How many names does your dog have? Before you answer, “just one” think about it... My male dog has many names that he is called depending on my mood: Conan, Conner, Boy, Big Boy, Big Guy, Handsome and Buddy. (And that leaves of the silly-sickening names like Snuggle-butt, which after reading that you probably wish you didn’t know about that one.) You might think some of these are terms of endearment, but to a dog a name is a name – it’s what you are calling them when you talk to them.
To your dog his or her name should mean, “LOOK AT ME!” So make sure that you have one name out of the bunch that when you say it your stops whatever they are doing and spins in your direction. They cannot look at you too quickly. There are vet-certified chiropractors that can put your dog back together if they should get whip-lash from spinning their head around to look at you when you say their name.
How do you do this? There are lots of name recognition training techniques, but the most important and most effective one is to ONLY use your dog’s name when you KNOW they are going to LOOK AT you and when they do you praise them so profusely that they think they won the doggie lottery. If special treats are involved, awesome. If a puppy party and favorite dog game is played, even better!
This will take some conscious effort on your part to only use the dogs name when you want them to look at you and the reward must be huge… but you can do it. Set them up for success.
Dog’s Name = LOOK AT ME!