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Train Your Dog to Respond to His Name. Video!

By Jess Rollins
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Name response and attention are the foundation of dog training! Your dog's quick and reliable response to his name is the key to all of your future training goals and you may need to return to it periodically for "refreshing". Training a snappy response to your dog's name is also a good way to get your dog out of trouble. For example, if your dog is getting a little too intense while playing with another dog, you can say his name and click when he looks and he will come happily for his reward and you've given him a needed break from play. (Click the play button above to see a video of me working a dog for the very first time on this).

To begin, follow the easy steps below and have fun!

1.Get a nice mix of pea-sized treats and a clicker and hide them in a pocket, pouch or table top.

2.Say your dog's name. When he looks at you, C/T (click a clicker and feed a treat or praise and feed a treat).

3.Repeat this all over your house, while your dog is on leash, outside, on a walk, at the park, when you have guest over, while there is food or favorite toys visible etc.

4.Use the chart below to track your progress.

5.Occasionally reward unsolicited eye contact from your dog by clicking and treating.

Check when your dog looks at you 8 out of the 10 times you say his name (without using a lure):

Look at me while:

Inside with no distractions

Outside in yard with no distractions

Inside with low level distraction

Outside with low level distraction

Inside with med level distraction

Outside with med level distraction

Inside with high level distraction

Outside with high level distraction

Example Distractions:


  • Someone else in family is in the room
  • You have a toy in your hand


  • Asking while you are in a different position (sitting or lying down, back is turned)
  • Asking in a different area (in basement or middle of street)
  • You have food or a toy visible in your hand


  • An alarm, doorbell, or phone going off during request
  • People or dogs or other animals are interacting with your dog
  • Food or ball being thrown
  • You are in a busy place like the park or pet store
  • You have guests visiting
Jess Rollins

The Author:

Jess Rollins

Jess Rollins and Pet Expertise's Mission is to Help You to Maximize Your Dog's Potential!

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