How Important is the Name You Choose for Your Dog?

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If you are reading this, odds are you are one of the many people who consider dogs to be members of our families. One of the ways we demonstrate this is the careful consideration we give to naming our dogs. There was a time when dog names where typically descriptive of the dog’s physical traits, such as Spot, Shadow, Fluffy, or Tiny or a dog specific name such as Fido, Rex, Brownie, Apollo, Patches, Buddy, or Banjo.

But, today’s dogs tend to strut around the dog park showing off collars which identify them with a name that could easily be mistaken for that of any other human member of their family. Some of the most popular names we see are Lilly, Max, Oscar, Gracie, Norman, Lucy, George, Ruby, Dylan, Sadie, Jack, Sophie, Stella, and Zoe.

Some dog names honor a pet parent’s special interest, hobby or place. There is Jackson (Hole, WY), Fenway (Park), Harley (Davidson), Meatball, Meteor, Yankee, Jeter, Brooklyn, or Bronx.

We all get a giggle when we meet a dog named after a food. Maybe it is so delightful because it signifies how yummy we think our dog is. Porkchop, Pudding, Peanut, and Noodle are surely names of dogs who are truly delicious!

Inspiration also seems to come from the animal kingdom. I’ve met a Border Terrier named Otter (they do look a bit alike), quite a few Chow Chows named Bear, a Brussels Griffon named Monkey, and a Weimeraner named Seal (although this might thave been inspired by the singer).

I so appreciate the time and effort people put into naming their dogs and the pride they take in people’s approval of a well chosen name. We should feel free to choose a name that we feel best suits our dog’s very unique personality and style. Just try to keep two things in mind; A name that is one or two syllables will be easier for your dog to recognize and try to avoid names that may label your dog in a negative way. As cute and funny as they can be, some examples of this are Killer, Vicious, Stinky, Bruiser, Atilla, and Piddles.

Perhaps most importantly, teach your dog to recognize his or her name by consistently associating it with positive things. Say their name before you give them their dinner, before you give them a tummy rub, or invite them onto the bed. It shouldn’t take long for your dog to think hearing you say their name means to pay attention as their is a potential for something great to happen!

Stay tuned for more on teaching your dog name recognition.