Once you have chosen a name for your puppy, you need to teach him what it is. Your objective is to teach him that when his name is called, you are requesting his full attention and to look directly at you.

As you go on to teach your puppy commands, such as come, sit and stay, you’ll do this successfully if your puppy is focused on you whilst you are teaching him these commands – this is why it’s so important he knows his name and responds to it.

Your puppy will start to learn that the sound of his name will be followed by a command, so to him, his name means that something is being specifically asked of him. When you use your puppy’s name, you must keep it associated with good things. Don’t call his name and then proceed to yell at him because he’s chewed something of yours. If you do this too often he’ll start to associate his name with being screamed at and won’t respond when you call. Realistically, his is easier said than done, but it will be worth all your hard efforts in the end.

So arm yourself with some tasty treats and put a leash on your puppy. That way you have complete control if he gets distracted by something or tries to wander off. Call his name in a positive and voice. Puppy’s love to hear your voice and will naturally look towards you when they hear you speak. As he looks in your direction, give him a treat and praise him verbally with “good boy”. Repeat this several times each day until he consistently looks towards you every time his name is called.

The next progression is to introduce a distraction. Try this with other people in the room, out in the yard, in the driveway, when or anywhere else you can think of. Don’t rush this step and always make it easy for your puppy to succeed, he wants to please you, so do your best to make it easy for him.

You need to teach your puppy that wherever you are, no matter the distraction, if he hears his name he needs to look at you and wait for further instruction. So, take small steps that can easily be achieved, then you will both look forward to every training session.