Did you know that more than half of all names given to pets are actually human names? Or that twenty percent of pet names are based on the animal’s personality or appearance?
If you’re the proud parent of a new puppy, finding the perfect name is one of your first priorities (after ensuring the precious little ball of fluff is safe and fed). The decision you make needs to be permanent – so it deserves some thought!
You need to remember during the naming process that puppies grow up – so choose a name that’s suitable for an adult dog. Your pup’s name will be your lifelong key to communicating with him. It needs to be able to generate attention and a fast response.
You also need to be aware that your dog associates and understands the sound of his name – not its meaning. They can however understand tone – so don’t choose a joke name. Dogs are sensitive and can intuit a person’s mood and emotions.
Tips for Naming your Pet
These can be applied to cats as well as dogs…
- Choose a name that is easy for your dog to recognise as his. Names with one or two syllables are perfect. Dogs learn short sounds quickly and easily.
- Choose a name with a sharp, crisp or hard consonant to help with recognition and attention (for example, a “K” sound)
- Avoid choosing a name that sounds a lot like a command, such as “Sit!”, “Come!”, “Fetch!”, “No!”, or “Down!”. This can be confusing for a dog.
- Select a name you’re comfortable calling out loudly and saying in public, like when you are dog walking or playing at a dog park.
- Choose a name that will grow with your pet. “Brutus” might not seem right for a tiny puppy, but will be perfect for the right adult dog. A baby name for a pup might be perfect while he’s tiny, but won’t work so well when he’s a big, adult dog.
- Consider the heritage of your dog’s breed. You could choose a foreign name that suits – for example, give a Schnauzer a German name, a Chow an Oriental name, a Terrier a Scots name, or a Poodle a French name.
- Classic human names of a century ago can be great for pets. Think names like Cedric, Myrtle, Arthur, and Herb…
- Be inspired by literary characters or mythical characters. Think names like Merlin, Gandalf, Zeus, Loki, etc.
- You may wish to allow your kids to name the pup. Here it’s important to guide them towards an appropriate name you’ll be happy with long-term.
Some currently popular dog names include:
(And for the cat lovers: Coco, Max, Buddha, Tigger, Ziggy, Simba, Cleo, Lucy, and Kitty).
Enjoy the process of naming your pet. There’s much more scope for your imagination and creativity than there is when naming your human babies! But remember to be nice, be respectful, and ask yourself, “what would I like my name to be of I was this dog?”