August 26, 2008

Is it a good idea to rename an older dog?

We are adopting a blonde male shih tzu who has been called Pepe all his life. He is 8 years old. We’re not too fond of the name. Would it just confuse him if we renamed him? We can stick with the name Pepe if we have to.

~ I have renamed all the dogs I have taken in, young and old. They will always learn a new name. Stop calling the dog Pepe and start calling him the new name. Say it often when petting him, feeding him and taking him out. In 2 weeks, usually less, they will start to respond to it. Encourage them responding to it with praise and you will never know they were named something else.

I have successfully changed all of my adopted dogs name and I currently have 14 dogs.

Filed under Adopt A Shih Tzu by Rebecca

Permalink Print Comment

Comments on Is it a good idea to rename an older dog? »

August 20, 2008

Wray G @ 8:11 am

Sorry but yes it really would confuse him.
References :

happyjar @ 8:11 am

It is my understanding that it is perfectly fine to rename an older dog and that people do it all the time and the dog adjusts.
References :

Addy @ 8:11 am

Very, very much. No, you should not, it would confuse him to no end.
References :

ANSWERZ @ 8:11 am

Yes, if you rename the dog it could confuse him….also you might have to re-teach all the commands and tricks to him if you rename him. Hope i could help!
References :

Lisdeleau @ 8:12 am

They dont’ understand the name just the tone when you say it so if you chose a name that had two syllables like mimi or something it would probably still come when you called
References :

melissa k @ 8:13 am

You can rename him. Older dogs who are stray and adopted from a shelter get new names and learn to respond to them. Just say his new name and immediately pet him or give him some treats. He will soon know that his name means to pay attention to you.
References :
dog trainer

Erin @ 8:13 am

I wouldn’t. He would be confused. I doubt he would ever answer to the new name either.
References :

Kirby Fan @ 8:14 am

It might confuse him at first but he might get used to it. If you call him the new name for a few days or weeks he might adjust but he might not since he has been called Pepe for 8 years. You could call him his new name and if he responds reward him.
References :

SarahDee @ 8:14 am

It will take a very long time for the dog to understand that is called by another name, - but it will happen. He will always answer to Pepe however no matter how many names you give him.
References :

Moxie M @ 8:14 am

sorry it would just confuse him. We adopted a nine year old dog and badly wanted to change his name but he’s just to old
References :

OhIDoDoI @ 8:15 am

You can change the name yes. Older dogs are abandoned all the time, and no one knows what their name was, therefor they’re given new names.

It’ll take time for him to learn his “new” name though so you must treat the situation just like he’s a new puppy in that respect. So naturally it’ll be easier for him if you just keep Pepe. It’ll probably grow on you :)

Never use your dogs name in tandem with correction or punishment. Names should be used for commands, or any positive occurence of interest to your dog.
References :

?PomMom?®™ @ 8:15 am

You can rename him. Because of his age and the fact that he has had the name Pepe for many years, you might want to find something similar like Baby, Pepper, Pep….you get the drift.
References :
de

Abby13 @ 8:16 am

stick with the name b/c it would confuse him remember: “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks”
References :

funketybucket @ 8:16 am

it’s better to keep his name the same, that’s what he’s used to and it will take a long time to learn a new name.
References :

ponytrixter @ 8:16 am

A dog can adapt to a different name, however it’s usually more considerate to the dog to keep his name the same.. After all, he’s just moved house, and been adopted by a new person… The poor little guy’s world just completely changed, it might make the transition into his new home a little easier if he actually thought that his new people knew who he was…

However, there’s nothing to stop you from giving him a “sound alike” name, as dogs only generally listen for the sound of the name (like “Zeppe” instead of Pepe” for example)…

And also, you might gradually introduce some nickname that slowly takes over from his current name, but again as you have just got this new freind, it’s advisable to give him at least some stability and continuity.. even if that is only his name :)

I wish you many years of fun with your new family member

Hope that helps

References :
40+ years of animals of all kinds

Jonas brother LUVER?? Joe Lover? @ 8:16 am

Yeah i think it would be easier if you stuck with the name he has now
References :

April W @ 8:17 am

I totally agree with the people that said it would probably be ok. Dogs get renamed all the time at shelters when there are no names known. If you're consistant with it and use the same tone, it will come. You could always try renaming it with something that kind of sounds the same. Benny, for example. (short e in the middle, long e at the end.) By the way, dogs are quite more intelligent than most people give them credit-old dogs can learn new tricks. . . you just need to know how to train them and be patient.
References :

JUST SOME ?LADY? @ 8:19 am

When we adopted our dog when she was 2 we didn’t change the name because I felt like she would be confused. I HATE it though and I wish we would have tried. But now she is also 8 and I don’t know if it is such a good idea now. (Her name is Little.) Your best bet is to find something you like that sounds like or rhymes with pepe. If the ending is the same, you may be able to pull it off. I can’t think of anything off hand though - it will take some creative thinking!
References :

Priscilla Duck @ 8:19 am

Hi, we adopted a lab when she was four and renamed her. It took a couple of weeks but she was fine with it. Its more about the tone of voice that you use when you’re calling the dog than the actual name.
References :

dogsbestfriend27 @ 8:19 am

Is this a dog that the shelter has named or the original owners? We didn’t get our shih tzu til she was like a year old. Had no idea what her name was, so we named her Haley. She caught onto it quickly. There is no reason why you shouldn’t change his name. I even recommend it. For 8 years he has been with someone else. When you call your dog, it should be for good things. If the original owners used his name when they were upset with him, he will learn to ignore his name or if they over used his name.

Pick out a name. Anytime you say it, he looks at you, treat him. He will learn it quickly.
References :
k9Lz

123 @ 8:20 am

i think it might confuse your dog. but maybe start calling him by the name you want little by little till he gets used to it. i have a shih tzu dog too and his name is browny but sometimes we call him stinki (because he’s a dirty dog hard to keep him clean) and he still comes
References :

flowergirl1994 @ 8:20 am

Yes it will confuse him. It would be like someone saying okay your name is lala now. You wouldn’t know when people were talking to you.
References :

wishnuwelltoo @ 8:21 am

Name your dog whatever you want to. Our dogs answer to about 5 different names and nick names, and it doesn’t confuse them. They are listening to the tone of our voice, not the word.
References :

? @ 8:23 am

You really should stick with Pepe, even if you don’t like it. If he was just a puppy, fine, but at his age, it will confuse him. How would you like it if your husband decided when you were 70 that he didn’t like your name and decided to change it?
References :

Fetch! PJ & Rookie @ 8:23 am

~ I have renamed all the dogs I have taken in, young and old. They will always learn a new name. Stop calling the dog Pepe and start calling him the new name. Say it often when petting him, feeding him and taking him out. In 2 weeks, usually less, they will start to respond to it. Encourage them responding to it with praise and you will never know they were named something else.

I have successfully changed all of my adopted dogs name and I currently have 14 dogs.
References :

kaththea s @ 8:35 am

Yes, it probably would confuse him, after so long of being Pepe. But what you might try is using a name very similar, and a higher, enthusiastic tone of voice, using them equally but slowly shifting to the new name. We call ours by numerous names, and he has no problem with it. Truthfully, most of their name recognition comes from your tone of voice; so long as the sound is similar, he should make a fairly painless transition.
For instance, try a name that startts with P and does not exceed two syllables; always said in an enthusiastic tone. They don’t really connect all that well with the actual name.
Mine, whose name is Thorby-after the hero in Robert Heinlein’s book “Citizen of the Galaxy”-also answers to Thor, Thorble, Pupkin, Hen, and Nighthorse. The important thing is tone of voice and custom. Whatever it is, if it’s what you call him, and you do it with a loving and welcoming tone of voice, he’ll eventually answer to it. Habit is a possible inpediment, but it is also your best bet to renaming him. Just be patient about it, and reward him with praise when he responds.
One thing you might do is try training him, while using the new name: teach him a new trick or two with the new name. He’ll get it. They don’t get dumber as they get older.
References :
Lots of experience with multiple names.

Kat @ 2:13 pm

It will probably get confused, but because I say my dog’s name Frankie is a high pitch, when I say my cats name instead, he still comes running up, because he reconizes the tone. Maybe he is just a bit stupid… XD
References :

Leave a Comment