Teaching name recognition


It’s fairly simple to teach a puppy his name, even if he answered to something else before. All it takes is a handful of tasty treats and a few minutes of your time.

Steps to name recognition

  • Let your puppy wander around a small room, or your yard if it’s not too distracting.
  • Call your puppy’s name in a happy voice. As soon as he turns to look at you, reward him with a friendly, upbeat “Yes!” and a bit of food. Then send him off to investigate again.
  • Repeat several times.
  • Once your puppy’s got it, make it more challenging: train in different locations, or throw in a distraction, such as a bouncing ball, and then call him.

Dogtime tip: Call your puppy’s name just once during each exercise; if you repeat it over and over, he’ll eventually tune it out.


If your puppy doesn’t listen to you: Be patient and stand quietly, waiting for your puppy to look at you. As soon as he does, give him the “Yes!” and a treat.