Start Training Your New Puppy When You Choose the Name For Your Puppy
By Shelby Wright
Why should you bother to name your dog? Well, everybody does, and its cute to be able to choose a suitable name you can use to call your puppy. It just seems right. But dog trainers will tell you there is much more to naming your dog than that. Above all, you use your dog’s name to start every communication you have with your dog. It’s how he knows to pay attention to what you have to say. Amid everything else that may be going on around you and your dog, its how you make contact. And yes, it just seems right because its how people naturally talk to each other as well. Listen to how your children almost always start their conversations with you by getting your attention first. They will say “Mom” or “Dad” first. That way they make contact with you, and just you, out of all the other people in the room, and you will stop and pay attention to what they have to say – well, most of the time, anyway!
Naming your puppy is more than just fun, then, it’s vital to your future communication with your puppy. Right from the start, you should get your puppy used to his name, and make a firm habit of starting every conversation with him by using his name. You want him to learn to “listen up and pay attention” whenever he hears his name. You are going to be giving your commands with his name first, like: Buddy – Fetch, Blue – Sit, Fido – Come, or Lassie – Stay. That way if you are having a family conversation about going for a walk, your dog will not be alerted that you are talking to him and have reason to get excited. That is until you call his name and send him off to fetch his walking lead. Mind you, your dog is smart, and if you have a similar conversation before every time you give him that command and take him for a walk he will soon figure out the association! Now we have a purpose for a name, what sort of name should we choose? First off, eliminate all the commands you might use: stay, sit, stand, walk, come, fetch, and so on. And avoid any duplication or similarity with other names being used in your family circle. Avoid Red if you already have a Fred, for example. Other common words that often enter your family’s every day conversation are also best avoided. The name has to be distinctive, and just for getting the attention of that one puppy. Confusion will follow if your puppy hears his name when its not being used to call him to attention.