, just plug/unplug the seatbelt 10 times in succession.
Source: personal experience