Lesson 1: teach your dog his name

teach your dog his name

Over the next weeks, we will focus on the lessons to teach your dog. This week, we’ll talk about how to teach him his name…

First of all, even if your dog knows his name, do not pass on this lesson since you will definitely learn something.

As you know already, to be able to attract your pooch, the thing to do is to call him by his name. But unfortunately, many owners do not use this name correctly and give this name a different definition compared to expectations and the tone of the voice.

For example “Tommy.” (Meaning “come here!”), “Tommy.” (“Don’t do that!”) or “Tommy.” (“Stop that”). Even if your dog is really smart, he is not able to read your mind.

Like with a child

When you call your child, the response that you’ll probably get is a ‘what?’ while his eyes will be riveted on the TV or the video game. The tone you use therefore will be firmer and your voice will be a little higher to get what you want from him.

For your dog, you will have to add his name at the end of every action that you want him to perform or simply never use his name when you give an order.


Your dog may continue what he is doing despite the fact that you call him and that he knows his name (same as a child). Nevertheless keep patient and do not repeat his name since he will ignore you.

Choose a name that suits him, which is short and easy to remember. He still needs to remember it. The best names for dogs contain two syllables… Billy, Tommy, Gary, Timmy, etc…

How to teach him his name?

  1. Put some treats in your pocket.
  1. Take your dog to a quiet place.
  1. When he will not look at you, call him only once.
  1. When your dog will look at you, offer him a treat and praise him.
  1. Move and when your dog will look elsewhere, call again.
  1. Repeat the exercise five times and if your pet seems distracted during your session, put much emphasis on the treats when you call him:
  • If your dog is not doing what you order him.
  • If your dog does not respond when you call him. Of course he might be distracted by what surrounds it. Then change place and call him with a playful tone and reward him immediately if he looks at you.

If there is still no reaction when you call him, clap in your hands, whistle or make a sound that will get his attention. When he will look at you, mention his name and give him a reward. But remember that the goal is that he responds to his name, not to a sound.

It may be that your dog has a deafness problem  if he is still not responding after all of your tests. Note that certain breeds such as the Dalmatian are prone to deafness. Warning, a dog that is considered by his owner as stupid may simply be deaf.