We can’t help but give our adorable fluffy dogs cute little nicknames to match. So even though you named your puppy Bella, you also call her baby girl.
But can our dogs even understand having more than one name? Let’s look further into whether or not we should call our dogs anything more than what we named them.
Can A Dog Have Two Names?
Dogs need to be able to recognize their real name before you consider calling them any cute little names. As long as you take the time to train your dog enough to understand more than one name, then your dog will end up responding to “bear bear” as well as their real name of Baxter. Dogs can do anything with enough training, treats and time.
Is It Possible To Give A Dog Two Names At Once?
The simple answer is yes.
If you can train your dog to respond to two names, then they will. Studies even show it is helpful if you keep the names to two syllables. When training your dog with two names, give them some treats to create positive associations with those names.
Do Nicknames Confuse Dogs?
Dogs need consistency. Don’t start calling them a new name every day or else your poor dog will have an identity crisis.
Nicknames don’t confuse dogs as long as you consistently use that name. It helps to say your dog’s name in a higher-pitched voice. Then try saying their nicknames with the same voice.
Can My Dog Have Multiple Names?
Absolutely. Dogs are actually responding to the sound of their name and not the name itself. Train your dog with its real name first. Then as you start calling them by their nicknames, make sure you are looking in their direction and they are giving you eye contact. That way they will understand that when you say a nickname, they will respond to it.
Do Dogs Understand Nicknames?
Dogs understand their nicknames but not the same way that humans recognize their own names. Dogs recognize their name with cues. If every time you called your dog “goofy” you rewarded them with a treat, your dog learns to respond to that nickname.
This is why it is important to associate your dog’s name and nicknames with good things like treats or toys.
Do Dogs Remember Their Old Names?
It depends. Dogs don’t remember names, but more of the sound of a name. If they see their previous owners who called him Ollie even though you renamed him Zeus, he might remember the sound of that name.
This doesn’t mean you should start calling your dog their old name to see if they remember. Don’t intentionally confuse your dog if you don’t have to.
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.
How To Choose Two Names For Your Dog?
You want to start with calling your dog one name. Train them to recognize that name. Give them a name that fits their personality and is easy for them to recognize. Once your dog fully comprehends its name, then you can consider calling your dog another name. Then you train them again to respond to a different name. Just remember, when naming your dog…
- Keep it short.
- Make it different from a command cue.
- Make it different from another pet’s name in the house.
Why Isn’t My Dog Responding To Their Name?
Still need more training: Your new dog might still be getting used to responding to their name. Keep training them and practicing with treats every time they do respond to their name.
Train with one name: If your dog is not even responding to one name, there is no way they will understand any of the other nicknames you give them. Work on one name at a time so they don’t get confused.
Negative association with the name: This is a possibility if your dog had a bad experience with its previous owners or even at the shelter. You can either retrain them to create positive associations with their name or think about changing their name completely.
Hearing problem: If you are certain the problem is not your dog not listening or understanding their name, then maybe your dog has some structural problem with their ears. Talk to a vet at this point to rule out any hearing problems.
What Is The Maximum Number Of Names A Dog Can Respond To?
As many as you can train them to successfully answer to.
Dogs are simple creatures. You train them with rewards and they will eventually learn to do that task or answer to a name without the treats. So maybe your dog can only handle understanding a couple of names while others can handle a lot more.
It all depends on your dog and how much time and effort you put into training them.
I Adopted/Inherited A Dog, Should I Give It A New Name?
The best thing you can do is keep their name or if you do give them a new name, make it sound similar to their old name. This is only good if your dog was trained for a while with that name. It might be too hard to retrain them with a new name.
If your dog came from a shelter and the workers gave him a name that he is not attached to, then go ahead and give it a new name. If your dog came from an abusive household before you, you might also want to consider changing its name. Your dog could have developed bad connections to his name and it would be healthy to give him a new name to create better, happier experiences with.
Is It A Good Idea To Have Two Dogs With The Same Name?
Two dogs under the same roof will live their entire lives so confused if they share the same name. Each dog should have its own special name. Training would be impossible because each dog would never know if you are talking to them or not. Then when you say their name and only talk to one of the dogs they might start to think that’s not their name at all.
There is no need to confuse your dogs. Give them separate names.
Do All Dog Owners Use Multiple Lovable Names For Their Dogs?
Dog owners who have a loving relationship with their pets call them many names. We like spending quality time with our dogs and call them lovable names because it shows our love for them. Think about it in terms of people. People we have great relationships with and love, we tend to have some sort of nickname for them. That’s because we spend so much time with them and know their personality so we name them something funny or cute.
The Science of Dog Naming: Tips to Choosing the Perfect Moniker (rover.com)
Pet names and nicknames: what do they say about us? – DogTime