The Whole Dog Journal has an interesting piece on the importance of a dog’s name when training. And it doesn’t only work with puppies. According to author Pat Miller, you can still teach an old dog new tricks.
The article is full of useful insights, but we especially liked this:
Remember that your dog’s name does not mean come. It simply means “Look at me and wait for further instructions.” It’s important to make this distinction. There will be times when you want your dog’s attention but you don’t necessarily want her to come running to you. If she’s on the other side of the room and you want her to lie down there, you might say, “Lucy,” and when she looks at you, say “Down.”
Our dog Roma can be unresponsive at times when we call her name, usually because she has her nose buried in something, occasionally because her full attention is on an approaching dog. We’re looking forward to trying out some of the techniques mentioned in The Whole Dog Journal article.