Say My Name

January 24, 2012 | By | Reply More

“Say My Name, Say My Name”

Sometimes people wonder if their dog really knows her name or if she is being selective in what he responds to.  Often times people who adopt a new dog from a shelter are afraid to change the dog’s name for fear it will cause confusion.  But dogs do adapt.  When I think of all the nicknames and cutesy words I use to call my dog, it’s a wonder she knows which name actually is hers.

If you are not getting the response that you want when you call your dog’s name, considered the following:

– How are you saying it?  Does your voice sound stern?

  • How often do you call her name?  Has she tuned you out because you’re always calling her?
  • How many times do you repeat her name?  Has she learned to wait for the 7th time you say it before she responds?
  • What happens when she does respond to you?  Do you reprimand her for something?
  • What if he doesn’t respond to you?  Do you give up w/out follow through?


Make sure you don’t sound threatening to your new dog or puppy when you say her name.  Some rescue dogs might actually do better w/a new name because they associate someone calling their old name with punishment.

Try playing a little game with your new dog by using a friendly voice when you call her name.  When she turns to look at you, surprise her with a yummy treat, a squeaky toy or whatever she finds entertaining.  You need to keep the association with your dog’s name positive if you want to get her attention.

Eventually, you’ll want her to have a really reliable recall you can count on, and know that she’ll come running to you no matter where she is.  That can’t happen until she first learns to respond to you whenever you say her name.

Tags: name recognition, response

Category: All Posts, Dog Training Tips

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