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Thread: Teaching GSD Family Members Names?

  1. #1

    Default Teaching GSD Family Members Names?

    Hi all, looks like a great place!
    I have a 5 Month old German Shepherd Girl, she has high drive and good focus, and is doing really well with her basic obed and general manners.
    Her brain is like a sponge at the moment, and im finding she is focusing too much on her ball (great training aide i know, but i already have a ball crazy is enough!)
    I would like to channel this energy into something more constructive.
    I would like to teach her to reconize the individual family members (Myself, husband & 3 Kids) by their names, with the end goal being her able to find/alert the requested person, take things, retrieve from etc
    IE: Find Luke (my Son)
    Take it to Dad (phone or whatever)
    I have a vague idea in my head, but would really apreciate input from other trainers with how they would/did go about it.
    I want a solid training plan set out before i start to set a solid base and hopefully avoid stuffing up or confusion!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009


    Its a great idea, but I have no idea how you would teach it, sorry.
    Hopefully someone else will have an idea.

    Education not Legislation

  3. #3


    I will definetly get onto the photo thing, after i empty my camera and upload some pics!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2010


    Our dogs do that.

    I can say, where is Dad and they will go find him. Or if they have a toy I say take it to dad. And vice versa.

    We can also sometimes get them to find "kids name here".

    Sorry, no idea how we taught it, it just kinda happened, I guess the first one learnt it somehow (she was a very smart cookie) and then all the subsequent dogs have learnt by example LOL.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    melbourne australia


    i have a yr old GSD pup, he knows all our names.
    never taught this, he just picked up on it.
    However, how to teach a dog to take it to "name" as opposed to take it to "different name", you will have to overcome the dogs knowledge that certain people are more rewarding to take things to than others.
    Mine for instance, takes a ball to my daughter in the house, as she is the ONLY fool that plays ball inside. Whereas we remove the ball he's found, and end the game.
    How will you overcome your dogs ability to make her own decisions, that will be re-inforced by others?
    ive no idea.
    Id be interested to read others thoughts.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2009


    She is still a pup and in the phase where everything is interesting! It's good to have her focus on training etc, but let her be a dog as well - liking the ball is great! But rein it in before she gets *too* obsessed.

    Have you tried clicker training? It's an extremely easy way to teach a dog to associate a word with an object/person. One of my dogs knows over 70 tricks and we've only been using clicker training for eight months.

    like a rolling thunder chasing the wind...

  7. #7


    Bernie, very insightfull!!
    Jesse well and truely has it sussed who's who for whatever she wants to play!
    I think its great, and it works well in our family, but yes, i see how it can affect what i want to do, which is why i posted here!
    Perfect example is this..
    I thought i'd try putting her 2 fav toys in front of her, and ask by name to pick one up for a play.
    Now, she 100% knows the names of the toys her Goofy and ball.
    I ask her to get goofy, she looks at goofy, but picks up ball.
    After we work thru it a few more times she will get the goofy when asked and bring it, but without as much enthusiasm as she has when i ask her for the ball, and will drop poor old goofy in favour of the ball in play.
    Fair enough, we all have our favourites!
    I thought that would be how to start, (as she is so play orientated at the moment) fetching toys by name, once that is reliable to step up to taking it to named person (which i know is a seperate exercise we are teaching "go to" using treats and hide n seek games, progress is slower than id like on this, shes happy to find anyone!)
    Sierrra, im not a training monster we do 2 small training sessions on basic obed a day, and things like this is worked on when family time alows, wether it be once or twice a day. The rest of the day she plays, cuddles or naps like any other pup!
    She has a very active mind and needs the stimulation of new things imo.
    Ive never used clicker traing, but the results look great from what iv read it has a big following. I know i might sound a bit closed minded but im happy with the way my dogs work, so i dont feel the need to change my training method. But i will definetly look into it a bit more tho!
    Sorry im so long winded, im new to the forum thing and seem to type way too much!!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Kurrajong / Hawkesbury


    S: It is pretty easy to teach and if you have already started clicker training, it is easy, if not it is easy anyway.

    Give Dad a treat and have him sitting in a room on his own, walk dog in to the room and allow dog to come to rest, not jumping all over Dad anymore.

    Say in your best excited voice "wheres Dad?!!!" say it a few times, when you see your pup is excited have Dad produce a really tasty treat and puppy to eat it.

    Next let puppy come to rest, not beating up dad for treats. repeat the same again.

    Your looking to see the dog look straight at Dad when you say "wheres Dad?". when you have this, you start the game when Dad is not visible, so that puppy seeks him.

    Then you swap Dad for son, lets call him Joey.

    Then do the same with where is joey and progress up the t the same point. When you have all the family members included, it is time to put two of them in a room together, say where is Joey, if the dog goes to dad, dad is to make no eye contact nor respond at all, when he goes to Joey, he gets all excited too and gives treat.

    Add more family members in the game as you go.

    It is only a young pup so be very patient, but it is not really hard.

    When the dog is older, get creative by mixing up the target odor with the reward odor, give dad the treat and ask to find joey, this will tell you if the pup is air scenting the treat.

    Love to know how you go...
    Steve Courtney, K9 Pro - The K9 Professionals

    Official Forum Trainer and Behaviourist

  9. #9



    i was thinking along those lines so i guess im on the right track then.

    ""When the dog is older, get creative by mixing up the target odor with the reward odor, give dad the treat and ask to find joey, this will tell you if the pup is air scenting the treat. ""
    very good point, thanks.

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