The sweet sound of her name

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This is Lily. She knows that this is her name. It’s never used to mean anything other. It’s not shouted at her. It’s not used to tell her I’m angry with her. It’s not used to make her feel confused or uncomfortable. She knows ‘Lily’ means I want to show her affection, maybe play or give her some treats. She associates it with love, pleasure, safety and comfort. 13035559_10153701633123867_89161413_o

Some dogs seem to think they are called ‘no!!!!!!!!!!!!’ Be careful how you use your dog’s name. Make it the sweetest sound in the world. Make your dog want to come to you when you say it, not run away…

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19 thoughts on “The sweet sound of her name

  1. All my cats and my mum’s dog know their names, they associate them with love, we’ve never raised our voices in anger to them, they don’t need it. Lovely words about the power of a name, although our Siamese does answer to Mabel…(that’s not actually her name…!)

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    1. I just love the contrariness of cats (Maybe your Siamese was a ‘Mabel’ in a previous life?) I actually do have a Mabel (a dog) and I only have to whisper her name for her ears to prick up and her tail start to wag. 🙂

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      1. Perhaps she thinks her real name is too much…my youngest son named her Ting Tong Maccadangdang and as you can imagine, I have had some funny looks when we go to the vet! Mabel is a sweet name, and I love how responsive animals are!

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  2. I liken people shouting their pet’s names to shouting their kid’s names. I grew to despise my given name simply because it was associated with negativity at home and bullying everywhere else. I changed it as soon as I could without repercussions (i.e. after both parents had passed). Children and pets do not understand why you are yelling at them. They just here there name in a bad way. Thank you for this post. And Lily is as sweet as her name. My dog is also named after a flower – Violet!

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    1. I love your comment. It says everything I imagine happens to a person/animal whose name has been used in the wrong way. They associate the name with something unpleasant. Lily, like you, has changed her name;) And with it, all the bad past was gone…Violet is a lovely name (I might be slightly biased, one of my best friends is called Violet).

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    1. Lily and Bailey must be the same breed 😉 I use birds as a high value reward (or, in other words: when she comes when called in the environment where there are lots of temptations I let her chase them. She’s a chaser, not a killer, she stops if she gets too close to the chased object). I think I like Bailey more and more every day, she’s definitely my type of a dog!

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      1. They were separated at birth! 😜 Wow I never even thought of using that as a reward! Bailey is a sight hound so she’s made for hunting. I am not entirely sure how she would react if she ran up to birds, but she does sort of viciously thrash her toys around in her jaws, which might be a good indicator. 🙈 Bailey sends her love!! 💓💓

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    1. Funny how people think dogs understand English 😉 I used to joke that Ardbeg spoke 4 languages fluently and to prove it we were demonstrating tricks using commands in various languages. Well, we cheated a bit (I use small hand movements) but I was amazed when people actually believed he was a polyglot…Having said that, he seemed to have a strange preference for Norwegian!

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