Your new puppy just walked through your door. Your first mission as a dog owner: teach your dog his name! To do this, a few tricks to put in place and several attitudes to adopt!
The right attitude to teach your dog his name
Teaching your dog his name is, first and foremost, a matter of repetition. What's more, you'll have to be patient and gentle: don't get annoyed with your puppy or you'll scare him away!
It's all in the rehearsal
The more you interact with your dog on a daily basis – talking, playing or stroking him – the easier it will be for you to teach him his name. Very quickly and quite naturally, your dog will understand that you are talking to him.
Patience and gentleness!
A puppy has an attention span and concentration capacity comparable to that of a goldfish! He's likely to play around whether you're talking to him or trying to get him to do an exercise. If you feel that you are losing his attention, don't get annoyed and don't insist. Try again later, when his attention is all yours.
A high-pitched and inviting voice
A dog has a natural ability to interact more easily with a high-pitched voice and especially with voices with rising intonation. Feel free to vary the way you use your dog's name to help him recognize it!
You want some name ideas? Read our articles on the best female dog names and dog names in 2020!
Small exercise to accelerate learning
Would you like to speed up the learning process a bit? It is possible by adding a little exercise, with the help of treats.
If you hesitate to take the plunge, just know that for your dog, a training exercise is not a chore, quite the contrary: he appreciates those moments when you give him all your attention and will be eager to please you!
In addition, teaching your dog his name via this method will allow you to start learning how to recall!
Exercise to accelerate recognition
Settle down with your dog in a place away from noise and distractions. At first, it's best to carry treats: it should motivate him and make learning more fun.
The exercise can begin. Call his name. Each time he reacts – it can be raising his head, looking at you, coming towards you, wagging his tail – reward him.
Repeat several times and reward him each time. You can alternate between treats and oral congratulations (“Good dog”, “That's good”…) and so on.
If your dog starts to get bored, take a break. A puppy doesn't have the ability to concentrate for very long. A five-minute exercise, done four or five times during the day, will be more effective than a thirty-minute session.
After several sessions, when your dog begins to react to his name inside the home, you can increase the difficulty by calling him outside while walking. And again, reward him with treats or congratulations (positive words, caresses…).
How long does it take to teach your dog his name?
That will depend on you and your dog! The more you interact with your dog and the more your dog is attentive (not all puppies have this quality), the faster the learning will go. Some dogs learn their name after three or four days!
Note that it may take a little longer with an adopted dog, if your dog is older and you change his name from the one he had before. Teaching an adopted dog his name will certainly require a little more patience to make him understand that this is his name now!
In the end, if there are many exercises to teach your dog his name, it's all in the repetition and the exchange that you will build with him. The first few days are key in creating bonds with your pet: learning his name is an opportunity to create one!
Passionate about dogs since I was a child, I adopted my dog from a shelter 4 years ago. Thanks to her, I learned many things: the most adapted food, education, how to welcome a dog… I keep on discovering new things and share them with you here!