Naming your dog can be tricky and even stressful. Which one should you select? Here are some basic tips and a little inspiration.
Getting a new puppy is exciting, delightful and yes, challenging. Puppies are adorable, fun to watch, and they bring a new element of play and discovery to any household. They also raise lots of questions. What food should you buy? What toys are safe? And the big one … what name should you select?
Over the years, the Good Dog Hotel & Spa team in Broad Ripple has met hundreds of dogs with names that are everything from traditional and common, to funny, unusual and unexpected. We’ve also heard charming and funny stories from owners on how they named their dogs, which got us thinking about the process of choosing the perfect name.
That’s why we wanted to put together some of our top tips for choosing a name for your dog. We hope it helps.
SIX TIPS FOR NAMING YOUR DOG
Don’t stress. While us humans can get caught up in “picking the perfect name,” one thing to keep in mind is that dogs don’t think about a name the way we do. That’s because dogs interpret what we say in terms of sound, not meaning. His or her name becomes a command for attention or direction, and learns to respond accordingly.
Keep it simple. Dog trainers often suggest sticking with names that are easily spoken by humans, which are then more easily learned by your dog. Other advice from trainers include:
- Ideal names are often two-syllables, like Buddy, Bella, Sonny or Rocky.
- Dogs learn to quickly respond to short sounds, which makes training easier.
- Longer names with more syllables can be confusing, cumbersome, and difficult to pronounce consistently.
- Choose a name that does not rhyme with or sound like common commands. For example, Kit sounds like sit, and Ray sounds like stay.
Be aware of sounds. Veterinary behaviorists tell us that dogs prefer specific sounds, and that can affect the way your dog responds when called. Short and choppy sounds bring more responsiveness, while long, slow and soothing tones do not. Therefore, consider dog names that contain hard (versus soft) consonant sounds, like c as in cap, g as in go, and k as in pokey.
Change a name if you want. Many people who adopt pets wonder if it’s okay or even healthy to change an existing name. Experts say not only is it a common practice to change a dog’s name, it’s fine to do so. You’ll just need to spend time with your dog teaching them to recognize and respond to the new one.
Look for inspiration. Many owners say they took some extra time to name their dog, hoping to be inspired by behavior, personality or physical appearance. Others say they asked family members, friends and neighbors for original name ideas, and then chose the one that was most fitting or popular – sometimes even asking for votes.
See what’s popular. Sometimes you just need to see what other names are out there. For a little inspiration, take a look at The 70 Most Unique Dog Names for 2018, compiled by Rover.com. They include a general list, and then break down even more names into other categories from their data base including: popular female and male names; top geek dog names; math and science dog names; and cool dog names. Some that stood out to us include (whether good or bad, we can’t say), include:
- Koby Teeth
- Tater Tot