5 Simple Ways to a Better Behaved Dog

Here are 5 great ways to improve your dogs behaviour.

Dog Portraits Brighton

We like to think of dog training as something that you do in ‘training sessions’ at specific times
But it’s important to remember, that if you really want to improve your dogs behaviour, training takes place all day around the clock, but it can be great fun too.


5 ways to a better behaved dog

We’re going to look at some simple things you can do, to improve your dog’s behavior when you are together. In each case, you should be able to see significant improvement in a very short space of time.

These are brilliant ways of interacting with your dog(s) that will make them more pleasant and a lot less challenging to be with, wherever you may be.

We’ll be looking at

  1. Encouraging your dog to relax
  2. Getting your dog to respond first time to any command
  3. Teach your dog to move out of your way (or yield space).
  4. Choose your house rules and stick to them
  5. Choose your dog’s name and respect it

1 Everyone loves a calm dog

Is your dog too excitable. If you get up, they are on their feet and ready for fun and games! They are always on the alert and never relaxing, that’s exhausting for you!

They may have their own temperament but a large part is also due to the way we respond to our pets.

We tend to ignore quiet and relaxing behaviors and reinforce attention seeking behaviors with yet more attention (which dogs respond to). Why not think about reversing this natural behavior of yours so as to have a dramatic effect on your own dogs behaviour.

And the best way to do this ……

Put some of your dogs favourite treats in a bowl nearby.

At various times during the day, whilst your dog is relaxing take a treat from the bowl and walk past.

Put the treat back in the bowl if your dog jumps up to see what is going on,

Don’t make any comment to the dog or interact with him in any way at this point.

Repeat this throughout the day.

Eventually your dog will decide you are not going to give him the treat, and remain resting, when this happens simply place the treat between their paws and walk away.

Don’t praise your dog or make a fuss and get them excited again, just drop the treat between their paws.

Repeat this over during the day.

You can easily fit this into your day or evening, it only takes a second to walk past the dog. And by the end of a week, your dog will be so much more relaxed.

2 Getting your dog to respond to your command first time

Do you find yourself repeatedly saying a command like ‘Sit’ over and over and eventually your pooch will sit down but only after you have said this a dozen times or more.
This is annoying and unnecessary and you really don’t need to be giving multiple commands. You can easily fix this.
Again, get yourself some handy treats.

Teaching Your Dog To Respond First Time to your Command

At various times of the day just ask your dog to sit but say the command ONCE only, then watch and WAIT. Counting to five – in your head only.
If after this count of five your dog has has not sat down, hold the treat above their head slowly moving it back towards his tail until your dog sits down. Say ‘YES’ and give your dog the treat as it sits and NEVER repeat the sit command.
Do this a number of times during the day.
After a short while you will find that you are not getting to five before your dog obeys your command. Reward them anyway with a treat. And before you know it your dog will be sitting down immediately with just one word from you.
When you are satisfied with your dogs response its then the time to try without a treat in your hand. Have treats to hand though. When your dog sits, say YES, and then immediately fetch a treat from the bowl.
Gradually reduce the treat rewards so that you only give your dog a treat for some of their sits and don’t let multiple commands creep back in again

3 Teach your dog to move out of your way (or yield space).

Dogs naturally read movement and body language, they also understand the importance of space. and the idea of claiming space and how it relates to a pack hierarchy.
Dogs have a tendency to guard space and in certain situations, this is a good thing. We hear stories of dogs that scare off house breaking thieves but none of us want to see those fangs bared at us when we enter a room or go to sit down.
Practice these exercises to teach your dog to be more tolerant of infringement to their “personal space”
More easily accomplished with young puppies who haven’t had time to develop any guarding behaviours, it might be trickier With older dogs.
The idea is to have your dog move out of your way. If your dog is laying down in your hallway, shuffle your feet “through” them so that they have to get up and get out of your way, rather than stepping over them.
If your pooch happens to be using your favorite chair for a nap, escort your dog to move away so you can sit there.
The point is not to harass your dog every time they lie down, but to insist they will “move over” and yield when you need them to do so.
Just as we teach our children to hold the door open for someone to pass through before us or to offer an elderly person our seat on the bus, teaching our dogs to step aside and relinquish space is a sign of respect that will maintain good manners.


4 Choose your house rules and stick to them

It’s vital that your dog understands immediately what they are allowed to do. Are they allowed on the couch or upstairs? Are there certain rooms that are out of bounds? Setting the ground rules early will establish between you and your dog what the limits are. You’ll definitely have some rebellion from your dog early on as they’ll defy their new rules every now and then. But with enough repetition, your dog will learn what their boundaries are.

5 Choose your dog’s name wisely and stick with it

Choosing a name is one of the most important choices to make when bringing your new dog home;  Your dog may already have a name.  This may have come from a shelter or breeder who has given them a name whilst waiting for a new owner for them. In these cases, you may like the name and stick with it or choose to give your dog a new name. Dogs will adapt, and if you use a name consistently, they will respond to it. For early training purposes, use a name that’s short with a strong consonant (i.e. Jack). A short, strong name like these will help your dog always hear their name clearly.

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