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Training and Care — Tip Of The Week

Australian Shepherd Lover's Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care
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Excerpt from Our New
Australian Shepherd Lover's Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

Excerpt #81

Choosing a Name for Your Pup

Choosing a name is an important step when you get a new puppy. Don't rush into choosing a name – you're going to have to live with that name for 15 years plus, so make it a good one. You can either go with a classic Aussie name, or use something a little less common.

Dogs usually respond better to one or two syllable names so try to keep it simple. Also keep in mind that you will be using this name out in public so it should be one that you are comfortable calling out. In fact you may want to actually do that, call the name out, see how it sounds, remember your going to have this dog for many years so make sure you're making the right choice and that it really is the right one for your new puppy.

When choosing names for dogs be sure to avoid names which sound like standard commands such as fetch, sit, or stay. Naming your dog "Moe", for instance, sounds a lot like "NO". It can be difficult for dogs to tell the difference between such similar sounding words. Parents should also consider if they really want their children's input in naming the family pet. Mr. Pigglesworth Sparkles the Third is a hard name to live with. It may be a better idea to present kids with a few names that you have picked out and let them choose their favorite puppy name from the short list.

Get to know your dog for a few days before deciding on a name. She might have a funny habit or trait which will stand out and make picking your dog's name easier. In fact the favorite puppy names you had picked out might not match their personality at all. And Aussies have LOTS of personality!
After you have picked the perfect name for your puppy or dog you should use it alot! Get her used to it by repeating it over and over. Careful not to use it when you are angry or upset with her though. If you use your puppy's name often when you are playing and paying positive attention to her she should pick it up in no time.

If you are adopting or rescuing an older dog changing it's name may take longer for them to get used to. In many cases these dogs have been abandoned and recently been given a new name by the shelter. You may decide to keep the name or find something very similar. However, if you would like to change it altogether try to wait until they get settled and comfortable with you and their new surroundings then you can teach her her new name. Repetition will be the key here.

Keep in mind that when using the new name with a command your dog may respond, however, she may be responding to the command – not the name. So use the new name frequently just to get her attention followed by lots of positive reinforcement.

Next time: More on Naming Your Pup

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