If you're the proud pet parent of a canine companion, then it's likely that no matter how much you love them, there are always moments when you wish they were a little bit better behaved.
From jumping up at strangers when you're out on a walk to barking every time someone rings the doorbell, all of us have our own list of behaviors we'd prefer our dog didn't engage in. And while learning how to calm a reactive dog can be helpful, nipping problem behaviors in the bud earlier is often a much simpler solution.
With that in mind, expert trainer Adam Spivey has put together a video on Instagram sharing his top tips for improving your dog's behavior. "There are three things you can do to help any behavior problem," says Spivey. "Not cure it, but help it massively." So, what exactly are those three things? Let's take a look...
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1) Proper exercise: Spivey says that proper exercise where a dog "gets to sniff, explore, has a combination of a job like carrying a backpack and some mental enrichment" are so vital for your dog's wellbeing.
2) A proper off-switch: "You start by using a crate to begin with for at least two hours after exercise. When the dogs used to doing that, after a couple of weeks, you can come away from the crate and use a dog bed or use the sofa." Spivey says that letting your dog switch off and rest after exercise is important for helping them to stay calm throughout the rest of the day.
3) Proper diet: "We look at what we put into our body, if we have loads of sugar we bounce off the walls. Same with dogs. If we give the dog a species appropriate diet, proper exercise and a proper off-switch, so many of your problems go away because the dog's not up and down like a yo-yo, it's sleeping."
Shifting your dog's behavior in a more positive direction will take time, but with the right approach, you can see huge changes. If you find after several months of working with your dog that they're still struggling to relax and stay calm during the day, we recommend reaching out to a professional trainer for some 1:1 support.
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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.