So, you got a pet.
First of all: Congratulations! You made a good choice.
As any dog owner can attest, choosing a name for your furry friend isn’t easy. The perfect name should fit your dog’s personality and reflect your style. So, it can’t be something you regret after training and socializing the puppy. If you need some inspiration, you can browse our favorite picks to choose a unique moniker for your dog.
Unique Puppy Names – Female
Uncommon Dog Names – Male
Interesting Dog Names
Corky or Corks
Cute Unique Dog Names
Weird Dog Names
Whisper – as in “soft as a whisper” for the coat.
Wicca – (name for dogs that have bewitched their owner)
Witlof – (Dutch for cabbage)
How to Choose a Dog Name
Choosing what to name your pet is a personal journey. You have to consider your pet’s temperament and your personality. Whether you’re naming a new dog or a rescue puppy, you must choose a name that stands out.
Once you have decided the name, it’s imperative to test it by saying the name aloud. Notice how easy it is to say in different tones to rule out the possibility of hard-to-pronounce names. It can be helpful to go as far as calling the dog from your back door.
Which one rolls off the tongue more easily? What feels more natural? Which one is least likely to embarrass you at the park? You won’t know until you name your dog, “Nicodemus!” vs. “Nico!” or even “Reeses Puppycups!”
Yes, there is a canine out there named Reeses Puppycups.
Once you’re comfortable with the name, it’s time to check if your dog approves. Say the name out loud and notice the kind of reaction it elicits. Do his ears perk? Does he wag his tail? These small indicators mean the name is something your dog can be trained to respond to.
Don’t get disheartened if you get a lukewarm reaction from your dog. Many dogs love to go by a nickname. For every Beauregard, there’s a Bo, and there’s always a Posie for every Persephone.
Prop tip: Use treats to train your dog with their new name.
Training your Dog
Creativity and personal expression are crucial, but when it comes to giving your dog a name, training is mandatory. Your dog has to hear their name over and over. That way, they learn to respond to it while learning different commands. Veterinary behaviorists suggest that pets start to recognize their names ones reinforced. It can be similar to a “cue” word than a personal identifier.Moreover, your dog needs to respond to their name and associate it with good things.
You guessed it:
You can teach them to recognize their name with plenty of treats. Sit next to your dog and when they look at you, call them by their name and give them a treat! Repeat this behavior, and eventually, your dog will learn to respond to their new name.
Dogs Prefer “Short” Sounds
Choosing names with ‘Short’ sounds will influence your dog’s behavior. Veterinary behaviorists attest that ‘short or choppy’ sounds make them respond quickly. While ‘long and slow’ tones don’t work. For instance, “Huck” is preferable to “Huckleberry Finn,” at least for your pet.
Several experts agree that a consonant sound in the name, such as “c” or “k,” helps your dog distinguish it from surrounding sounds. Then again, you want to avoid names that sound similar to commands. For example, “Kit” can be confused with “sit,’ and ‘Ray’ can be mixed with ‘Stay.’
People’s names are popular choices. Our data shows that in the top 10 names for male and female dog names, you’ll find an abundance of human-friendly picks. Bella and Max take the number one spot, for instance. They’re joined by other names like Lucy and Molly, Charlie and Jack. The New York Times also noticed a trend in “grandparent names” for puppies, from Marvin to Mona.
Some behaviorists believe that giving your pet a person’s name can assign human qualities to them. Given how is widespread this practice, that doesn’t seem to be a concern for most dog owners.
Should I Change a Dog’s Name?
When buying a dog, you may be faced with the decision of whether to change his name. You might want something more original than “Spot,” or more serious than “Duffy’. Certified animal behaviorists and dog trainers suggest that it’s a widespread practice.
Other names like Poopsie, Baby, and Pudding aren’t popular with first-time adopters. You aren’t required to use the same number of syllables.
Rule of thumb:
Make sure to spend time training your pup to recognize their new moniker. Here’s our guide on how to find the perfect name for your dog.
Find The Best Fit for You and Your Dog
In the end, picking a dog name you adore is most important. You want to get the warm, fuzzy feeling every time you say your pet’s name – just as you want your dog to respond to their name with joy. If it makes you happy, you’ve found the right name.
1. Choosing a name that ends with a vowel
Names that end with vowels change tone when you call your dog. Dogs distinguish various frequency ranges at a much higher level than we do. With a vowel name, it’s easier to get their attention. For example, you can name your dog ‘Rossi’, and it’ll easily roll off your tongue. Of course, Ziggy, Buddy, and Taco work well, too.
2. Use two syllables
Avoid long names – you often end up shortening them anyway. So what’s the hack? Two syllable names. An excellent way to test the name is to repeat it a bunch of times. If you’re comfortable saying it over and over, that’s the name. If you call your dog Puppuccino, it may be cute. But after five times, you won’t want to say it anymore.
3. Avoid names with negative connotations
You might think it’s funny to give your adorable dog the ironic title of “Cujo”, but it’s not the best idea. Not everyone wants to pet a dog named Cujo, or dog-sit one.
4. Don’t mix the name with Commands
Consider the commands you’ll be giving your pet frequently. Does his name sound similar? Unless you want headaches later, pick a different name. For example, Bo can be mistaken for ‘No.’ And Ray can be mistaken for ‘Stay.’ Training your dogs is a big task in itself. You don’t want your dog to think you’re yelling ‘No’ when you just want them to come over and pay attention to you.
5. Choose a name different from your other pets
Make sure that your dog names are dissimilar if you have more than one. They shouldn’t be so indistinguishable to one another that the pets get confused. In other words, Bert and Bluebell are good names, but Spot and Scott may cause problems.
6. Perform The “Nickname-Test.”
Should you get a pet, you will give it a name. Ziggy quickly changes Ziggymans, Zig, Mr. Zig, Zigster, and many other permutations. So, if you choose a name, try to come up with several nicknames to check if they are easy to say, sound like their full names, and are unique. Otherwise, you’ll risk confusing your dog.
7. Consider your Dog’s Personality.
Miniature poodles can be named as ‘Tater Tot’, considering the texture of their fur and bulldogs can be named ‘Butterball’. But beyond looks, personality is a critical indicator of what you might want to name your pet. The bond you have with your
dog will determine the name you wish to choose.
8.Stick with the Name
If you’re adopting a pet from a shelter, they already have a name that you’ll want to change. But there are limits. Once you pick a name, you shouldn’t switch. Within the first three months, you should have a name for them. One or two changes won’t mean the end of the world, but you have to actively reinforce it as soon as you find a new one. That way, your furry friend won’t be confused.
Add a personal touch to the process and take your interests into account. Assess your canine companion as an individual and learn more about their personality. Get to know your pet, and bond with them before deciding a name.