You decided to get a dog, found the right breed, and now it’s time for the fun part — that pup needs a name! It can be an overwhelming process, especially if you’re negotiating with multiple family members. There are, however, some ground rules for dog names that can help. Plus, we’ve put together a few categories that will help you brainstorm options beyond the typical Spot or Buddy. There’s nothing wrong with those classic names, but if you’re reading this article, you’re probably looking for something a bit more unique.
The possibilities are endless but you’ll find something that suits both you and your dog. Naming your dog is one of the first bonding experiences that sets the stage for your unbreakable human-canine relationship. If you don’t know what to name your dog right away, that’s perfectly fine. Eventually one name will click, you’ll know it when you hear it.
Do: Stick to two-syllable names. Dog behaviorists suggest picking names with two distinct sounds because they’re easier for your dog to hear. If it’s too long, with lulling tones, they might get confused. “Luna” is a better name than “Luminescence,” for example.
Don’t: Pick a name that sounds like a command. You’ll likely be teaching your dog commands like, “sit” and “drop.” If you name them “Mitt” or “Pop,” you could run into some training issues.
Do: Check with someone if you’re going to use their name. You might be inspired by Grandma Mabel, but you should let her know before sealing the deal. Not everyone might be delighted by a furry namesake.
Don’t: Pick something you’re not prepared to yell in public. You might think a name is funny, but are you ready to holler that word in the dog park? It might cause the wrong type of attention if your dog’s name is crude or offensive.
When you’re thinking of dog names, start with words that have a positive personal meaning to you. Every time you say your dog’s name, you’ll be reminded of that nice memory. That warmth will radiate to your dog and grow the love between you.
Is there a geographic location with significance? A favourite vacation spot or dearly missed hometown? Write down a list of places with happy memories and then brainstorm words that are associated with that place. Maybe there’s a street, beach or park that can lend its name to your pup.
Here’s a short list of ideas to get you started:
Your list of personal preferences can also be a good starting place for dog names. What’s your favourite food? TV show? Movie? Book? Musician? If you have a unique job or hobby, that could work too. Fill up your notebook with things you like, and the circle the ones that would make good dog names. These names have the added bonus of being a great conversation starter. “I’m actually in an axe-throwing league...that’s why my dog is named ‘Hatchet.’”
Here’s some ideas:
Based on our survey, we know that 48% of Canadians who own dogs love and treat their pets like children. Why shouldn’t inspiration for names follow suit? Look up baby name trends and scroll through endless lists with familiar and not-so-familiar options. From an article of 2020 baby names, here are some that would work for dogs:
Although it’s never too early to start brainstorming, we recommend meeting your dog before you settle on a name. Look deep into their eyes and watch how they interact with the world. A goofy and playful dog named “Dragon” might not be a natural fit.
What’s your dog’s name? Tell us in the comments or tag us @pawzyco on Instagram!