How to Teach a Puppy its Name

How to Teach a Puppy its Name
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How to Teach a Puppy its Name is something you want to focus on right away.

When your puppy comes into your house for the first time, it doesn’t have a name.

It’s in a strange new environment and they’re not sure what to expect. So, it is your job to help the little pup to be comfortable and the first step is to learn their name.

Before you teach your puppy its name, you should put some thought into what you will name them.

It is a good practice to make sure your dog’s name doesn’t sound like a commonly used command or phrase. For example, calling your dog BO, might confuse them when you say NO.

Now, you need to make sure everyone is on the same page. If you have more than one person in the house, get everyone’s input. Make sure it’s something everyone feels good about.

Then, it’s onto getting your dog to know who they are.

Learning their name should be the first “trick” every dog learns. It is easy and fun and should be done several times a day with your new furry friend.

Always say their NAME in a friendly, upbeat way. You never want to be angry when saying the name since they will not want to respond.

So, let’s get on with this.


With your dog seated in front of you, say their name, for example “SCOOBY.” When they look at you PRAISE and REWARD them. Do this several times the first few days.

This is really easy as your dog will be looking for attention from you. Anything you say near them should cause them to look at you.

In addition, you are giving them treats when they look at you after saying that word [NAME]. That and a Good Boy, Good Girl and you should have one happy puppy.


Now, start mixing in other words then say “NAME.” For example, Blah, blah, blah “NAME” blah, blah. When it is clear they recognized their NAME, PRAISE and REWARD, have a party!!

This is where you are introducing noise to the process. This brings the dog into the reality of day to day living. Other things are going on, you’re talking about something else and then you mix in their name.

When you slip their name into a conversation, you may get a slight look your way, or a full-on snap to attention. Either way, be full of praise and have a treat handy to make sure they know they did something good.


As you progress move further away and say your dog’s name, when they come running, PRAISE and REWARD. If not, back to earlier steps.

Now, your trying to add distance to the noise you added in step two. Try to do it while you’re doing something else, like cooking, laundry or watching TV.

This is how to teach your puppy its name in no time at all.


This is one of the easier commands and a real bond builder with you and your dog. Always use their NAME in a positive way so they are happy to hear it.

Let us know about your experience in the comments section below.

Take a look at many other tricks to teach your dog.

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Steve Larrivee

Steve Larrivee

As a dog lover since his youth, Steve Co-Founded Athenas Pets with his son Kevin to promote dog training to the masses. Athenas Pets, focuses on training products and providing the "know-how" so the average dog owner can train their dog like a pro.

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