Want a well behaved dog? You need these five trainer-approved tips

Obedient Beagle dog looking up at his owner while being walked in the park
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Disclaimer: Unless specifically stated, any expert comments quoted in this news piece have been taken directly from the video cited below.

If you're currently tearing your hair out trying to figure out how to deal with a badly behaved dog, rest assured, you're not alone. 

A common complaint amongst pet parents is that no matter what they do, they can't seem to get their dog to listen to them or behave well.

Whether it's incessant barking every time the doorbell rings or your dog lunges at every person that crosses their path when you're out walking, a dog that won't do what you ask them to do can leave you feeling incredibly frustrated. 

The good news is, a happy, obedient dog needn't feel like an unachievable dream.

Expert trainer Adam Spivey, the founder of Southend Dog Training, has shared a super helpful video to Instagram in which he reveals five simple things you can do that will result in a better behaved dog in no time.

Read on as we share each of his top tips below...

1. Practice thresholds: "Before walks, before letting them in and out of the garden, in and out of the car, going to a new place....anywhere where you can practice thresholds, get the dog to sit behind you, wait for it to look at you and then let it go into that environment," says Spivey.

"You'll notice your dog will go into these environments much calmer and be much more receptive to listening."

2. Wait for eye contact: "Before feeding your dog, before going for a walk, before your dog gets anything fun or exciting, wait for acknowledgement," advises Spivey who goes on to explain that doing this makes you the center of your dog's universe. 

If your dog has to pay attention to you to get what they want, you'll soon find their behavior and obedience levels improve dramatically. 

3. Work with your dog on drills: "Five to 10 minute drills and you can use eye contact in this way if possible as well. Practice sit stays, down stays, leave it, heel, come. Practice this on walks, practice this when you go into the garden, practice this when you're in the house — you'll be amazed how much your dog's obedience improves," Spivey says.

4. Take your dog for sniff walks: "Stop going to the same park or field every single day with your dog," Spivey implores. "Let your dog use its nose — this will tire the dog out and it's much more rewarding for the dog."

5. Teach your dog how to relax: "When you get home from walks and exercise, stick the dog in its bed or crate so that it learns to switch off. Sticking with the crate theme — when you're eating, when food is being prepared, crate the dog or stick the dog in the bed so that the dog learns to behave around food. 

If you're struggling with your dog's behavior right now it's important to remember that with time, patience, and consistency, you can absolutely turn things around.

For some extra advice and support in helping your pup become more obedient and better behaved, we highly recommend consulting with a professional.

Check out our guide to how to spot dog trainer red flags to ensure you're working with someone who is qualified and uses positive training methods. 

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.