Grab and hold your dog’s attention with this ridiculously simple tip from an expert trainer

Boston Terrier puppy looking guilty after chewing hole in bathroom door
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Are you sick and tired of your dog misbehaving and refusing to listen to you? If so, you'll be relieved to know that there is a solution — and it's so much easier than you might think.

While most of us spend a great deal of time and energy trying to figure out how to deal with a badly behaved dog, it turns out we could be overcomplicating things.

Expert trainer Adam Spivey says the key to getting your dog to pay attention to you and do what you ask them to do, is ridiculously simple and yet, so many pet parents don't do it.

So, what's the secret? Read on to find out...

"All you need to do to begin with is to simply get your dog to give you eye contact before they get anything fun or exciting," Spivey explains.

What does that look like? Well, according to Spivey, it's very easy — and there are so many opportunities throughout the day to do it.

"Before you go for a walk, have your dog sit there, wait for it to check in with you, and then go for a walk. 

"If you let your dog play with other dogs, before unclipping that leash, ask your dog to sit, wait for it to check in with you, and then let it go so that the dog understands that in order to play with that dog they first need to pay attention to you."

Spivey says that the more your dog learns that giving you eye contact and paying direct attention to you leads to all the fun and exciting things in life, the more the dog is going to give you that attention. 

"Once you have your dog's attention, everything is so much easier to teach the dog because your dog learns that you are the centre of the universe," he explains. 

If you find that after using Spivey's tip above for several weeks you're still not seeing the positive changes in your dog's behavior that you'd like, it's worth consulting with a certified dog trainer.

Check out this guide to how to spot dog trainer red flags to ensure you're working with a suitably qualified professional. 

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.