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  • Writer's pictureSnehal Chitalia

How to Teach a Dog their New Name

Getting your rescue dog used to a new name can be a gradual process that requires patience and positive reinforcement. Here's a step-by-step guide to help your dog adapt to their new name:


Choose a New Name:

Easy first step - select a new name for your dog!


Begin by associating the new name with happy experiences and rewards. Whenever you say the new name, immediately follow it with a treat and lots of praise. Use a kind, upbeat, and encouraging tone.


Combine Old and New Names (if applicable):

If your dog already has an old name, you can gradually transition by using both names. For example, say their old name followed by their new name, then reward them. Gradually phase out the old name over time.


Use the New Name Consistently:

Start using the new name consistently in your interactions with your dog. Call them by their new name when you feed them, during playtime, and when you offer treats.


Short and Frequent Training Sessions:

Practice short and frequent training sessions throughout the day. Repeat their new name multiple times during each session. Keep training sessions positive and enjoyable.


Reward Response to the New Name:

Whenever your dog responds to their new name by looking at you or coming towards you, immediately reward them with treats and praise. Make responding to the new name a rewarding experience.


Use the New Name in Various Contexts:

Incorporate the new name into different situations and contexts. Use it when giving commands, going for walks, or during play. The goal is for your dog to associate the new name with all aspects of their life.


Phase Out the Old Name:

If you were transitioning from an old name, gradually reduce the use of the old name over a period of several weeks. Continue to reinforce the new name consistently.


Consistency is Key:

Be consistent in using the new name and rewarding your dog's response. Avoid using the new name in negative situations or for discipline.


Practice, Practice, Practice:

Continue practicing and reinforcing the new name regularly. Over time, your dog will become more accustomed to and responsive to their new name.


Seek Professional Help if Needed:

If your dog is having difficulty adjusting to their new name, or if they have a history of trauma or abuse, consider seeking the help of a professional dog trainer or behaviorist for guidance.

Remember that the transition to a new name may take some time, especially for rescue dogs with previous names. Be patient, use positive reinforcement consistently, and create a good association between the new name and rewards. With time and practice, your dog will become accustomed to and comfortable with their new name.


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