3 min read (Articles narrated by Mabel)
When you look at adoptable dogs, they already have names that they go by at their rescue or shelter. Some people might feel wrong renaming these pups, but what if they have a name that just doesn’t suit them? How can you decide if you should rename your rescue pup or not?
Reasons to Keep Your Dog’s Name
When you adopt your dog, find out as much about their history as you can. Most dogs received their names when they arrived at the shelter, but it’s possible that they got their name from a past family. If that’s the case, then they might already be used to their name, so changing it might be difficult.
However, in most cases, rescue dogs are not attached to the name they have. Even if it is from a previous home, they could have bad experiences associated with that name. Therefore, it is perfectly fine to change your dog’s name.
Reasons to Change Your Dog’s Name
Oftentimes, rescues and shelters try to come up with unique names when they get new dogs. They don’t want to have a bunch of dogs with the same name, so this can cause some of the dogs to have pretty strange names. If this is the case, the dog doesn’t even know their name and it might not even fit them. So, that’s a good reason to change their name to what you think suits them best.
Also, it’s difficult to tell the background of every rescue dog. Some dogs might have gotten their name from an abusive family, so when they hear their name, it might scare them. A name should be a positive thing for a dog, so give them a name that they can associate with happy times instead of sad ones.
Teaching Your Dog Their New Name
If you change your dog’s name, it will take them some time to get used to it. Take your time with them and don’t get upset if they don’t understand at first. Make sure to use plenty of repetition so they can understand that the name is referring to them.
The most important part of teaching a name to your dog is to make sure it’s only mentioned as a positive thing. When you say their name, give them plenty of attention and treats to let them know that their name is a good thing. Never use their new name as a punishment because then they will learn to fear it instead of embrace it.
If your dog was already familiar with their old name, you can choose a name that’s similar to make the transition easier. Otherwise, you can start by always saying the two names together, then eventually dropping the old name and only saying the new name. This can help your dog transition easier.
If you decide to select a new name for your rescue pup, make sure you take your time and select a name that you truly think is perfect for your furry friend. Your dog will be a lifelong friend, so make sure they have a great name for the rest of their life.
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