Okay, so I wanted to teach my puppy her name but I can't follow the name game because she will either run off to sniff something or she run around and nibble my hand. What should be the best course of action?
I highly suggest clicker training, or marking the behaviour you're looking for with "Yes!" or "Yep"!. Load the clicker by doing several sessions of click and treat; click and treat. You'll know she knows when she hears the click and comes running over. Once the clicker is loaded, you can begin:
1. Say her name in a really excited, high pitch tone - most puppies should run towards you if you are more interesting than the environment. If she's difficult to distract, try when she's a bit hungry and may be more motivated to pay attention to you (ex. right before dinner).
2. When she turns around from what she's doing, (i.e. changes direction, starts to make her way), click, and when she arrives, reward her handsomly.
If you don't want her to come to you every time you say her name, this is another method: (personally, when I say my dog's name it's usually to get her to pay attention to me/come to me from whatever she's doing, but it's really personal preference).
1. Say her name in a really excited, tone to grab her attention
2. The moment she looks at you, click and treat.
The reason why I'm suggesting a clicker, is because often with words, it doesn't pinpoint the exact moment you are rewarding her for. This will make it easier for your dog to understand what exactly she did that you liked.
Generally, use her name around her often, and she will soon learn it's hers
Are you using a tether? this will keep her planted. Are your treats high value?Maybe whatever shes fixated on is more interesting than your treat.
When shes sitting calmly at first, show her the treat call her and then immediately point at your nose with the hand the treat is in - it will get her to look at you.YES" or click. Repeat. Call her and even if she flinches to look at you treat "YES" or click and repeat .. we were told to leave out praise until the session was done because it distracts them - this depends on your puppy.
I would agree with chubby - we didn't use a clicker but a solid "YES" got it.
This is what worked for us. Good luck!