Teaching Puppy to Recognize his name
|Every puppy needs a name|
Once you've chosen a name for your puppy one of the first things you need to do is teach your puppy to respond to his name. You want to teach your puppy to give you his full attention when you call his name. He needs to stop what he’s doing, turn his head and look directly at you.
This simple puppy trick means that as you go on to teach your puppy other commands you’ll have much more success as your puppy will be focussed on you while you are teaching him these commands.
Its also important from a safety point of view, as you can call your puppy if he is about to get in to danger such as walk on to a road or chew on a power cable.
When you use your puppy's name, make sure it’s associated with good things. Don’t call his name and then proceed to tell him he as been naughty because if you do, he’ll start to associate his name with getting into trouble and won’t respond. Try some eye contact and a nice pat or tummy rub when he responds to his name.
The next progression is to introduce distractions, such as other people being in the room, and try it outside in the garden, in the driveway, when you are at a friend’s house and anywhere else you can think of. Don’t rush this stage and always make it easy for your puppy to succeed, he wants to please you, so make it easy for him to do so!
To begin the training, arm yourself with a few puppy treats and put your puppy on his lead, that way you have full control if he’s distracted by something and tries to wander off.
Call your puppy by name in a happy and light hearted voice - puppies love to hear the sound of your voice and will naturally look towards you when they hear you speak.
|Teach puppy to come when you call|
As he looks towards you, give him a treat and praise him verbally with words such as ‘good boy’ or ‘yes’. Repeat this a few times every day until he consistently looks towards you every time you call his name.
Only use his name once. If he doesn’t respond, give a very gentle tug on his lead or tickle his leg so he turns to look at you.
Next, call him and hold the treat near to your face so he has to look at you - reward him with the treat and praise as he does so. Once your puppy does this consistently, swap the food for a toy. His reward for looking at you will then be to play with you for a couple of minutes.
The next progression is to introduce distractions, so try it with other people in the room, outside in the garden, in the driveway, when you are at a friend’s house and anywhere else you can think of. Don’t rush this stage and always make it easy for your puppy to succeed, he wants to please you, so make it easy for him to do so!
Soon your puppy will learn that wherever you are, whatever the distraction, if he hears his name he needs to look at you and wait for the next instruction. If you use these simple puppy training techniques you'll have your puppy responding to being called by name in no time.