One of the first things you should always teach your puppy is their name! Your puppy’s name is what they will be identified with for the rest of their life. The earlier they learn it, the easier it will be to train them. It also helps you establish a close and lifelong bond with your […]
One of the first things you should always teach your puppy is their name! Your puppy’s name is what they will be identified with for the rest of their life. The earlier they learn it, the easier it will be to train them. It also helps you establish a close and lifelong bond with your new furry bestie! Now, puppies usually learn their names pretty quickly. In fact, most puppies can pick it up within 1-3 days! However, you’ll need to practice using their name on a consistent basis. That way, your puppy can respond when their name is said out loud.
Once your puppy learns to respond to their name, it’ll be easier to take them out to places like the dog park or even on walks around the neighborhood. You may also find it easier to train them for commands because your pup will know you’re talking to them. Here’s how you can teach your cuddly pooch to recognize their name quickly!
The “name game” is a fun activity that helps your puppy learn their name as quickly as possible! You don’t need any supplies to play this game; just a bag of treats and your puppy will do. To play it, you need to do the following:
Make sure that your puppy can chew on the treats (and swallow them!). We don’t recommend playing the name game in a large area, at least not at first. Your puppy can become distracted, run off, and get lost in the process. Start at home first before advancing to other locations.
The best way to a puppy’s heart is through food! If you want your furry friend to pay extra close attention during training, abide by one rule: always have treats in your hand. Treats are the best way to do positive reinforcement in training sessions. When your puppy receives a treat as they respond to their name, they learn to associate the sound with something good and delicious! If you do not want to use treats for training, you can use puppy food or toys. Just make sure your puppy responds to you before you give them their yummy reward.
Consistency is key when it comes to any type of training. Repeat the name game as often as you can! If your puppy is easily distracted, you can split the sessions at different times of the day, especially if they’re young puppies. Young puppies have shorter attention spans so it’s important to keep these sessions short and split throughout the day. That being said, don’t get mad at your puppy if they start to get distracted. Remember: they’re young! Like children, they just want to have fun and eat lots of goodies! So if your puppy isn’t into the name game, just end the practice session and start playing with them. Your puppy should not feel overwhelmed or scared at any time during the practice session and after. Doing so will only cause them to gain negative feelings over their name, making it harder to train them.
Once your puppy gets the hang of the name game, it’s time to introduce a new environment, preferably in your home. Make sure there are no distractions in your home. Turn off the TV, close the doors to other rooms, and place items onto higher places. With a handful of treats in your hand, take one step backward and call out your puppy’s name. When your puppy looks at you, say “good!” and reward them with the treat! You can also walk into another room (do not let your puppy follow you) and call out their name. If your puppy goes into the room and looks at you, say “good!” and give them another yummy treat! You can repeat this exercise a few times. Be sure to either change locations or make the distance between you and your puppy longer each time.
Most importantly, NEVER combine your puppy’s name with negative words or comments like “Rocky, no!” or “Buddy, quiet!” This can change the positive association with their name to a negative reaction. Many puppies react with resent or fear because their name usually comes with a negative comment. Your puppy should love their name, and associate it with something positive.
Always use your puppy’s favorite treat to reward them so that they keep coming to you. Positive reinforcement is the best and only way to successfully train your puppy. Be sure that every time you train your puppy, it’s a pleasant and exciting time for the both of you. As your puppy gets older, they will learn to respond to their name quickly. Once they have a good grasp of their name, you can switch treats with praises and kisses. This can help your pup learn to respond to their name with or without food!