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Top Five Rules for Naming Your Dog

Tue, 2019-06-18 17:28 -- Doug

“The Top 5 Rules for Naming Your Dog” So you’ve welcomed a new family member to the pack: Congrats! But now you’re faced with the overwhelming prospect of giving them their name. Ah, the Name Game: A high-anxiety tightrope for most new pet parents, but we all must face this ancient tradition. Even though there are no hard and fast rules, here are five things to keep in mind when naming your new dog.

One. Two Syllable Names are Best

You’re not only naming your dog, but you’re also trying to convey emotion to her. Modern Dog Magazine suggests that you should choose a two-syllable name so you can transmit your emotions via rising and falling pitches. For example, try this experiment out loud right now: Try to convey frustration using the name “Rex” versus the name “Dexter.” One extra syllable can make a world of difference when communicating with your dog.

Two. Hard, Clipped Sounds

Hard, clipped sounds are best. It’s biology! Experts interviewed by the New York Times explain that dog’s ears are just plain physiologically different than ours, registering sounds at totally different frequencies. So keep in mind that the consonant cut of “Kiki” will get her attention quicker than the sibilant sound of “Sassy.”

Three. Avoid ‘Command-Sounding’ Names

Try to avoid naming your pup anything that sounds like a command. PetMD agrees that this may help to prevent confusion while training. While you might want to honor your favorite Mormon by naming your dog “Mitt,” keep in mind that “Mitt” also sounds like “Sit.” As much as you might love West Coast G-Funk, “Dre” sounds like “Stay.” Many trainers employ a command that sounds like “Chht,” and it works really well to get a dog’s attention. Try saying it out loud! If you think there’s any chance you might use the “Chht” command in your training, you should probably steer clear of naming your pup “Chet,” even though you really love jazz.

Four. Find a Name You Like to Say

Name your doggie something you want to say over and over, because you most certainly will. Your neighbors will hear you calling her from room to room, and you’ll be yelling her name at the dog park and at the beach. You may be tempted to name her something clever, but think of the reaction you’ll get in public. It’s a funny fantasy, the giggles you’ll give yourself when you say “Sit, Damnit,” but the allure of naming your dog “Damnit” may wear off after the five hundredth time you call her and get horrified looks from passersby.

Five. Let Her ‘Tell’ You Her Name

Get to know your dog a little first, to make sure you come up with a moniker that fits her just right. Here is the hard truth about the Name Game: it’s difficult to change streams once that name is cemented in your dog’s brain. No one will judge you for taking a little extra time to settle on the perfect name while you get to know your dog’s personality, but you’ll drive her crazy if you keep changing it every other week. So feel free to take your time and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

To review:

  1. Two syllables or more
  2. Hard sounds
  3. No commands
  4. Love thy name
  5. Take your time

Teach her her name

Once you’ve settled on her name, you can do some quick training to teach her what it is. You’ll need her favorite treats, and some patience. Step One: Call her name. Step Two: She makes eye contact with you. Step Three: Give her a treat and some love. Step Four: Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Soon, with a little commitment, “Daenerys Litterborn of the House Dalmation, First of Her Name, the Spayed, Queen of the Couch and the Cuddles, Khaleesi of the Great Dog Park, Breaker of Heirlooms, and Mother of Licks” will know her name quicker than two shakes of her tail.

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Top Five Rules for Naming Your Dog

“The Top 5 Rules for Naming Your Dog” So you’ve welcomed a new family member to the pack: Congrats! But now you’re faced with the overwhelming prospect of giving them their name. Ah, the Name Game: A high-anxiety tightrope for most new pet parents, but we all must face this ancient tradition. Even though there are no hard and fast rules, here are five things to keep in mind when naming your new dog.

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