Four things that will improve your relationship with your dog, according to an expert trainer

Woman cuddling her dog in a field
(Image credit: Getty Images)

If you're the proud pet parent of a canine companion, then you're probably always on the lookout for new ways to deepen the bond the two of you share.

Whether it's investing in some of the best puppy toys to play with your young fur friend or planning out new walks that are sure to delight your dog, there are lots of ways you can ensure your relationship stays strong.

However, according to expert dog trainer Adam Spivey, there are four things in particular that work wonders when it comes to nourishing your connection - and they couldn't be easier. 

We've popped Spivey's Instagram video below if you fancy watching him explain things in depth, but if you'd rather a quick summary, keep reading as we reveal his top tips...

1. Art of attention

"Before your dog gets anything fun or exciting or before you release your dog from sit/downs etc, wait for eye contact," Spivey explains. "Once your dog knows this and it becomes second nature, a lifestyle if you will, your dog will look to you way more, when you have that attention, everything else is easier."

2. Use training leashes

"Use leads inside and outside the home until your dog is trained," Spivey advises. "This way, it's easy to guide them and control them. Every time you call your dog and it ignores you, whether this is inside or outside, the dog learns it doesn’t have to listen. Leads are there to help us maintain control and show our dogs what we want." 

3. Add breed fulfilment into your training

"Adding what your dog was designed to do or something similar into your training is a game changer," says Spivey. If you don’t know what that is, listen to your dog. Is it a runner? Sniffer? Foodie? Add that to the training. Back Packs can also give your dogs the sense they’re doing a job which can help." 

4. Crate your dog

"Teach an off switch using crates first, then dog beds, and finally the sofa," advises Spivey. "They’re not cruel, they’re a cot for dogs, the only difference is they are made of metal and not covered in unicorns like a crib, but the reality is, it becomes the dog's safe place, their place to switch off and it teaches them to switch off after and/or during certain activities. 

For more great tips and tricks, check out our training guides on how to stop a dog from jumping up and how to crate train a dog.

Kathryn Williams
Freelance writer

Kathryn is a freelance writer who has been a member of the PetsRadar family since it launched in 2020. Highly experienced in her field, she's driven by a desire to provide pet parents with accurate, timely, and informative content that enables them to provide their fur friends with everything they need to thrive. Kathryn works closely with vets and trainers to ensure all articles offer the most up-to-date information across a range of pet-related fields, from insights into health and behavior issues to tips on products and training. When she’s not busy crafting the perfect sentence for her features, buying guides and news pieces, she can be found hanging out with her family (which includes one super sassy cat), drinking copious amounts of Jasmine tea and reading all the books.