Trainer reveals three things you can do to improve your dog’s behavior — and number two is a game-changer!

Golden Retriever shaking the hand of male owner in the park
(Image credit: Getty Images)

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...

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.

Check out our guides to how to stop a dog from jumping up and how to crate train a dog for more great training tips.

Kathryn Rosenberg
Freelance writer

Kathryn is a freelance writer who has spent the past three years dividing her writing time between her two great loves - pets and health and wellness. When she’s not busy crafting the perfect sentence for her features, buying guides and news pieces, she can be found hanging out with a very mischievous Cocker Spaniel and a super sassy cat, drinking copious amounts of Jasmine tea and reading all the books.