How To Teach A Puppy Its Name - Professional Dog Training Tips

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- Overusing their puppy's name

is just one of the mistakes that people make

when they're trying to train their puppy to know their name.

And it really slows down their learning process.

- [Woman] Ken.

- Yeah?

- [Woman] Ken.

- Yes?

- [Woman] Ken.

- Yes?

- [Woman] Ken!

(gentle rock music)


- In this video, I'm gonna show you

the fastest way to teach your puppy their name.

I'm also gonna show you some tricks

that dog trainers use to help their puppies

to be more successful with this exercise.

I'm Ken Steepe, this is Biggie Smalls,

the 12-week old papillon puppy.

Welcome back to McCann Dogs.

(gentle music) (dog yapping)

So, first let's talk about one of the tricks

that we were, that I alluded to in the opening.

Now, a great opportunity to train your puppy

are some of the natural training opportunities that you get.

So, with Biggie, every time he gets a meal

I would start off by just saying his name

and then feeding him.

We really wanna build value for that name.

So, I will say,


Good boy.


Just as a hit and I'm gonna hand feed him

his breakfast essentially.


And reward.

That way he really starts to understand that

that, every time he hears that word

there's a lot of value associated with it.

Now, we need to make sure that when we are

rewarding and luring Biggie that he follows the food.

So the first thing that I'm going to do

is just naturally lure him around.

I'm just going to make sure that he's

following food, and we've done lots of luring

exercises in some of our other videos,

and I'll link one of those above.

But it's really important that Biggie does

understand that when he follows the food

that there will be a payout,

especially when we're starting to

make this a little bit more challenging

as we're teaching him his name.

When you start to teach your puppy their name,

it's really important that you payout

each and every time.

So we're going to call our puppy's name.

We're gonna say Biggie's name

and then we're gonna automatically lure him

for the first several repetitions of this exercise.

So, I'm gonna do something,

I'm gonna let him get naturally distracted,

which doesn't seem to be that tough with an adorable

little puppy like this,

but I'm gonna call his name and then lure him.

So I'm gonna get him distracted.

Maybe I'll just show him something over there.


And then bring him around.

Yes! Good boy, nice job buddy!

We'll let him get distracted again.

Fake him out a little bit.


Show him that food, bring him in.

Yes, good job pal, way to go!

When you reward your puppy, try to make sure

you're rewarding them almost so they're touching

your legs, that way they'll see lots of value

for coming in really close.

Now we're gonna make it a little bit

more challenging for Biggie by using a little

bit more motion, but when we do that

we want to use our house line, and we posted

a video about that not that long ago.

Just so that Biggie doesn't leave me as we're working

on this exercise, I'm gonna use,

I'm gonna put a leash on him

or I'm gonna use his house line,

and I'll link that video above.

Just so that he doesn't, he can't have

an opportunity to be totally gratified by

something that's not me.

But, I wanna show you how we can really

build some motivation for his name, by using

a little bit of motion and some exciting language,

or some exciting voice sounds.

So I'm just gonna let him get a little bit distracted.



Good boy, way to go buddy!

And I'm going to move away from him to

really reinforce the fact that him

hearing his name and coming to me is lots of fun.

So I'm gonna let him get distracted again.



That a boy, very nice, way to go pal!

And I'm gonna use that motion, I'm gonna use

that exciting sounding language,



To really reinforce that hearing his name

is lots and lots of fun.

Do you want to build even more motivation

into your response to name?

Try having someone hold your puppy

as you sneak away with an exciting toy.

Then call their name and release them.


That a boy!

Good boy, buddy!

So Biggie's really starting to know that

there's lots of value in hearing that word

and I've made it lots of fun by moving away

and using some, you know, bubbly voice

to really make it fun for him to respond

to that name.

So now we need to challenge him a little bit.

We need to make it a little bit tougher,

so we're going to use something like

a distraction, and I'm gonna recall

him off that name.

Now, at this point, I'm not gonna test him,

I'm going to make sure that he can be

right every single time by using that food lure

while I'm using that distraction.

So I'll just set this tape down.

Then I'll call his name.


Yes, good boy!

Now, I've also opted to use some high value

food, because, you know, having something

new like this distraction may prove to be

a bit of a challenge.

So, when I call Biggie off of that distraction,

I'm going to use something like some chicken,

or something that he really finds valuable.

So, an important step in using the McCann method

is letting your dog make a choice, and an

important step in teaching your dog their name

is the testing phase.

Now, I've reduced the amount of distraction,

I've taken that tape roll away,

but this time I'm not gonna automatically show Biggie

the food, I'm just gonna call his name,

and see what happens.

What's that thing over there?


Yes, good boy!

Very nice!

Now, I'm still gonna use that exciting language

and I'm still gonna use a little bit

of motion, but I'm not gonna automatically

put the treats in front of his face.

So let's test him again.

Get him over here a little bit.

I'm gonna stay nice and close though.

What's that thing over there?

That thing over there?


Yes, good job buddy!

And you can see how excited he is to

respond to his name and how much fun

he's having, that's really important

as we're training our puppies, that they're

loving every minute of the training.

Now, as we increase the challenge, it's

really important that we mark the moment

that our puppy's making a great choice.

So, when there's that distraction,

whether it's a piece of tape on the ground,

or maybe it's, you know, some motion in the environment.

We mark that moment that he makes that great choice,

and that's with the yes.

I use the yes to mark the moment that

Biggie's making a really good choice.

What if our puppies aren't responding right away?

What if there's some distraction

that they don't respond the first time

every time to their name?

Well, we're gonna help them to be right.

We're gonna use something like a little

touch on their side

to break their focus,

to get their attention back on us,

and I'll show you what I mean.

So we're gonna help Biggie to get used to

being touched, so we're gonna do something

really, really simple like a little touch.

Good boy!


Yes, good!

So that he's really comfortable with that action.


Yes, good boy buddy!

By following these steps, you'll have an excited

and happy and reliable response to name

in no time.

Now, if this is your first time on the channel

and you wanna have a well-behaved

four-legged family member,

then make sure you hit that subscribe button.

If you're looking for more puppy training videos,

check out the video beside me.

On that note, I'm Ken, this is Biggie Smalls.

Happy training!

(soft rock music)