7 Ideas for Naming Your Dog

dog
(Photo credit: Alex Balan)

Most people consider it an honor to be able to choose name for a dog. And, for good reason. After all, you have a name right? Why should your best friend be any different? Sure, you occasionally hear someone refer to their dog as "Dog" or their cat as "Cat", but you want to be a bit more creative than that, don't you?

So, you get this new little , or possibly an un-named adult dog. The pressure is on to come up with a fitting name. It has to be a name that is not too cute or "frilly", and it should fit the the animal's personality, behavior, or looks.

Oh the pressure of a name.

You could go with a classic name like Rex, Rascal or Fluffy. Those are names that never go out of style unless your kids want a hip or modern name. You could also turn to the movies or music and use a favorite movie star or country singer, mythical figures, presidents, or family members. The sky is the limit.

Dog in stiff winds on beach - Kit flying scene...
Dog in stiff winds on beach (Photo credit: mikebaird)

Some suggestions for choosing a name:

1. You could be calling your dog by this name for the next fifteen years or so, so pick out a name you really like. Say it out loud in different tones to get a "feel" for the name.

Dogs tend to "like" certain sounds as well. Make sure your dog doesn't seem to resent its name. A dog will respond in a positive fashion to a sound it likes.

2. Usually one or two syllables is best for a dog name. It can get really awkward to call out a long or complex name all the time. Keep the name short annd simple..

It's true, there are some dogs - usually show dogs - who have have three names just like a human might. But, they are generally called by a short nickname or an abbreviation of a first name (like "Jo" for "Joseph").

In fact, it has been said that a dog really only "hears" the first syllable of a multi-syllable name. Keep that in mind when you are choosing.

Cover of "The Jerk (26th Anniversary Edit...
Cover of The Jerk (26th Anniversary Edition)

3. Don't name the puppy something that will embarrass you or others when you have to call him in public.

It was funny for a dog to be named "Sh*thead" in the movie "The Jerk". However, in real life... not such a great idea.

4. Always use the dog's name when speaking to him or praising him. Your dog will quickly understand when he hears that sound, it is his "special word".

On that note... make sure the dog name does not sound too much like a standard dog command - sit, fetch, stay, etc. There's an old joke about a dog named "Stay", who was confused when his master said "Come, Stay". Well, I guess it was kinda funny.

5. Before making the decision on a name, take time to get to know him. You may name her and find out later that it doesn't fit. Give it a few days to a week and see what you think then.

As a boy I was fretting about a name for a new puppy. One day I observed, "Boy, he acts just like the skipper of a ship". That did it. He was known as Skipper from that point on..

6. If you get stuck, ask family and for their advice.

My sister-in-law named my last dog. She mentioned the name Keiko after watching a TV movie about the whale of the same name. We liked the name, and Keiko it was.

7. If you are really having a hard time deciding, you could invite and family to a "Name The Puppy" party. Give out a prize to whoever comes up with the best name.

There are all kinds of names out there. Just find one that fits your dog and makes you happy. For more great , click here: Creative Pet Names.

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