Are you bringing home a new dog and have an adorable name already prepared for it? Well, don’t be too disappointed when your new friend doesn’t instantly recognize it!
We know that it is one of the very first things that you want your new dog to learn– to respond to its name! Fortunately, it doesn’t typically take that long for these smart creatures to learn their name.
If you’re wondering how long it takes for a puppy to learn its name, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll give you an idea of the time frame to expect and how to teach your dog its name. If you’re ready, let’s get started!
What Is the Time Frame for a Puppy to Learn Its Name
All dog owners want their dogs to learn their names quickly in order for them to develop a strong bond with each other. When it comes to dog training, this also serves as the foundation for teaching basic and advanced skills or tricks.
Your puppy’s name is how it will be identified for the rest of its life and will be what it will listen to when you call it. While it takes some practice, it is not that difficult to teach your pup its name.
In fact, your puppy may be able to start recognizing its name in a matter of days. Some can learn as fast as one to three days. Just remember that each dog learns at its own pace, so be patient and don’t be frustrated if your dog remains unresponsive to its name.
In the next section, we’ll teach you how to train your dog to recognize its name.
How to Teach Your Puppy Its Name
As mentioned, each dog is different. For some puppies, constant repetition is enough for them to learn it. However, for others, it may take a bit more than that.
In a nutshell, you need to establish a positive association to your dog’s name. Since most dogs can be motivated by food, yummy treats can be an excellent reward. You can start teaching your dog its name by standing in front of it while holding a few treats and then clearly saying its name. Say “OK” and then give your pup the tasty treat.
After a minute or so, repeat the process. When you do this a couple of times at different times within the day, you teach your dog its name and encourage it to come towards you after you say it.
You can also use a clicker, which is an effective tool for dog training. When your dog is not looking at you, say its name and as soon as it looks at you, mark this with a clicker to let your dog know that this is the correct response and then give it a treat.
If you find it difficult to get your puppy to respond, you might want to take the training to an area with fewer distractions or consider changing your treats to something that your dog likes more.
As time goes on, you might want to try intermittent treats but always reward your dog with verbal praises. Remember, in dog training, consistency is key. If you want to reinforce a particular behavior, be prepared to dedicate your time with constant practice and repetition.
When your dog fully learns its name, treats won’t be necessary. It will automatically respond by looking at you or coming towards you when you say its name.
Also, as much as possible, avoid negative associations with your dog’s name. For instance, if it exhibited undesirable behaviors, you can simply say “no” or “stop” without saying its name. This is so your pup’s brain will not associate its name to something not too pleasant.
Your Dog May Sometimes Ignore Its Name
Sometimes, dogs already recognize their names, but they just choose to ignore them because of the lack of incentive. So if you believe that your dog knows its name, but won’t budge when you say it, don’t be surprised.
This can sometimes be because it doesn’t see a good reason to acknowledge or respond to it. When this happens, you might want to continue training your dog using delicious treats, verbal, praises, and other rewards.
Sometimes, dog owners make the mistake of expecting too much from their new puppy. Remember, you can’t teach your puppy too many things at once.
It learns at its own pace, so you have to chill out and be patient. Even if it’s something as basic as learning its name, training can take time. Also, dogs have limited attention span, so training sessions should be short.
When you notice that your dog’s starting to lose focus and get distracted, wrap it up with some fun play time. This is so your dog will have positive associations and may even look forward to your training sessions.
When done right, you should see some progress in just a few days. However, if you can’t seem to teach your dog its name, let alone other basic skills, it is recommended to seek the help of a professional dog trainer.
At Delaware K9 Academy, we have various training programs such as two-week bootcamps, private sessions, and puppy training. If you want to learn more about these to decide which one suits your needs, get in touch with us today!