Adopting a dog is an amazing experience. You saved a life and are giving your new pooch a fresh start. Bringing home your bundle of furry joy should be a clean slate for your pup. This is their rebirth, their chance to be loved. Regardless of his age, you can rename your rescue dog. This will help him understand that you are his wellspring for love and all things positive.
There are several good reasons to rename your rescue dog. Shelters & rescue centers will give animals temporary names. For instance, if the dog was found digging on the side of a road, he might be named Digger. On the other hand, some pups arrive with names from their previous life.
If your adopted dog has a history of being mistreated, keeping his name may cause him to stress and fear you. The old owner would have screamed his name right before the abuse ensued. Gift your new companion with a different name. Use treats and lots of praise when he responds to his new name.
Renaming Your Dog
Your dog’s new name should only mean good things to him. Reinforce this by using treats and praise when he responds to his name. He will begin to associate his turn of phrase with all things wonderful. Once your rescue dog realizes his name brings joyous rewards, he will happily turn to you for guidance.
Please avoid using his name when he’s been naughty. His name should only bring good vibes. Instead, consider giving him a middle name and use his first and middle name only when he’s been mischievous.
When renaming your cuddle bug keep it simple. Choose a name with no more than three syllables. Try names like Tango, Eartha, or Atticus. Short names mean you can get their attention quickly when it is needed.
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If you are planning on training your rescue dog, do not give a name that sounds like a command. For instance, don’t call your dog Bob if you plan on using the command “drop”. This will cause confusion for your pup. The same goes for family names. If your daughter’s named Lilly, resist the temptation to call your dog Tilly.
How Do Dogs Learn Their Name?
Dogs process words differently than humans. According to the AKC, when you say your dog’s name, he is responding to the tone and pitch of your voice. Therefore, dogs respond with eager faces and tails wagging when you say, “Who’s a good boy”? Your dog is acknowledging the happiness in your voice.
Call his name in a happy-pitched tone. Reward him with treats, toys, and praise when he responds to you. Repetition is key. It may take your rescue a few training sessions to a few weeks to understand his name.
In short, you can rename your rescue dog with patience, love, and of course rewards. Remember, calling your dog by his new name should always be a happy occasion.
Let’s start a conversation in the comments below! Have you renamed your rescue dog? What name did you choose?