18 Oct THE NAME GAME for Pups and new dogs
Your puppy or new adult dog does not enter your home knowing his new name. This exercise will also help you build a bond with your new fur baby.
Here’s how to speed up the process by playing a fun and easy game to help your dog associate his name as a positive sound.
To play the “Name Game,”
- First get a handful of small soft treats that your dog can quickly and easily chew and swallow. USE YOUR TIME BEFORE GIVING THEIR DINNER. Sit on the floor and hide your treats behind your back so as not to over excite puppy.
- Make sure you are alone in a confined area with your puppy no other dogs or people around you for 5 minutes. You can play this game with the dog on a leash or off-leash in an enclosed area, like the kitchen. Do not practice off-leash in such a large area (like a fenced yard) that your dog can drift off and become distracted; better to keep the puppy on leash..
- Wait until your dog is not looking at you and then say your dog’s name in a very bright and happy tone. As soon as your dog turns to look at you, mark this with a word to let the dog know this is good, like “YES” or “GOOD,” and then immediately give your dog a treat.
- Don’t wait for a long interval between calling puppy’s name, do it as soon as she or he looks away (treating instantly) and keep this up until puppy instantly reacts.
- Start to wait a bit longer between calling – let them get distracted or wonder off a little and again call the name and reward on instant reaction.
Soon your new family member will whirl around every time puppy hears their new name.
And remember, never use your dog’s name with negative words attached, This can change the positive association with his name to a negative reaction.
Many dogs do not like the sound of their own name because owners often combine their dogs’ names with verbal corrections. They constantly hear: “Rover, no!” “Rover, down!” “Rover, quiet!” The list goes on and on.
Your dog should love the sound of their name and associate it with only positive things. This will also aid you in calling your dog to come to you as most owners combine their dog’s name with the command “come.”
Even better, reduce the negative verbal corrections and instead reward when your dog is doing the right thing!