Why renaming isn’t a big deal
Sometimes, shelter staff know the names of their four-legged residents when they arrive. More often than not, though, they don’t. If the latter is true, the staff will assign the dog a moniker that seems fitting. But because time and resources are scarce at most rescues, dogs often don’t learn their “shelter names”, especially if they aren’t there for long. This means that by the time you bring your rescue pup home, renaming her (again) won’t be a big deal!
In fact, in some situations, changing your dog’s name can be beneficial – for example, if she was abused in the past. “If a dog hears her name and cowers or runs away, it would make sense to change it,” says Shelby Semel, Head Trainer at Animal Haven Shelter. “This is a sign that the name itself has a negative connotation, and changing an association is harder than creating a positive new one.”
A note about nicknames
We all do it – give our dogs more nicknames than we can count. Rover becomes Roves, which becomes Ro-Ro, which becomes Rosie, which becomes Flower… and so on. Eventually, a dog will learn to respond to any title that’s assigned to her. So if you’re thinking about changing her name, don’t worry! It’s a lot easier than you might think.
Do Dogs Respond Better To Certain Names?
The best dog names are two syllables. You want to keep it short but not short enough to confuse it with commands. You don’t want a name that dogs can confuse with “sit” or “come.” You can give your dog a one-syllable name but as long as you stretch out the name when you say it.
Even better if you call your dog’s name with a high-pitched, excited tone. It helps to say their name differently from normal words so your dog can differentiate between his name and other words.