This is the stage where the puppy learns keyword training. And the first word to teach your puppy is their name.
In this stage you need to be doing name training. If your puppy responds to his name well, chances are, you can teach them any keyword and they will learn it fast. Let’ dive into the details.
Puppy Name Training
Chances are, at 8 weeks old, your puppy doesn’t know his or her name. Fortunately, name training is easier than most people think.
In fact, the moment a puppy knows their name, it becomes a lot easier to train them at home on other forms of training.
The beauty about name training is that it will help you avoid accidents and disasters at home that your puppy is likely to run into..
For instance, your puppy may be doing something that you don’t want. The moment you call them in, they give you all their attention and calm them down. The name is important to a dog because it cue for them:
- Turn around and acknowledge
- Give you their undivided attention
- Wait for further instruction
Most importantly, it will make a good solid foundation for greater success in training. The reason why name training is important, it is because it is hard to get the attention of the dog who doesn’t acknowledge you.
The moment your puppy comes to your home, they need to have a beautiful name that you’ll use all the time to call them.
The best way to do this is to use your puppy’s name positively and reward him with a treat. Never in your life should you yell to your puppy.
The day you start doing that is the day your dog will associate his name with negative feelings and this can affect the solid relationship with your dog.
That said, you should use your puppy’s name to draw attention. And guess what, there are actually a few things that you need to successfully train your dog:
Before we go any further into the training, there are actually certain things that you need to have in advance that will ease the training:
Rewards– dogs learn best when you associate their name with good things like food or treats. For these exercises you have to use your dog’s favourite to help them learn about their name. Ironically, there are instances where some dogs are not motivated by food. In situations like this, you have to find out what actually strikes their ego. It can be that they enjoy the company of other dogs or love play time. All in all the dogs have to associate their name with something good which they cherish so much.
Location– It matters a lot where you train your puppy. If you are doing this for the first time, you’ll need a decent place. What do I mean by a decent place? This has to be a place that is away from distraction. Your home can be a great location provided that it has no distraction for the first time. You can also try a to train your puppy in a secluded place like a room, where they will be forced to pay extra attention to you.
Now that we’ve got the two things in place. It is time to begin the training.
Step 1:Positive reinforcement
At this point, you realise that there are two types of puppy training most dog trainers swear by:
- Positive reinforcement
- Compulsion name training
The best way to train a new puppy or any dog is using positive reinforcement. It is a friendly, non-punitive method of teaching a puppy perform certain behaviours using rewards like food or treats. In other words, you get positive action from a puppy in exchange with a treat.
Using this method, you train the dog to repeat the same behaviour in the future. And the best part, is that you create an emotional connection and bond with your dog. Positive reinforcement happens to be the best humane way to train a puppy on name training.
Step 2: Consistency and Timing are key
Here’s something else:
If you want a puppy to learn any name fast, you have to stay consistent and do it at the right time. Specifically, every member of the family has to respect a dog’s name. In other words, they should never call a dog’s name for the sake. Any time they call the dog, they have to give it something that the dog loves.
That said, never call a dog’s name to do something that they don’t love like bathing or nail clipping. If you have to do that, just fetch the dog and he will assume that you want to do something positive to her.
Believe it or not, timing is essential. When you call a dog and they give you attention, never delay to give them a treat. Otherwise, you will make the dog interprete the name for something else. For instance, when you tell a dog to sit down and you delay giving it a treat until it is up, you teach the dog that you meant standing up.
And the worst part is that when you tell the dog to sit down next time, they will interprete standing. Never worry if you miss the timing, you will always have a chance the next time.
Step 3: Verbal Praise
Each time you call your dog and they give you a positive cue, you need to reward them with verbal praise. You can use a cute name like “ Good dog, Well done, Perfect.” When using verbal praise, you can also clap. Likewise, you can also use clicker, a clicker is a device that gets your dog’s attention.
Warning:every click that’s not followed by a reward, weakens the clicker’s reliability. And during the training you want to have a predictable and reliable world to your puppy. Otherwise the dog won’t show up for any training. Keep in mind that you also need to click the right time just like you would clap or use verbal praise the right.
Step 4: Adding distraction
Let’s take puppy name training further:
Now that your dog’s recognizes their name, it is time to upgrade the training. Here is the place where you add a little distractions along the way. The purpose of distraction is to get the dog to pay attention to you. Adding distraction help the dog to learn how to calm down whenever there’s an accident or a different situation around the homestead.
Most importantly, it helps the dog avoid danger or listen they are to bump into any danger. And the best part is that you always go with them anywhere without having them on a leash. You can include the following distractions:
- Bring another puppy or a friend’s puppy
- Have somebody make noise
- Have kids dancing or playing
- Have music playing in the background
- Go with the dog outside, where they are so many activities happening (make sure they are on a leash).