Name Game – Layer 1

Objective:  The objective of this game is to teach your dog to turn and look at you when they hear their name.

When your dog hears you say her name, it should mean ‘pay attention, something great is going to happen’.


Preparation:  You will need 10 tasty treats

Step by Step Instructions Comments
When your dog is near you and looking at you, say her name once Start inside the house
Toss one treat a few feet away so that your dog must move away to get the treat
Repeat four more times
Now, when she is near but not looking at you, say her name once Initially if she doesn’t respond, continue to repeat the above steps over the next few days and then try this step again.
As she starts to orient toward you, mark with a ‘yes’ or click.  Toss a treat a few feet away.
Repeat four more times
Take a few minutes throughout the day to practice.
Alternate your position:  practice when you are sitting, standing in front of your dog, or your dog is standing beside you
Practice with your dog when she is standing, sitting, or laying down
Practice in a variety of environments:  kitchen, living room, back yard, front yard, on walks, etc.
Reasons why your dog may not pay attention to you:

  • You are using low value treats.  Bring out the really yummy stuff for this game
  • Not enough practice.  Play this game often during the day/week
  • You are repeating her name.  Make kissy sounds and/or pat your leg to get her attention but call her name only once.
  • The environment is too distracting, move farther away or go somewhere less distracting
When to Advance  
When she orients toward you  at the sound of her name
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