How to Name Your Dog

Luca and Emi were named after old roommates of my husband.

Luca and Emi were named after old roommates of my husband.

Blitz, Fitz, Trinka and Tuck were among the names of some of the all star puppies in Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl IX starting line up this year. (Yes, I love watching adorable puppies play!) The starting line up included a variety of names that seemed to give each dog a personality before you even saw them play and that got me thinking about how a dog is named.

Naming your dog can be a fun process and really anything goes, it comes down to finding a name that fits the personality of the dog and that you’re not embarrassed to call out at the dog park.

For those of you who need a little extra help, here are a few tips.

  1. Choose a dog name that is easy to say. Your dog’s name will be your way of addressing the dog and letting them know when you are talking to them, asking for their attention or giving a command. If the dog is unclear if you are speaking to them or just having a normal conversation, it will be very difficult to get them to do as you wish. Short names with one or two syllables tend to work well.
  2. Choose a dog name that isn’t confusing. It’s wise to choose a name that doesn’t sound like a command, ie “Snow” and “no” or “May” and “stay”. This can be very confusing to a dog.
  3. Choose a dog name that evokes love. Whatever name you choose, make sure it is a reflection of your love for your dog and you say it with joy. It is a sign of communication between the two of you that should be respected and enjoyed.

Some dogs come to us with an already fitting name and we choose to keep it but if your dog happens to come to you with a name that doesn’t seem to fit your family, it’s okay to change it. With proper recognition and encouragement dogs can learn a new name quickly. I have heard that sometimes dogs have an easier time with this if the new name is similar to the old name but I don’t think that’s always necessary.

We would love to hear how you chose your dog name, let us know in the comments below!


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