Trainer explains how to get your pup to behave well (and it's easier than you might think!)

Dog taking treat from owner's hand
(Image credit: Getty Images)

When your dog’s behaving well, you want to see it more regularly, right? Well, it’s easy to encourage good behavior when you see it, so that your pup is more likely to repeat that behavior again.

If you reward good behavior – with some of the best dog treats, perhaps – your pup will learn that they’ll get rewarded when they repeat that behavior. This goes for not only training sessions, but throughout the day, too – don’t ignore good behavior outside of training sessions, as your pup is always learning!

Certified professional trainer Juliana DeWillems, who runs JW Dog Training, has explained what you can do in a new Instagram post – she’s got some really valuable advice to share!

In the video, DeWillems shows a 15-week-old puppy who’s choosing to lie down on her mat – even though there’s a guest. This is not because her parents have focused on the ‘place’ cue, but because they gave the dog a treat each time she went over the mat of her own accord throughout the day. 

DeWillems explains, “Very quickly the puppy learned that being on the mat equaled a treat, so the puppy started doing it more often. By noticing and rewarding this behavior whenever it happens, the puppy parent is creating strong, desirable habits in their dog from an early age without even doing formal training sessions.”

As she says in the caption, “Behavior that gets rewarded gets repeated. This applies to training sessions and also the other 23.75 hours of the day! We don’t turn off our dog’s learning.”

So, what can you do with your pup?

Simply put some treats in a jar in the morning, and then when you see your dog exhibiting desirable behaviors throughout the day just slip them a treat! Training dogs with treats can be easier than you might think, and this is just one example.  

This isn’t only limited to puppies, either. “Capturing desirable behaviors is not a technique that is exclusive to puppies,” says DeWillems. “Dogs can learn at any age. Switching your mindset to looking for the good instead of the bad can make a huge difference.”

Whether you’re looking to improve puppy behavior or want to establish some good habits with an older dog, this is certainly something that you can try as you go about your day with your pup. Why not give it a try, and see how you go?

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Milo's Kitchen Chicken & Apple Sausage Slices 
$9.99 at Chewy
Made with real chicken and apples, these deliciously wholesome meaty morsels are made without artificial flavors or colors and are great as a snack or training treat. 

Adam England
Freelance Writer

Adam is a freelance journalist covering lifestyle, health, culture, and pets, and he has five years' experience in journalism. He's also spent the last few years studying towards undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in journalism. While a cat person at heart, he's often visiting his parents' Golden Retriever, and when he's not writing about everything pets he's probably drinking coffee, visiting a cat cafe, or listening to live music.