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How To Teach Your Puppy Their Name Easily!

When you bring a new puppy home, you may be unsure of how to get started with training. One of the first steps in having a puppy is to teach your furry bundle of joy its name!

Teaching your puppy to respond to its name is crucial in its development.

How To Teach Your Puppy Their Name Easily

When your puppy knows its name, you can call it to you, and start working on recall, and all kinds of training.

This can also help you establish a level of communication and a bond between you and your puppy. It also jumpstarts your puppy’s obedience training.

In this guide, we will go over everything there is to know about teaching your puppy its name, including why and how to do it. Read on to find out more!

Why You Should Teach Your Puppy Its Name

There are so many reasons why you should start teaching your puppy its name.

You have to be able to control your dog under all circumstances, as this is a legal requirement. The fundamental part of having an obedient dog is teaching them their name.

It is particularly important for dogs to respond to their names in emergency situations, or around other dogs, animals, and people.

This can keep them safe and focused on you under all circumstances.

Not only this but being able to gain your dog’s attention and focus is a great way to bond with them and establish a much stronger connection and relationship.

Teaching Your Puppy Its Name

How To Teach Your Puppy Their NameEasily

To teach your puppy its name, you will want to start as soon as you bring your puppy home.

Just keep in mind that this may take time, as puppies can struggle to focus and pay attention, so you have to be patient.

Working on this can make you both feel more confident, but you have to prepare beforehand.

It is best to practice when you are both in a quiet and calm environment, where there will not be any distractions, temptations, or interruptions.

This can help your dog focus and concentrate more easily. It can also ensure that your dog is more relaxed.

Once you have a quiet room to work in, you can get started.

Start Calling Them By Their Name From Day One

Whenever you bring your puppy home, you will need to start using their name. Start calling your puppy by your chosen name every time you want to gain their attention.

Most puppies will start to pick up on their name after a few days, but constant practice will help them learn their name quicker.

Try to refrain from using other names, variations, and nicknames at first as this can only confuse your puppy.

Stick to the name, and try to say it the same way every time. Ensure that you are using the name in a positive way, and to encourage a good reaction from your puppy.

Do not use the name as a way of chastising or shouting at your puppy, as this will turn it into a negative experience. You want your puppy to respond well to the name.

Use Food To Gain Interest

If you are struggling at first, then you can use food to motivate your puppy. Use this to gain your puppy’s interest and to get their attention.

Then, when you call your puppy, and it makes eye contact with you, you can reward them with food.

Try using high-value, tasty puppy treats as these will yield the best results. So, to start, try calling your puppy’s name.

When they look at you, quickly give them the treat so that you can establish the connection between their name being called, their response, and getting a treat.

You can try having your puppy in front of you, with a treat in front of their nose. Use the treat to guide their nose up, and direct their attention towards your eyes.

When they establish eye contact, mark the behavior with ‘yes’ or ‘good’ and then reward them with the treat.

If you are unable to get your puppy to focus, then you can also try using a lead at this point so that your puppy does not wander off.

Use Positive Reinforcement

How To Teach Your Puppy TheirNameEasily

It is so vital that you always use positive reinforcement when training your puppy, as this is the best way to get the right reaction out of them.

By having a positive, happy tone of voice, you can encourage your puppy to respond to you.

You should also always have treats on hand to reward your puppy.

It is a good idea to start doing these training sessions at mealtimes, as they will be far more motivated to do what you want.

If your puppy is not really food motivated, then do the same thing but with their favorite toys instead.

Positive reinforcement can be a really useful tool for training your puppy, and once they know their name, you can use the same method to teach your puppy to sit, stay, wait, and more.

For instance, you can say ‘Name, Sit, Good’ or use their name to start working on recall training.

Practice Makes Perfect

Once you have started the initial training, you need to practice every day.

We recommend that you practice this every day for about 5 minutes a session, but have sessions often.

Puppies have short attention spans, so there is no use in trying to practice for 15-30 minutes at a time. Your puppy will tune you out.

You should also not try to train your puppy multiple things at once.

Instead, stick to just teaching them their name for now, and once you have nailed that, you can move on to other commands.

You have to keep training fun, exciting, rewarding, and frequent.

Consistency is the key! Keep doing the sessions where whenever your puppy looks at you when you say their name, you reward them with food.

Try to practice this in different rooms and areas of your home, and then move on to the backyard.

There are a few more distractions outside, so this can be a little more challenging. Just keep at it, and your puppy will pick it up eventually!

You should also try to avoid repeating yourself over and over, as it will lose value. If your puppy has tuned you out and is not responding, then try again later.

Get Your Puppy To Come To You Using Their Name

After the initial sessions, you want to try and get your dog to come to you. Do this by standing around 2-4 feet away from them, and applying the same method.

When your puppy is distracted slightly, try calling their name, waiting for eye contact, and then rewarding them.

Keep moving around, and encourage your puppy to come to you with your hands and with gestures. When they come, always reward them with treats or their food and lots of praise.

Play Hide & Seek

Now, you can try playing hide and seek!

When your puppy is not looking, you can choose a spot to hide (don’t make it too challenging), and then call your puppy’s name to get them to come find you.

When they find you, praise them and encourage them with lots of positive reinforcement and rewards.

After a few turns, you may find that your puppy loses interest. If this is the case, then try playing another game instead, and you can do another training session later on in the day.

This lets your puppy know that training sessions are fun, and always end in some playtime and positivity.

That way, your puppy will be more interested and excited to train next time!

Try Making It More Challenging

If your puppy is starting to respond to its name more and more, then it is time to take it to the next level.

Try practicing calling your puppy in different situations where they could be distracted, such as inside, outside, and in quiet and louder areas.

Just keep in mind that if you are practicing in a new location, then your puppy may not listen at first. But, with a little persistence, they will get it!

How Long Does It Take For A Puppy To Learn Its Name?

How To Teach Your PuppyTheirNameEasily

Most puppies will learn their name very quickly. It may only take a few days of frequent training sessions for your puppy to learn its name.

Once they seem to know their name, you must keep calling them by it- and not as a means of chastising them as this will create a negative association with the name.

Teaching Your Puppy Its Name – Dos & Don’ts

There are some things that you will want to do, and some things that you will not want to do to make the process smoother and easier.

Do Practice Every Day

You will want to practice every single day around 10 times a day, by calling your dog’s name.

As soon as they look at you or make eye contact with you, you will need to mark the behavior with a word like ‘yes’, ‘good’, or with a clicker.

Then, reward them with food every time, and always praise them.

It will not take long for them to pick up on their name and realize that that is what you want to call them when you want their attention.

Don’t Ask Your Dog To Do Anything Else

At first, it is best to avoid asking your dog to sit or lie down while you are doing this, as they could get confused and think that the treats or rewards are for this behavior, rather than because they are listening to their name.

Do Keep Sessions Short

You will need to practice calling your dog by its name many times! However, if you are going at it for a long time, your puppy will quickly lose interest.

Instead, try to keep sessions at 5 minutes long, and finish with some playtime. Then, just do more sessions throughout the day!

Don’t Get Frustrated

Puppies are really fast learners, and most will learn their names very quickly. If you are finding it difficult, try not to get angry or frustrated. With a little more practice, you will get there!

Final Thoughts

To summarize, teaching your puppy its name is very simple. Most puppies will start to respond to their names within around 3 days of practice.

You just have to be patient, and persistent, and offer lots of praise and positive reinforcement! Your puppy will know its name in no time.

Sharon Isaacs