The Name Game – Is It Important?


Walter, a handsome Australian Shepherd.

Walter, a handsome Australian Shepherd.

Let me start by answering the question above.  Yes, the name game in training a dog is extremely important.  This is always the first command I work on before moving on to any other command.  Why is it important?  For the simple reason that if you don’t have your dog’s attention, whatever command you are giving him will fall on deaf ears and you will end up angry, frustrated and aggravated while your dog will be completely clueless about what is going on.  The above picture of handsome Walter is the perfect example of a dog not paying any attention at all.  He did not want any thing to do with the camera.

namegame2A lot of pet parents would give a command when their dog is exploring his environment.  Is this a good time to do it?  No.  He will just learn to ignore whatever command you are giving him because you don’t have his attention.

namegame3Do you give a command now?  Yes.  I called his name, Walter, and he gave me that beautiful eye contact.  At this point, you could give him a command, but not before you get his attention.  At the beginning, work only on the name game, and reward your dog with a treat, petting him, etc.  Don’t move on to any other command until your dog looks at you every single time you call his name.  I’d suggest you start doing this indoors and later on move on to doing it outdoors.  Make training fun for you and your dog.  Enjoy your weekend.

6 responses to “The Name Game – Is It Important?

  1. Terrific and useful advice! Well done.

    • Thanks for stopping by and reading my post:-)

      • When Kita and I were at Petco for training, that was THE first command the trainer told us he worked on. Since Kita was a rehomed dog and already knew her name, no problem there.

        BTW, Kita was a new name for her. Her previous owner named her Sylvia.

      • I am glad you took a class with Kita. At a minimum, all pet parents should take a class on basic training. Great job. Btw, with my first dog, Casey, I took a total of 3 classes, Obedience I, Obedience II, and CGC, with an amazing trainer that passed away a couple of years ago. I owe her a lot. I learned so much from her. Keep up the good work:-)

  2. The name game is always a fun way to start training. It also helps you fix that name to your pup’s identity.

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