Trainer shares her three favorite dog training cheats — and number two is a game-changer

Dog being taught to retrieve
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Whether it's trying to avoid the most common loose leash walking mistakes, or figuring out how to calm a reactive dog, there's no denying that training is one of the most challenging aspects of being a pet parent. 

And while many of us pour a lot of time and effort into trying to help our dogs master the basics, we often end up unintentionally over-complicating things. 

"The easier you can make training for yourself, the more likely it is to stick," explains expert trainer Amelia Steele

With that in mind, Steele has put together a handy video on Instagram in which she shares some of her all-time favorite training cheats. From creating a rock-solid recall to putting an end to jumping up, here are three things you can do to improve your dog's behavior in every area.

1. Begging at the table: Steele says it's good to practice place and randomly reward your dog to get them to stop begging at the table, but do you know what's even better? Giving your dog a KONG toy or a lick mat to reinforce place while you're eating.

2. Recall: Wondering why your dog's recall isn't reliable no matter what you do? Well, while consistently practising and rewarding recall is well worth doing, Steele says you'll notice big improvements if you reinforce voluntary check-ins and use walks as a time to have fun with your dog.

3. Stopping jumping up: Trying to figure out how to stop a dog from jumping up is something many pet parents find challenging, but it can be done. Rather than simply practising the 'sit' command with your dog and teaching them to be calm when guests come over, Steele recommends having a baby gate installed. This way, you can throw dog treats over the gate to the floor to teach your pup that good things come from the floor, not the door. 

If you've been working with your dog to improve their behavior and you're not seeing the positive progress you'd like after several months, we recommend reaching out to a qualified professional trainer for advice. 

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.