How to Choose The Best Name for Your Dog

So, you’ve got a new dog; you’ve picked the perfect pup, and you’ve brought him home and made him part of your family. Now, of course, comes the difficult part. Coming up with the perfect name for your brand new dog.

Okay, maybe this isn’t as hard a house training a young dog or teaching an old dog new tricks, but a lot of people struggle coming up with a great name. (I know someone whose 7 month old puppy finally received her permanent call name a few days ago–not saying any names!)

This is actually kind of important, because dogs actually respond to their name. And there is a huge language barrier between us, if you haven’t noticed already. So, giving them a name to go by will help greatly with training and communicating.

A dog’s name, is something that you’re going to find yourself saying, A LOT. A good rule of thumb is to imagine that your dog runs off and you need to go looking for him; would you be happy yelling their name all over the neighborhood? If not, don’t be a funny guy and stick with something you’re willing to say with some bass.

There are a few different approaches that you can take when it comes to picking out a dog’s name:

Personality

Probably the most common way of picking out a dog’s name, you look at how the dog acts and then pick a name that seems to fit the dog’s personality. If your dog runs every where at full tilt and takes corners on two paws, something like Scooter or Turbo might be appropriate.

This does take a little time, because you need to get to know your dog before you give him a new name, but it does tend to give you a name that feels right for your canine companion.

My dog’s name, Frisco, for example, came about this way. He has a frisky personality, but that’s very feline’ish. So I came up with Frisco: a more masculine, dog approved name.

Appearances & Feelings

Of course, you might want to pick your dog’s name by looking at their appearance rather than their personality. Probably the most basic example is a dog named Spot because he has, you guessed it, spots.

Certain names make you think of certain qualities. A dog named Tinkerbell, for instance, is likely to be a tiny little dog, possibly of the Miniature Poodle or Chihuahua persuasion. A dog named Bruno, on the other hand, is very likely to be a stock muscular dog. But the relationship between the physical quality and the name doesn’t have to be a direct, one to one correlation.

Jasmine, my Pit Bull, already had her name when I adopted her. Her previous owners did a great job with picking the right name, because the moment I saw her, I saw it too. Her cute face made me smile. The same way I would smile when my mom would tell me to smell the jasmine flowers in bloom. It doesn’t have to be broad – flower, in this case – I had a connection with jasmine flowers because they too make a childish smile come over me.

Appearances give off lots of impressions. Use these feelings to come up with a name that makes you happy every time you say it. A large looking dog may remind you of your favorite dinosaur – a particular dinosaur that fascinated you as a child, in this case, would work great. But shorten it of course like, Rex, for Tyrannosaurus Rex.

Irony

Of course, the other way is go is to use the dog’s appearance but go the ironic route.

Obvious ones would be, “Tiny,” for a 120lbs English Mastiff or”Boss” for an itty-bitty dog.

Themes

If you have more than one dog, you could stick to a theme. I have a friend whose dogs, West, Magic and Wilt, are all named after his favorite athletes to play for the Los Angeles Lakers (Jerry West, Irvin “Magic” Johnson, Wilt Chamberlain). You could also name them after your favorite Shakespeare characters, or even after your favorite cars.

It’s one of the greatest feelings, when you come up with the perfect name. One that intertwines with your personality, beliefs, and experiences in life.

Let the naming process come naturally. Don’t force the name; your dog will do most of the work with helping you come up with perfect name

Baby name websites

If you’re trying to come up with a very unique name you should visit a baby naming website. I’ve spent hours in the past learning names and their origins on these kind of websites. Some names overlap ordinary meanings but in different languages–or no longer a popular demand.