Trainer shares quick tip to improve your dog’s obedience and attention — and it’s really effective

Woman training dog in kitchen
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Do you find yourself feeling frustrated because you can't seem to grab (and hold) your dog's focus and attention? If so, you're far from alone.

While the best dog treats are certainly helpful when it comes to encouraging and rewarding the behavior you want to see from your pup, there's a step that comes before you dish these out — and that's getting your canine companion to listen to you.

If you want your fur friend to pay more attention to you, expert trainer Adam Spivey has shared a really quick and simple tip on Instagram that you can put into practice today that's going to boost their obedience. Oh, and it comes with a very nice bonus — it's one of our favorite ways for improving your relationship with your dog

"There's a thing called the art of attention," Spivey explains in his video. "Before you give your dog anything fun or exciting....before a walk, before leaving the house, before giving your dog freedom to sniff, explore, be off the leash, before feeding your dog dinner....just wait a few seconds for your dog to acknowledge you."

If you've been trying to figure out how to calm down a hyper dog and get them to focus on you, Spivey's tip of getting your pup to acknowledge you first may sound simple, but it's highly effective.

"Most of the time, the dog is fixating on what it wants when you release it to go and get it. 

If we take dinner for example, you put the bowl down, you say wait but the dog is salivating, staring at the food bowl. If we just wait an extra few seconds for the dog to check in with us then the dog learns that paying attention to us leads to all the things fun and exciting," Spivey says. 

When you have your dog's attention, you'll find everything else becomes so much easier. 

So, next time you're about to feed your dog or release them off their leash to go and run around, why not try getting them to make eye contact with you first? 

Whether you're stumped as to the reasons why your dog's recall isn't reliable or you're wanting to know how to calm a reactive dog, training your pup in the art of attention is a great first step when it comes to boosting their obedience. 

Purina ONE Natural SmartBlend Lamb & Rice Formula Dry Dog Food
$62.88 at Chewy

Purina ONE Natural SmartBlend Lamb & Rice Formula Dry Dog Food
$62.88 at Chewy
Featuring real lamb as the number one ingredient, these tender, meaty morsels come packed with protein, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to support healthy skin and a shiny coat. 

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.