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Picking the Best Name for Your Dog

After adopting a dog or puppy, picking the perfect name isn’t an easy task. You want to ensure you are choosing a name that suits them and is easy to say.

Many people will give their dogs a title, like Mr., Mrs., or Dr. It’s endearing and  humorous. Others choose names that are more human, like Sam, Bruce, Lily, etc.

It turns out there is a kind of logic in the the funny names we choose for dogs.

Many dogs have hard consonants in their names like ‘K,’ ‘D,’ ‘B,’ or ‘T.’ This is why you see a lot of dogs named Buddy and Teddy. These sounds are easier for dogs to recognize than vowels, animal behaviorists say.

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Of course, there are no “rules” when naming your dog, but there are some tips you should follow.

Shelby Semel is the owner and senior trainer of Shelby Semel Dog Training.

“You should consider avoiding names that sound like commonly used words,” Shelby Semel told the Dodo.  “For example, a name like Noah would be confusing for the dog as it sounds too similar to the word ‘No.’” That goes for names that frequently make the “most popular” lists, such as Bo or Beau; Kit, which sounds like the command “sit” or Kay, which sounds like “stay.”

Names are obviously important when training your dog. It’s important you aren’t spitting out a long and complicated name when training.

“Ideally, one or two syllables are best,” Semel notes. “I prefer two because most cues are a single syllable. I would avoid a three-syllable name as the dog won’t respond or you begin to call them by their shorter nickname, which can get confusing for them.”

What about renaming a dog?

If you like your adopted dog’s name, then keep it. If you want to give them a new name, it will take some patience because you will need to introduce it gradually.

“Add a new middle name along with their existing name for a short duration, while you phase out the old name,” Semel advises. “If your dog’s name is Maggie when adopted, and you would like to change the name to Rose, begin calling her Maggie Rose for a few weeks, then slowly phase out the name Maggie to eventually just calling her Rose.”

Of course, have fun with naming your dog. Pick something that you like and that fits their personality.


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