If your dog has a litter of puppies, or if you’re planning to buy a new dog, one of the first things to think about is the matter of dog names.
Naturally, you don’t want to rush into naming your dog, because it would be a bit awkward and confusing for you and your dog if you change your mind about the name later on.
A name given to a dog sticks. You would want to find one that is catchy, practical, and pleasant to the ears.
First of all, check your dog’s sex. Some sellers tell you the wrong gender accidentally, and you end up naming without checking. If you don’t know how to tell, flip the dog on its back, and a male dog will have a tiny scrotum.
If the dog is eight or more weeks old, it will be easier to tell because the scrotum will have descended by then. A girl dog, on the other hand, will have a tiny slit under the anus.
Don’t create a false personality for your dog. If, for example, you don’t want to scare your guests off, don’t call him Killer or Shredder. Likewise, do not name him Lazy, Dopey or Grumpy if, for example, you have hopes of entering him in a dog show someday.
Names create visual pictures. No matter what the dogs look like, the dog names will inevitably influence how people view them. If you want something that is congruent with the dog’s actual personality, don’t name him immediately. Spend a few days with him to find an appropriate name.
Choose a name that the dog can easily hear. Hard consonants like T and D are more ideal for dogs. One or two syllables are the easiest to remember.
Do not give him a name that is the same as a command or the name of a family member. This will only confuse the dog. You might find it amusing to call the dog “Sit” or “Stay,” but you will later regret it when you are trying to train him. Calling him by the name of a family member is also problematic. Imagine the dog bounding up the steps each time you call out your sister’s name.
Finally, choose a name that YOU are comfortable calling. There may be days when you have to take your dog for a walk, or to the park or beach. If you, for example, call your dog by profanity or something embarrassing, remember that you will have to shout it out in public. Also, it will be uncomfortable for the dog walker or pet sitter if you get one, so do not try to make their job difficult, as amusing as it may sound.
If you still have a hard time thinking of a name, do the same as you would when naming a baby. Consult a baby book of names. They usually also have their corresponding meanings listed, so you will probably be able to find one that suits your dog perfectly.
Books and movies might help. Perhaps you can think back to characters in books or movies that have great name possibilities for your dog. You could also consult mythology- Greek or otherwise. They can give you ideas if you’re looking for a unique name.
It might help to think of people you know, but as much as possible, do not name them after friends who visit often, or your boss.
Whatever you decide, don’t change your mind about the name. Dog names are an important part of training. If you keep on changing it, he will fail to make the association.