How To Rename A Dog


You’ve recently adopted a dog and your want to give it a different name. You worry the dog will have a problem if you try to change the name. In fact, changing the name of your new dog to a name of your choosing may help you bond closer with the new dog. A new name may make the dog adjust easier to his new home too.

It is especially helpful if you rename a dog who was abused by his previous owner. Getting rid of the old name can help make the dog feel less stressed and fearful.

Changing the dog’s name will not be a difficult task and should only require a few days.

First you and the family want to decide on a new name for the dog. It may be similar to the old name or it may be completely different. (For a dog who was abused it may be best to use a completely different sounding name.)

Dogs have short attention spans so plan to teach your dog his new name during short intervals of time scattered throughout the day.


When the dog is looking elsewhere cheerfully call him by the new name. Then when the dog turns to look at you make a big fuss over it and/or you can provide a treat. You want the dog to be happy to hear the sound of his new name and associate it with a pleasant experience.

You may find it easier to do a gradual transition to a new name. If the dog’s name is currently Sam and you want to change it to Hercules then in the beginning try calling Sam/Hercules for a short time. Gradually drop the Sam and just address the dog as Hercules.

It’s a good idea to not name your dog something which is similar to a negative command. Try to avoid using a name that mimics the sound of a correction. If you name your dog Moe it may sound like you are always saying No.

Once you have decided on the dog’s new name and have started using it do not be tempted to slip back into using the old name if the dog isn’t responding quickly enough to his new one. This will just confuse the dog and make it harder tor him to adjust to the new name.

With consistence on your part, it should not take very long before your dog is comfortable and responding to the new name.