Great Dog Names 101: Simple Steps How to Name a Dog
by Jessi Larson
First off, congratulations on your new addition. Adding a new dog to your life is an exciting, joyous time, and we couldn’t be happier for you. Your next big decision will be your dog’s name. Lets look at how to name a dog…
An important step in this process is finding a name for your dog that reflects your taste and also matches their personality and appearance. But before starting your search for the best dog name, here are a few things to keep in mind:
What makes a good dog name?
There’s no such thing as a bad name – it’s just that some can be better than others.
Experts recommend shorter dog names that come to your lips easily. You’ll be saying your pup’s name often, and at times it’s imperative to get their attention, for example if there’s an oncoming car or if they get into something off limits. The name should roll off your tongue quickly and get the dog’s attention immediately.
Also, the best dog names are ones that work for all stages of your pet’s life. Certain names are great for a puppy, but think down the road to when your dog is full-grown. The name needs to be enduring.
Give it a try
Wondering if a name is a keeper? Try it out! Say it in several different tones – in a normal voice (“Come here, Toby”), in a loving voice (“Aww, great job, Toby”), in a stern voice (“Toby, no, get out of there”), etc. How does it sound?
Also, can you imagine yourself calling that name in public? If you hesitate even slightly, then it’s not the right dog name for you. “Goober face” may be funny behind closed doors, but it likely won’t go over well around people you don’t know.
Will it cause confusion?
Certain names may cause confusion if they sound too similar to frequently used commands. For example, “Kit” may be confused with “Sit.” It’s something to think about.
Also, choosing a popular dog name will mean you’ll more than likely run into other pups with the same moniker. There’s nothing wrong with that, but if may cause confusion at dog parks, training and doggy daycare.
On the flip side, names that are uncommon or hard to pronounce may be hard for others to pick up.
Think of others
Stay clear of names that already in use in your inner circle, whether it belongs to a person or another pet. A person likely will feel disrespected if you use their name. Picking the same name as a friend or family member’s pet can invoke irritation. There are plenty of other dog names out there, so move on from these ones.
Our most important recommendation: Have fun and enjoy your dog’s name! Finding a unique dog name – one that reflects your pup’s personality and incorporates your style – is a fun process. Don’t overthink it. Enjoy the moment.
Find your name by searching our list of dog names.
Or learn how to teach a dog it’s name.