If you’re anticipating the arrival of a dog, be sure to put teaching the name response on top of your list. And if you’re frustrated that your current dog doesn’t appear to know who she is, don’t fret; it’s never too late to teach this very important behavior. It’s likely that a dog just learns to associate the sound of her name with (we hope) good stuff in the same way she associates other things (a ball, a leash, the car keys, the clicker) with good stuff. it is the key to teaching your dog to respond to her name: Name = good stuff. It’s almost as simple as that. While teaching your dog that her name means good stuff, you also need to be careful not to send her a mixed message. If you sometimes use her name to yell at her in anger, she’s likely to stop and weigh her options. Lets see I wonder if a good thing will happen this time, or if a bad thing will happen. Hmmmmm. If you must yell at your dog, do it without using her name. If you think your dog’s name is already poisoned, consider giving her a new one, and then teach her that the new name is the best sound in the world.
Remember that your dog’s name does not mean come. It simply means Look at me and wait for further instructions. It’s important to make this distinction. There will be times when you want your dog’s attention but you don’t necessarily want her to come running to you. If shes on the other side of the room and you want her to lie down there, you might say, Baby, and when she looks at you, say Down. The more you aspire to advanced levels of communication and training with your dog, the more important it is that each cue has a very clear and specific meaning.In order to train your dog you must be able to capture and retain her attention. Teach your dog to respond to her name by associating it with a food reward. At first, when your dog is already looking at you, say her name,and offer her a treat. You’ll have the most success with this if you start off with a high-value treat. It might be dried liver, cheese, anchovies, bits of canned chicken . . . try a variety of foods to find the one that immediately captures your dog’s attention.You can also use physical rewards for teaching the name response. If your dog is a tennis ball nut, say her name, and when she looks, toss her the ball.
this method is not as fast but can be used in the same way.
When you’re getting a very prompt and consistent snap of your dog’s head back to you at the sound of her name, you’re ready to start adding distractions. Start with small distractions at first; you want to set up your dog to succeed, not flunk the first test. Ask a family member to make a small noise on the other side of the room. When your dog glances in that direction, say her name, and when her head snaps back, give her a treat.
If she doesn’t look back at you immediately, use a kissy noise to get her to look. When she looks, treat. If you have to kiss to get her to look several times in a row, go back to working without distractions again for a while, and/or find a higher-value treat.