Ever wondered what you should teach your dog first? Well, the answer is easy- their name! Teaching your pup how to respond when they hear their name will help them learn other commands. It’s also a great way to build trust and strengthen your bond with them. This blog post will give you some tips on how to do it right!
The good things that come with naming your dog
Positive reinforcement training is a great way to teach your dog any command. All you need are some treats, toys, or food items that they like and use them as rewards when they are obedient.
The goal here isn’t just got get them to comply with what we ask – but rather have him associate good behaviors with something pleasant so they want to repeat those actions.
Get a handful of small, soft treats that your dog can quickly and easily chew. You can also use some clickers if you think it might help. Start in the quietest room possible, so that your doggo isn’t distracted by anything.
What to do?
1- You’ll need to wait until your dog is not looking at you and then say the name in a very jubilant tone. As soon as he turns around, mark this with a click or by saying “yes” so that they learn what reaction they should have after hearing their name called out loud. Repeat this process several times throughout the day, eventually, you’ll condition them permanently to respond when they hear their name.
2- If your pup is giving you a hard time trying to get their attention, move into a less distracting area or switch up treats. Try using pieces of cooked chicken instead so they have an even higher incentive for being attentive and listening.
3- Once your dog responds to his name consistently, it’s time to take it up a notch. Move across the room and say their name or wait until they look at you before giving them a treat. You can give them treats sporadically as well, but don’t forget to praise them every time.
4- The reward should be something your dog loves and is very interested in. It’s important that you reinforce this behavior many times – first, every time, then sporadically until your dog learns that praise or love is given as soon as he responds correctly to his name! Eventually, all reactions will happen without the need for any treats.
Avoid combining your dog’s name with negative verbiage, which can change the positive association to a negative reaction. Many dogs don’t like hearing their names because owners often use correction words in combination with their names.
What not to do?
1- Off-leash practice in large areas is not recommended, as it can make your dog drift off and become distracted. It’s better to keep them on a leash when practicing so that you can watch their every move closely.
2- Don’t say the dog’s name multiple times, or they will begin to require that repetition before you can get their attention. Say it once and if he responds quickly then give him some food as a reward.
3- If your pup doesn’t respond immediately, don’t start shouting their name. Instead, try walking with them away from whatever is distracting and then work on correcting the behavior in quieter areas until you get a perfect response consistently.
4- Don’t say your dog’s name before every command. You should be able to say, “sit,” or “stay” without repeating the pet’s moniker every time. When they respond quickly give them something tasty as soon as possible! Marking behavior immediately will help optimize their efforts through training.
If you’re struggling to teach your dog their name, don’t give up. This article should have given you plenty of ideas for how to go about it. Be patient with them and try implementing one or two strategies at a time so that you can see the progress being made. We all want our pets to learn quickly, but remember this entire process will take time so be patient.