How to name your dog
Be careful, the name will stick forever!
So you’ve bought a puppy, the family is delighted, the cupboards are stocked with treats and the backyard is ready to be soiled; but you’re yet to give he or she a name. How to name your dog is a big decision. Not only will you be calling this name for the next decade or so, but you’ll also be using it in conversation, filling it out on documents and remembering it for the rest of your life. Where do you start? It is wise to keep in mind that dogs respond best to short names, so aim for a title with 1-2 syllables that doesn’t sound strange when yelled. You’ll be using this word more than anyone else.
Many dogs have a distinct feature, such as a marking, a distinct size, a behavioural trait or another aspect that sets them apart from the rest. Spots, colouring, barks, walking styles and energy levels are generally the most common inspirations. The breed can also figure into the decision, as the Jack Russell is an example of a dog already boasting multiple offerings. If you’re still in doubt, watch your pet for a few days; does anything stand out? Do you find yourself calling out a particular name such as Buddy that can be applied long-term? Remember that the puppy stage will end, so names that sound cute may not work with an adult dog.
Another popular choice is naming your pup after a celebrity. Sporting stars, actors and historical figures rate highly in this regard, and a play on their names can work well for a pet. This can stem to favourite books, films and songs. But you don’t want an embarrassing name, as calling it out in the park or in any other public setting may change the way you feel about the choice. People can change in the public eye, so a mistake such as ‘Donald’ or ‘Kanye’ is likely to cause you more grief than good. ‘Leo’, ‘Boomer’ and ‘Nelson’ are examples that may help you get the creative juices flowing.
There’s also the option of a human name to give your dog further personality. If you’re choosing this road, do not pick a name that sounds similar to a command; calling your pup anything containing ‘no’, ‘sit’ or ‘stay’ will impact early training. Avoid Kit, Jay and Joe. Also beware of the people in your life; don’t name your dog the same as a friend or family member, as their presence will make a situation awkward and confusing for all parties.
Naming your dog is an important part of buying a pet as changing it down the track isn’t a smart option. A dog becomes used to the sounds of your voice, so altering this later in their life will only make them question how to behave when given an order. But don’t stress: the name of your dog is important, but it doesn’t change the fact that you’ve added a new member to the family. No matter the decision, there’s a bright new face to welcome you every day.