Puppy – Name Game

Here’s the most important aspect of Name Game. This is NOT a recall! It will help you immensely when you work on recalls, no doubt about it. But Name Game is all about classical conditioning, not the puppy’s operant response to a cue. This game is for creating delight and attraction for the sound of his name. Period.


  1. Say the name in a happy voice,  randomly while you are playing
  2. Follow the order of events: Say name, then click, then treat.
  3. Mix up which way puppy is facing when you say their name.
  4. Mix up click and treat when the puppy approaches in front, to the side and even behind you.


We are looking to create a visceral response and a happy Conditioned Emotional Response (CER) to name. That’s the simplicity and the vital importance of Name Game.

We want to help our puppies develop good on/off switch. One way to do this is by trying to impose nap time after training. This nap time allows the well-documented value of latent learning on whatever little lesson you want them to assimilate.

This is the beginnings of a recall game. Right now we are classically conditioning the puppy to the sound of his name.  We want a visceral positive reaction whenever we say their names.


Published by Jan Shannon

Certified Dog Trainer

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