If you are buying a pedigree puppy, your breeder will already have registered its name with the Kennel Club. This is its official name which it will carry for the rest of its life, but this need not influence your choice of name for everyday use.
Choosing your puppy’s name is a decision which can take a long time, or it may take seconds.
It must be a name with which you are comfortable, and you may also be bothered about whether it ‘suits’ your dog – some just can’t pull off Brenda or Spike, after all.
It may be a name which is passed on from doggy generation to doggy generation, or more probably it is a name which you will think up.
How to Choose a Puppy Name
You may find the pointers below helpful in arriving at your decision:
- Keep the name simple. Dogs understand brief orders, so short and sweet is best
- Names with only one or two syllables are usually what you should be looking at
- A cute name such as Fluffy, Cuddles and Flop-Ears may sound great now, but may not sound too good when calling after a full sizes Mastiff!
- Don’t pick a name which can be confused with an order (Ray/Stay etc)
- Don’t be a dedicated follower of fashion. Naming after a pop star may feel good for now, but it may lose its relevance as time passes. Also, if that pop star does anything naughty, the name itself may cause embarrassment
- Think about how you would feel shouting the name after them in the park, or giving it to the vet’s receptionist – Stinkypops is probably a cute nickname, but not a serious name
- Other people – children and the elderly in the family especially – will probably have to use the name, so it should be universally acceptable, and easy for all to say
- Always ask before naming your puppy after a family member – and consider the feelings of other (non-named) family members
- If you have another older dog, pick a name which is not too close in sound to the older dog’s name. There will be enough confusion without you adding to it!
- Before you settle on a name, try it out. Keep repeating it to yourself, and see if it is still attractive. If it still feels good, keep it
- Don’t forget to give your puppy lots of love and affection when first using the name. Your puppy must make the connection between its new name and you. It will help you to bond so much quicker if you learn together, and future training will be a lot easier
Some people want to give their dog quite a punny name, such as “Sir Wigglebum the III”. Ensure you can always shorten it down to something more sensible though – Wiggle or Sir would fit here. Ella Fetchgerald is another, which you should just shorten to Ella.
Avoiding the Popular Names
Max, Spot, Jack, Bella, Poppy, Luna, Max…all pretty popular dog names. Especially if you visit a dog park, shout it out, and all dogs but your own come running.
For this reason, you may want to avoid popular selections. Instead, think of something which could be unique to you (if you like cheese, something like Brie, Danbo or Urda may fit. History buffs could like Winston, Lincoln or Theodore).
If your family history is Egyptian, Irish or Spanish for example, you may want to pick a word from your mother tongue which sounds good. You may even pick a name from the country your dog originates from.
Again, make sure you don’t feel silly shouting it out, and that it won’t cause offence or alarm to anyone.
Have a lovely time with your new friend, and remember, a rose by any other name would still smell as sweet! Your puppy will be lovely whatever its name!