Want to improve your dog’s behavior and strengthen your relationship? Try this trainer’s three simple tips

Man laughing while holding long haired dachshund outdoors
(Image credit: Getty Images)

If you're anything like most dog owners, improving your pup's behavior and deepening the connection the two of you share is likely high on your priority list. But some days, life as a pet parent can feel overwhelming.

With the list of skills and behaviors you want to teach your dog often feeling a mile long, it can be difficult to know where to start. Thankfully, expert trainer Nikki Mather has some advice.

In a recent post shared to Instagram, she says there are three basic skills you can start off with on your training journey that will make your life so much easier. So, grab a bag of the best dog treats and let's dive in...

1. How fun you are: "If you work on building up your dog's engagement with you, then you'll be able to get their attention through anything, and that's one of the most useful skills to have with your dog," says Mather. Here are 12 clever ways to have more fun with your dog on walks if you're looking for some inspiration!

2. To come back when called: There could be many reasons why your dog's recall isn't reliable, but as Mather points out, having your dog be able to recall when you ask them is hugely liberating for you both. "Recall is a non-negotiable for off-leash dogs, to ensure the safety of the public and their dogs (as well as your own)," she explains. 

3. To settle: "There is nothing worse than worrying what your guests think about your giddy dog, or a restless dog in public," says Mather. "Teaching your dog the art of doing nothing is invaluable."

Teaching your dog any new skill or behavior, takes time, patience and consistency. We highly recommend seeking the advice and guidance of an expert trainer if you feel you and your pup would benefit from some extra support.

Before you do that, be sure to check out our guide on how to spot dog trainer red flags to ensure you're working with a suitably qualified professional who uses positive training methods. 

Milo's Kitchen Chicken & Apple Sausage Slices 
$9.99 at Chewy

Milo's Kitchen Chicken & Apple Sausage Slices 
$9.99 at Chewy
Made with real chicken and apples, these deliciously wholesome meaty morsels are made without artificial flavors or colors and are great as a snack or training treat. 

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.