What’s in a name? For a new dog parent like yourself, it can be a symbol of your dog’s new identity and new life with you. Although most dogs already have names given to them by adoption organizations or previous owners, many adopters choose to re-name their new dogs as a way of making them part of the family. If you decide to re-name your new dog, here are a few tips to make the change as smooth as possible.
- Choose a name quickly. Your dog may be confused if you call him his old name, and then one day start calling him something different once you’ve decided on a new name. If you have trouble choosing a name, try searching for dog names online, in baby books, or think about places or people that are important to you – your favorite sports player or literary character, the name of the street where you grew up, and so on.
- Commit to a name. Once you give him a new name, stick with it. Changing his name multiple times because you changed your mind can cause confusion and hinder his training.
- Use his name often, so he grows accustomed to it. If your dog was used to his original name, you can say both names together to create an association. For example, Frankie becomes Frankie Teddy becomes Teddy. Always say his name and look in his direction when giving him a command. Repeat his name when giving praise and affection. This helps him make positive associations with hearing his name.
Dogs typically get used to their new names very quickly. But don’t worry if it takes your dog a little longer. All dogs are different, and yours will catch on before you know it!