so how do you actually teach your labrador puppy its name now when you get a new dog you obviously think that we need to teach a dog its name but when you actually stop to think about how do you actually do that the process might seem a little bit more complicated than most people originally thought however do not worry because that is exactly what we’re going to talk about in today’s article .
to start to talking about teaching your labrador puppy teaching your labrador of any age its name now before we actually go about helping you understand how you teach your labrador their name it’s really important that we understand the theory and the principle behind it it is critical that you understand that your labrador any dog for that matter can never understand the concept that it has a name it is a completely foreign concept to a dog and there is no amount of training we can do to help them truly on a deep level understand that this word this noise that is coming out of our mouth is their name that is a very human concept we’re the only animal on the planet that actually does that and when we’re communicating with other humans about our dog it’s completely fine to refer to them as their name but to be a high level canine leader we must understand these things from the dog’s point of view and get it from a canine psychology and behavior point of view what we need to understand that when we’re communicating with our dog their name means nothing more than stop what you’re doing and look up to me because i’m about to ask you to do something else.
if we’re ever actually communicating with our labrador think about it how is it that we actually use their name nine times out of ten it’s probably to get them to stop doing something you don’t want them to do along the lines of bob stop it bob no bob stop bob no no that’s not necessarily high level k in our leadership and in our perfect puppy program we talk about all of those things in length but when we actually want to be using their name it is simply to get their attention because we’re about to ask them to do something else or to ask them to stop doing what they’re doing bob no bob stop it or bob come bob sit bob stay bob heal you get the idea we’re trying to get their attention and then redirect them or ask them to do something else or ask them to stop doing what it is that they’re doing but always what we want from them is look up at me because i’m about to ask you to do something else that is of critical importance that you understand that it is no different than teaching our dog to sit .
that this noise that comes out of our mouth we understand it as word we understand it as vocabulary and language to a dog it’s just nothing but a weird noise that comes out of that weird two-legged animal that they live with it’s just a noise that comes out of their mouth our job as a leader is to help them associate that with a desired behavior and then positively reinforce that desired behavior so that they repeat that desired behavior every time that noise comes out of our mouth that is the essence of dog training it really isn’t rocket science but when we look at it like that from a dog’s perspective we will see things a little bit differently and if you can grasp that before we move forward i promise you you are going to be so much further down the line of being a high-level canine leader than 99 people out of a hundred so now we’ve got that how do you okay well very good will that sounds great but how do i actually teach a dog to look up to me for guidance and direction by using its name as a command no problem whatsoever exactly the same way that in our perfect puppy program we help you teach a dog to sit we use a lure mark and reinforce base procedure very standard .
in the dog training world it’s a positive based approach a food based approach brilliant we do it as part in our perfect puppy program we teach at you as part of our ephemera basic obedience drill that we start from day one and teaching a dog its name is one of the very very first things that we do it’s excellent for a relationship it’s excellent for communication and a lot of things are built up on top of it and form that basic obedience drill so oftentimes as we move forward we use it as a little bit of a tune-up and a warm-up and it informs a lot of the other things how we actually do that i’m going to give you a quick overview of now but we use a bit of food reward allure sorry we can get the dog’s attention we put it in front of their nose so they’re following the lure what we do is we bring that lure up to our face we don’t want to cover our eyes because we always want to have that eye contact with our dog we bring it up when we get that eye contact from the dog looking up .
now they might be looking at the lure to start with that’s fine but once they’re looking right up at us we mark that behavior with the word which we have assigned as their name so with this example we bring it up we get the eye contact bob yes good bob good bob then they get the food reward we reinforce it so we’ve lured them we mark it with their name and then we reinforce it with the positive praise and the food reward and all the good lovely stuff that we like to do with our dogs we drill it we practice it we put the reps in nothing comes easy in life and in particular with dog training you have to put the work in there’s no tricks there’s no shortcuts it’s about putting the work in putting the reps in with a breed as smart as a labrador you’re going to be doing a lot less reps than a breed like a bullmastiff for example doesn’t mean you still don’t have to put the reps in you absolutely have to you put those reps in and you’ll very quickly get the dog to associate following that lure with this word means that they get access to the food brilliant but what we don’t want to do just like how when we’re teaching a dog to sit we don’t want them to have to sit a four-year-old.
labrador we have to use a lure to get them to sit every time no we get use the word and then we remove the reinforcement and then we just rely on our relationship and communication to be able to get them to do what we want them to do when we want them to do it same goes for the name which is nothing more than a command remember to look up to me for guidance and direction so what we need to do is we get that lure but rather than bringing it right up to our face we might bring it up to chess level you will find that the labrador will naturally be interested in the food and they’ll be looking at it and this is where we need to use a bit of timing a bit of finesse and a little bit of patience when they follow it up excellent we wait for that moment they’re looking at the food they’re looking at the food and then when we ate for that moment where they’re a bit confused and they look up to us when we get that moment that from the food up to us instantly we mark it with their name lots of praise lots of reinforcement and again we drill that and you’ll find that a labrador in particular will pick that up very quickly ah it’s not just following this it’s that looking up once.
I look up that’s what gets me and if they say that noise that comes out of their mouth that we have decided is their name if i just look up at them fantastic i get something good that’s how we train it and we eventually remove the lure altogether and then further down the line and again it’s in our perfect puppy program we help you remove the reinforcement aspect and we utilize our relationship that we’ve built with our dog to be able to utilize that obedience no matter where we are what situation’s happening whether we’ve got food or treats on us or not we can utilize our obedience and our communication simply with nothing more than relationship which is the essence of a high-level canine leader.