Using Your Dog's Name to Get Attention2 minute read
At Harper we we introduce a variety of cues for getting your dog's attention.
In "Distraction Ghosting" we introduce a verbal cue that gets your dog to look at you so you can lure her away from a distraction.
In "Leash Pressure Cue" we introduce a tactile cue that tells your dog to move in your direction.
In "Profit Position on Cue" we introduce a verbal cue which can be paired with a hand gesture to ask your pup to come in close by your side.
There are other cues too, and taken together, it starts to feel a little overcomplicated. In fact, it seems like all of these behaviors could be achieved with just one cue—your dog's name. If you are using your dog's name as a cue to tell her to come to you, can't you just use that in all of these scenarios?
Uh, well, this is a little embarrassing to admit, but yeah, you could do that.
One could argue that there are slight variations in what you're asking your dog to do in each of those scenarios so it's better to have specific cues for each, but in reality, those slight differences don't really outweigh the great simplicity in having just one cue that can do it all.
We like to keep things simple so why aren't we telling you to just use your dog's name?
For one, simple (see what I did there?) reason, we want your dog's name to be the strongest, most powerful cue you have.
If you start saying your dog's name every time she pulls to sniff at a flower bed or lunges for that piece of food on the ground or walks too far ahead of you, it will start to lose some of its power. That's especially true if she ignores you after you give the cue.
If you were confident that your dog would respond to her name in every single one of those instances—and we're talking so confident that you would place a $1,000 bet on it—then, sure, go ahead and use her name.
Otherwise, we recommend saving her name for when you absolutely need her to come to you, and come up with some other cues when it's less important or you're still learning.