The Name Game

09/02/2022

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THE NAME GAME

When your puppy first comes home, they don’t know what their name is… In this tutorial you are going to learn how to teach your puppy to pay attention whenever you say their name. This is going to be so important as the world is full of exciting distractions and you need your puppy to be able to tune into you no matter what else is going on.

You are going to build up the association that when you say your puppy’s name, wonderful things happen.

This will encourage your puppy to look in your direction when they hear their name as they start to predict good things coming from you.

To start, take some tasty treats and say your puppy’s name before feeding them a treat. It doesn’t matter what your puppy is doing at the time – they get the treat as soon as you say their name, no matter what.

Repeat several times. After some practice, your puppy will pair their name with you giving out treats.

Here is where you can test their understanding. Wait until they are not looking at you, and then say their name. If they quickly look back at you, mark and reward them with a treat. If your puppy doesn’t look towards you, don’t worry it just means you need to do some more work on pairing their name with rewards before trying again.

At any time if your puppy doesn’t respond to their name when you try to get their attention, don’t resort to repeating it over and over as this can lead to your puppy starting to ignore their name entirely. Instead make some fun sounds to get their attention and make sure to practice the name game more to build a better association.

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