Can You Change a Dog’s Name? When & How to do it

Most new and experienced dog owners wonder if its possible to change the favorite pet’s name. It is possible to rename you dog. Following are details on circumstances under which you can change and how to carry out the renaming process.

When Should you Rename Your Dog?

Renaming a dog is easy. And you can do it regardless of the age of your dog. Dogs aren’t attached to their names; they don’t care about what you call them as long as they understand you’re a source of nice things, and they belong to you.

Besides, in some circumstances giving your furry friend a new moniker is the right thing to do.

When you Adopt a Dog

When you adopt a dog, they likely come with a name. But you should inquire whether the shelter assigned them a name to make them more appealing to adoptive families. In this case, your dog is likely either unused to or doesn’t even know their new name. So you can change it without any issues.

If their owner surrendered the dog, they might have a name that they’re familiar with; keeping that name can be a source of security and stability. You may still opt for a new name once the dog has fully settled, like after a full year. 

It’s up to you to decide whether renaming your rescue is the right thing to do. If you like their name, you don’t need to change it.

Puppies Photo

When Your Dog Comes From an Abusive Home

If your new pup was rescued from an abusive environment, giving them a new name is the best thing to do – they may even associate the previous name with abuse. Your dog needs a fresh start and so renaming can help give them a new lease of life.

When Your Dog No Longer Responds to Her Name

When your dog starts to ignore their name, it’s time for a new moniker. A dog’s name is a safety tool; it allows you to grab your dog’s attention and makes it more likely that they’ll comply with your commands.

If you get to point where they don’t respond to their name, it’s time to give them a new name through reward-based training.

How to Rename Your Dog

Take Your Time

You don’t need to give your dog a new canine as soon as you get them home. You should hang out with them for a few days, discover their quirks, observe personality, observe their distinctive physical qualities, and see whether a distinguishing trait emerges – they could be overly playful, agile, or affectionate. Your observations and interactions can shape the name you give them.

How to rename you Dog/Puppy
Cute Furry

Meanwhile, a friendly “Here, boy/girl” is enough, followed by treats and praise; through this, you’ll cultivate a bond with them. You’re just getting to know each other, and so she’ll soon learn to respond to your body language and upbeat voice.

Train her to Associate Her New Name with Rewards

For the first couple of days, you should carry treats and reward your dog whenever they respond to their new name. First, catch their attention by calling out the new name. As soon as they respond, smile, praise them liberally, and give them a treat. Do this even when they don’t respond; they will soon learn to associate the new word with rewards. With time your dog will start to acknowledge the new name whenever they hear it. 

Combine the New Name with the Old One

If the old name is deeply established, you can blend it with the new name for a while. For instance, if you want it to go from Kelly to Sally, you can call her KellySally until she’s familiar with it, then you can drop the Kelly.

Helpful Name Changing Tips

  • Your dog should associate their new name with rewards and other positive things. Do all you can to reinforce this – at the beginning, give her treats and other rewards like touch and praise whenever you call their name. 
  • Don’t use the new name to scold your dog; they’ll soon learn to link it with negativity and so won’t be as responsive to it. 
  • Avoid names that sound like “No.’’ or any other words you use to point out an undesirable behavior.
  • You’ll get better results when the new and the old names share vowels or sounds. This is an effective way of renaming shelter dogs. For instance, Muffy can become Molly, Polly, or even Maddie.

Changing Name FAQs

Can you change a dog’s name after 6months/two years

There is no limited timeframe in which you should change your dog’s name. But it takes time and effort for a new name to stick. Depending on your dog’s age, breed, and health, it may take from a few training sessions to a couple of weeks for the new moniker to ‘stick.’

Is it fair to change a dog’s name?

Changing a dog’s name is okay, but it’s often the right thing to do. Besides, while frequent name changes can create confusion, most dogs are responsive to their various monikers. The most important thing is that you use the new name consistently and with affection, and soon the dog will embrace it.

Is it hard to change a dog’s name?

With the right training approach, renaming your dog should be an easy and smooth process. But you also need to inform friends and family about the changes and update personalized items like tags and collars.

Can you change a dog’s name on a microchip?

You can change the dog’s details (name and contact information) by contacting the microchip registry that your dog is enrolled in. Visit the firm’s website for information on the procedure you need to follow when updating your dog’s ‘microchip’ record.

Changing name dog microchip

In a Nutshell

You can change a dog’s name at any time, especially if you got it from a rescue, it has been abused by previous owners, or if has learned to ignore its current name. The speed at which the dog learns the new name will be hinged on your dog’s training and attributes. As long as you make the new name meaningful and valuable, your dog will embrace it.