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I have two GSDs and one more that is often under my care at work (we get to bring our dogs to work). Two are pups; 8 months old and the third is 2. My question is this: do dogs ever realize when you're asking ONE of them to do something or telling ONE of them "NO!"? I am often only able to take one out potty at a time but they all come a runnin to the door and the other two try to sneak out while the one that needs to go out will "stay in". Or, I'll tell one dog to get "off the bed!" meaning my bed (bedroom construction, we're sleeping in sleeping bags for now ;-)and another dog will think I'm talking to them and get off their dog bed!

How do you multiple dog owners differentiate between your dogs when asking them to do something? Do they realize the differences in their names or by who you're looking at?
 

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My guys know that if I do NOT say a name first, everyone is expected to respond to the command. IF I want one dog to do something I say their name and then the command and the others are expected to MTOB.
 

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Same here Lauri.

Simply say the dog's name, then the command, to illustrate which one you're talking to.

If you just say something...they'll all respond.
 

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Originally Posted By: Posi&clutchI have always used the dog I am talk to's name, but not consciously enough to where I am training them to recognize by the NAME. Perhaps I should start making a point of that?
Absolutely. Just start using commands like: "Clutch, off." or "Posi, sit."

They'll catch on quickly.
 

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I have 4 dogs almost all the time, 11 mon old GS, learned very early from the others that you wait your turn or name. I throw balls and call a name and that is who retrieves it, they may all run but the named one picks it up. I hand out treats and all noses are there yet only the one named leans in for it, and when it is the shihtzu's turn my hand goes below their noses yet no one moves. the same with thrown treats or playing catch.

As far as the door, they should all learn to sit and wait and with the door OPEN no one should move until invited, one at a time. That way the one taken is out and the others learn to either sit or lay at the door and wait. Get serious and insist on manners.
 

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I use the name differentiation, too, and it works really well. All of my girls know their names. I do a structured "name recognition" exercise (also known as attention training) where I reward them for looking at me when they hear their name, so that helps them learn their names quickly.

I use "just" as a command quite a bit, too, and that's been really effective. When I open a door, I'll say "just Trick!" and Trick will be the only one to come forward and go through the doorway. I can use it for toys or treats too - I'll reach out with a treat and say "just Khana" and Khana will be the only one to come forward for the treat. That way they're not doing behaviors just on their name alone (which is important if you're competing with your dogs - anticipating a command when you say the dog's name can cause you to fail an exercise). So I try to incorporate an actual command with the name and not just say the dog's name.

Melanie and the gang in Alaska
 
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