Some people may feel deterred from adopting a particular dog if they don’t like their name, but names aren’t something that should be taken into consideration when choosing a new furry friend. That’s because dogs of any age are able to learn a new name.
The reason for this is because dogs don’t have the same concept of identity as humans. As long as there is consistency in what they are called, they are able to easily adopt a new name.
Think of your own dog, or dogs you know. If we had to guess, they probably respond to a few different nicknames in addition to their real name. While some of these may be more flattering than others, as long as they are used consistently, dogs will respond to them.
There are some situations where it is actually recommended to change your dog’s name. If you’re adopting a dog that has a history of neglect or abuse, many shelters recommended changing the dog’s name.
The idea behind this is that their old name may have negative associations with it, and their new home should be a fresh start.
If you continue to call them by the name given to them by their previous owner, it may be more difficult for them to recover from the trauma they endured.
If you do want to change your dog’s name, doing so is easy. The first thing you need to do is decide on a new name. Once this is settled, slowly transition from the old name to the new one. For example, if your dog’s current name is Baby and the new name you’ve chosen is Jesse, combine the names together to be BabyJesse. Call your dog this for a week or so, then drop the “Baby” portion.
Throughout this transition, always carry a pocket full of treats. Periodically during the day and specifically when you want your dog’s attention, call them by name and when they look at you, immediately smile, praise, and give your dog a treat.
In the beginning, it’s likely that your dog won’t respond right away when you call them by their new name, but they’ll quickly learn that hearing that word is associated with good things. Within a few days, most dogs have figured this out and begin to respond to their new name. And just like that your dog has a new name to go with their new life!