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  • Writer's pictureDanielle Zibilski

How to choose the perfect Dog name?

Updated: Jun 7, 2020

What’s in a name? Naming our precious 4 legged friends is a very important job. While there are no real rules to naming your new puppy, I am hear to tell you that many experts agree on some key tips.

  1. Choose your beginning and ending sound wisely.

The key to naming your dog is making it as simple and clear as possible for your pet to understand when they are being called. You will want the name to start with a letter that has a sharp, distinct sound. A name that starts with a D, T or K sound will be easy for your dog to pick up. A name that starts with an S or F, which has a softer beginning, could be a little more confusing for them. That doesn’t mean you can’t use soft sounds, but you may consider pairing it with a good ending sound.

A dog’s name will also work best if it ends with a sharp “a” or long “e” sound. Again, this will be more distinctive to their ears and easier for them to differentiate from other words.

2. Two-syllable names seem to work best when it comes to dogs.

The theory suggests that dogs learn two syllable names easier than one- or three-syllable names. Any name you give them that is longer than two syllables could get lost in translation from their ears to their brain.

Still, this is not a rule. As long as you train your dog using positive reinforcement, treats, praise and patience, he or she will most likely learn their new name in under a week. It will just take repetition and patience.

3. Avoid command words and names that rhyme with them.

Make sure the name you settle on is easy to pronounce and that it is not too closely associated with other words you will use during training, so as not to confuse him.

For example, we don’t suggest you name your dog Kit. This could prove confusing when trying to teach Kit to Sit. Or Mo might not be the best choice because Mo will get confused with No. A dog named Fay may not learn to Stay easily.

4. Make sure you are comfortable yelling their name in a crowd of strangers.

Rest assured you will be using your dog’s name at dog parks, in front of neighbors, and many public places. Make sure the name you chose is friendly to all ears and something you are comfortable screaming at the top of your lungs in a crowded park when they run to chase a squirrel.

5. Look to Breed Heritage, Family Heritage, destinations, or hobbies.

Need inspiration still ? Is your pup Bernedoodle? Perhaps a Swiss name after the country where the Bernese Mountain Dog originated. Is your dog a Weimaraner? How about a name reflecting their German background?

Does your own ancestry lead back to Ireland? Look to some Irish names for ideas. Maybe Murphy or Finnegan.

Do you have a favorite vacation spot or happy place? We chose our dog to be named Maui, because my husband and I honeymooned, spent a few anniversaries there, and vacation with our family there. It is our happy place.

Did you leave your childhood hometown? We considered Quincy for a name because I have fond memories of my hometown in Quincy, IL. Hint: You can look to county names too.

Do you have a favorite hobby, sport, or team that can give you inspiration? Slugger, Helmet, Cowboy, Astro, Bevo, or even a favorite athlete's name.

In the end, these are all just tips and suggestions for the naming of your puppy. Let your imagination flow and make this process one that involves the whole family. This will help to ensure you pick a name the whole family will love. Don’t feel rushed to jump to a name on the first day you meet him or her. You can wait to get to know them and pick a name that suits their personality. Try to make sure the name will be as easy as possible for your pup to learn. Naming your puppy will set up the first key to lead to the best communication possible between you and your dog.

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