Changing a dog's name

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Posted 10/6/2013 by UpNorth Scrapper in NSBR Board

UpNorth Scrapper
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PeaNut 99,963
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Posted: 10/6/2013 10:26:33 AM
We are considering getting a second dog from a local rescue. She's a cute little mutt, super sweet. She is five years old and was given up because her owner could not take care of her. She has a beautiful name. The problem is that it is the same as our almost three year old dog. I can't imagine having two dogs with the same name, but I also can't imagine changing the name of a dog who has been answering to it for so long.

Has anyone done this?


Thrift Ninja

PeaNut 226,011
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Posted: 10/6/2013 10:31:35 AM
When we adopted our dogs through rescue, it was actually recommended that we change their names. New life, new name.

Your situation is slightly complicated because you have a dog with the same name, so that could be confusing for the new dog for a little while. But I'm sure new pup will figure out new name soon enough.


PeaNut 18,334
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Posted: 10/6/2013 10:33:05 AM
Dogs don't have the same attachment to names as their identity as we have to our name. She will come to what ever sound you make that gets a treat for responding.

Call her a new name, give treat.

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PeaNut 216,153
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Posted: 10/6/2013 10:33:12 AM
Is there a very similar name you could use? If you are willing to share the name, maybe we could think of ideas. Like Tessie and Bessie or something...I've *heard* (but don't know if it's true) that dogs especially respond to the first sound and to "hard" sounds in the name, so maybe Bessie and Betty would be better examples.


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PeaNut 3,009
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Posted: 10/6/2013 10:33:33 AM
To the dog it's not a form of "identity"; it's something that you say when you want to get their attention. I truly empathize with your reason for wanting to leave it, but the dog will adjust to the new name in no time.

CONGRATULATIONS on your new family member!!



PeaNut 183,117
January 2005
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Posted: 10/6/2013 10:37:46 AM
Yep, rename the pup what you want. They will learn the name.

I agree that you could go with something similar.

Years ago, we got a puppy from a family member that could no longer keep it. It was a beautiful brindle bull terrier. The family member had named her "Felony" She was the sweetest doggy on the planet and we renamed her "Ellie" because it was close sounding.

I think she would have responded to any name we called her though.


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PeaNut 176,832
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Posted: 10/6/2013 10:44:43 AM
there was no way in HELL we were going to keep Maddie's name when we rescued her. Her name was Pooter. Barf me out. She never missed it. lol


PeaNut 563,248
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Posted: 10/6/2013 10:52:18 AM
I have changed a dogs name from Trouble to Tobey and he loved his new name.


PeaNut 51,706
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Posted: 10/6/2013 11:32:14 AM

New name should work just fine. I foster dogs and I have no problem giving them new names. And they are all ages. Even my dopey lab will go by 3 or 4 names. lol!


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PeaNut 468,133
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Posted: 10/6/2013 11:52:22 AM
When we adopted Kayley she was 2-3 years old and the shelter had picked her up from the streets. We had no idea what her previous name had been, the only thing we knew was that she had been very well trained. We had no choice but to give her a new name.

Emily was 5 months old and again, we had no idea what her previous name was.

Name your new baby what ever you want, and congratulations! It will only take her about a day to learn it.

UpNorth Scrapper
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PeaNut 99,963
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Posted: 10/6/2013 11:54:07 AM
My dog's name is Daphne and I really can't think of anything similar to it that I like. There is another family checking out the other Daphne tomorrow. So we're second on the list for her. We'd need to have our current dog meet her. If we were to get her we'll change her name knowing she'll have a few ""wtf?" days as she realizes Daphne isn't her.


PEAceful Pea

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Posted: 10/6/2013 12:46:35 PM
We when rescued our dog she was 2. She had been living with a foster family for a few weeks and they called her Fifi. She's a dalmatian and that name just didn't fit her. We changed it to one knows what her original name was. She adapted just fine. Give her lots of love, praise, treats with her new name and she's get it in no time.


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PeaNut 57,475
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Posted: 10/6/2013 1:07:44 PM
Our Smokey was "Billy Joe" when we adopted him a year ago. He never had a problem adapting.


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PeaNut 179,915
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Posted: 10/6/2013 1:10:59 PM
Thank you for rescuing!!

Many years ago we adopted a 6 year old dog named Nala, and we changed her name to Molly. She adapted quite well.


PeaNut 274,252
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Posted: 10/6/2013 1:28:49 PM
We changed our rescue dog's name from Grant to Scout with no problems.

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PeaNut 52,307
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Posted: 10/6/2013 3:01:44 PM
The black and tan below, she was 3 when we adopted her from a family that had to let her go. Anyway, she had a long AKC name and they called her a SHORT version of one of those names.

I not only wasn't crazy about what they called her but kept mangling it. I went through all her names and decided that I liked her "first name" Onkita the best. Within TWO hours, she was answering to Onkita and Kita and not a single trauma over it!

Angie ~ Snoopy, Amanda, Michel, Davy, Benji, & Onkita - my fur kids!
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PeaNut 210,654
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Posted: 10/6/2013 3:11:53 PM
We changed Sadie's name when we rescued her, we didn't feel Shadow worked for her exuberance.


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PeaNut 2,698
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Posted: 10/6/2013 4:03:52 PM
ahh what a good thing!

Our Lab Duke, was Jack before we got him, he was 9mo when we got him. He took Duke more than Jack, so it was easy adjustment for him.
Just call them by the new name, give them a treat and repeat. They do catch on pretty quick.


PeaNut 404,811
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Posted: 10/6/2013 4:24:38 PM
The best way to change a dogs name is to call her the original name backed with the new name do this over and over for a few weeks but every so often leave the first name might have to change both dogs names. you could do 2 names for both. like we call our yorkie Skippy bear. because he was my moms dog and she named him skippy but we like bear better so he is our skippy bear. he knows both names together and seperate.. so we can call him Skippy , bear or skippy bear.

good luck

Happy scrapping


PeaNut 66,991
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Posted: 10/6/2013 4:35:04 PM
We changed ours when we got her. She was about a year old. She never missed hers either. With the dog before that, we got her from a shelter and didn't even know her name.

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PeaNut 281,551
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Posted: 10/6/2013 5:20:45 PM
I got my dog from a shelter when she was 1-2 years old. She came in as a stray so we didn't even know her name. It only took about a week for her to learn Gracie was her new name. She also has some nicknames she answers to. It will be confusing for the new dog at first, but reinforce the new name with treats and she should have no problem making the switch. My dog also knows which cat is which, she won't come to their names but sits up and looks for them. Dogs are pretty smart that way!

froggy one

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Posted: 10/6/2013 5:30:06 PM
When my parents adopted their Pom, his name was Danny. Their grandson's name was Danny. They changed it to Sparky and it suited him just fine.



PeaNut 567,766
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Posted: 10/7/2013 12:48:00 AM
I read somewhere to keep the syllables the same. Our Great Dane went from Tank to Max quite easily. I also agree with using the name alot & giving treats. (Max would agree with the treats!- especially bacon!)
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PeaNut 452,048
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Posted: 10/7/2013 1:04:25 AM
What about Delaney? Dahlia? Dori?

We have a police K9 and my dh changed his name. Normally we keep the name they are given by their trainers, but since his name was so close to one of the other police K9's at the police department my dh decided to change it. He adjusted to his new name quickly.



PeaNut 288,074
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Posted: 10/7/2013 5:14:34 AM

Is there a very similar name you could use? If you are willing to share the name, maybe we could think of ideas. Like Tessie and Bessie or something...I've *heard* (but don't know if it's true) that dogs especially respond to the first sound and to "hard" sounds in the name

I agree with this. It may be a little difficult for your new pup since you will still be using her old name in the household but they adjust really quickly to their new name - I would name her Mimi or Tiffany - which sound a bit similar to Daphne.

Congrats on your new pup

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PeaNut 39,286
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Posted: 10/7/2013 9:46:04 AM
We acquired a cute little teacup poodle when my sister moved to apartments that didn't allow pets. Her name was Zoe, but my hearing impaired DD has trouble saying Z sounds, so we changed it to Chloe. She was responding to it in no time. Along with Poo-diddle, Bubbles, Skittles, Baby Girl, you get the picture...
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PeaNut 218,176
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Posted: 10/7/2013 11:01:34 AM
exactly what all the others posters have said....if you use a happy tone of voice and/or have can call them just about anything!

Regina Phalange

PeaNut 369,340
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Posted: 10/7/2013 11:03:33 AM
I was told to use a method like this.

Old name: Sally
New name: Muffin

For the next week or so, call her SallyMuffin. This brings the new name into familiarity, then just drop the Sally and see if she responds to Muffin.


"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." - Maya Angelou


PeaNut 434,842
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Posted: 10/7/2013 11:05:15 AM
I'm sure it will adjust, and it definitely makes more sense than having 2 dogs with the same name. But I think in the beginning, it will be super confusing for it to keep hear its name and having it refer to the other dog.


PeaNut 517,754
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Posted: 10/7/2013 4:27:03 PM
I adopted a sweet dog named SIR JOHN, I noticed after getting him home that name did not fit him at all I changed it to GUCCI- it fit him and he soon answered to it. Change the name......he will adjust quickly I am sure.


PeaNut 77,792
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Posted: 10/7/2013 4:32:23 PM
I named my pup Winston and my mom hates it. She refuses to even call him by that name, so she just calls him puppy. He will come to anything that is said in a certain voice, especially if you are making eye contact with him.


PeaNut 514,794
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Posted: 10/7/2013 4:40:22 PM
I've changed dogs names from Seger to Murphy, another one from Doobie to Casey, cats from Dorothy to Brittany, Emerson to Thor and others. They were all rescues and were happy to have a loving home.

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