Trainer reveals the one surprising thing you need to give your dog to improve their behavior

Happy playful dog running between daffodil flowers in spring
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Do you struggle with your dog's behavior? Are they destructive or disobedient? Do they get over-excited or out of control when you're in public? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you're not alone.

Whether you're trying to figure out the reasons why your dog's recall isn't reliable, or you're wanting to stop a dog from jumping up, it can be hard to feel like you're doing everything right but you're still not seeing the positive behavior in your dog that you want to see.

Thankfully, certified trainer Carolyn, who is also the founder of Good Dog Training, has come to the rescue with a helpful Instagram post in which she shares the number one thing your dog needs in order to behave.

What is it we hear you ask? Well, while it may seem counterintuitive, the key to obedience and all-round positive behavior lies in giving your pup more freedom. 

"Many people are afraid to give their dog freedom," says Carolyn. "They worry their dog will misbehave or be destructive, so they keep their dog constantly confined."

Carolyn says this can be hugely problematic and can result in a lot of issues for pet parents.

"This can often become a cycle," she explains. "The dog is out of control, wild, and destructive, so they're constantly confined. Because they're constantly confined, that out of control behavior only worsens."

When a dogs life is restricted and confined, any freedom they do get becomes novel and exciting. Because they haven't had exposure to a lot of calmness and freedom, they don't know how to behave well when they do get it.

"Most dogs have very restricted exercise. Many dogs are made to walk on short leashes and not allowed to sniff or move freely on walks," Carolyn says.

"Many dogs aren’t even allowed in the house or allowed access to the whole house. ⁣
Because of this lack of freedom, many dogs don’t actually know how to handle it, and the problem only grows."

Carolyn says it's important to give your dog the chance to live without constant restrictions. 

"I’m not suggesting you let your dog freely roam the neighborhood and walk off leash everywhere you go, but give them freedom where you can. ⁣

I walk my dogs on a long line, have a dog door, and give my dogs full freedom of the house and yard. My adult dogs are never crated, and the puppy is only minimally. I give them freedom so they can learn to calmly handle it."

Giving your dog freedom whenever you can throughout the day can work wonders when it comes to encouraging positive behaviors. Why not give it a try?

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.