NAME MY PUPPY (YIAY #231)
How to Name Your New Puppy or Dog
As the saying goes, a dog is a man's best friend (or something along those lines). And a best friend deserves a truly fantastic name. However, coming up with your furry companion's name may actually be harder than you think. Luckily, wikiHow is here to help you sort through the endless possibilities. Scroll down to Step 1 to learn some helpful steps about how to pick your pup's name.
Using Quick Tricks to Name a Pup
Stick with shorter names.Dogs have an easier time recognizing names that are either one or two syllables long, compared to names that are more complex. Instead of naming your dog something like Sir Merlin of Mangovia, you should shorten the name to Jake, or Meg.
- If you do want to give your pup a longer, more formal name, know that you will ultimately end up shortening it no matter what (it will just be easier to call for him to come that way) so go with a name that shortens into something cute.
Try out names sharp consonants.Dogs hear high frequency sounds very well, so names starting with s, sh, ch, k, etc. work well when catching a dog's attention. Dogs will respond more quickly to these relatively sharp sounds. At the same time, consider names that end with a vowel, particularly a short ‘a’ or a long ‘e’ sound.
- Some example names that follow these rules include Simba, Kassie, Sweetie, Delilah or Charlie.
Do not pick a name that sounds similar to a command.Because dogs do not particularly recognize the actual word, but instead understand the frequency of the word, they can get confused by words that sound too similar--particularly when one of those words is a command that they are supposed to follow.
- For example, the name "Kit" can easily be confused with the command "sit". The name “Bo” could be confused with “no”.
Stick with similar sounds if you are renaming an older dog.Be careful when changing an older dog's name. Stick with similar sounds, such as changing "Barney" to "Farley." It's more important to keep the vowel sounds the same than the consonants, since vowels are easier for the dog to pick up on and what the dog is actually listening for. So "Pinky" will accept "Mikey" but not "Porky."
Remember that you’ll be using your dog’s name in public.Some names have a family meaning, but it may not go over well at the vet or dog park. Also, choosing a name that's too common will mean your dog might run to someone else (or you might get someone elses dog jumping on you).
- Names like “Fido” or “Rover” should probably be avoided, as they are some of the more traditional, and therefore more popular, dog names.
- You should also consider the sort of reaction that the name you give your dog might inspire. For instance, people will probably be a little more wary of a dog named “Murder” than a dog named “Honey”.
Ask before using a family member or friend's name.You may think it’s an honor to name your pup after your favorite Aunt Matilda, but she may not take it as a compliment. She might think of it as disrespect.
Try the name out for a couple of days before you make it permanent.Once you’ve chosen a new name, try it out for a day or so. See if it grows on you. You’ll know really soon whether it’s a keeper or not. If not, try something else. There are always many more puppy names to explore and try out. Don't forget to reward your puppy or dog when they respond to their new name. The more treats, love and hugs they receive now, the sooner they'll come running when you call later.
- Pay attention to how it feels to say your pup’s potential name. Could you see yourself using that name over and over again? If your answer is no, you may want to consider choosing a different name.
Explore many names.If you are really struggling on what you should name your dog, and need a little help being creative, you can always run an internet search for a list of cool dog names. There are quite a few websites that specialize in this topic and may help you to get your creative juices flowing.
Using Appearance and Personality
Look at the color and coat of your pup.You can draw a lot of inspiration from your pup’s coat color. For instance, if you have a puppy with a brown coat, you could name him “Rolo”, “Chocolate”, or “Brownie”. Or, if your dog has a curly coat, you might consider naming her “Curls”.
See if your pup has any distinguishing characteristics.Look at your puppy’s paws, ears, face, tail--anywhere. Are there any unique markings or other special identifiers that other dogs don’t commonly have?
- For instance, if your puppy has two white front paws, you might think about naming her “Mittens” or something like that.
Decide whether or not your pup’s size could be an inspiration.If you have an especially tiny pup, or a huge dog, you could use that characteristic to help guide your name choice. You could even play off his size by naming him something opposite to what he actually is.
- For example, you could name your tiny dog “Sampson” and your large dog “Tiny”.
Base your pup’s name on his personality.Given a couple of days, your new dog’s personality will really shine through. Try “Cuddles" for the sweet little guy who loves to get cozy or “Puddles" for the pooch who can’t seem to find the doggie door. Watch how he interacts with your family, or pay attention to any silly habits you might have.
Finding Inspiration in Famous Dogs
Look at famous dogs in movies and on television.Cool movies and cool dog names seem to go hand in hand. Cool Hand Luke’s “Blue" would be a fitting label for a variety of dogs. “Dino" and “Astro" come to mind if you want to honor a famous TV pup, or even, if you’re into the classics, consider Lassie as your pup’s moniker.
Consider names from books.If you have a favorite writer, book or series, you may want to think about naming your dog after a character in a book, or for an author. Jack London had a dog named Possum, Odysseus’ dog in the Odyssey was named Argos, and Tin Tin’s pup was named Snowy.
- You can also draw inspiration from history. Consider presidents’ names, or famous events. For instance, if you are a fan of Theodore Roosevelt, you might consider naming your dog Teddy.
Draw inspirations from your heritage.If you have a special affinity for the country your family is from, or really love how words in a different language sound, you may want to consider naming your dog something in a foreign language, or that has meaning in a foreign country.
- German dog names. For starters, try out “Fritz" or “Kaiser."
- Irish dog names. Love water? Then try “Murphy," which just happens to mean “of the sea."
- French dog names. “Pierre" and “Coco" are top contenders for any dog, especially those with a little Ooh-la-la in their genes.
QuestionIs Bailey a good name for a Jack Russell puppy that is playful?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerSure. If you like it, your pup will. Just make sure that you don't know other dogs named Bailey.Thanks!
QuestionI named my new dog Fin, but he responds better to Finny. What can I do?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerJust call him by the name Finny, and slowly ease into shortening the name to Fin. Eventually he will respond to both pretty well, and if he doesn't, then you may just have to adjust to the name Finny.Thanks!
QuestionIs "Kooky" a good name for a corgi puppy?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerSure! As long as you like it, that's all that matters. Corgis are a little goofy, so I think the name "Kooky" would suit one just fine.Thanks!
QuestionWhat should I do if I like the name the person who trained my dog gave him, but I also want to name the dog myself?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerPerhaps you could call him something that's close to the name the trainer gave him or incorporate that name as a middle name or as part of the first name you choose.Thanks!
QuestionCan I name my new puppy after my dog who died?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes, you may name your new puppy in honor of your deceased dog.Thanks!
QuestionWould Laura be a good name?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIf you like the name, it is a good one. If you're worried about what others may think, ask them first.Thanks!
QuestionI getting a pit bull puppy. I don't want a name that sounds scary, but I don't want a name that's cute and sweet. I really don't know what to name him, what can I do?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerWatch him for a couple of days, and see if his personality reminds you of anyone from a favorite book, film, or TV series.Thanks!
QuestionIs Buddy a good name for a golden-doodle we are getting soon?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerSure, golden-doodles make great companions so the name will suit them well.Thanks!
QuestionIs Tuffy a good name for my Pomeranian puppy?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerName your dog whatever you want. It's your dog.Thanks!
QuestionIs "Poppy" a good name for a female dog?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerSure, Poppy is a fantastic name, especially if your dog is friendly and high-energy.Thanks!
- Pick out a favorite name that you've wanted for years
- When naming two dogs, make sure that if the number of syllables between the two dogs is the same, make sure the vowel sounds are different, or that the voicing of consonants is different (Ex. k/g, p/b, t/d)
- Names can be found anywhere: In your favorite book, a part of your favorite hobby, etc.
- Other ideas to consider: names from your favorite city or country, religious dog names, or names from great books.
- Try to think of a name that's your favorite hobby, or the dogs personality, it's active to try to call him something similar to express his personality.
- Try rare dog names. Every other person has a dog named Lucky or Fido or Buddy, but have you ever seen a dog named, say, Kuna or Skye? Some names are good but rare. Look for those names and seize them.
- When teaching a dog his/her name don't get mad! Just find a way to get there attention like snapping.
- Say different names in front of your dog or puppy. See which name gets the attention of your friend more.
Sources and Citations
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