Can a Dog Learn Its Name?

April Livingston | December 31st, 2017

If you are a dog owner, chances are you have worked with your dog to help them learn and respond to their name. May people wonder if dogs can actually learn their names though, or if a dog is simply responding to the tone of your voice instead. Many experts say that dogs can actually learn their names, but it just takes some time and practice for them to understand it. Bringing a new dog into your home and your life often requires a lot of time and training; helping them to understand their name is no different. Whether it is a new puppy or just a newly adopted dog, there are some ways you can help them learn their name.

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Keep in mind that some dogs just learn faster than others and might catch on to a name in a few days or even a few weeks. Have patience and provide ongoing positive reinforcement by saying the dog’s name with an excited, upbeat tone of voice. It is important to make sure the dog is paying attention and use the name sparingly, rather than just repeating it over and over again so that they begin to ignore it. A good test of whether your dog knows its name or not is to call them when they are calm. If they respond and act excited, reward that behavior with a treat or their favorite toy.

Lily Feinn//Facebook

You can even ask the dog to sit and call their name and reward any sort of attention with a treat to provide the ultimate in positive reinforcement. Instead of treats, try feeding your dog a meal this way by placing kibble in your hands and feeding it to the dog when they behave positively to your commands. With consistency, positive reinforcement, and plenty of treats, your dog should know their name in no time flat!

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