Today’s topic is: What Does my Dog’s Name Mean?
So I have my two German Shepherd puppies. I have Alpha, and I have Jericho. Right now Alpha is ten months old, and Jericho is about to be eight months old. So they’re not baby puppies anymore. But they’re getting a little bit bigger. Still young dogs. One of the things that I wanted to do is I didn’t want to screw up their names. I didn’t want their names to mean something negative. Yes, my dogs make mistakes. And yes, I make mistakes, too. Sometimes, despite the knowledge and experience that I have, I still associate the names of the things I don’t want them to do.
So what I want to share with you is some of the mistakes that you might be making. I’ll also show you what I want us to teach dogs what their name means.
Your Dog’s Name Shouldn’t Mean Something Negative
Okay, so first off, your dog’s name should not mean something negative. It shouldn’t mean don’t jump on my guests, you don’t counter-surf, leave the other dog alone, and it shouldn’t mean stop pulling me on the leash.
It shouldn’t mean any of those things.
If your dog is doing that and you’re saying their name as you’re using some form of punishment, then that’s a bad call. You can see if you keep repeating that it’s going to make the dog’s name a negative thing.
The big downside to that is your recall is going to struggle because your dog will think that, “hey, when I hear this name, only negative things happen.”
So what is a better alternative than associating it to those things?
What Should Your Dogs Name Mean?
Well, at least in my opinion, the very first thing that I want a dog to think its name means is… I get food. I want your dog to think that whenever they hear their name, that means I get food. You can do that pretty simply.
When you’re training with your dog, have some tasty food in your hand, and right as you begin to open your hand to give them the food, say their name. For example, if I had Jericho, I would have the food in my hand, I’d bring it up to his mouth, and as I open my hand, I would say, “Good boy, Jericho!” Get repetitive about that. Have one or two sessions where that’s all that you’re doing. That you’re just getting your dog to do something, and then after they do it, as you’re delivering the food, say their name as you’re opening your hand.
So again, the first one is your dog’s name should mean to them, “I get food.”
The second one isn’t that different, at least for my two German Shepherds. They love to play fetch, and they love to play tug. So I want their names to mean I get the toy. So when they’re doing something very similar to the way that I do it with food. As my dog is biting the object that I want them to play with, the tug or the ball, I’m saying, “Good dog, Alpha,” “Good dog, Jericho,” “Good girl, Gabby.”
I’m saying that right as they are doing that together.
Remember, when you’re thinking about your voice, your dog doesn’t necessarily understand the context of your voice unless it’s been taught through training. But if you’re bringing in the reward and you’re saying that as a repetitive action, then your dog is going to be like, “oh, my name means I get to play. Oh, my name means I get the toy.”
Your Dog’s Name Should Mean They Receive Affection
After getting food and getting toys, I want your dog’s name to mean I get affection. So as you have your dog doing anything as you begin to pet and stroke your dog, add their name to that.
So these are the three main ways that I want to associate with my dogs what their name means. I want them to understand that when they hear “Good dog, Jericho,” that they’re either going to be getting food, they’re going to be getting the toy, or they’re going to be getting affection from me instead of having the dog understand that their name is associated to something negative. If I do this well initially, it will put me in a much better position to create a recall.
All right, guys. Well, that’s it for today’s tip. I hope that was useful for you, guys. If you enjoyed it, please be sure to leave a like that helps the Channel leave a comment down below. If there’s something that you learned or something that you would like me to answer in the future, well, thanks again.
Have a great day and happy training!
Did you know that I’m on TikTok? Here is a cute little video of Jericho when he was just a tiny little puppy