Teaching Your Dog His Name
I have a 9 week old puppy!! Life is certainly exciting at my house right now, especially with two dogs under the age of 1! So I thought I would write a puppy training article about teaching your new puppy his name and then I realized…how often do people have trouble getting their ADULT dogs to come to their names?
So I shifted my focus, to a reinstatement of dog training commands, going back to literally “Square One” and teaching your dog his name, in most cases AGAIN!
We get a new dog and after we name him, we promptly assume he knows his new name. This is what I am finding with my new family. I say “new family” because we, too are new at being blended and they don’t come to dog training with the knowledge I have. We named our pup “Jovi “(I am a huge Bon Jovi fan). And, it was as if automatically everyone assumed he should know his name!
“Jovi this” and “Jovi that” has been uttered since, but no one has really taken the steps necessary to TEACH him his name and what it means!
When I get a new pup, I wait a few days before doing a lot of puppy training. I want my pup to be able to acclimate to his new environment and his new siblings before adding much more to his plate. But, with that said I do work on teaching him his name at any natural moment throughout the day.
I believe to build a firm foundation in the beginning of dog training you must pair his new name with his food and his treats!
- How many of you have dogs that come running, from anywhere in the house or yard when you say “cookie, treat, or biscuit”, how about if you open the food container or shake the treat jars? I use to work for a couple that would call their cat by screaming “mouse in a can” and running the automatic can opener. Their cat would come running like his tail was on fire from anywhere in the neighborhood when he heard “mouse in a can”…you’d think that was his name 😉 ha ha!
That is when I had an “AH HA” moment! What if I could get that kind of intensity from my dogs when I called their names? I love a challenge, and this was and is exactly that!
We all have pets that come running for whatever word you use for treat.
Because we have conditioned our pets—-when you hear that word, “cookie” at my house, with almost 100% reliability you will be getting a tasty morsel or something good! Most of us don’t run the can opener, open the food container, shake the treat jar, or even say the word without following through!
- When was the last time you said the treat word and then yelled at or beat your dog when he came?
- Do you say “cookie” and trim your dog’s nails or do other things he doesn’t like?
- When he gets in trouble do you say “COOOOOKIE” with anger?
NO!! “cookie” always means something good!!
HOW Do You Change Your Dog’s Mind or Teach Him His Name?
You use these same principals!! They are quite simple, really!
When you say his name pair it with a treat! Vary the degree of greatness of the treat, once it might be a biscuit and sometimes it might be chicken breast or liver!!! Not knowing how fantastic the treat may be helps give your dog the motivation to come running!
ALWAYS make it a big deal and a wonderful affair when your dog comes to you or to his name! This is a time for celebration and fun! His name and coming when called can save his life someday so you want him as reliable as possible!!
NEVER (can I say that again?), NEVER, EVER, NEVER use your dog’s name as some kind of verbal correction!!! I know it’s tempting…”JOOOVVVIII get over here NOW!” is not something that makes your dog want to come to you. This negativity teaches your dog that his name is actually a bad thing!!! You NEVER want your dog to associate his name with bad or negative things, this will teach him to avoid you when you say his name, which is the opposite of what you want!
NEVER, EVER, NEVER do horrible things or things your dog may deem horrible to your dog when you call him; if he hates his crate don’t crate him, don’t trim his nails, don’t give him a bath, don’t reprimand him! Bad things make your dog want to avoid you. If you have to do these things go to your dog or teach him that doing them means the rewards will be phenomenal but don’t use his name, you don’t need it!
Jovi=treat, Jovi=treat! You get the idea right? If you adhere to this plan or put it into action starting today you will see a HUGE improvement in your training program almost immediately! It’s simple and it is common sense. Have fun with your dog!
I have been a professional dog trainer and pet sitter for over 20 years. I am a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, through the international Certification Counsel of Professional Dog Trainers. I have trained and worked with police, Schutzhund and personal protection dogs. I trained Assistance Dogs in a men’s prison and ran my own nonprofit organization to take adult dogs from shelters and to train them to assist children and adults with disabilities, at no charge to my clients. My nonprofit organization and I were nominated for several awards of merit and even made the front page of the Denver Post. I was a veterinary technician for many years, where I learned about all aspects of health and preventative medicine. I have trained and worked with exotic animals and cheetahs. I introduced a temperament testing program in my local shelter and sat on the board of directors. I volunteered with my dog “Mr. Snitch” and helped local children learn to read. I have attained obedience titles and several blue ribbons. I am constantly in search of ways to continue my education and excellence when it comes to animals, their behavior and their health.