Karen B. London
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Tim Tebow’s Dog has a New Name
Bronco has become Bronx
Tim Tebow and his dog, Bronx

Football player Tim Tebow ‘s every action seems to attract attention, so it’s no surprise that when he changed his Rhodesian Ridgeback’s name recently, it made the news. The name Bronco, which was such a great name when he played for the Denver Broncos, became awkward once they traded him to the New York Jets.

Many sportswriters are discussing how cruel it was to make this name change and claiming that the dog will suffer terribly as a result. Most dog professionals, myself included, think that changing a dog’s name is fine, even if the new name is nothing like the old one.

Bronco to Bronx is a minor change, which makes me suspect that Tebow made a real effort to change his dog’s name to something similar. Most people do think that it’s a big deal for a dog, so this gesture may have been prompted by a thoughtful attempt to minimize any issues for his dog.

Love him or hate him, Tebow’s big news is a sign of many things: his status as a cultural icon, the pattern of naming our dogs after what’s important to us, and the ever-increasing importance of dogs in our culture.


Karen B. London, PhD, is a Bark columnist and a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist specializing in the evaluation and treatment of serious behavior problems in the domestic dog.

Photo by The Smoking Section

CommentsPost a Comment
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Submitted by Anonymous | May 16 2012 |

Awww what a cute dog? Did he get him at he Shelter and save a life?

Submitted by Jewel | May 21 2012 |

My two guys answer to so many different versions of their name it's almost ridiculous. Their names are Gary Cooper and Dexter, which devolves into Gary, Gary Cooper, big guy, monster, dragon, puppy, puppy man, etc. Dexter answers to Dexter, Dex, Dexa, Dexter Doodle, Dexadoo, little one, pup man, puppy, etc.

If Bronco lived with us, he'd already answer to Bronx since it's such an easy shortcut from Bronco.

This is such a non-issue in my book, but does highlight what Karen said in her last paragraph about the role of Tim Tebow in our culture and society.

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