Trainer shares the one thing you must do if you want a happy, well-behaved dog

Man and dog looking out over lake
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Figuring out how to deal with a badly behaved dog is high on the priority list for a lot of pet parents — and it's not hard to see why.

If you have an energetic dog that you're constantly having to reprimand for counter-surfing, barking, digging, and chewing, then come the end of the day, you're no doubt exhausted.

Whether it's figuring out how to stop a dog from jumping up or learning how to calm a reactive dog, keeping on top of all the training can be really tiring. 

No wonder when they finally chill out and relax at the end of the day, all you want to do is leave them be!

But according to expert trainer Carolyn, the founder of Good Dog Training, ignoring your dog's calmness could be a mistake if what you're wanting is to improve their behavior. Keep reading to find out why.... 

"Most dogs get more attention for being naughty," says Carolyn in a recent post shared to Instagram, which you can view above.

"Our dogs aren't stupid. They're going to do what works. If barking gets more attention than calmness does, guess what they'll do when they want attention?"

Carolyn says that if we want to see more calm behaviors from our dogs, it's important that we don't ignore it when it's present.

Rewarding your pup with the best dog treats for lying calmly or sitting quietly beside you is just as crucial as rewarding them for walking well on a loose leash or not reacting to a trigger.

When it comes to how best to reward calm behavior, Carolyn suggests the following:

"You don’t need to wake them up if they’re sleeping, but if they’re awake I would just calmly praise, gently pet, or calmly hand them a treat.

"Your reward should keep them calm, not get them ramped back up, and I wouldn’t ask them to move to get the reward. 

"Around the house I’ll calmly praise, while out in public I’m more likely to quietly set a treat between their paws."

So, next time your pup is chilling out and you're tempted to breathe a sigh of relief and tip toe around them, why not try some gentle praise or quietly handing them a treat?

Do this and you could soon see huge improvements in how often your dog is calm and well behaved.

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.