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How To Teach Your Puppy His Name

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I’m assuming you already named your puppy. If not check out the article I wrote about how I named my dogs: Naming Your Dog.

If you’ve already named your puppy then it’s time to learn how to teach your puppy his name.

One of the most important things you can teach your dog is his name. It can save his life…literally. How you might ask?

Well, what if your dog was chasing a ball into the street? What if a car was coming?

How to teach your puppy his name
How to teach your puppy his name

If your dog knows the meaning of his name he will respond and come to you when called even while in the middle of playing.

Of course, as I mentioned in my last article, How To Handle Your Puppy’s First Night At Home, training your puppy will require consistency and patience.

How To Teach Your Puppy His Name

Puppy Charlie hears his name.
Did someone same Charlie?

From the Guide Dogs of America Handbook:

Teaching your puppy its name is important.

  1. Use it every time you talk to him and with every command (except NO and STAY).
  2. Never associate the dog’s name with something negative.
  3. Never scold the puppy after he comes to you, even if it has taken a while to respond.
  4. Please do not change the puppy’s name or call him by a nickname

That’s it! Short and simple. However, it is much easier said than done.

Golden puppy, Bear learning his name.
Golden puppy, Bear learning his name.

My Experiences With Stetson And Linus

A few pitfalls I can warn you about are:

Not using the puppy’s name with NO and STAY – This is difficult to do when you try to use their name with every other command.

Try to be consistent. I still will occasionally use Linus and Stetson’s names with the NO or STAY command.

Also, you might be wondering why can’t we use our puppy’s name with the STAY command.

The main reason we don’t associate our dog’s name with the STAY command is that the puppy’s name should be synonymous with the COME command.

When I say my puppy’s name he should COME to me. That is quite the contradiction from STAY.

It is also very difficult to avoid using your dog’s name with something negative.

My biggest problem is when Linus or Stetson does something wrong I’ll say their name in a very negative voice. Sometimes I catch myself…sometimes I don’t.

Scolding your puppy when he comes to you…another bad habit that can be difficult to break. Why wouldn’t you want to scold your puppy after he comes to you?

Let’s say he just chewed up your new shoes and you say “Stetson Come

He comes to you as you commanded (made the correct choice). Then you scold him! Do you think he’s going to come to you next time?

No! You should praise him when he comes to you.

The only time you should scold your puppy is when you catch him in the act of doing something wrong.

Not changing your name or calling your dog by a nickname is more of a Guide Dog thing, but is also good for a young puppy.

It can be confusing for a young puppy if you’re calling him by several different names.

I tried hard with Linus, but my sister, my roommate, and my ex-girlfriend each had a nickname for him.

I constantly told them not to use nicknames. Here are a few they used: Linie, Linikins, Linoceros, and Puppy Chow.

I’ve been very strict with Stetson and people are usually more understanding since he’s training to be a guide dog.

Teaching our puppy his name
Here comes Charlie! Teaching this puppy his name.

The Name Game

The first game we always play at our Guide Dog training class is the Name Game. How does it work?

  1. Take your dog to the park and keep him on a leash (it works a little better if you have a longer leash of 10+ feet).
  2. Give him about 5 feet to wander away.
  3. When he’s not looking call his name with an excited voice and make sure he comes to you (if he doesn’t come reel him in with his leash).
  4. When he gets to you give him tons of praise!
  5. Repeat the exercise over and over again until your puppy is consistently returning to you when you call his name.

QUICK TIP: This might be the only time you’ll catch me recommending using a flexi-leash. When working on recalls we will use either a 10-30 foot long line or sometimes we’ll use a flexi-leash. We ONLY use our flexi-leash when training our pups.

***Whenever you’re trying to get your puppy’s attention you have to be the most exciting thing in the world…more exciting than the birds, smells, other dogs, joggers…you get the picture…

Try playing the Name Game with your puppy. Be consistent and patient. Stick to the rules outlined above and your puppy will soon be consistently coming to you when you say his name.

Have you played the Name Game before? Does your puppy know his name? Do you have any other suggestions for reinforcing a puppy’s name?

Now that your puppy knows his name you might try teaching him something more advanced like “Go To Your Bed”

How do you teach your puppy to come when calling his name. Many years ago when we were raising Stetson to be a Guide Dog we learned some simple tricks to easily teach our puppy his name. One of our favorite games to play with our puppy is the “name game” which will quickly teach your pup his name. #puppysname #puppyname #puppynamegame #puppycome #teachpuppyname
How do you teach your puppy to come when calling his name?

Top Picks For Our Puppies

    We Like: Beef Collagen Sticks - All of our pups love to bite, nip, and chew. We love using Collagen Sticks to help divert these unwanted behaviors.
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Check out more of our favorites on our New Puppy Checklist.

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  1. Ok, so I have a puppy that I got about 2 weeks ago. He is about 7 weeks old. Im in the middle of house breaking him. My problem is that when I go to bed, I have his little bed on my bed because thats were he likes to sleep. But the problem is… he will jump down and poop on the puppy pad at night, and then come to the edge of my bed and cry until i wake up and help him back up because he is to small to jump up. But he WILL NOT jump down to pee on the puppy pad. He will instead pee on my bed. Most of the time he will do it many times through the night, which makes it were I have to wash my sheets every day. Any suggestions on what I can do. Like how to train him not to do that.

  2. Hey!
    I have a “little vampire” as well, and he has a little problem with- you guessed it. Socks. Have any ideas on how to decrease his appetite for socks?

  3. Hii, i have two male chipit puppies which are only 3 months old, and they never seem to agree on the same thing. They are always going after each other and fighting over d same thing. I don’t know what to do, how can i make the cordial with each other?

  4. I just got a 6 week old yellow lab puppy. He sleeps a lot! He takes 2-3 hour naps frequently and I keep reading that they need to potty about every hour. Should I wake him up and take him out or just wait until he wakes up to be taken out?

  5. We do the same thing with our puppies from time to time. Sometimes it’s just really difficult to catch yourself. I’ve caught myself many times saying my dogs names in a not so happy tone because they did something wrong.

  6. I’ve made the mistake of using my dog Missy’s name when trying to call her to come back inside when something such as squirrel or blowing leaves are fascinating her…so now I use a very enthusiastic “puppy!!” when calling her instead of her name, and it works beautifully. Usually in combination with shaking a bag of treats 😉

  7. Congratulations on your new puppy! We have a 12 week old Golden Retriever puppy at our house that we’re raising as a service dog so I feel your pain. One thing you want to try and do is find something more interesting then all the things (leaves, leash, grass) distracting your puppy and use that to regain her focus. Regarding the leash biting you can work on that by spraying the end of your leash with bitter apple spray. Most puppies don’t like the taste and will eventually stop chewing on the leash. Good luck with your puppy.

  8. Hi there! My fiance and I just got an 8 week old golden retriever puppy about 6 days ago. She is doing pretty well but find trouble focusing on walks as she just wants to chew leaves, the leash, or the grass. I’ve heard that excessive chewing is a retriever thing so I’m hoping that she will just grow out of this behavior. Any tips for getting her to walk better? It will definitely help in burning off more of that retriever energy.

    P.S. I’ve tried getting her attention with treats and trying to run/walk faster with very little success

  9. Early congratulations on your new Golden Retriever puppy! Those little fluff balls are adorable. I totally get the idea that your other dog will be too distracting for your puppy to concentrate. When we first started working with Archer we either trained in a separate room or outside to give him fewer distractions. However, as he got older we worked on training him in many different locations including the park, on walks, different rooms in the house, at grocery stores, etc. Eventually your puppy will have to get used to distraction especially if you plan on him being a therapy dog. Our friends have an intact male dog that is used in the guide dog breeding program. He is also a therapy dog. We know of several other intact dogs that volunteer as therapy dog teams. Hopefully that helps. Good luck with your training!

  10. I am going to be getting a golden retriever puppy in 4 weeks. He is only 4 weeks old right now. I already have a 1 year old golden now. My question is where would it be best to train the puppy. My 1 yr old is rather hyper at times and I’m afraid if I try to do any training where she is at, it is going to be too much of a distraction for the puppy. Plus I don’t want him to learn any of her bad habits! Like ignoring me sometimes when she gets her bullheaded hat on! lol Should I do his training in a separate room?? I want him to be a much better behaved dog than what my female is.. Also, I plan to use him for breeding so he will not be being neutered for a few years. In your opinion, Can a non-neutered golden be calm enough and well trained enough to become a therapy dog?? I also read that not neutering a male dog for at least a few years is healthier for them.
    Thanks and I would love to hear your advise and opinions. I really love this site and I have learned a lot ! 🙂

  11. I agree with your view on crate Vs pads! Allowing a puppy to wee inside just confuses them and dramatically slows down the process in my experience. It’s all

  12. Congratulations on your new puppy! Some things we’ve had success using are squeaky toys, clickers, whistling, clapping, snapping and it sounds kind of funny, but kissing noises with your lips. Also, we sometimes pair these things with treats. I usually don’t get a puppy until he’s about 8 weeks old (56 days) so it could also have something to do with his young age. If you haven’t had a chance you might also take him in for a vet check. Hopefully that helps. Good luck with your training!

  13. I have a 32 days old dalmatian. He doesn’t respond to any kind of sounds when he Roaming about… But to make sure he isn’t deaf we make sounds when he asleep and he suddenly wakes up… But he never responds when he is awake.. Why is he like this?

  14. Congratulations on your new puppy! It shouldn’t be an issue changing his name. Try using the methods mentioned in this blog posts and he should start responding to his new name fairly quickly. Good luck with your training!

  15. I just got a 6 month old toy poodle well I adopted him and they named him blacky well I don’t like that name I don’t think it fits. I’m wanting to change his name any ideas on how to go about that?

  16. Hi,

    I name my dog Juno but now that I read this article I am second guessing myself. Do you think if will be hard for him to distinguish No since its in his name. Hopefully that makes sense.

    Thank you

  17. Sorry for the late response. Yes, you can change his name and your puppy will adapt. You can even change the name of an adult dog and they will learn it. Good luck with your training!

  18. I’m getting a puppy on Sunday. He will be about 6 weeks. The one giving him to me has named him Cain. I dont really like that name. She shouldn’t haved named him knowing she was giving him away. But oh well. I was wondering if I could change his name since he is so little or is it to late?

  19. What u do is u just have to let them see each other together both being loved on maybe ur cat thinks u love ur puppy more than her now maybe she is jealous. Im just a kid but thats what happened with my cat and my aunt who is a bet and helps train cats she told me do that and it worked

  20. Hello, I received a yorkie for Christmas and I named him Madden. The problem I have already is that Madden is biting my hand as if it’s a chew toy every time I go to grab him. I have read that this is normal because he plays with his litter siblings in this manner. Is this normal? If not what can I do to break this behavior? I would definitely not want him to become an adult dog with this same issue.

  21. Hi Kira!

    Congratulations on your new puppy! You’ve probably had her for a few days now. Linus is an Aussie Shepherd mix and he’s a wonderful dog! The first few days are definitely some of the most difficult so hopefully everything is going smoothly for you and your husband. I’m not sure if you had a chance to read this article, but hopefully it helps with the crate training: https://puppyintraining.com/crate-training-puppies/

    Different people will do different things with their puppy. When we’re raising and training guide and service dog puppies…yes, we do keep them in the crate whenever we are not home. However, my own personal dogs (they are older) just stay in the house when we’re gone. Although all my pups have been crate trained.

    My advice would be if you have a younger puppy like yours then I would keep them in the crate when you are gone, but not more than 2-3 hours during the day. An alternative is if you have a puppy safe room or an X-pen you can confine your puppy to while you are gone.

    I live in California so I don’t have much experience with freezing cold winters. However, when the day I picked up Linus from the shelter it rained for two weeks straight. I (and Linus) didn’t want to go outside, but we still went ahead and took him out to potty. You might check with your vet to make sure it’s safe to take your pup outside during those freezing months.

    Good luck with your training!


  22. Hi Colby,
    I am so grateful to have come across your website. We are getting our puppy in two days. She is a 9 week old Aussie Shepherd mix. I am a pet person so I am beyond excited. My husband on the other hand, keeps finding reasons that this will be a miserable thing. We have a 2 year old and are used to being consistent. My husband keeps saying that he feels like getting a puppy is like putting him on lock down. He keeps asking if the puppy is always supposed to be in the crate when we leave for a few hours and what we are supposed to do when we aren’t home. Do you have any advice for that? Also, It’s going to be a long winter and we aren’t sure if we are supposed to take her outside in the freezing cold or do something inside?

    If you have the time to write back, you would be a life saver.

  23. Hi Breanna,

    Congratulations on your new puppy! A couple things you might try for your puppy who likes to chew furniture are:

    1. Bitter Apple Spray – You should probably check to make sure it doesn’t stain your couch first. We spray a little on things we don’t want our pups to chew like furniture, shoes, leashes, etc. Most puppies don’t like the taste and after chewing on items with Bitter Apple Spray applied the puppies usually start to figure out that it’s not a good idea to chew on these objects.
    2. Redirect her chewing. When you see her start chewing on inappropriate objects like your furniture grab one of her favorite chew toys and redirect her chewing away from the furniture and to the toy.

    Hopefully one of those ideas helps with your puppy’s chewing. Good luck with your training!


  24. I just adopted a 6 week old pittweiler puppy named Wren. She is a very sweet puppy but she is constantly chewing up my furniture. I’ve tried scolding her but it doesn’t seem to make a difference. Please help!

  25. Hi Robin,

    Congratulations on your new puppy! If you think she’s having some hearing problems you might have her checked out by your local vet.

    When I work with my puppies I make sure they come to me every time I call their name by using a long line. Remember, anytime your puppy does not come when you say their name they are learning that they do not have to come when called.

    Stay consistent, persistent, and patient and I’m sure she’ll pick up on her name very soon just like your other puppies.

    Good luck with your training!

  26. Hi Colby,

    I’m hoping you may have some advice for me. I recently purchased a 15 wk old German Shepherd puppy 4 days ago and although we are calling her by name and rewarding with treats or feels as though she is either ignoring me or is deaf. She is the 3rd Shepherd we’ve owned and we also have a Havanese. They all learned their names within 2 days. I don’t want to be paranoid but I’m worried about this one. Lol would love to hear your thoughts. I do plan on trying your methods as well and just ordered some clickers online to try.

    Thanks so much!

  27. Hi Veronica,

    Congratulations on your new puppy! One thing we always do with our pup’s is make sure they come to us every time we use their name. At a very young age they don’t always understand their name so we will usually keep them on a long line make sure they always come by giving a little tug if they are getting too distracted.

    If you’re using your pup’s name and she does not come to you then she has just learned she does not have to come when you call her name (that’s why we use a long line). The more consistent you are with making sure she comes every time the quicker she’ll understand what she’s supposed to do when you say her name.

    Good luck with your training!

  28. I just adopted a 8 week old boxer puppy. I’ve tried some of these methods and they seemed to work sometimes but other times she gets very distracted and just wants to play and jump. How do i get her to focus on me so she can learn her name?

  29. We just got a 10 week old Staffy x Kelpie and shes not potty trained yet. We’ve been taking her outside to go to the toilet and she stays in my bathroom with her food and a potty pad.
    Do you have any good tips on how to potty train her well?
    Yesterday she got out of the bathroom, poo’d on her blanket and wee all over my bed.
    We don’t know what to do.
    Please help 😀
    Thank you!

  30. 10 weeks is still very young for a puppy to be responsive every time. When I work with my puppies I only use their name when I’m 100% sure they will return to me. I do this by using a long line when working on their training. By the way, every time your puppy does not come to you when you use their name they are learning that they do not have to come when they hear their name. Make sure they respond 100% of the time when they are young pups. Good luck with your training!

  31. I have a Rottweiler puppy, she is 10 weeks old and I have had her for almost two weeks. I have done these tricks and she seems to respond some time while other times she doesn’t. It seems to me more that she knows her name but is just ignoring me to be stubborn. What do you think? What should I do?

  32. It’s difficult to tell without actually seeing your puppy’s reaction. You should try looking into getting a professional dog trainer to do an in-home visit so he/she can see first hand your puppy’s behavior.

    Good luck with your training!

  33. Hi Katie,

    You really have to get everyone in the house on the same page or you’re going to have a very difficult time training your puppy (as you’ve already realized). Maybe if you tried enrolling the puppy in a puppy kindergarten class and have the whole family attend so you can learn together how to properly train a puppy.

    Good luck with your training!

  34. Help my new dog is so scared of everyone and I call his name(RIO!) and he never come s what should I do. How do I teach him I know all your stuff is great but I try it and it never worked

  35. Hi my mother adopted a 3 month old puppy from a rescue centre about a week ago,
    she was attacked by a staff when she was younger at her old home so my parents have been letting her get away with everything
    including going toilet indoors and play biting,
    I’ve read up that she’s teething so ive been telling her no when she bites and replacing who-evers’ hand it is with a chew toy and I’ve been working on house-training her but it’s as if as soon as I teach her something, my parents fuss over her and then she’ll know she can get away with it so she’ll do it anyway.
    any suggestions?

  36. @Hannah
    Pippins sounds adorable!! It’s never too early to start training. Puppies along with any kind of baby are constantly learning. Right about now your puppy would be learning all sorts of things from his mother and litter mates. Things like biting too hard and playing. Because you bought Pippins you have taken the responsibility of being his mom, so you need to teach him everything soon. I would start with sit, come, stay and down in that order. I deem those ‘tricks’ the most important. Once your puppy has successfully learnt those tricks properly and can do them even when they’re distracted, you can teach him frills. I call the fancier tricks like roll over, paw, and play dead frills because they aren’t essential to keep your puppy safe crossing a street or chasing a squirrel, etc. The recommended time to purchase a puppy is 6-8 weeks because that is when puppies are most perceptible to learning new skills. Teach your puppy the tricks I suggested. The best time to do training is before a meal and after a walk. That way the puppy is hungry, but calm from his walk and more likely to learn. Make sure you are always happy when training and keep the sessions short. 15 minutes is usually good. Good luck with Pippins!!

  37. Hi, I just got a Husky/Beagle mix and named him Pippin. He’s seven weeks old now. When is a good time to start training him with the common commands; sit, stay, come, leave it, lay down, etc.? Is he too young to start training yet?

  38. Unfortunately, I’m not a cat trainer, but in my experience cats either like my dogs or they do not. I’ve never worked to try and change a cat’s behavior.

  39. Hi Liana,

    Congratulations on your new puppy! I would enroll Sasha in a puppy kindergarten and basic obedience class. It’s a good chance to socialize her and also teach her and you some basic obedience skills. When our pups our young and we’re working on heel we will often use a treat to lure our pups back into the heel position. When our pup gets back into position we give them tons of praise and give them a treat as an award. It takes a lot of work and training! We work with our pups on these kind of basic obedience skills until their 18 months old. At 18 months they go back to the guide dog school and start working on their formal training.

    I hope that helps.

    Good luck with your training!

  40. Also how can we get our residential cat used to Sasha? Our cat Freddy hisses at her and gets ready to scratch when Sasha sniffs at her….

  41. Hi!! We just got a female german shepherd 8 weeks…. She is doing really well even though its her first day 🙂 she already comes if we act all excited and call “Sasha”!!! But when we walk outside she likes to wander even though she’s on a leash. So we say Sasha happy and she usually comes and if we say Sasha stern after we call her excitedly. Sooo. How can I get her to walk RIGHT beside me on her leash. And how can I get her to stop straining against a taut line??

    Thank you 🙂

  42. Hi Sveta,

    Congratulations on your new puppy! I’d recommend you start working on his new name as soon as you get him. When I get a new puppy we start their training the moment we receive them. If the former owners don’t give your puppy a bath or get him ready to go to his new home then you can give him a bath when he gets home. Make sure you get a puppy shampoo from the pet store because young pups will have very sensitive skin.

    Good luck with your new puppy!

  43. Hi,
    I am getting my first puppy this weekend, I am very excited and nervous.
    As far as giving him a new name, how soon should we start teaching him his new name. Righ away when we get home, on the way home, couple days later? Also should i give him a bath as soon as we get home? He lives on the farm now and don’t want him to have a farm smell.

  44. Just got a puppy named Zeus, Io need to teach him his name, thanks you for this article, now I know what to do!

  45. Hi Savannah,

    Early congratulations on your new puppies. She will be fine changing her name. I’m sure she’ll pick up her new name quickly, but make sure you stay consistent, persistent, and patient when teaching her anything new.

    If you don’t want the rug ruined I would either put it away or keep it off limits from you puppies until they are totally potty trained.

    Best of luck with your new pups.

    Take care,

  46. Hi Shanda,

    Congratulations on your new puppy. When you work on her training you need to make sure your puppy comes to you every time you say her name until she understands her name means come. We do this by using a leash, a long line, or a flexi. Good luck with your training.


  47. I am a first time Dog owner. This weekend my husband and I are bringing home two new puppies! we are so excited! Im reading alot of your blogs right now and doing whatever additional research I can to make sure I give these puppies the training and stability they need.
    I have a million question but at the moment two come to mind.
    One of the puppies I am adopting is 4 to 6 months old. She is from a shelter and they named her Abby. We want to change the name. Is it too late in the game to be doing that? I know it will take awhile to train her for it but shes a border collie/ shepherd mix, two very smart breeds. Im thinking it might take anywhere from 30 mins to a day to teach her.
    The other question is I just bought a very expensive rug for my living room. I have been looking for one like it for 2 years now. It brings the room together very nicely. I would be devastated if it was ruined, even if it was by my two babies. I have puppy pads I plan on placing near the back door if they have the urge to pee inside. Is there anything else I can do to ensure that the pups wont redesign the rug without having to just take it out of the room all together?

  48. I have a 7week old cocker spaniel. She is very hard headed already. When we call her name which is Muffin she just looks at us and walks away. What should we do to help her understand that it means to come.

  49. Thank you so much for this! My Dad and his Girlfriend brought home a 6 week year old puppy; and I am about the only kid in the house interested in teaching it! I am so going to do this for this!

  50. Hi Lori,

    I’m so sorry to hear about your losses. I’m glad our article has helped with your puppy training. Raising and training a puppy is a lot of work, but you’ll look back fondly on those difficult puppy days when he becomes a well-behaved adult dog.

    Best of luck with your training!

  51. Playing the name game with puppies is a lot of fun. We get to do lots of these little games in our puppy kindergarten classes.

  52. Great post! I lost both of my senior dogs, 15 and 11 years of age, within a months time..hardest thing I’ve ever gone through 🙁 They were my best friends and I miss them terribly. I’ve never been without a dog in my life and was so heartbroken and lonely, that I’ve gone out and gotten a puppy….it’s been a long time since I’ve gone through the “puppy stage”, so this helped me immensely! Baxter is a 2 mo. old morkie, he is totally adorable and he already seems so smart, but a tad bit bullheaded! He seems to delight in ignoring me when I call him, so I’ll give this a try! Thanks much!

  53. Thank you so much for this wonderful post! I just got my 2 month old golden retriever and I can’t wait to try this name game! 🙂

  54. Are you already having problems with them in the house? If they’re not already I would consider getting both dogs spayed. I’ve always heard that the toughest combination is having two female dogs in the house. If you are having issues I would contact a local dog trainer to witness first hand your home environment.

    It’s a good idea to introduce dogs in neutral areas on leash, but it also really depends on your 2 dogs. As I mentioned if you’re not sure then I would see about bringing in a professional trainer.

    Good luck with your training!

  55. I have a 6 year old lab. My neighbors were taking a 3 month old Husky puppy to the pound so I adopted it. I need help in how to let them live in same house together with no fights. They are both female. Any advice would be appreciated. We have been keeping them separated but I want them to get along so I can keep the puppy. Thank you

  56. Hi Andrea,

    It sounds like Tasha doesn’t know that when you say her name she’s supposed to come to you. If you want her to come every time you say her name then you need to do a little work on her training. If you’re saying her name and she does not come to you then she has just learned that her name really doesn’t mean you want her to come to you.

    One thing you need to do is if you’re going to say her name then you have to make sure she always comes to you. When my pups are young and I’m working on their name I only say their name when I have them on leash or a long line that way I can make sure anytime I say my pup’s name he will come to me.

    I mentioned some training exercises in the article that you will want to follow as well.

    Good luck with your training!

  57. Hey.

    I have a dog, Tasha, and she does know her name, but doesn’t come when called. I’m not sure if she is just lazy or just doesn’t want to listen? She only comes when I just arrived. Then she might sit a while with me, like she is waiting for me to give her something to eat, but if I don’t give her anything, she just goes away. So I think she might only be interested in coming if there is any food available to her? Please help!

  58. Hi Claudia,

    I have 2 dogs at home and I’m usually training one puppy. One of my dogs is good about training the puppy and his bite inhibition. If the pup does something wrong then my older dog, Linus will correct him by barking or snapping back at the pup. On the other hand my second dog, Stetson does not train the pups at all. He just sits there and lets them bite his ears, chew on his neck, and grab at his heels. In this case I have to be the one to let my puppy know what is appropriate and inappropriate. I will usually just keep my pup on leash. If he’s doing something inappropriate with Stetson then I will give him a short leash snap and tell him “no”.

    Hope that helps.

    Take care,

  59. how can i train my 4 months golden retriever not to bite my 1 and half year old husky’s ear ?

  60. Hi Alyssa,

    Congratulations on your new puppy! Yes, you should start training your puppy immediately. He’s already learning so it’s up to you whether or not he starts learning good or bad habits.

    Good luck with your training.


  61. ohk i have a puppy its mixed with a boston terrior and a pitbull hees 5 weeks should i start training him now?

  62. Hi Samantha,

    Congratulations on your new puppy! It sounds like your playing a pretty good “name game” with your puppy already. Yes, I’ve always heard that women are better trainers then men because they can get that higher pitched voice. One thing you want to remember is that when your working on teaching your puppy her name you want to make sure you are the most exciting person in the room which usually means a high pitched happy voice.

    Good luck playing the name game. I’m sure your puppy will learn her name in no time.

    Take care,

  63. Some GREAT tips here!!! Thanks!!

    We just bought an 8 week old Malamute who’s settling in quick, can’t wait for her to wake up so I can play the name game with her!

    I’ve been trying little name sessions with her, waiting til she looks away, saying her name and rewarding a response with a treat. I think it’s kind of working. I have noticed she responds better to me then my partner though. Do inflections in voices make much difference?? I’ve noticed when I say her name it’s a lot higher then how he can say it. Should I try saying it lower tones??

  64. Hi Caleb,

    Congratulations on your new puppy! 9 weeks is still very young. Just be patient with your puppy and she’ll eventually get it. Puppies as young as yours usually have the attention span of a gnat so keep your training sessions short. If you’re watching TV with your puppy try working on her obedience commands during the commercials.

    Make sure you’re (the whole family) consistent and persistent. If you give her a command like “come” or say her name you have to make sure she follows through. If you let her get away with disobeying a command then she is learning that she does not have to listen to you.

    There’s tons of other articles on this site to help you with puppy training. Here’s one I recently wrote that you might be interested in looking at https://puppyintraining.com/6-common-puppy-training-mistakes-youve-already-made/

    Good luck with your puppy training!

  65. Hi, my family just recently got a 9 week old female purebred beagle. We love her sooo much. I’ve been trying to teach her some basic commands, including her name. She struggles to focus while I teach her. She somewhat has the “come” command down. But she doesn’t always listen. Is the Name Game enough to get her name (Chloe) stuck in her head? Also, if you have any other tips on teaching the dog commands, I would gladly accept your help. Thanks!

  66. Hi Anna,

    You shouldn’t have a problem teaching your puppy his name. Try using some of the tips from this article to get you started. Good luck with your training!

    Take care,

  67. Hi Tina,

    That is fine to use your puppy’s name along with the command “come”. There are only 2 commands we never use with a puppy’s name: “stay” and “no”.

    I hope puppy training is going well!

    Take care,

  68. I recently got a 3 1/2 month old Yorkie. Since he is much older is it going to be harder to teach him his name? Any tips would also be very helpful.

  69. I have a 10 week old miniature schnauzer (just got him this week). I am wondering if I should simultaneously say my puppys name followed by come ( while on a longer leash). We are working on him recognizing his name ( doesn’t know his name yet),but it seems to make sense to coincide name/come. (Cooper, come); however I don’t see any mention of doings this. Just wanted your thoughts.

  70. Hi Andrea,

    Thanks for visiting our website! One thing I’ve learned over time is that every individual puppy is different even within a litter. One puppy may learn things much faster than another.

    We work with our guide dog puppies from the time they are 7 weeks until they are 18 months old and try to perfect basic commands like their name, sit, down, stay, etc. Be patient with your puppy it may take her a little more time then your sister’s pup. Also, be consistent with your commands every time you say her name and she doesn’t respond she is learning to ignore your commands. If you give a command make sure your puppy follow through every time. If my puppy does not know his name then I will only use his name when I know he will come to me. I work extensively with a long line when I have a young pup.

    You also might look into joining a puppy kindergarten for more information on working with your puppy. It’s also very good and will help with socialization.

    Thanks for stopping by,

  71. Me and my sister both got 8 weeks old puppies. We have them for 2 days now. My sister’s puppy, Roxy, kind of already knows her name, but my puppy, Tasha, just doesn’t get it. I have tried to teach her seperately. She still seems to be a little distracted, even though we are alone. I already tought her how to sit and to give paw, and I tried the games you mentioned in the blog. I know it takes a while for her to know her name, but if Roxy knew her name so fast, then I guess Tasha could also?

  72. Hi Ricky,

    Awesome! Thanks for letting me know. Just remember to stay consistent with his training and he should do just fine.

    Take care,

  73. Hi Kaleb,

    Congratulations on the new puppy! Just like kids every puppy will be different. When I start training new puppies I make sure and introduce them slowly to my own dogs so neither the pups or my dogs are overwhelmed. Sarge and Roxi are most likely going to have different personalities and you need to remember that when you’re working on their training. I wouldn’t expect the exact same behavior from Sarge that you had with Roxi. Just make sure you remain patient with your training and be persistent and consistent. If you’re looking for a good puppy training book I highly recommend Puppies For Dummies. Best of luck with your new puppy!

    Take care,

  74. Thank you so much for the tips. I have a 3 month old named Toby and he is very playful all the time. When I call his name he didn’t respond but when I tried the name game he started to respond to his name. Thanks again

  75. Hi Colby!
    I recently adopted a 7 week old Cane Corso puppy who is as handsome as they come. I have a 3 year old Boxer female who is the “family” pet, meaning she IS family. How can I ensure that Sarge, the Corso, is as gentle and protective as Roxi our Boxer? Anything in particular I should look out for? Thanks!

  76. Hi LJ,

    Congratulations on your new puppy. You might try working on teaching your puppy his name away from your other dogs several times a day. Make sure when he comes to his name you give him a jackpot of rewards (treats, praise, etc). I’d keep working on it and make sure you are consistent. If you say his name make sure he always responds. You can also try enrolling your puppy in a puppy kindergarten class or hire a professional puppy trainer.

    Good luck with your training!

  77. A friend gave me a dapple daschand when he was only 6 weeks old. My best friend got his brother. he is 8 weeks old today. His name is asher but he will not respond to it no matter what i do. My friends dog has already learned his name. I have 2 other dogs in the house.one is a 15 year old cocker spaniel and the other a 3 year old jrt. Is there some reason my dog is not responding to his name?

  78. @Cari, congratulations on your new puppy. If you’re having aggression issues it would probably be best to consult a local dog trainer and have them do an in home training session this way they can see exactly how your 3 dogs are interacting with each other and the rest of the family.

  79. I got an 8 week old pitbull about a week ago. She seems to be learning very well. I’m struggling with the “come” command though. I also have two 2 year old chihuahuas. My male chi is very aggresdive to her and doesn’t seem to take to the puppy. My female is warming up and becoming playful with her but she is very territorial when it comes to me. Do you have any tips on how I can Help the Chis to accept her. My fear is that when the puppy gets bigger and one of the little Chis becomes aggressive with puppy the puppy might hurt one of them ;( Is it possible to teach the puppy to be gentle with the Chis? I’m desperate for your help.

  80. @Alex, thanks for visiting our site. It’s really difficult to understand what is going on without being there to see your dogs interact. My best advice is to see about talking to a professional dog trainer and seeing if you could get an in-home training session. This will give the trainer a chance to see your dogs interact and come up with a best solution. Best of luck with your dogs.

  81. i have 3 dogs an older female chihuahua a lab male puppy, and a 2 yr old male pitbull.When i take my puppy outside the pitbull gets to him and they start sniffing each other but once my puppy wants to leave the pit starts to run and jump everywhere why is that. My chihuahua is scared and bites/growls/runs away from the puppy what can i do. I just recently bought the puppy. Before that when my chihuahua would go outside and get near the pit it would throw itself on the floor and let the pit lick her up and down why is that and how can i make all 3 of them get along.Sorry about all the questions but hope for an answer

  82. @brianna, thanks for visiting our blog. How long have you been working on teaching them their names? Can you tell me how you are currently training your puppies? Are you the only one working with the puppies? Do you separate the puppies when working on their training?

    Your puppies are still very young. Be patient. It could take weeks/months before they have a good understanding of their names. I’d also recommend contacting your local dog trainer and ask for advice, schedule an in-home training, or sign up for a puppy kindergarten.

  83. Hi I’ve recently bought 2chihuahuas. They ate about 8Weeks olds I need helpI’ve tried all of your tricks but I just can’t seem to teach them their names.their names are princton and Phoebe. Any other tips?

  84. @Natasha, did you already try all of the tips I mentioned in the article? One game I don’t think I mentioned in the article was “Around the World”. We usually play this with a group of people in puppy class.

    1. Sit in a circle on the floor
    2. Have 1 person hold your puppy
    3. Have another person say the puppy’s name. Make sure this person acts like the most exciting thing on the planet. After all you have to get your puppy’s attention.
    4. The puppy should come to the other person.

    Of course the puppy does not always come to the other person. In this case you can use other things to help get your puppy moving in the right direction. I like to use treats. You can also use toys (squeaky toys usually work well). You can also put your puppy on a long line (leash) to get him moving in the right direction.

    It may take a while before your puppy knows her name. Just make sure you remain consistent and you will be fine.

  85. @Braulio, we don’t bring home our guide dog puppies until they’re about 7 weeks old. Until then they stay in the nursery.

  86. Ah man I have question my dog 4 and half weeks old his name shadow he is a pit bull mix with a American bulldog when can I walk him

  87. I am not able to take my puppy outside yet because she jut turned 3 months and needs a few more shots before she can mingle outside. Ive had my puppy cockapoo for 3 days now and I am working with her to learn her name. she is very playful but doesnt really respond when called. what are some tips on name training in the house?

  88. @Adam, I take my puppies to the same spot every time to poop/pee when they are young and now they go to the same place every time. It’s about an 8×8 square area. So yes it is possible to teach your puppy to poop in a certain area.

  89. @Danny, yes! This should work with older puppies as well. Make sure you’re consistent when you’re using your puppies name and he should understand it over time. Best of luck with your new puppy!

  90. Thanks for the information haha my 9 weeks german shepherd does not really know his name yet and do you know if you can train a puppy to poop in a certain area outdoors because we have 3 acres and i walk him in the back.i do not want him pooping at an open place where people can step on and when he does i pick it up with a big leaf or bag

  91. I have just took ownership of a rescue dog. He’s a a Staffordshire bull terriercross aged 9-12 months. The rescue centre called him Dexter and he had been there for approximately 6 weeks. I’ve only had him home for 4 or 5 days but as yet shows no sign of knowing his name. Do your methods work with older puppies, if not is there anything else I should be trying.
    Thank you

  92. @Ashley, thanks for your nice comment. I appreciate it any time someone lets me know that the blog has helped them with their dog / puppy training. Best of luck with your dog training and I hope to hear back from you here on the blog!

  93. After coming across this blog, I wonder how much easier training my dog would have been from the start if I had followed the tips posted on here. I find that this blog is full of great suggestions on how to properly train your new animal and I look forward to coming to this blog in the future when I decide to get another dog of my own and have questions on the proper way of training it.

    The tips posted on how to teach your puppy their name provide very good insight on how to properly get your puppy to learn their name. In my house, this was one of the hardest tasks when it came to training our latest puppy. After reading this article, I understand that calling her nicknames during training was not helpful in helping her learn only one name. This blog post gave me a chance to understand what I need to change about my habits, considering my dog is still a puppy with some room to learn and grow.

    Thank you for the insight to some good tips. I am definitely going to take some of the things that I have read on this site in to consideration from this point on.

  94. @apoorv, If you think your puppy is having health problems or your having training issues I’d contact your local veterinarian or dog trainer. In my experiences, my puppies have made some pretty strange noises at night. All the sounds you’ve mentioned sound fairly normal, but if you’re really concerned I would talk to your veterinarian. Nipping is fairly normal behavior when your pups are young. Two things you can try are first redirect his nipping by slowly removing your hand and replacing with one of his dog toys. Try to make sure you have many different textured toys because his preference will most likely change day to day. The second thing you can try is purchase bitter apple spray from your local pet store and spray it on your hand when he’s in a nipping mood. Most puppies don’t like the taste and eventually will learn that nipping on your hands leaves a bad taste in his mouth and will eventually stop. At around 4 months his baby teeth should start falling out and his adult teeth will come in. When all the adult teeth are in general my puppies stop nipping. Best of luck with your new puppy!

  95. I recently got a 4 week old German shepherd pup and this is my first time at raising a pup. But I am afraid coz he tends to groan and make other noises at night and sometimes his breathing is also rapid. Is this normal? Also how do I stop him from nipping at me and my friends coz his teeth are really sharp?

  96. @Savannah, congratulations on your new puppy. It sounds like he looks like my two yellow labs, Derby and Dublin when they were pups. Good luck with puppy training with Jax!

  97. Hi I’m Savannah and we got a new golden retriever puppy ( he’s looks like Marley or the bugs on me puppy.) he acts very well with my younger cousins and his name is Jax( not my choice but I like it) I’m excited to try these techniques and I can’t wait to show them to my seven and four year old cousins!

  98. @Katie the main thing is you want your puppy to successfully come to you every time you call her name. If you call their name and they run off then they are just learning that they do not need to come to you when you call their name. The best way to make sure your puppy comes every time you call their name is to make sure you only call their name when you have them on a leash, long line, or flexi leash.

  99. I just got a new puppy today. She is a Black lab, Chesapeake
    Bay Retriever mix. How do I teach her, her name with also having a 4 year old daughter who repeats me when calling the puppy and also my other dog (who is a german sheperd) who barks? It seems to confuse the pup and she starts to run off and I have to get her and carry her back to the house. It’s starting to become overwelming. Any advice is greatly appriciated. Thank you

  100. @Rebecca congratulations on your new puppy! Broly’s a great puppy name! Good luck with teaching him his name!

  101. Hi,
    I am not sure if my puppy knows his name, he reacts to it sometimes but when i want him to come he ignores me. He’s 4mths old now and seems very distracted, I know I have let him get a way with some bad behaviour but I don’t know how to get him back under control. He’s a jack russell terrior and can’t sit still or seem to concentrate when I try to do any training. He’s a bit of a terror now.

  102. This is very helpful. My boyfriend and I just go our puppy yesterday and finally decided on Broly (bro-lee). I am excited to work with him with this trick!

  103. Some very good advice! I think this is going to work. Well I’m getting my puppy tomorrow so I’ll favorite this website and get back to you in maybe 2 or 3 weeks on how its going! Thank you.

  104. @Ann one very important point is you always want your puppy to come when you call her name. If you let her slide then she will have a much more difficult time learning. I would suggest using either a long line or flexi leash to make sure she comes to you when you’re working on her training.

  105. I have a husky puppy and she is very reluctant to come to her name. I am trying the excited voice and saying her name, but it isn’t working the best. Should I try the leash? We live on a farm so she likes the roaming without the leash. Thanks

  106. @Amanda, thanks for visiting our website. You shouldn’t have a problem changing her name. When we were volunteering as fosters we’d always initially name the puppies until they were adopted. The adopted family would then change the name to a name of their liking. Good luck with your new dog!

  107. hey there, great article, I just have one question though, we are about to buy a greater swiss mountain/st bernard mix dog and the owner said she named the puppy Anges. I can’t even imagine calling my dog that, is it okay if I chage her name?

  108. @Kayla, I’m glad Twix is responding to the techniques mentioned in the article. Thanks for taking the time and leaving us a comment!

  109. Thank you so much! Me and my family just got a pom puppy and he is having a hard time learning his name-Twix. He’s already 3 months old yesterday and i was afraid it was already to late. But he has been responding to this techniche. thanks again!

  110. @Rima, I wouldn’t worry too much about your golden retriever at this point. He’s still very young. Just make sure your consistent and make sure he always comes to you when you call his name. Also, you want to make sure you do not associate his name with anything negative. Use a happy tone, always make sure he comes over to you, and give him praise when he does come to you regardless of whether or not your upset with him.

    When I first brought home Linus it rained for two weeks straight. I basically had to carry him outside to his potty spot and then carry him back into the house (he refused to walk outside in the rain). You many have to do something similar with your new puppy.

  111. i just got a goldne retriever puppy 3 days back and he still doesnt know his name..he s 7 weeks old..i know it takes some time..but how long on average does it take for them to learn?
    also, its getting really cold here (its 3 degrees outside) and i duno if its ok to take him for walks coz its cold (i am trying to housebreak him too which has been hard coz he hates walking at this point)…i have to give hi treats just for following me on the street..he s been out only 2 times though!!

  112. @Katelyn, congratulations on your two new Boston Terrier puppies! Unfortunately, I’ve never tried raising two puppies at the same time I’m sure it’s a lot of work. I would try separating your two puppies and training them in one on one sessions.

  113. Hey, I recently bought two Boston terrier puppies…how do I teach them their names since there is two…

  114. @Serge, thanks for visiting our website. I’m glad you got something out of this post. I’m sure your two American Bulldog / hounds mix puppies will pick up on their names real soon.

    Let me know if you have any questions.

  115. I just got 2 American Bulldog / hound mix puppies…they seem to learn very quick, and got the “come” command down….though its tough to teach them name…since I do it on the walks and I got no time to separate them and have a one-o-one session…I see what I’m doing wrong, I will try to find time and get them apart, thanx for the post.

  116. @Hanna, we start teaching our puppies their names as soon as we get them home at about 7 weeks. If your puppies are 5 weeks old and you already have names picked out I would start working on their names immediately.

  117. when is the best time to teach a puppy his/her name i have 2 and they are 5 weeks old noether know their name yet.

  118. @Samantha, puppies are a lot of fun, but also a lot of work. I’m glad you’re putting in the time and effort to find out as much information as possible before getting a puppy.

    A good book that I read before getting my first puppy was the Puppies For Dummies (this is an affiliate link). There’s a lot of great information in there from how to choose a puppy to how to raise a puppy to how to train your puppy. If there was one book I’d recommend for a new puppy owner that would be the one.

    If you have any questions please feel free to email me through the contact form.

  119. Thanks so much for the tips!! My family is thinking of getting a puppy and I am trying to learn all I can so we can be the perfect family!

  120. @Jesus, I’m glad to hear that your boxer puppy is starting to learn his name. Let me know if you have any other questions as I know puppies can be a handful.

  121. Thanks, I recently have been using this technique on my new boxer puppy and he seems to start learning his name..

  122. @Lia, I hope training is going well with you and your two puppies. If you have any questions please let me know and I’ll do my best to answer them.

  123. Thank you so very much for this info! We have 2 puppies that are so wild. I have been going crazy taking them for walks as they are so unruly and wild. Now I can practice with them one-on-one now that I know what I am to do. Thanks again!

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