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The Dog Questions You Send
and our humble response woof.
Q. Dear Digital Dog,

We have become the owners of a fine, male, around 22 months old, Golden Retriever. We would like to change his name. Is this possible without utter confusion to Glomer (his present name)? Thank you for the advice.

New Mom and Dad

Ans. ~ Hello Mom and Dad,

Glomer? Not only do I think you can change the name, I think you should! He will certainly thank you!

Seriously though, to a dog, it is FAR more stressful to change routine and life environment than to change their name (at least in the experience of virtually everyone I know.. and we change names all the time cause we do rescue and usually have NO idea what the dog's former name was). It's not particularly stressful and can actually prove to be helpful since you can't be sure that the dog had only good associations with his name. Essentially a dog seems to recognize their name as an introduction to something about to happen.. if their experience is that when they hear their name good stuff happens... they will typically run to the person saying it. If their experience is inconsistent or bad, they will feel anxious or tense and avoid the person saying the name.

Most people can relate to that as we often only heard our mother use our middle name or full form of our name when response was mandatory! This didn't guarantee enthusiasm on our parts though!

So name your boy as you will and then BE SURE to make things fun and wonderful and happy whenever you use his name (so unlike your kids, his enthusiasm will always be there when he hears his full name).

Please let digital dog know if this advice helped!

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