Don’t name it til you love it

If you are in a foreign country and you don’t know the language, no amount of repeating the same word to you is going to make you understand it.

You would need to be shown what it means by pointing at an object or using a translator.

Remember too that your dog speaks a different language to us.

When they aren’t listening to something it is often because they don’t yet know the translation and need to be taught what the word means.

While repetition is the key to learning, this doesn’t mean repeating a word over and over and hoping that your dog will eventually get it.

It means repeating the behaviour until the dog knows that this behaviour leads to a good outcome.

And THEN we introduce a word, the new language.

That’s why you’ll often hear me say, “don’t name it til you love it.”

While I’m training something new to a dog, the owner often asks me, “why aren’t you saying a command?”

I’ll often start out saying little other than praise words (your dog needs encouragement).

But if I say the command before the dog knows which behaviour I want, the chances are they won’t get it right, which means they are being set up to fail AND as a human, my next step would be to start repeating the word.

When we repeat the word without meaning with it, it becomes less meaningful and easier for your dog to ignore.

So repeat the behaviour before you repeat the word, and don’t name it til you love it 😉

Woofs and wags

Tenille

PS Whenever you’re ready, here’s 3 ways you can improve your dog’s behaviour today:

  1. Browse the free lessons in the Dog Matters Academy
  2. Sign up for Academy Premium and take the full training program that will improve any behaviour you’re struggling with with your dog
  3. Read my free ebook, The Good Dog and submit a question for me to answer within the same module area