Re-naming a dog

Mrs. West and I are new dog owners! We just got a 7 month old beagle from an old coworker of mine.(he already had 2, a third one just proved to be too much) She’s a cutie, already housebroken, has spent a month at a kennel that trains beagles to hunt rabbits and is a joy in every sense.

The only difficulty is that her name is “Boo”, which is OK if you go in for crappy late '70s songs, but I don’t. Has anyone had any success in renaming a dog? If we do rename her, should it be something that sounds like “boo”? And finally, if it should sound like boo, help me come up with similar sounding names. (boone? moose? entre nous?)


Actually you can re-name the dog anything you want. You’ll just have to re-train her to the new name. (Don’t name her “Lucky” or “Penny”. If you do I’ll think less of you. Like that would sway your decision.)

Both of our doggies were pre-owned when we got them. The Dalmatian Rescue folks called our spotted beastie “Busy” - we don’t know what her first family called her, but we named her Pixel, and she learned to respond to it just fine. I think she was about 6 months old when we adopted her.

Our border collie/lab mutt was about a year an a half old and had been adopted and turned in to the shelter twice before we took her in - so she’s had 3 owners. The first ones called her Bernadette - no, really - we have papers that show it. We have no idea what anyone else called her, but we shortened it to Bernie, and she responds to it just fine… when she feels like it.

I think my point is that doggies can usually figure out if you’re calling them, especially if you reinforce it with treats or skritches. Our doggies not only know their names, but they know “cookie” and “bedtime for doggies” - which means “get your dog butts into the laundry room because it’s time for us to go to sleep.”

So, call your pup whatever tickles your fancy. Who’s in charge anyway??


[sub]I was shouting boo-urns![/sub]

Now that one I like. But non-Simpsons fans may not understand. So far it seems like it isn’t going to be a problem. I really want to name the dog “Darwin” (get it? Voyage of the Beagle?) Now I just have to convince the Mrs.

I always thought that the best dog name ever was in “True Grit.” The Duke called his dog – “Dog”

Although “Hearsay” from “The Firm” was pretty good too.

Just be consistent though. The dog will figure it out.

How about Chicken of Bristol?

Somehow I knew that was coming. For the record, Chicken of Bristol does not sound like “boo”.

Except in some very obscure Byelorussian dialects.

While it probably helps them learn the new name faster if it starts with the same sound, I don’t think it’s entirely necessary. We rescued my brother’s beagle from the pound when he was 2-3 years old, and since no one knew what his old name was, he was given a new one. He learned it quick enough, and he’s one of the dumbest animals we’ve ever owned. I’ve heard female beagles are better behaved, but they are noisy dogs and fond of the sound of their own voices, so be prepared…he’s adorable, but I’d like Pete better if he didn’t bark constantly.

My dog was four when I got him and I renamed him. It doesn’t take long especially if you are consistant. I talked to a dog trainer who said the dog may be too old for the renaming to work, but it did. (He also knows all of his nick names too! Bey-Bey, Killer, Beauregard)

I say, pick a name, any name.

As others have mentioned, you don’t have to rename her something that sounds like “Boo”. With consistency, she’ll learn her new name soon enough.

I like Darwin, though when I read your post, the first name I thought of was Benny Lee from Wharf Rat (or is it Maybelline? I can never tell). Whatever you name her, she may be confused at first if she’s used to “Boo”. One of my dogs is named “Duke”, and anytime he hears a word with the “oo” sound, he comes running. He’s also an attention slut, which might explain it, but I don’t mind.

When you walk her, just make sure you two stay away from Charlie Fog. :wink:

There’s a few sound-alike names you could go with…

Blue is one, as is Baloo.
Do the Yogi The Bear thing and call her BooBoo.
Call her Foo’ if it strikes your fancy.
She’d probably even respond to True.

Oh just name her what you want and give her time to adjust. She’ll figure out that “SlutPuppy, the wonder dog” (or whatever you name her) means her with time.

Every pet I’ve ever owned has been second hand, and their previous owners always chose really dippy names for them (Boss, Henry, Riley, Muffin). I’ve always changed their names, and they’ve always figured out who I was talking to in a few months.

How about Sue?

While it would be easier for the dog if you picked out a name that somewhat rhymed with “Boo”, it shouldn’t be too much hassle since she’s only 7 months old.

What about “Waterloo”?





I vote for Blue. :smiley:

I say name him whatever you want to. Our dog’s name was Chelsea, but we could call her just about anything we wanted as long as we used the right tone of voice. I think she knew her name, but she recognized that tone as being the signal for her to come running.

My in-laws have friends who named their dog “D-O-G” which is pronounced “dee-OH-jee.” It’s either very clever or very stupid. Opinions tend to vary widely.