"Say My Name, Say My Name" | Pet Page Articles | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly
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Culture » Pet Page Articles

"Say My Name, Say My Name"



Sometimes people wonder if their dog really knows his name or if he is being selective in what he responds to. Often times people who adopt a new dog from a shelter are afraid to change the dog’s name for fear it will cause confusion. But dogs do adapt. When I think of all the nicknames and cutesy words I use to call my dog, it’s a wonder she knows which name actually is hers.

If you are not getting the response that you want when you call your dog’s name, considered the following:

How are you calling him? Does your voice sound stern?

How often do you call him? Has he tuned you out because you’re always calling him?

How many times do you repeat his name? Has he learned to wait for the 7th time to respond?

What happens when he does respond to you? Do you reprimand him for something?

What if he doesn’t respond to you? Do you give up w/out follow through?

Make sure you don’t sound threatening to your new dog or puppy when you say his name. Some rescue dogs might do better w/a new name because they associate someone calling their old name with punishment.

Try playing a little game with your new dog by using a friendly voice when you call his name. When he turns to look at you, surprise him with a yummy treat, a squeaky toy or whatever he finds entertaining. You need to keep the association with your dog’s name positive if you want to get a good response from your dog.