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The Name Game
Teach your dog to turn and look at you whenever you say his name. Begin this in a quiet place, just as the kitchen or living room. Be sure there are no distractions to compete for the dog’s attention. Say his name in a clear voice. If he turns to look at you, immediately say “Yes!” and pull out his favorite toy or toss him a tasty treat. Pay attention to him for a minute or so; then do nothing. Wait until he loses interest in you. Then repeat the sequence. If he doesn’t turn and look when you say his name, don’t repeat it. Instead, turn and leave the room for a few seconds, or run to a corner and play with the toy yourself, or make a display of eating his treat yourself (choose the treats wisely – cheese or hot dogs are good!). He will learn that when you say his name, something fun is going to happen, and that if he doesn’t pay attention to his name, he’s going to miss out.
Do this 3-5 times at any one time, but practice it many times over the course of a few days.
Gradually introduce distractions: practice in different rooms in the house, in the yard, on walks, and at the park; practice while the dog is engaged in various activities, such as playing, chewing, grooming, sleeping, etc.