One of the first things you should teach a new four-legged family member is their own name. Making sure your dog knows his or her own name is a crucial step in building a bond and beginning obedience training. That said, the process can be quite challenging. Here are a few things to know about teaching your dog her name.

Limit Distractions

Your dog is learning a new sound and doesn’t know what it means yet. Your end goal is to get her to recognize her name and pay attention when called. To begin, get your dog used to hearing her name. Start in a room with no distractions so she can focus. Keep away any toys she might have and limit interactions with other household members during training.

Be Happy

Dogs respond more to the way we say things rather than what we say. To take advantage of their ear for tone, begin by saying your dog’s name in a happy tone of voice or with excitement. Your dog will then associate the fun and excitement you seem to be having with their name. Give her a few pets or cuddles while saying her name, too.

Give Treats

Treats are the best way to encourage good behavior and discipline in your new furry friend. You should have ready a bag or pouch with several small treat bites. Look for training treats that are already bite-size, or break larger treats into small pieces. You may have to give less food at dinner to make up for these calories.

When your pup looks at you, say her name with excitement, and give her a treat. After doing this, try calling her name when she isn’t already looking at you. If she responds, give her a treat.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Practice makes perfect, so don’t be shy about giving your furry companion several chances to get it right. Have a handful of treats at the ready throughout the day so you can reward your dog when she gives you attention after you call her name. Remember not to say her name more than once per treat. Simply call the name and give her a treat when she looks at you.

Add in Distractions

Getting your dog to recognize their name and look to you when they hear it is crucial for dog safety. Once your pup has shown good recall with her name, you can try adding a few distractions to challenge her. Take her into the family room, let her play with a favorite toy, and then try calling her name. If she doesn’t respond at all, you might need to go back to fewer distractions.

The Trainers at Canine College can Help

Training a new dog is hard enough, but doing it alone can make the job even tougher. The professionals at Canine College are the experts in dog training and are here to help you with whatever training your furry friend needs. Check out our list of group training classes and one-on-one training options. Contact us today to get started!

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