How to Train Your Older Dog to Learn a New Name

Medium
4-8 Weeks
General

Introduction

When you adopt an older dog, you often don't know his history. This might include not knowing his name. Unfortunately for many older dogs, they come with a past they can't share with us. Some of these dogs haaave a past of abuse and a really difficult life. Some came from loving owners who decided they couldn't care for their dog anymore and left without sharing his story. 

If this is the case with your older dog, you may need to rename him and train him to recognize a new name. Training your dog to learn a new name won't be terribly difficult because it will be more a matter of repetition than anything. However, your dog may become frustrated because he came to you with an identity you know nothing about. 

Defining Tasks

When training your older dog to learn a new name, you're going to have to repeat it quite often. Not only in general conversation or in getting your dog's attention to go outside, but every time you talk to him, you may have to say his name several times. This will take some time, and both of you may become frustrated. Just remember youR older dog can’t communicate his frustration with you, so try to be patient with him as he gets to know not only his new name but also as he adapts to a big change in his life. There might be times when you speak to your dog and he looks past you or doesn't respond because he might be used to hearing a different greeting. If your older dog has been abandoned or rescued, he may be a little nervous and apprehensive about a lot of things. Patience and repetition will be key. 

Getting Started

Make sure you are patient with your older dog as he learns his new identity. Show him lots of love and attention and provide him with lots of treats see. Each time you offer him a treat say his new name so he associates the reward of food with hearing that name. You don't have to schedule sessions to teach your dog in your name, however, take some time to spend with him one-on-one without distractions teaching him the new name you've chosen for him.

The Treat Talking Method

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Step
1
Plan ahead
Set some quiet distraction-free time aside to train your older dog his new name. You don't want other voices or sounds to distract your dog while you're focused solely on teaching him his new name.
Step
2
Prepare
Prepare yourself with some toys your older dog may like and some special treats to get his attention and reward him.
Step
3
Sit down
Sit down with your older dog and give him lots of love and attention. This could be in the form of a brushing, a massage, just a petting session, or a general conversation. Be sure to have your older dog's attention before you begin to dish out treats and begin name training.
Step
4
Treat
Sit in front of your dog. Just the fact that you have a treat should grab his attention. Say his new name and give him the treat.
Step
5
Repeat
Repeat this several times using several small treats, getting your dog's attention saying his name and then giving him a treat.
Step
6
Condition
Over time, with short distraction-free training sessions repeating your dog's name several times and earning treats will condition him to respond when he hears that word, his name, because he will be getting a treat if he's responsive.
Step
7
Practice
After several sessions with you and your dog and some treats, take training to day-to-day situations. With distractions around or while feeding your dog or when you wake up, say his name is often as possible. Anytime he looks at you after you say his name, give him a treat. Over time he will understand that is his new identity and he needs to respond when you say his name.
Recommend training method?

The Daily Life Method

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Step
1
Morning meal
Start by using his name. Any time you talk to him while you are preparing his meal, use his name in the conversation as many times as you can. Every time you say his name make eye contact with him.
Step
2
Throughout the day
Anytime you talk to your older dog use his new name. Be sure you are making eye contact anytime you say his name throughout the day.
Step
3
Evening meal
Repeat the same steps as you did in the morning with his breakfast, repeating his name in a casual conversation as you prepare his meal and he waits for you to serve it. Say his name as you're putting his bowl down.
Step
4
Treat sessions
Once a day, take a few minutes and a few extra treats and sit down with your dog just to work on saying his new name. Look him in the eye and say his name and then offer him a treat. Distract him with a toy or noise or by looking away from him and rubbing his paws and then say his name. When he looks up at you, give him a treat.
Step
5
Practice
Your old dog will take some time getting used to his new name. However, with lots of repetition and practice, he will soon know that he has a new name and a new caring home in which to live. Be sure to use his name any opportunity you have so that he understands and knows his new name as soon as possible.
Recommend training method?

The Getting Used To It Method

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0 Votes
Step
1
Name
Choose a name you think best fits your new older dog. Be sure you are certain on the name as you don’t want to confuse him again expecting him to learn yet another new name.
Step
2
Say it
Look your dog in the eyes and say his name.
Step
3
Treat
Each time you say your older dog’s name, give him a treat. He will soon associate the name he hears with the reward of getting a treat.
Step
4
Each meal
Before you give your new older dog a meal, say his name. Sit or stand near him and talk to him, saying his name many times during the conversation. Be cautious with being too close to his food as he may be territorial, especially if he was neglected or abused.
Step
5
All day
Anytime you talk to your older dog, say his name first and then end the conversation with his name.
Step
6
Nicknames
Refrain from calling your dog anything except his name until he understands what his name is. This means do not shorten his name or use cute nicknames to communicate with your older dog for quite some time.
Step
7
Name games
Set time aside for name games with your older dog. This could be some time alone when you say his name, get his attention, and give him a treat repeatedly or say his name and toss a treat, then say his name again when he gets the treat. Repeating his name will condition him over time to understand what that word means to him.
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Success Stories and Training Questions

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