My dog is not paying attention to me?
1. Get rid of the food bowl. For a week, feed your dog from your hands only, no bowl. Your dog will learn that following your hands & commands is important.
2. Do not feed your dog outside training. This way, they will learn to work for food and will start building a connection with you.
3. If your dog is still not motivated, take delicious treats - smelly cheese, liver, fish, canned food, whatever makes your dog drool 😋.
4. Be fun and positive, talk in a high-pitched, happy voice, make your dog’s tail wiggle by talking to them. Use the same tone of voice during training.
The most common mistakes
Not praising the dog
In the beginning, before your dog learns the name, it is just a sound. If they hear Max, look at you, and nothing happens, next time they hear Max, they will think it is just another human word that signifies nothing to him. Make sure you always reward your dog for reacting to the name. You can praise your dog, give a treat, or start a fun activity. Reacting to the name should always mean FUN!
Repeating the name
Often we hear dog parents repeating the name of their dog. It sounds something like that: Max, Maaaaax, MAX!!! The tone of voice rises and becomes stricter. Your dog learns to react only when the name is repeated many times, as the first time they hear it, it is not urgent yet. Get into the habit of saying the name once. If the dog is not reacting, whistle, make kissy sounds, clap, or run in the opposite direction while squealing to attract your dog’s attention. Once your dog reacts, don’t forget to praise the dog.
Using name instead of the come cue
It is not a big mistake, but our suggestion is not to use the name as a recall cue. In the future, you will want your dog to perform some tasks at a distance, and if your dog learns Max=recall, it will be harder to get your dog to stay after hearing the name. Use the name to get your dog’s attention and add the cue, e.g., Max, come!
- Train when your dog is calm and is not pre-occupied by play or food, e.g., they are resting.
- Put a delicious, small treat near their nose. When your dog is excited to eat it, move it to the floor.
- When the dog is done with eating the treat, call their name, most probably they will look at you for more.
- If the dog doesn't look in your direction, whistle, clap, or make kissy sounds.
- Repeat the exercise 20 times.