There’s a lot of training when you get a new puppy or adult dog. A part of that training will be getting him used to a new name. Without your dog knowing his new name, it will be hard to do any of the other training he needs since it all requires calling his name. It’s important to get your new dog used to his new name as soon as possible, and the key to accomplishing that is to be consistent and positive.
Teaching a dog to respond to his name
Remember that legally you need to be able to keep your dog under your control at all times. And the basis of teaching your dog any commands is that he can respond to his name when you call him, especially in an emergency situation, or around distraction or other dogs. It’s very important that a dog finds responding to his name rewarding and also seeks his owner’s interaction. You can use a wide range of focus and attention exercises when teaching a dog to respond to his name when he hears it and to look to you for a reward when he does.
Here are a couple of tips on how you should teach a dog his name.
It’s important to create an environment that will allow your dog to succeed with a quiet and calm environment that he can train in without distractions.
You will need to practice at least ten times a day by saying your dog’s name from between two and six feet away. When your dog looks at you, make sure that you mark his behavior by saying a word like “yes” or “good boy” and reward him with praise and a treat.
Maintain Your Focus
When you teach your puppy his name, don’t ask him to sit or do anything before you give a treat since the reward for looking at you when you say his name and not for any type of other behavior. You’ll notice soon that you get your dog’s attention without needing to be prompted, so you should; be prepared to reinforce the behavior with a treat to encourage him to check in with you regularly.
The Orientation Game
- First, start someplace where you won’t be distracted and where your dog will be able to play with you.
- Then, throw some of your dog’s food out approx. a meter away
- When he is done eating, your dog should naturally look to you for more food, you should mark this moment with a verbal “yes” before throwing him another piece.
- After your dog is turning to you consistently, then you can introduce his name just before he turns around to mark and reward him.
This can become a game that becomes more exciting to keep your dog interested by including a treat on the floor. Once your dog has eaten that treat, make sure to say his name before running backward. Once your dog comes when called, make sure to reward him with a toy or food as well as a lot of praise.
Next, you should place another reward on the floor for your dog before repeating the process. Throughout the process, remember that you need to assess the environment that you are training your dog in. Remember that you should gradually increase the distractions in the room as well as the reinforcements our treats. When your dog is responding to his name, then you should go back a step to make sure that you are successful before you increase the distraction level again.
Teaching a dog his name
It’s important that your dog responds enthusiastically when you call him by his name in a happy voice. You want your dog’s name to be a good thing for him to hear. Shelter dogs are even given names when they arrive and are taught to be responsive to them.
What’s the hidden value of a dog loving his name?
- You can use it as an attention-getter, so your dog will come running when you call him.
- Calling his name can be used to distract or interrupt him from bad behavior like chewing and barking in his crate. Just remember that you should use your happy voice since you don’t want your pup to associate his name with a scolding.
- Use his name along with positive associations that he has to help him be more comfortable in a stressful situation like when you are walking by a noise that makes her anxious. Using his name will distract him until you have passed what is scaring him.
- You can use his name to call him away from a possibly dangerous situation.
When teaching a dog name recognition, always bring a treat bag with soft, small treats. Remember it’s important to work with your dog somewhere where there aren’t distractions.
Changing your dog’s name
After a pet adoption, some people will want to change their dog’s name . But, they may wonder if it will be confusing to their dog. Or, will it be difficult to teach their new dog a new name? Typically, this isn’t a problem. A dog will generally respond to a name change or even a nickname if the name is taught properly and maintained using positive associations. A socialized dog will typically come when he is called and look forward to spending time with his human.
Name Dos and Don’ts
- When he isn’t looking right at you, say your dog’s name in a happy and bright tone of voice. When your dog looks at you, make sure to use a word like “good” or “yes” to indicate that he had the correct reaction, and also give him a treat immediately. Repeat the process a few times during the day to get your new pup to turn each time you call his name.
- When you have trouble having your puppy to respond to his new name, you need to move to an area that is not as distracting in a preferably smaller area. You can also try changing the treat to something your dog likes better like a piece of turkey or chicken and also include praise when you give your dog a treat.
- After your dog has responded consistently to his name, then you can move around the room when you say your dog’s name. Or you can say your pup’s name and then wait and see if he looks at your face instead of just turning towards you before you give him a treat. After you can get his attention each time you call his name, you can try giving him treats intermittently, but still, give him verbal praise.
- You can also use the name game at any time. This is an easy game to play when you are cooking dinner or watching TV while your pup is just hanging out with you. You can also play the game as you take your dog for a walk. Just call his name and you should be able to get his attention.
- Remember that consistency is very important, so you will need to reinforce his behavior several times.
- The first few times should be consistent, but then you will want to do it periodically until you are able to get a solid and automatic reaction. At that point, your dog should respond when he hears his new name just for the love and praise that you give him, so treats will no longer be needed.
- Do not use a large area to practice learning his name off-leash like a yard that is fenced where your dog is able to get distracted. It is better that you have your dog leash trained, but it would be even better to start your training sessions inside where you will have fewer distractions.
- Make sure you do not say your dog’s name several times or he will start to require that type of repetition before he will acknowledge you. Only say his name once and then only when he responds quickly will you give him a treat.
- Also, ensure that you do not give your dog an immediate response, and do not shout his name. You should only try to walk away from him when he is distracted and then try again. You can also move totally away into a different area that has less distraction. Make sure you then introduce training in an area that has distractions when you are getting a consistently perfect response.
- Do not say your puppy’s name before each of the commands you will be teaching her. It’s important to be able to say “down”, “sit” and “stay,” without needing to repeat his name before each of these commands.
- When your dog does respond quickly, you shouldn’t delay giving him a treat. It’s very important that you mark his behavior immediately.
You will want to avoid combining negative words with your dog’s name, which can change that positive association with his name into a negative one. There are many dogs that do not like hearing their name due to an owner that will often use their name along with a verbal correction. If they always hear: “Rover, quiet!” or “Charlie, down!”, their name will no longer have a positive association for them, and they will no longer associate something good with hearing their name.
How long does it take for a dog to learn his name?
Depending on the dog, you can typically teach your puppy his new name in a two-week period. Remember that the process needs to remain positive and rewarding for it to succeed. If you train consistently for two weeks, you will actually see your dog starting to respond to his new name in about two days.
How hard is it to teach a dog a new name?
If you have adopted an older dog, more than likely you aren’t going to know his history, which means you won’t know the name he was given as a puppy. Many of these dogs have a sad past that they can’t share with us. These experiences may include past abuse while others may have had loving owners that just weren’t able to take care of them anymore.
When adopting an older dog, it’s very possible that you will have to rename him, which includes training him to respond to his new name. It’s not terribly hard to teach your dog to learn his new name since it’s really just a matter of being consistent and repetitive. Just stay positive to help your dog from being frustrated since he has a past that you will know nothing about and he will not be able to tell you.
How do I teach my dog to listen to his name?
Once you have chosen your puppy’s name, you will want to use it along with positive reinforcement training so that he associates it with good things. Make sure to be persistent to help your pup make that connection between his name and the treats you are giving him when he responds. Once he has consistently responded, you will want to stop giving him treats. Remember this step should only happen when he is responding to his name without hesitating. Finally, say his name each day so that it is constantly being reinforced as is his response to it.
What is the first command to teach a dog?
Typically, the first thing you train your puppy to do is to respond to his name. Once he has mastered that, then the first command you should teach him is “Sit”. There are a few dog training hand signals to aid you in teaching basic commands.