How to Teach Your Dog to Recognize Their Name in Less Than a Week

The dog in the video, Emmerson, is available through Taysia Blue Husky Rescue. Filmed at the Nebraska Humane Society.


The day you finalize your adoption and bring your new dog home is a big day. And a busy day.

There's so much you want to do with (and for) your new best friend.

You need to take them on the grand tour of their new stomping grounds​, show them where they can do their "business", introduce them to the family and any existing pets, and get them set up with all the supplies and toys they need want.

When all of the excitement and commotion starts to die down, you realize you need to start working on the next very important step... training.

Teach Your Dog to Recognize Their Name

But where do you start? Come? Stay? Heel? Fetch? Sit? Lay down? Do my taxes?

More...

​All in good time... except maybe the taxes thing.

​There's one very important piece of training to put in place as early as possible, and luckily it's a pretty easy one to pull off.

​Why Name Recognition is So Important

Since many rescue dogs have come from other shelters or were previously strays, they may or may not know their name.

In cases like those, it's likely that a shelter or rescue worker chose their name and they probably haven't gotten to the point where they recognize it.

​Learning their name is a precursor to "come" and many other commands. Plus, when your new dog recognizes and responds to their name, it allows you to keep them safe in all the new situations they'll be exposed to.

​Why Name Recognition is So Important

In the video, our awesome trainer, Julie Grady, explains how her 5 simple steps to name recognition can have your new friend recognizing and responding to their name in a week or less.

Let's highlight the steps from the video...​

  1. Load the Name
    "Load" means that you're going to say your dog's name over and over again... and each time you do, you're going to provide them with a small, high-value treat. This way, they begin to associate the sound of their name with a reward.
  2. Add Distractions
    Wait for (or cause your dog to) look away at something else, and then say their name again. When they respond to their name...
  3. Mark it
    "Marking" means to verbally mark their good behavior (recognizing their name) with the same word every time. It could be any word like, "good" or "great" or, "nice" like Julie uses in the video. As soon as you mark, reward them with a treat again.
  4. Add Distance
    As your dog progresses, add distance. Move away from them further and further, and let them get distracted by something else. Then call their name, and when they respond by coming to you, mark it and reward them with a treat.
  5. Practice
    Julie recommends practicing 2 to 3 minutes at a time and at least 5 to 6 times a day.

If you follow these 5 steps and practice regularly, most dogs will begin responding to their name and coming to you within a week.Let's highlight the steps from the video...​

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About the Author

Gary is a battle-tested sales and marketing pro, copywriter, coach, and business strategist who teaches how to become someone worth following on Reboot Authentic. Connect with Gary on Google+ and Twitter.

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