Getting your dog used to its name

You’ve found the pawfect name for your new pooch—now you just need to teach your dog its name, which isn’t always as easy as it sounds!

23 Apr 2017 By Zahra Gaitskell Comments

Naming your dog is a BIG decision, it's got to be just right for your special pup because it will be with them for the rest of your life together. Once you've come up with perfect name you'll need to get your dog used to its name. Sounds simple, right? Yet, just because you know their name is Rex, doesn't mean your dog will!

The first thing you need to start training your dog is a nice, quiet environment. Puppies are easily distracted at the best of times so minimise anything that could cause them to lose focus. Start slowly, face your dog and be sure they're watching you, say their name clearly and make a big fuss of cuddles, treats and positive energy as soon as they respond in any way. Most dogs will start to get the message, at least that the word means something positive and food motivated pups usually pick it up quickly; hear name, look at owner, get reward!

If you're having trouble getting your dog’s attention, or they keep wandering off before you can even begin a session you may need to sit your pup in a small room with the door closed or with their lead on. Gently direct them to you, either with the lead or your hands, as you say their name. Remember it's not a forceful movement, just some encouragement to keep their attention. When they're looking at you as you say their name make a big fuss, give a treat and a cuddle. If you're using a word like 'yes' or 'good' in your pup’s obedience training you should incorporate it into their name training sessions too.

When your dog starts to respond to their name in quiet environments, begin to train your dog in more distracting and busy places and at greater distances. You want to know your puppy will respond to their name in any situation so use the same methods with others around, in your backyard and in public spaces. What you want is for your puppy to recognise and respond to their name. This will require continuous reinforcement over time; don't stop saying it just because you think your puppy knows it! The same caution goes to overuse of your dogs name, say it too often and they will learn to ignore it completely, like background noise.

The very best reward for your dog is positive reinforcement, be consistent and be positive in your training, throw in an occasional treat and your pup will be quick to learn their name!

We’d love to hear your dog name training tips and stories.

23 Apr 2017 By Zahra Gaitskell Comments

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