Searching for the perfect dog for you and your family is a labor of love, however, once you bring your fur baby home there is still one very important thing; their name. What is in a name?
A name can have many meanings, or for some, a name is a second thought. But honestly, how many of those owners are out there?
You must choose the right name for your new family member. But once you choose the perfect name, how long will it take for your new dog to learn its name? Below is some information I found that will aid in the dog naming process.
How long does it take a dog to learn its name?
There is not one definitive answer, however, in general, your dog should begin to recognize and respond to his/her given name in as little as a few days. Don’t be discouraged if your dog takes a little more time, most dogs recognize their new names in as little as one week.
There are a few factors to consider, such as a new puppy’s age and if the dog already has a given (and recognizable) name when you bring them home. The hearing and vision of a new puppy are limited for the first 6 weeks after birth.
When a puppy reaches 12 weeks, the recommended age to adopt, the puppy’s hearing and vision are fully developed. With his well-developed motor skills, you should be able to get your puppy’s attention.
When bringing a dog home from a shelter, or from a previous owner, if you are wanting to call him by another name, the process should start as soon as you introduce him to his new surroundings.
The time and effort you put into this process will affect the time it takes your dog to learn its name. It is important to remember the following factors; repeat their names many times during the day, in the beginning remember to reward them with treats when they respond (tapering off over time), keeping the name easy and preferably to two syllables, and remembering that you do not say your dogs name when you scold them.
If a dog associates their name with negativity, for example when being scolded, it may decide to ignore you as it does not want to be in trouble. The key to successfully teaching your dog his new name is keeping the process fun and rewarding for you and your new best friend.
How do you train a dog to know its name?
Whether you are bringing home a new puppy or an older dog, when teaching a new name, repetition and patience are key to success. Many dog experts will agree there a few recommended steps to help your new dog learn its name. Start by carrying treats with you in your pocket, when you want your dog’s attention, call their name and feed them a treat.
It is important to remember you should be patient, keep a smile on your face, and praise your new buddy for a job well done! If your dog does not immediately look at you when you call their name, praise them anyway and give them a treat.
They will soon connect the name with the treat knowing that something yummy is heading their way! It is best to start out in a quiet area where there will be less distractions for your dog.
As your dog masters name recognition begin to widen your surroundings and the noise level to ensure they learn to overlook distractions. You can spend as little as a few minutes a day on this type of name training for your dog to have him quickly learn his name.
Of course, keeping the name short and easy to understand will help the little guy learn his name easier. It is recommended the name be two syllables, so the dog is not confused when being scolded. Negative commands and reprimands may confuse your dog if their name consists of only one syllable or if you call your dog’s name out while scolding them.
Positive reinforcement training is the best way to get your dog on board with the naming process. Your dog needs to acknowledge their name means something wonderful is going to happen!
Is it OK to change a dog’s name?
When you have adopted a dog, often you leave with your new puppy and the name given is not your favorite. Be assured, it is ok to change the dog’s name. Experts agree, it is common practice for owners to change the name of their new dog, especially if they were adopted, rescued, or have a name from a previous owner that you do not like.
If you cringe every time you go outside to call “Princess” when your dog is a big, muscular, male dog (don’t fret, most men would) changing its name will not be the end of the world for you or your dog.
Your dog can learn a new name easily, just remember to follow the above instructions when starting to teach your dog a new name. People often wonder if they should be careful to choose a name like their old name to aid in the learning process. That is not necessary, you can choose a name that is totally different than their current name.
The process is not expected to take more than a few days, however, if you have a stubborn pooch, it might take up to a week. Through the hard work, patience, and dedication you and your new best friend will be proud of the new name chosen.
How old can a dog be to change its name?
Changing a dog’s name is not dependent upon a certain age for success. Changing the name of your pet is acceptable for any age dog. The dog can be five months to fifteen years, dogs will quickly adapt to the name change. If the naming process is positive and repetitive, the dog should not take a long period of time to learn their new name.
Do dogs know their names?
Depending on the research, and the expert, the opinion is split on whether a dog can know their name. Some experts believe a dog learns to “respond” to the given name when rewarded with treats and positive reinforcement but do not actually “know” their name.
These experts state the process serves to teach the dog to come whenever their name is called rather than knowing it is “their” name.
Most dog owners, when asked if their dog knows its name, will respond without any hesitation their dog has learned its new name.
If you are in doubt or want to prove a point to the non-believing friend, simply say your dog’s name; if they turn their head and look at you in the eye, your point is validated.
The journey of becoming a new dog owner is a commitment in dedication of time and patience. As you start your new life together you will face many training challenges on the road to successful dog ownership.
Teaching your dog to learn its name will be one of the first of these training challenges as you get to know your new pet. It is important to keep the above suggestions in mind in order to have a smooth transition in the naming process. Keep the training positive and fun for both you and your new dog.
In the training process, it is vital to keep repeating the name along with a treat to reward them for responding when called. You should be able to taper off the treats as the dog learns his name and responds to your voice.
This will be a continuous process requiring regular reinforcement; remember to keep your voice happy while praising him, careful not to scare him, or deter the positive training. The time and patience you put into this process will be well worth your efforts.
Remember, when your dog learns his name, everyone wins. Having the ability to get your dog’s attention could save his life. If your dog runs away from you or in the street, the ability for him to react and listen to your command is vital to their survival.
Investing adequate time in the training of your dog is a great opportunity to build an unbreakable bond.
The quality time spent will be a pleasant experience allowing you, your family, and your new pet the opportunity to build a lifelong friendship. To be successful it is important to remember the bond built between the new pet and its new owner should be based on trust.
When the dog trusts its owner, it will aid in the name learning process allowing the dog to respond to its new name. Remember to be patient acknowledging the process can take a few days, to a few weeks, based upon the dog’s previous situation.
A new puppy is going to bond and trust quicker than dogs that have been in stable, healthy homes. Success will come with patience, consistency and positive association, resulting in your dog learning their name in no time.
Like the old adage states, “You CAN teach a dog new tricks” and a new name to boot.