We have 2 lively rescued greyhounds named Angel and Ares. We adopted Angel from Greyhound Friends of North Carolina. We are in the middle of finalizing the adoption of Ares from Northeast Ohio Greyhound Rescue. When we received both greyhounds from the greyhound rescue they were still employing their racetrack names, or some rehash of it anyhow. I was disheartened when we were in the middle of adopting Angel years ago to find out that her name was RC Miss Sissy Sue. I could not conceive that someone would name their dog something bizarre like that. I had given up to the fact that I was stuck with calling her that the rest of her days.
Happily I determined that her racing name is not set in stone. In fact, she did not even perceive her racing name at all. You could have called her “Tiger,” “Jumping Jehosaphat,” or even “Dog” and she would have acknowledged the same to all of them – which was no response. Then I contrived that she did not have a name. I was amazed. I was able to name her anything I wanted! That was when I learned that greyhound rescues do not comprehend their racing names. The instructors at the track or kennel do not usually speak to their greyhounds by name, which means you can name your greyhound whatever you desire.
Your greyhound readily associates rewards for actions as a good thing. This understanding is what she will establish as a catalyst to clone her actions over and over again. You need to understand that your new greyhound does not acknowledge her name the same way you and I comprehend our names. Your greyhound responds to her name as a command, nothing more. When you use her name repeatedly for a short while during particular times, she appears to acknowledge that her name is a command for her attention. Think of it as if some person on the street says “Hey!” or when some person says “look over here.” That is basically what your greyhound associates as her name. She perceives her name as a command that requests her attention.
Instructing your new needlenose her name simply takes repetition and reward. Assimilate the recipe below and you will be in awe by the speedy results you will get.
Start off by speaking her new name whenever you are directly talking to your greyhound. Try to talk with emphasis when employing her name. Reward her with a tasty tidbit when she responds to you speaking to her by name. Take time to pet her as a good reward as well. I have never met a greyhound that did not like being petted. It’s as simple as that. Be understanding. It will take time for your greyhound to make that name association. As rapid as a few days later, you will discover more response when you call her name.
While schooling your greyhound her new name, DO NOT scream, yell, raise your voice threateningly, or use her name in a negative way. DO NOT intimidate your greyhound while employing her name, or at all for that matter. These happenings will be figured out by your new greyhound as a bad thing which will regress the training that you are attempting to carry out.
One aside that I would like to acknowledge is that before you start off schooling your new greyhound her name, you should understand her history. If you are rescuing a retired racer from a previous home, they most likely have a name that they identify with already. While you can certainly use the same ideas above to rename her, it would not be advocated.