How to change the name of your new dog

Written by Pamela Hardman  | Published on: 1/10/2019

If you’ve adopted a dog from a shelter or rescue organization or even if you’ve purchased a puppy from a breeder, chances are, someone has given it a name. Maybe it’s a name you don’t really like or maybe you want to choose a special name as a family. Your new fur-baby might have had his or her name for a year or two or just a few weeks but either way, here are some things that can make the transition to a new name easier.

1.    Decide on a name. Landing on a name everyone in the family is happy with might take some time so it might be a good idea to have some options you’re happy with before you take home your new pup. Try pulling inspiration from movies or TV shows you like, places you’ve been, things you like to do together or even from a great grandfather or grandmother. Don’t be afraid to give your new dog a “person name” or to think outside the box. Whether the name you land on is Sparky, Princess or Mr. Miyagi, the choice is up to you!

2.    Create a positive association with the new name. Choose a moment where your dog is looking away from you, then happily say his new name. When he turns to look at you, make a big deal of it! Smile, praise him and give him affection and/or a treat. Give him a reason to love responding to his new name!

3.    Stop using her former name completely and stick with the new one. Once you’ve landed on the name and start calling her by her new one, try to avoid changing it again. Using the old name here and there or changing it over and over will only confuse both you and your new pup.      

4.    It’s not likely to take long. Regardless of whether your new dog is older or a puppy, as long as you’re consistently reinforcing his name and creating positive associations with it, it should only take a few days for your dog to start responding to his new name.  


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