Does your dog know her name? Here is how to teach your dog to recognize her name and look to you when called.

Dog Name Recognition: Class Is In Session 

Whether you have adopted a homeless dog or you are raising a puppy, it is always a great idea to teach name recognition.

How To Teach Your Dog Their Name

We recommend using Positive Reinforcement Dog Training to teach your dog basic skills including name recognition. Positive reinforcement training provides a great opportunity to bond with your pet. Each training session should be fun and enriching for both you and your dog.

The idea behind name recognition is to teach your dog that her name means something wonderful is about to happen! Start your first session when you have your dog’s attention. With some dog treats on hand, say your dog’s name and then using an indicator (a word like “yes”), immediately give her a treat. Wait a few seconds and then repeat. Do this for five minutes several times a day.

After a few sessions your pup will probably begin to associate the sound of her name with a tasty treat. Now you should begin the exercise when your dog’s attention is not focused on you. It’s a good idea to have your pet on a Dog Collar and Dog Leash for your training sessions so that you can prevent her from leaving, jumping, or other undesirable behaviors. When your dog is distracted call her name. As soon as she turns and orients toward you, say “yes!” and immediately give her a treat.

If your dog doesn’t turn to look at you, gently pull her toward you with the leash. When she does finally orient toward you, say “yes!” and give her a dog treat. Repeat this exercise as many times a day as you can and in as many different environments as possible. Turn your daily walks into training walks and before you know it, your dog will be responding to her name reliably.

A few words of caution: don’t use your dog’s name too casually otherwise it will become like white noise. Also, never use your dog’s name to correct or punish her in any way. Her name should predict something wonderful.

Teaching Your Dog Their Name Improves Safety

Ensuring that your dog knows her name is not only a fun exercise – it is a great safety net. Should your dog get away from you for any reason, you want to be able to call your dog’s name and have her return to you.

Of course, all dogs need a Dog Id Tag with their name and phone number to ensure their safe return, should they ever be lost. Personalized Dog Collars also are a great idea. These collars come with engraved buckles - you can have your pet's name and number engraved right in the buckle.

If you haven't chosen a name for your dog yet, please make sure to carefully consider the right choice. It is important to pick the perfect dog name, as it will be associated with your pet for their entire life. This article on How To Choose The Best Name For Your Dog is a great first step.