Choosing the best name for your dog – Part 1

Dog Names: Choosing the Best Dog Name

Naming your dog is a necessary first step in pet ownership. It reflects on you and your new pet so taking a few minutes to find the unique dog names available and choosing one that fits you and your pet is important. There are dozens of websites and books that list popular dog names including puppy names, as well as, male dog names and female dog names. The key is finding that one name that strikes a chord.

Before you pull a name from out of the blue or use a list there are a few things you should consider. First, it may be best to choose a name that does not have an “S” in it. Many dog commands like sit and stay have an “S” sound and when attached to a name including that sound can be confusing to the animal.

Second, is your dog a boy or girl? Girl dog names give a very different connotation than boy dog names. If you want everyone to know what your dog is you probably don’t want to choose a name like Sammy which could be used for either. Female dog names also tend to have a softer sound than male dog names. Many people believe this is because females can be more active and a softer, less harsh sounding name will calm the dog.

Pay attention to your animal. Don’t rush into a name. Many times a pet will name themselves within a day or two based on their markings, attitude or personality. You will want to give your pet time to grow into their name.

A good dog name should be short; only one to two syllables. This has to do with training. Dogs require instant (within 2 seconds) positive or negative reinforcement to understand what is expected of them. If you have a name like Abracadabra your dog will stop paying attention to you by the time you get half way through saying it.

Finally, remember that each name will set a tone. Fang when given to a large pet may increase people’s wariness when approaching your pet; whereas, Pookie for the same pet would probably be much more neutral and approachable.

Now that you have some guidelines for choosing a name; how do you find names to choose? Again, the internet has countless sites available with every dog name imaginable. Check there for ideas. Here are a few current popular dog names.

Top male dog names:




Top female dog names:




If you are looking for more unique dog names the sky is the limit. Think of the region you dog’s breed comes from; like naming a Chihuahua, Mex. Do a play on words; instead of naming the pet Jake call him Kaje. Almost anything can be used as a unique and personable dog name. Again, the best advice is to pay attention to your pet. They will help you find that one right name.

Once you have found the name; use it. The best way for a dog to learn its name is by hearing it. Say the name over and over and over again. It’s also a good idea to occasionally give the dog a treat as you say their name. It should only take a day or two of consistent reinforcement for your new pet to learn its name.

Take your time, pay attention to your pet, keep it short and have fun. Both you and your pet will be living with the name you choose for a long time. Remember it’s all in the name so pick one you both can live with.

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