I read somewhere it was best to say your dogs name before you gave him a command because you want your dog to know you are addressing him. Yesterday I was watching the show and the trainer said you shouldn't use the name when giving a command because you don't want the dog to associate its name with anything negative. Which to you think is right?
I am not sure which is right but I noticed recently that he listens MUCH better when I use his name first. Otherwise he'll look at me as if to say "who me??" or ignore me Or I end up saying his name AFTER.
Personally (and I am certainly NOT a trainer) I believe it makes sense to say the name first, to get their attention. Especially if you are in conversation with someone else - I mean if you are talking to a friend then say "sit" how are they to know you mean you want THEM to sit or are saying the word sit?
I use the dogs name when it preceeds a moving command, such as heel, come, front etc. For stationary commands, I just use the command. In the hunt test world, most people only use the dogs name as a command to fetch. (i.e. FIDO! means Fido fetch! The actual word fetch is not used).
I use their names when I direct them but more often I use hand signals with my dogs. Anyone else prefer non-verbal commands? Of course you have to have the dog at a place where they pay pretty close attention to you and clearly there will be situations where you have to use verbal --- but dogs learn so much better with visual cues in my opinion.
I'm in the process of weaning myself from using Murray's name with commands. An OTCH trainer told me that by using Murray's name with every command it loses it's impact then when I really need his attention (like in the show ring or in a dangerous situation) I don't have any other options in my bag of tricks. So now in practice I don't ever use his name, then when we get in the ring I'll throw the name in and hopefully that will get his undivided attention. I was so worried the first time I tried not using his name (in practice) but it really was no issue. He knew I was talking to him.
Originally Posted by deezeldog
Anyone else prefer non-verbal commands? ...but dogs learn so much better with visual cues in my opinion.
I think that's pretty normal for most dogs. They are much better at reading body cues (not only hands but shoulders, hips, feet), facial expressions, etc. If you think about how dogs communicate with each other it is usually with body cues, not vocally.