Do You Need Help Choosing a Name for Your Puppy?

dog-tagChoosing a name for your new puppy can be hard – I know, it took me several weeks to settle on the name Zoe for my dog.

So how did I decide? Well, I jotted down a few ideas about how to choose a puppy name that I’d read in dog training manuals and came up with the following check-list which I hope you will find useful:

  • A name with one or two syllables works best because dogs hear and are more responsive to short commands.
  • Choose a name that is not similar to any commands that you will be using, otherwise your puppy will confuse his name with what you are asking him to do. The basic commands you will be using are sit, stay, down, no, wait and fetch so it would be a good idea to stay away from any names that sound similar to these.
  • Find a name that is easy to call out, these are usually names that start with the hard constants such as P, T, K and G.
  • Choose a name that you don’t mind shouting out in public; Pumpkin and Buttercup are sweet names but personally I’d be a bit embarrassed shouting those out in the dog park as my puppy disappears into the distance hot on the heels of a rabbit!
  • Try to avoid names that people either find offensive or will cause them to judge your puppy’s character in a negative way; examples of such names are psycho, killer and tough guy.
  • Choose a name that will grow with your dog. Fluffy and Puddles are cute names but wouldn’t really suit a fully grown dog.
  • Try to avoid names that are already in use by friends and family unless you’ve checked with them first – they may not take it as a compliment that you’ve named your dog after them!
  • If your puppy already has a name, and he is responsive to it, then it’s best not to change it. Learning a new name will cause him unnecessary stress and confusion as he will already have a great deal learn about his new environment.

Once you’ve settled on a name, try it out for a few days and see how you like the sound of it. It’s a good idea to choose a name for your puppy before he arrives so you can start using it immediately . That way your puppy will soon learn who he is, and it’s stops any confusion as you ‘try out’ new names every few days.

Still can’t decide on a name? I’ll post some more ideas for choosing a dog name next week.

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