Teaching your dog their new name, and more importantly, respond to that name, is one of the most important things you can teach your dog. This is where the Name Game comes in!
What is the Name Game and why should I use it?
The Name Game is a fun and rewarding game to teach your dog to turn and look at you when you say their name. It’s a way to get your dog’s attention, to let them know what you would like them to do next. Also, it’s a way to draw your dog’s attention away from distractions (like other dogs, squirrels, etc).
How to play:
- Start inside with minimal distractions. During a quiet moment, say your dog’s name in a happy voice. When they look at you, mark the behavior with a “yes” (or another short word) or a click from your clicker, and give them a treat.
- Once your dog is responding consistently, try playing when there is a slight distraction (maybe the TV is on, or someone is talking in another room). Once your dog is doing well responding to their name in the home, it’s time to try outside!
- Start outside with minimal distractions and repeat the steps.
- Play the game outside with more distractions.
- Repeat until your dog is consistently responding to their name!
Play this game in short spurts. Try it a couple of times while you are making your coffee in the mornings or cooking dinner at night. Try not to overdo it! If you go on for too long, your dog may become bored, or start to tune you out. Keep it fun, positive, and short!
Make sure to use high-value treats and their favorite treats for when you move outside!