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How to Choose a Name for Your Dog


pexels-photo-59523-largeWhen you bring home a new puppy or an adopted dog, the first step is to choose a name.  This task may seem monumental; after all, your pet is stuck with this title for the rest of its life!  Tips to help make your decision easier are described here.

Research Common Names
Max, Sadie, Bella, Bailey, and Buddy are all great monikers, which is why they are on the list of most common dog names.  If you are choosing a popular name for your pet, ask yourself if you plan to take your dog to areas that will be populated with other dogs, such as off-leash dog parks or daycare.  If so, you may want to reconsider, unless you want all the Sadies running to your car when it’s time to go. Here are some free online books to get ideas.

Avoid Trends
Sure, it might be cute to dub your dog after the latest trend, but 10 years from now do you want to have “Let it Go” stuck in your head every time you call your dog, Elsa, to your side?

Choose a 1 – 2 Syllable Name
While your dog might look like a Snuffaluffagus, consider whether you will be able to get your dog’s attention quickly in case of an emergency.  Dogs also have relatively short attention spans, so your pup may lose focus by the time you say its entire name if it has too many syllables.  For these reasons, keeping your dog’s name as short as possible is best.

Avoid Names that Sound Similar to Training Commands
Although dogs have superb hearing, they discriminate words differently than we do, and may not always be able to distinguish between similar sounding words like “no” and the name “Snow.”  Before you make a definitive decision on your pet’s moniker, make sure you are certain it does not rhyme with any key training commands.

Consider your Dog’s Heritage
If you are having trouble settling on a name, consider your dog’s breed and background.  Strong German names such as Kaiser, Ada, or Fritz may be appropriate.  Similarly, owners of dogs with Asian descent may find names such as Katsu, Nori, or Miku fitting.  A more unique name can be advantageous when it comes to calling your dog at the park or setting up veterinary appointments.

Let Your Dog Help you Decide
Avoid naming your dog before you bring him or her home.  Oftentimes, dogs help decide their name by displaying certain behaviors around the house.  For instance, Princess may not be fitting after you bring your new puppy home and she terrorizes the house on her first day!

Choose a Name You Love
Above all, make sure the name that you choose is one that you – and your family members – love.  If you choose the name simply for the sake that one person in the household likes it, you may come to resent using that title daily, which your dog may misinterpret as resentment towards him or her.  Take as much time as you need to decide, as dogs learn their names quickly.

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Anna Weber

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