There are a lot of interesting questions that most dog owners have. How do dogs know their names when we call them? This is probably the most interesting one of them all. Do dogs understand English, or do they really know their name? The situation is a bit different, and below we will take a deep look into all of this. For some of you, the answer is simple. For others, it will be confusing, and some will even believe the opposite.
Do Dogs Know Their Names When We Call Them?
Deduction And Positive Reinforcement
As always, we like to start with the simplest answer possible. How do dogs know their names when we call them? Dogs cannot understand us. Dogs don’t know what their name means or that this is their name, but they must come when you call them. They simply deduce that the sound you make means something and that they should come to you.
You will call your puppy by his name from the beginning. While training him, you will use treats (positive reinforcement). Eventually, a puppy will realise that when he comes to you, he will get a reward. Now, a puppy will link the reward to the sound you make. Every name is different, meaning you will make a different sound when you call the dog or when you are telling him something else.
Add the fact that most dog owners will clap their hands or do something similar, and a dog can link this to you calling him. In general, a dog understands a sound you make and other cues more than a name.
Try to call your dog by his name. He will come. Next time, try to call him, but change his name slightly. If his name is Rex, try calling him Tex. You will see that he will still come to you. This is because he cannot distinguish the name you are calling properly.
All of this means that if you change his name, he will need a long time to adjust. Therefore, changing the dog’s name is never a good thing to do, and there are a lot of issues in that scenario.
One more note…
It is important to add that you need to be the alpha if you want your dog to come to you when you call him. In other terms, you need to have a bigger role than he does in the pack. If he refuses to come, it probably means that he doesn’t see you as an alpha, which is a mistake.
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Dogs Can Learn Many Words As Well
A lot of dogs can learn a lot of words. But this is not something we can generalize. Other dogs are unable to learn many words.They can learn just a couple of them. The intelligence of a dog doesn’t have a crucial role here. We believe that training and positive reinforcement, paired with your effort, play a huge role.
The best example is when you enter the room. You can say “hello” to your dog. He will probably react, and you can see him being happy. But the key element here is to know that your dog doesn’t actually know what “hello” means. If you say hello and walk out of the room, he will do nothing. If you say hello and he sees you carrying a leash, it means that you want to walk him. Your dog will become happy, and he will want to be next to you.
All of this means that dogs will look at verbal clues and use them to deduce what you want to say. They are unable to understand the English language, and they obviously cannot speak
Teach Your Dog His Name
Now you probably want to know how you can teach your dog his name so he will come every single time when you call him. It is actually easynt to know how you can teach your dog his name so he will come every single time when you call him. It is actually easy. Start when your dog is a puppy. This is much more effective. Call out his name while he is on a leash and show him a treat. When he comes to you, give him a treat. Repeat this as many times as possible.
You will want to remove the leash after a week or two and try again. Always give him a treat. Then, train him while walking him on a leash. Try different things and explore different situations.
The Final Word
How do dogs know their names when we call them and they come? They don’t know what you are saying. They only know that the sound you make and the verbal clues you make will give them something positive. Usually, that’s a treat. That’s why they will come to you. But a dog will come to you only if he thinks you have a bigger role in the pack than he does!