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How to Teach Your Dog His Name: Tips for Pet Owners

It is essential that your dog recognize his name because you will call him by it when you need him to pay attention. Yes, it is true that in the end we end up putting 20 nicknames to our pet that we use more than his own name, but they must have it and also recognize it. Therefore, we explain the steps to follow to teach your dog his name.

How To Teach Your Dog His Name

Naming your dog

When we are going to adopt a dog, one of the things we are most excited about is choosing the name for our pet. In fact, many times the pet's name is chosen before the pet comes into our life.

When choosing a name for the dog, some guidelines should be followed if we want it to work well when we call it. In addition to that, we'd like to give you some other ideas:

  • Keep it short, one or two syllables.
  • If you choose a person's name, it should not be that of someone close to you to avoid discomfort.
  • You can choose the names of famous people (from movies, series, or musicians).

  • Another option is to choose a name that highlights a characteristic of your child's appearance or temperament: dulce (if he/she is very affectionate), copito (if he/she is white), etc.
  • Try to make it original so that when you call him at the playground, he won't be called

Once the name is chosen, let's see how you can teach your dog his name.
Read also: When Do Puppies Start To Walk?

Considerations for teaching your dog his name

Let's first look at some considerations you should follow so that your dog learns to recognize his name.

1. Be patient

Like any learning process, this one will require time and perseverance. Don't expect results on the first day; it's impossible.
And do not despair. Unless the dog has a congenital hearing problem that prevents him from always hearing when you call him, he will eventually recognize his name.

2. Begin as soon as possible.

Training to teach your dog to recognize his name should begin as soon as possible.
This does not imply that you should have the name decided before the pet comes into your life. You can perfectly well wait until you get to know him to choose it, but you will see that very soon you will realize that you need to call him something.

3. Do not change the name

Once you start the training, even if the puppy doesn't pay attention to you at first, avoid changing the name.

As we said before, it won't happen immediately, but that doesn't mean it's a bad name.
If you change it, you will have to start from scratch.

4. Direct eye contact

When teaching your dog to recognize his name, it is essential to make eye contact with you.
If not, you will not be able to tell him how well he has done.

5. A location free of distractions

If you want a dog to learn his name, you will have to do the training in a place where there are no distractions nearby.

The only "attraction" for the dog should be you.

6. Always keep dog treats on hand.

Positive training is the best option whenever you want to teach something to a dog.
Therefore, it is essential that you have some dog treats on hand to reward your pet's progress.

Steps to teach a dog his name

Now, taking into account all the above considerations, let's see the steps to follow to teach your dog his name.

  1. Keep a distance of no more than 50 cm between you and your pet. Call your dog when he is not looking, as many times as necessary, until he does.
  2. When he looks at you, let him know that this is the right thing to do: with affectionate words (very good! ), stroking his little head and giving him a small piece of dog treat.
  3. Let the dog walk away if he wants to, and when he doesn't look at you again, repeat the above steps.
  4. The training should be done without distractions to strengthen the teaching and so that the dog associates his name with something positive (caresses, treats...).
  5. As time goes by, start introducing distractions to see how the dog responds in a less controlled environment. For example, turn on the television or have another person present.

Finally, there are two fundamental factors to keep in mind during training:

  • On the one hand, while training your dog to respond to his name, never call him when he is doing something wrong. If you do reprimand him, he will associate his name with something negative, and that is not what we want. If he makes that association, he will never respond to his name in the future. When you have to reprimand him for something, simply use a firm "No!".
  • On the other hand, it is essential that, while he is learning, you only call your pet when necessary and make up for it when he comes. If you call him out of turn, he will lose the sound association and then it will be difficult to recover.

As you can see, it's not complicated at all to teach your dog to respond to his name. It will just take some time, so go for it!