Want a better behaved dog? This trainer shares three simple things that will make all the difference

Woman teaching a dog to sit down
(Image credit: Getty)

Having a better behaved dog is something that most pet parents have at the top of their wish list, but with so much conflicting information out there, it can sometimes feel challenging to know how best to get there. 

Are we supposed to dish out more of the longest lasting dog chews when our canine companion shows even the slightest bit of good behavior? Should we be engaging in lengthy training sessions? Or are we meant to ignore bad behavior altogether and hope our pups improve on their own?

Teaching our dogs to be well behaved can feel overwhelming, but thanks to expert trainer Amelia Steele, it doesn't have to. In a video shared to Instagram, Steele shares her top three training tips to improve your dog's behavior. You can view the video below or read on for a summary of what Steele had to say...

1. Dogs can learn at any age

Can you teach an old dog new tricks? Well, according to Steele the answer is a resounding YES! "It's really common for people to think that their dog is too old or they're past the point of learning but this isn't true," she explains. "Dogs can learn at any age, so don't underestimate them."

2. Keep the rate of reinforcement high

"Reward your dog really frequently for behaviors that you like," Steele advises. "Sometimes adult dogs might not pick things up as quickly as puppies will, so it's really important to keep them encouraged and keep them motivated. The best way to do this is by rewarding them for any little thing that is along the right lines of what you're looking for. If you want to teach them to lie down, try to reward them for any attempts to move toward that behavior of lie down, even if they just move their head to the floor."

3. Keep training short and frequent

"Dogs learn best when we do things in short snippets," Steele explains. "So it's better to practice for 30 seconds to a minute at a time but more frequently throughout the day. This is the best way to help your dog pick things up really quickly. If the training sessions you do are too long, there's a good chance your dog will get bored and it will take them longer to learn."

For more great tips and tricks, check out our guide to how to deal with a badly behaved dog.

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.