How To Teach Your Puppy His Name

You’ve just brought your new friend home and have decided on a name. You’re excited to welcome this new puppy into your family – but how do you teach your puppy his name?

We’re going to share our best teaching tips with you. First, however, we need to go over a few mistakes that dog owners commonly make.

Don’t Confuse Your Puppy


#1. Don’t Make Their Name a Disciplinary Word

When you’re training your pup to learn their name, you need to be especially careful with how you use it.

Only use your puppy’s name as a positive word. If you use your dog’s name as a disciplinary word, they won’t want to pay attention to you when you use it.

You want them to have good feelings about their name so they’ll be excited to give you their full attention.

#2. Don’t Use Their Name as a Command

When you interact with your pup, be careful to never use their name as a command call. This can prove to be very confusing for your dog. Their name should only be used to get their attention.

While you do have to give a command for your dog to understand what you want, you should make sure that you make the difference between your dog’s name and the command you’re giving very clear.

For example:

Instead of saying: “Spot come here boy!”
Say: “Spot (pause) come here boy!”

The space in between the two commands is very important here. The first command is only comprised of one command. It makes the dog’s name part of the come command.

This can make it confusing for your dog when you use their name later on because they won’t know if you’re trying to get their attention or telling them to come to you.

The second example is the more ideal command because it clearly shows that there is a difference between the two commands.

#3. Don’t Use Variations of Their Name

It may be tempting to use a nickname for your dog in addition to their name, but it isn’t a good idea.

You’ve probably got a very smart puppy, but regardless of how quickly they learn, multiple names will confuse them. Using multiple names can also take away from the importance of your dog’s name.

Things You Need

Now that you know what not to do, you can focus on what is important. We recommend that you work with your puppy for at least 5 to 10 minutes every day.

Before you get started, however, you’ll need to get a few materials.


#1. Treats

Make sure your puppy is motivated to learn! Start your session off right by bringing your pup’s favorite treat along!

This will help to ensure you have your dog’s full attention during your lesson.

#2. Dog Whistle

Whistles are a great option for pet owners who don’t want their dogs to become dependent on treats during training.

You can use them to transition out of the treats stage after your dog starts to become familiar with their name.

#3. Toys

You’ll also want to make sure that you have one of your pup’s favorite toys.

You can use this in place of treats if you’d like, or use the toy as a distraction once your puppy starts to get better at recognizing their name.

How To Teach Your Dog Their Name


#1. A Quiet Practice Area

Start by taking your puppy to your designated practice area. Once there, place the treats and toys in an easily accessible place.

Let your pup wander around and get familiar with the room before you start.

#2. Get Your Puppy’s Attention​

Now that you’re ready, start by calling your puppy’s name. Say it in a friendly and exciting voice.

If they don’t recognize their name right away, try whistling or patting the ground near you while you say it. As soon as they respond to their name reward them with a treat.

#3. Lose It

Once they’ve identified their name, let them wander off (not too far away or out of the room) and find a distraction.

After a few minutes, call their name again. Remember to award them immediately when they recognize their name.

#4. Practice Makes Perfect

Practice daily with your puppy to make sure the lesson stays fresh in their mind. Don’t practice too long, however – a few minutes per day is more than enough time.

#5. Change Location

Once your puppy has mastered responding to their name in your designated practice area, kick your training up a notch by changing your location.

Gradually add in more and more distractions with each new location to test your pup’s responsiveness.

#6. End in Positive

Always end on a good note. Make sure that your last practice test is always one that your puppy has easily attained.

You want to build up your pup’s confidence and let them know that their good behavior is making you proud!

This will help to motivate them to continue to listen to you and do well in future lessons.


That’s all steps you need to know to teach your puppy his name! Your puppy is well on its way to mastering its name!

After that, you can teach your puppy another trick such as teach him to smile or give his paw using a shock collar or dog treat. Remember, keep practicing with them every day and rewarding their good behavior.


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