So you got a new dog? It goes without saying that a new dog is a ton of responsibility, and if you’ve read my other articles, you’ve probably already considered this. You might feel super prepared… but have you asked yourself the most important question of all?
What are you gonna name this new guy or gal?
Did you know that there are “rules” to naming your dog? Okay, they aren’t official rules. There’s no official statute governing dog names, but there are some important things to think about when naming a dog. There are definitely things that you want to keep in mind and things that you want to avoid doing.
I’ll start with the most common thing you usually hear when naming a dog, and then I’ll go through some other ones you might not think to consider during the naming process.
When trying to choose a suitable name for your dog:
DO Try to stick to a 1 or 2 syllable name. Complex names may sound pretty, but the extra syllables make them hard for you to say, and even harder for your dog to understand.
DO Pick a name you like a lot. You’re going to be hearing it a lot, so pick a name that doesn’t annoy you and doesn’t seem like a name that you are going to get tired of.
Do Try to go with a name that ends with a vowel. Names that are spelled this way cause your dog’s name to sound more “musical” because of the change in tone caused by the vowel at the end of the name. This will help with training your dog to know the name you want to give them, because it will be easier for your dog to remember the sound.
DO Pick a name that is unique from the other pets in your household. Having another pet in your house that has a similar sounding name will be especially confusing for your new dog.
When trying to avoid an unfortunate name for your dog:
DON’T Pick a name that is offensive or has a bad connotation to it. Consider how the name you choose will influence the way people view your dog. Naming your dog “Killer” or “Jaws” may seem funny, but it paints your dog as a vicious animal. You may have a hard time boarding your dog or finding a dog sitter for because of their potentially scary name.
DON’T Pick a name that sounds like a command you plan to train your dog to do. The reason for this is pretty similar to the reason you don’t give your two pets the same name. It’s confusing, and could be a headache when you are going through the training process.
DON’T Pick a name and then change it and keep changing it. Again, we want to avoid confusing the dog. You may have adopted your dog from the shelter, in which case you probably already changed their name once. Don’t keep doing that, or it will be impossible for them to learn any name you want to give them!
Ok, now that you have that information, there’s one more thing that I ask of you.
You are going to give your dog a nickname, that’s just science. It’s going to happen. Make sure that you test out whatever name you choose to be sure that you are able to create a bunch of nicknames that actually sound like their original name, so that they may actually learn some of these nicknames as well, and respond to them over time.
Once you’ve done that, I think you’re good to go. If you made it this far, you are now armed with all of our dog naming knowledge… GO NAME YOUR DOG!