Day 2 of 7

Name Recognition & Recall

Having set up a comfortable and secure physical environment for your furry companion on Day 1, it’s now time to build a personal connection. On Day 2 we'll work on name recognition and recall - which is just the fancy dog-training way to say "come!"

Objective #2

Your dog knows their name and comes when called

  Tasks to Complete  

[ ] Understand positive reinforcement training
[ ] Achieve 10 successful name recognitions
[ ] Initiate recall training with a distinct cue
[ ] Achieve recall with increasing distractions

  Preface: Emotional Training Environment  

Before we get started, it's important to note why dog training is so important...

  • Training is more than just teaching commands; it's about creating an emotional environment where your dog feels a sense of purpose, a 'job' through training.
  • This not only cultivates a mutually fruitful relationship but also caters to their innate instinct to have a role in their pack.
  • Through training, you are essentially assigning 'jobs' to your dog which can include following commands like sit, stay, or come. This gives them a sense of purpose and helps in building a structured environment where they know what’s expected of them resulting in decreased anxiety and increased peace and fulfillment.

Science points us towards authoratative training with positive reinforcement.

  • Authoratative training is clear, caring, and firm and rooted in a mutual desire to understand your dogs needs in balance to yours. It is not authoratarian (demanding or punitive) nor is it submissive (a "no rules" free-for-all that can leave your dog feeling purposeless or frustrated).
  • Positive reinforcement is a method where good behavior is rewarded, which contrasts with what a dog might experience in nature where behavior is influenced by survival instincts. The positive reinforcement technique builds a supportive environment, promoting a bond of trust and understanding between you and your pup.

  Step 1: Name Recognition  

What's in a name?

  • Your dog's name is the key that unlocks a realm of interactions, commands, and expressions of love.
  • It's essential that they respond to this call, as it lays the foundation for all future training endeavors.
  • Name recognition is your way of getting your dog's attention, which can be especially crucial in situations that demand immediate response to prevent them from harm​​.

Let's start name training!

  • 1. Treat Selection: Get 10 training treats that you know your dog is well motivated by. This can be your dog's food if it is a food that your dog is excited to eat in single pieces.
  • 2. Lose Attention: Keep the treats with you and wait for your dog to lose attention. That is, wait until it is at least a small distance away from you and is not looking at you.
  • 3. Name Call: Say your dog's name one time, clearly and audibly in your dog's direction.
  • 4. Reward: If your dog turns to face you and makes eye contact with you, reward with a treat.
  • 5. Patience: If they do not turn immediately and make eye contact, do not repeat their name immediately. Wait until their attention has shifted again to repeat. This step can be difficult, but is very important to built a responsive foundation.

This name recognition challenge is complete after 10 successful name mentions, eye contact made, and treats given!

  • And feel free to practice this several times per day over the first few weeks with your pup!

  Step 2: The Magic of Recall  

Why is recall so important?

  • Recall training is an extension of name recognition, where you teach your dog to come to you when called. It's a safety net, ensuring that no matter the distractions around, your dog will return to you on command, preventing dangerous situations (like running towards a busy road​​). It allows for greater freedom and flexibility in your life with your dog.

Let's start recall training!

  • 1. Cue Selection: Decide on a special sound or word that will act as a cue for your dog to return. It should be short and sharp, like a whistle or the word “Come!”
  • 2. Enclosed Space: Start in an enclosed space (like indoors or a well fenced-in yard) and armed with some tasty treats. For this first training session, try to pick a place with limited distractions. Get their attention with their name and then use your cue and take a step away, holding out their treat.
  • 3. Reward: As they return, reward them with a treat. Repeat this process, gradually attempting from further and further away from them.
  • 4. Increase Distractions: Over time, try this same training with increased levels of distractions​​, like other dogs and people around or an environment with new stimulants.

  Recap & What's Next 

Great work!

  • These two training aspects are stepping stones towards a meaningful dialogue between you and your furry friend. As you practice, remember, patience and positive reinforcement are your allies in this journey of nurturing a well-behaved, responsive companion.

Who's ready to sit and lie down?

  • Stay focused on name recognition and recall training for the rest of the day today, and make sure you continue to practice these from time to time over the coming weeks (and years, really!). Tomorrow, though, we'll move on to training for sit and lie down!

Want More Training Resources?

Check out the Kibbies Learning Center for Tools, Articles, and FAQs related to creating a healthy dog and owner relationship!



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