Naming Your New Dog

So you’re planning on adding a new dog to your family? Congratulations! After stocking up on pet supplies, one of the first things you will want to do to start your relationship off right is to choose an appropriate name for your new dog. Since you will repeat that name thousands of times over your dog’s lifetime, it is important to choose a name that’s pleasing to you. Be sure to select a name that is not embarrassing to call in public, or when you go to the veterinarian.

If you adopted your dog from a shelter, don’t worry about changing his or her name. Unlike humans, pets don’t have any attachment to their name, and will quickly learn to respond to the new name you have chosen. If your dog’s name is pleasing to you, you will say it with a smile in your voice that your dog will respond to. When your dog does respond to his or her name, provide lots of positive reinforcement such as praise, playtime or treats.

Use your imagination and have fun selecting your dog’s name. Remember that one or two syllable names are usually best as they’re easier for your dog to recognize and respond to. To avoid confusing your dog, try  to select a name that does not rhyme with or sound similar to any command you plan to teach your dog (for example: Beau/No, Faye/Stay, Kit/Sit).

Many people name their dog after a physical trait or behavioral characteristic, but feel free to be as creative as you choose. You can find lots of lists of suggestions for dog names online.  If you prefer “human” names, you can even browse through a book of baby names. Once you have selected a name, live with it for a few days to see how it sounds and feels before you make it official.

With a little thought, you’ll be sure to come up with a name that you and your dog will be proud of.

How did you choose your dog’s name?

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There are 4 comments

  • kathy withrow says:

    My husband passed away in July of 2011. His nickname was Bud. He also loved to drink only Budweiser. When I adopted my puppy in Dec. of 2011 I named him Budweiser and we call him Bud for short. He is the smartest most wonderful dog in the world.

  • Marya says:

    I like to choose names from literature. When we were planning to adopt a new dog after the death of a beloved, I wanted to choose a powerful name to respect the memory of our lost pup and make our new guy feel dignified and important in our family. Well, my son and I went to the shelter to see a Golden that had been abandoned. He was a puppy mill dog who either didn’t live up to the expectations of his owners (the dog was 3 and unneutered) or his medical issues were too frustrating. Anyway, we saw him, fell in love and couldn’t wait to bring him home although he was in desperate need of a bath and a vet (the neighboring pit had been chewing on this boy’s tail). When we got him in the car, I was reeling off the list of names while my high school aged son was trying to calm this almost starved 3 year old in the back seat. The dog was so excited, he was going in circles, pushing his head into my son’s chest and wagging his pathetic, bloody tail at a rate unbelievable to us!Despite the fact that it had to hurt, this guy was wagging into the seats and ceiling — all over the place. My son was laughing and petting and trying to hold him saying “ok, buddy, just calm down. ok, buddy, ok, I got you. I got you. Calm down, buddy, you’re gonna be ok.” All of a sudden I realized. I just shouted above the fray, “This isn’t a literary dog. This dog is a regular, lovable guy. He is clearly a Buddy.” And so it is. He is probably the millionth Buddy on our vet’s list, but the name is perfect for him. We’ve had him 7 years — all the kids have flown the nest, but when they come home to visit, it’s Buddy who greets them first!

  • Kim says:

    We selected three names we liked and when we met our new dog, we tried them on him. He responded best to Reggie….and so it is.

  • My yorkie looks just like Chewbacca from the
    movie, Star Wars. That is his name since we are
    Star Wars fans. We call him Chewy, not because he
    chews on things, but because Han Solo called him Chewy
    for short.

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