Three things you need to teach your puppy his name

Training your puppy to come to his name doesn’t happen by magic. You need to establish a plan so that when he reaches his smaller goals, he can move on to the next one.
August 29, 2022
August 29, 2022
August 29, 2022

By John Kent



Come here, Aero. Casper. Jules. Shoot, what was your name again?

Teaching your puppy his name, in the beginning, is a little chaotic. If you’re anything like us, half the time, we end up trying a name for a couple of days before changing it when we realize it really doesn’t fit him. The other time, we don’t remember it right ourselves and end up calling them everything by the right thing.

It takes a long time to get a new puppy’s name right. We went through a dozen names with Aero, and even then, we almost kept going. When we did settle, it took some time to explain to everyone why we’d changed our minds. Thankfully, there were only a few social media posts that needed to be edited and a registry or two to be corrected.

We didn’t have much time to waste, however. Knowing their name is one of the most important things that sets a dog on the right path. Very little training can happen until your puppy knows his name.

So, how can you make it happen?

As much as we wish it, teaching a puppy his name will take time. We can’t do it without repeated efforts.
Fear not; all is not lost. There are a few things you can put together in advance that will make your job easier.


We always start small, but eventually, you’re going to need a long leash. Training leashes are about 25 feet long and not retractable. As you play with your puppy to teach him his name, you’ll want him to be further and further from you so you can give him praise when he comes to your call. At greater distances, we need to show him the way when he wanders off or runs across his proverbial squirrel. GSPs are very smart but strong-willed at the same time. A gentle tug on the leash will often remind him you’re trying to get his attention but remember it’s about communication, not about dragging them to you.


While some dogs respond well to treats, there are other ways. Toys and praise can work for many puppies, though in every instance, you need to determine what works best. You need to have various levels of rewards close at hand so you can give them to him when he achieves the goals you’ve set. Of course, when it comes to toys, you can appreciate that even as you give a special toy to your puppy for playtime, it can’t last forever. Be ready to take it back so you can continue with the training. When using treats, you’ll want small pieces, so they don’t fill up.

A plan

Training your puppy to come to his name doesn’t happen by magic. You need to establish a plan so that when he reaches his smaller goals, he can move on to the next one. You’ll want to exercise your puppy so he is ready to learn and train before you feed him if you’re using treats. A plan will give you something to look forward to and keep you on track when progress invariably falls backward from time to time.

Preparing for your puppy, sometimes even before you bring them home, is important so you can move on to other training like sit and stay. Take your time to get the right name, one that sounds good out loud. A simple name is best with one or two syllables. And remember to test it, so it doesn’t sound like other members of your family. The confusion of calling Vinnie when you have a Whinnie can grow old quickly.

Introducing your new GSP puppy to your family is an exciting time. If you need help teaching him his name, check out our digital training platform here.

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