Dog Ignoring You? 4 Dog Name Strategies to Help!
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Dog Ignoring You? 4 Dog Name Strategies to Help!

Are you using your dog’s name the best
and smartest ways you can? In this video I’m going to show you four things you
need to think about when using your dog’s name. Ian here or Simpawtico Dog Training and
before we get into using your dog’s name please make sure you’re subscribed so you
never miss any of our videos. Also don’t forget to check us out on all the big
social networks so we can get better acquainted. And don’t forget to check
that YouTube description for notes, links, and resources about the stuff we talked
about. Now dogs don’t understand the concept of names like we do. They’re
pretty good at memorizing sounds and chains of sounds and then assigning
meanings to them. So, they can learn to recognize words and phrases even though
they don’t process language. On average a dog can learn about 165 words and even
up to 300 in some cases. One of the primary aims of training is to teach our
dogs the meanings of words. With practice they learn to respond in a particular
way to a particular sound. Among the most important sounds a dog needs to
recognize is their name. So let’s take a look at some strategies to help you get
the most bang out of your dog’s name. First, don’t use your dog’s name as part
of a correction or a reprimand. Dogs are really, really responsive to classical
conditioning. For this reason you have to be careful what you’re teaching. You
always want your dog to have a good, favorable association with their name.
Every time you say it, it should be accompanied by good emotions in that
dog’s brain. This is a conditioned emotional response and I’ve mentioned
that concept before on this channel. Yelling their name or hissing it with
exasperation and frustration will only pair bad emotions with it. From there
reliability will start to erode. This is an important consideration when training
Come, for example. When I say my dog’s name I want them to look at me because
they have good expectations about what I want. I don’t want them to pretend they
don’t hear me because they’re avoiding me. Many people in fact actually use
their dogs named as the reprimand. [dog bark] Leo! This is bad news because over time you
are teaching your dog to believe hearing their name means they’re in
trouble. These folks then often wonder why the
dog won’t come when called and generally won’t listen. Using their name as part of
reprimand, or as the reprimand, is a huge contributing factor to not listening.
Remember: you’re correcting the behavior, not the dog as an individual, so address
the behavior you don’t like without having to make it
personal. When you need to follow up, or stop them from doing something, or
communicate that you’re not happy there’s usually no need to even use your
dog’s name unless it’s an emergency, we’ll get to that in a minute.
Use interrupts like, “Enough!” or “Leave it!” or “Drop it!” or even just “Hey hey hey!”
These rarely need to be preceded by the name. Instructive reprimands and specific
redirects don’t need the name either. The dog’s name should only be used to: 1)
proceed requests and 2) get their attention in emergencies. We humans make
a lot of mistakes so say your dog’s name nicely, always. Even when you’re mad. And
since we know they’re making associations use your dog’s name to do
fun things together, or to reward them, or when you’re praising them. Pairing their
name with lavish praise, using it as a precursor to good things and as a
gateway to important requests will be creating a conditioned emotional
response in these cases – and wiring that brain to love hearing their name. As
I said in the Positive Training Trifecta video we are always classically
conditioning our dogs, so don’t waste the opportunity! The second thing to
remember: don’t nag them with it. When you want your dog’s attention, stop repeating
it ad nauseam. “Leo. Leo. No Leo. Leo. Please, Leo. Leo. Leo. Leo. Come
on Leo. Leo. Leo.” When you do this you’re denaturing their name so that it
becomes meaningless background noise. You’re teaching them to ignore it which
is going to give you trouble down the road. I always work with my students to
help them get their dogs to respond to things the first time we ask for
behaviors like Sit, Come, Down, Leave it, etc. On this same token your dog should
look at you right away when you say their name. If you’re having trouble
getting your dog’s attention then the solution is not to just nag them and
hope they remember you’re there. The solution is to go back to the drawing
board and do attention and focus exercises, and have more bonding
experiences. In the meantime monotonous repetition of their name didn’t work the
first hundred times you tried, it so stop doing that and do something else!
You can also use your dog’s name as part of a coding system. We can code the
requests we make and assign importance based on how we use our dog’s name.
Dogs learn their names but most dogs have several familiar names or nicknames.
Dogs are also capable of responding to these. So we code requests and assign
importance according to what name we use. If we use one of their nicknames, this
tells your dog that the following request is a suggestion.
We’d like for them to do it but if they don’t want to it’s not a big deal. If we
use their formal name we’re telling them that the following request is not
optional. We need them to do it immediately or we will follow up. This
will help you share some control with your dog and help them understand more
when you need something done now. Sharing control has been proven time and again
in not just animal psychology and behavior but in parenting, schools, and
the workplace. Do we really need to micromanage every single aspect of their
lives? Listen: not every request you make to
your dog has to be an order. They’re not robots. Some things are just suggestions.
We do this all the time with the humans in our lives. Wife: “Hey honey, come sit down and
watch the show with us.” Husband: “I really want to finish this thing in the garage first.”
Can you imagine how silly it would be if we followed up on everything like it was
life or death? Husband: “I really want to finish this thing in the garage first.” Wife: “I said
SIT DOWN!!” Think also of a mother—maybe even your
mom—mothers do this kind of coding all the time depending on the name they use.
Mome: “Hey Kenz, will you give me the dog treats please?” Child: “Sure mommy.” Mom: “Mackenzie. Stop feeding the dog.” “Mackenzie Megan you stop hitting your sister!” Our dogs our family and I’m betting you have a truckload of nicknames for your
dogs too, so use them as part of your management. This will help you decide
from moment to moment how much energy you can and should expend on management,
and save you some headaches down the road. Of course the most important factor
to making this work is consistency and common sense. Don’t make a big deal out
of every single little daily thing around the house, and don’t give a
must-do command unless you are willing and able to follow up. And you may have a
repertoire of commands that are only given when it’s a must-do situation.
These are things like emergency stops, or distance downs, or even a heel. Likewise
don’t use these unless it’s really important. Coding can also help you
differentiate requests amongst more than one dog. Ian: “Dexter, come here. Yes! Good boy. Darwin, come here. Yes! Good boys! Oh, you guys are so good! Ok let’s go!” And finally, train urgency with
reward scaling. Sometimes we’re in emergency situations, like if the dog is
about to do something dangerous. In these instances we will not be able to help
ourselves. We will yell. We will shout their names.
However this needs to indicate that this situation is urgent, not that they are in
trouble. We can teach that using reward scaling and practice. When I get louder I
want a dog to think, “Oh man this must be important!” I don’t want a dog to think
they’re in trouble which is going to make them hesitate and possibly make the
wrong decision. So for example you could practice calling your dog’s name for
attention and scale up the reward the louder you get. Kibble for tone neutral,
treats for calling loudly, a jackpot for shouting, and then a $10,000 jackpot for
outright yelling. Your dog will think, “Hey it’s kind of spooky that you yelled at
me, but the buffet was awesome so, I’m alright with it!” Then the next time you
yell when they squirt out the front door they’ll pay way better attention. I
talked about this concept in the Reward Scaling video and I’ll put a link to
that one in the description. So let’s recap guys. Don’t use your dog’s name as
a reprimand, or even as part of one. Use your dog’s name a lot during fun activities
and during praise. Don’t nag your dog with their name. Actually just stop
nagging altogether. Code requests with either their formal name or their
nickname depending on how important it is. Use your dog’s name to differentiate
amongst several dogs. Teach your dog that volume equals urgency with a reward
scaling exercise. Being cognizant of how these little things make a big
difference is a tremendous tool in training your dog to be happy, healthy,
and well behaved. Think about how you use your dog’s name, and nicknames, and start
implementing these strategies in your daily life. So questions for you: what are
some of the things you discovered about your training in this video? And what are
some changes you’re going to make? Also what questions do you have about using
your dog’s name? Let me hear about it in the comments. Don’t forget to thumbs up
this video if you learned something and as always keep learning, keep practicing
and we’ll see you next time. Thanks for watching!

About Ralph Robinson

Read All Posts By Ralph Robinson

100 thoughts on “Dog Ignoring You? 4 Dog Name Strategies to Help!

  1. I got cut off in traffic once and yelled at the driver. Looked over and my German Shepherd was cowering in the seat…. I stopped yelling at other drivers after that.

  2. I concur the dog's name should not be used as a reprimand. I used my dog's name for praise and calling back in emergencies. For example; one time my dog was about to drink from a lake that contained high amounts of arsenic: I immediately called his name and he responded so quickly that he slipped when he was running back to me, while he ignored the contaminated lake water. So training a dog to respond quickly to his name in emergency situations can save his life.

  3. When my mom calls my FULL name I know I am in shit and I am upstairs faster than you can blink lol.

    though she only ever used it when, as I said, I was in REAL shit and in addition she needed me upstairs RIGHT THEN.

  4. I started practicing as I was watching the video and I say her name so much when I reprimand. I really need to work on it 🤦🏽‍♀️

  5. I have a question, I have 2 dogs, I was using their names for corrections because I was worried about one thinking I was correcting them when I was talking to the other 😌 any advice for that? Thanks.

  6. I use my dogs name a lot when he is in trouble I’m going to work on that and how to make him understand yelling his name isn’t a bad thing

  7. Think I gave my dog the wrong name of Rho. It sounds like "no" which is what he hears most. But I have sddressed my dogs as "dog" when being corrected. This video has been so helpful when teaching him to come when called.

  8. Also it has been said that dogs should only have names with two syllables and its a waste to have any more because some don't hear the third or forth.

  9. I’ve watched a lot of your videos now and it’s very helpful since I recently got a dog and it’s the first dog that I fully own so this is very very useful
    Edit: forgot to add this but definitely recommending you to all dog owners Ik and you deserve more subs tbh

  10. So, I sing songs to my dogs that revolve around their names all the time (ex. I sing Ollie pop to the tune of Lollipop), so would that fall under the over using their names category or does it really matter in this case?

  11. Great vid and info thanks. This is first time ive watched you just showed up in my reccomends so i watched you..Also you have a new sub. I am just wondering if its to late for my dog, I rescued her from the street about 7 yrs ago she is a pit mix and a sweetheart, but also very protective. I have not really done much training with her but she knows some basics that I taught her in less than 1/2 hr. sit, lay, give me your paw, come, down. She seems very smart. Due to the fact that she kept evading the animal control truck in some very creative ways I decided her name should be foxy…I just hope I can still train her, I guess I havent been a very good dog mommy….Her one main fault is she hates cats and if one goes into our backyard it is toast unless it can make it to the big tree in middle of yard….then i will rescue it.

  12. hi! i have a difficult question. i dont own a dog, but walk a neighbours dog every day for an hour. the dog is a boxer, almost 4 years old and was kept for the first 3 years in a wardrobe (long story short: woman wanted dog, husband didnt. woman buys dog, has to keep it in her wardrobe… until it got rescued). the dog hasnt been trained at all and didnt know trees, grass, other dogs, birds etc. . im walking the dog for 5 months now and i managed to stop her biting the leash and pulling (except if there are other dogs) and jump at everything. she follows "here" and "sit" 90% of the time (i walk her on a 7m leash, dont think off-leash is an option), but she doesnt react to her name at all – so using it makes no sense to me and since im just walking her once a day i dont "need" any other commands.

    but heres my problem: every now and then she decides to ignore me for no reason. there are no other dogs and she doesnt want to sniff sth – shes just looking straight ahead and starts pulling the leash again – it doesnt matter how long the leash is. she doesnt react to any commands and she is just staring at the horizon. this may last for 5 min and its usually not more than once per walk.. and then shes back to normal again. since i dont know when she has "her 5 minutes of insubordination", i have to be on my toes all the time, which is pretty annoying (e.g. 20 bikers pass us without any issues … and suddenly she decides to jump at biker, jogger number 21 and doesnt listen to anything). in this "phase" she doesnt care about treats too – shes just staring ahead (again… even if there are no bikers, joggers, dogs etc). any suggestions are really appreciated! thanks!

  13. I feel like this is the kind of guy that smells all of the produce at the grocery store and never ends up buying anything

  14. This gentleman sounds a lot like the host of Freakin Reviews

  15. I have a 7 year old dog that has never been properly trained, I don't live in an area with an obedience school and I've never trained a dog before. Thanks from a newbie at this!

  16. I got a new puppy so my big lad has started ignoring me knowing when I call him the pup comes 2🤦‍♂️😂

  17. These videos are simpáticos !

    I’ve been using the ‘codes’ w/out knowing what they were…

    And wondered why my dog doesn’t always answer to his name in an emergency, but I use a (soft) whistle instead! He always comes to that, no matter what, so I guess my whistle is “you must come now” 😉

    I guess I wasn’t doing everything 85% wrong, as I thought, but 75% right 😜

    Thanks for sharing. Very helpful.

  18. Because I don't take my pups out the front door without their leash, they don't bolt out the door. However, if they did, I'd just shout "huhu" (like being punched in the gut twice) snap my finger and they are back in. I only use their name when I want them to singularly pay attention. Such as when I give them a treat, I hold the treat up to their nose and they have to wait till i say, "[Dogs name] take it." Or when they eat, they have to sit calmly and "say please" before they can eat. All this together has kept them easy to keep dogs and I love them! Couldn't imagine life without them. On the other hand, when they get too rowdy, I will use their full name with a deep tone rather a happy tone. As the narrator stated, this helps the dog differentiate between a good name calling and when the dog needs to pay attention.

  19. The dogs name is important my ex wife got rid of my dog saying it was a stray and the new family that adopted her took her back to the shelter because she didnt listen to them. So when I got her back and used her real name she instantly knew who I was and knew she was going home.

  20. Like your video and tips but would need examples of how to do it right. You were great on examples on how NOT to do it. More examples on the RIGHT way

  21. I too am guilty of using my dogs name in association with a correction and overusing my dogs name. She "used" to have excellent recall, now I know how to get back to that, thanks 🙂

  22. The first method about how to use the dog's name doesn't work when you have multiple dogs and need to get a specific dog's attention from far away.

  23. don't have a dog😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭

  24. what if my dog responds to his name when called, normally, but never when we are outside, he only responds if i whistle but never to his name, anything i can do about that ?

  25. But how would you go about teaching them that the nickname isnt a command and their actual name is legit.
    Im thinking maybe rewarding higher with their legit name and less with the nickname? i dont know, although i want to be a dog trainer theres still a lot for me to learn

  26. I have a 4 month old Australian Shepherd and she does great with focusing and listening training but fails to listen to me when we are outside. She is way to focused on the smells outside to bother listening to me. I try to only say my dogs name 1-2 times to see if she will look at me. She is so focused on another dog or something that I am hopeless. I don’t know what to do to get her to listen to me when we are outside.

  27. I finally figured this out with a German Pinscher puppy I rescued. He was the smartest dog I'd ever had and ended up learning his name day one! He also learned how to open his crate, how to open doors, and how to get out of our fenced in yard no matter what we did to keep him in. However, I always knew when he was out and would stand out front and call his name as excitedly as I possibly could and he would immediately stop what he was doing and run at top speed to me and jump into my arms because that was the only way I ever called him and I'd play with him (he couldn't care less about food if play was an option) as soon as he reaches me. I even trusted him enough to let him go again to bring my brothers timid new dog back when the gate had been left open because I knew he'd come right back when I called and that she would run away if I tried to go near her. He was only 4 or 5 months old at that point and he knew his name so well!

  28. How does one go about changing a dogs name after adoption? Or should you? My new dog has a name the rescue gave him and he’s now 4.5 months old. Thanks!

  29. Im not taking sides but i came across a fairly new video for cesar and he mentioned never use the dog name in punishment or correcting wrong behaviour, just being fair,and thanks for all the information you provide on this channel,i love zak george also….

  30. So I have two difficult dogs I've had 8 months. They were brought to the U.S. at 10 weeks after being rescued from the meat market in China. Their first year of life they were not socialized or trained. When I got them they were barkers and learned that when I say Shhh it means stop barking. If I don't say each of their names before saying Shhh it won't work. But I do praise them for following the command.

  31. You are impressive. As a rescuer, (unpro) trainer youre brilliant at articulating things I tend to forget. Like the run on sentance as discipline. I love the treat /decibel reward idea. First time watcher, grateful new subscriber ✌️💙🐕

  32. Training animals is usually more about training the humans.
    This would be fantastic PARENTING ADVICE!!! Great pet advice, but seriously, could go a long way to good parenting solutions. Dogs can be just as intelligent as humans, and humans can be as dumb as a dog at times too. I think it'd work!

  33. False. A well trained (taught) dog >understands< tone of voice. A name is only the >attention grabber< despite "good" vs "Ut Oh I did something bad" tone. This selling a dog short of intelligence is maddening! Some dogs are smarter than others and one will not know just how intelligent if
    1 – they sell them short from day one, thinking their dog will only be XxX intelligent.
    2 – They don't spend the time to TEACH their dog vs training. Training is an event, teaching is EVERYDAY of their lives, just like us humans!
    3 – Imagination is limit! Don't think to yourself "My dog can never learn this", rather think "How can I teach my dog this in a manner he / she can understand?"
    Come on people, dogs have been with us for HUNDREDS of years! They know us far better than we know them, sadly!

  34. I thumbed up the video because I liked how you presented everything. It should be common sense, but unfortunately many people need to be told. I really liked your "just stop nagging" comment

  35. You are right on point, I've raised seven dogs, pits/pit lab mixes, every thing you say is correct. Dogs want to be part of the pack, but they also need respect. They need to be put in their place, but never shamed. I'm the Alpha, you're my partner.

  36. This was a cool video! I found it by chance and glad I did. This explains in part why our dog listens to me better than he does to my wife.
    And yes I have a bunch of nicknames for him and, without me realizing it was "a thing", for the very reasons you stated. Growing up with 5 brothers and sisters I had lots of nicknames as we all did, and those names let us know who wanted us and with an idea of if it was good or bad. Of course we all had nick names for our mom and dad too! hahaha!
    This was very informative and I'll look up more of your videos!

  37. Great video and super useful. Now I know why my dog Borola doesn't come when I call her. I always reprimend her using her name. Thanks!!!

  38. This has been the most enlightening dog training video I have seen! For that matter, seemingly the best dog training tip I’ve heard of from any source. It just makes so much sense, I wish I had learned this 30 years ago. I will start implementing the technique immediately. Is there any way to undo the damage I’ve done over the last 4 years with my current dog?

  39. I agree with your video, but what do you do when you have several dogs. For instance, in a field and one runs off. How does the dog that is running off know you are calling for them.

  40. One of my dogs are named Jingo so I'll be like Jingo bingo Mingo dingo lol he gets all happy and he dont now why outher then he's about to know he's getting a tummy rub

  41. This was very useful. I have one question though. I work at a doggy daycare supervising anywhere from 15 to 30 dogs at a time. A large part of my day is correcting misbehavior (barking, humping, fighting, etc.) how do I correct a single dog out of many without using their name?

  42. Using their name for correction is alright if you change the tone of your voice. When my dog is in trouble i speak to her in a lower voice than regular and she knows she's done something wrong. When training dogs people tend to forget that their tone is more important than what you're actually saying

  43. Do you have more specific info on how to implement nicknames? I've actually been wondering about making suggestions or asking desire without regressing in training.

  44. excellent tips, thank you! I have a 9 month old beagle and i have never used his name with a negative behavior. He knows his name, but being a beagle, does not always come when called!

  45. my dog's nickname is stinky butt. When I call him that, he gets excited because good things happen when I use that name. Lol

  46. Would a dog be able to differentiate between its proper and nicknames if they are very similar? For example we sometimes refer to my dog “Leo” as “shleo”.

  47. BP Lim
    I will stop using my girl’s name to reprimand her not to do certain things. Very good insight and reminder! Appreciate that!

  48. I gave all my new husky pups names, one came naturally, catch phrase for liter was “ that must Bootsy”, the one always either crying or upset. Then she completed her name with a display of kicking feet just 2 weeks old. Then Shamrock was named for her markings, as Bootsy. The dad’s puppy has a name for the only male in the litter, JJ after his dad Jerry. Bootsy’s mom has another name for her, Kamik which means Eskimo Boots, and they have been very happy to hear all news. Dogs have many names, some they may keep to themselves.

  49. I have a toy poodle puppy and she has a small fenced yard to go potty in outside because I live in a trailer park. She thought her name was "come here" because I was always saying that after she finished her business LOL The first time I brought a treat and she Josie in a sweet voice she ran to me. Now if I say her name she comes.

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