You’ll be surprised: a lot of people are taking the task of naming their dog seriously. In a way, this shouldn’t be so surprising; Americans are very seriously and passionate when it comes to pets, more so than their Asian counterparts.
You’ll be surprised: a lot of people are taking the task of naming their dog seriously. In a way, this shouldn’t be so surprising; Americans are very seriously and passionate when it comes to pets, more so than their Asian counterparts. Americans really take the phrase “man’s best friend” very, very seriously. Still, there are a few who do not get the fact that dog names should be chosen carefully. After all, the pet name you choose will not only reflect the kind of pet you have. Dog names also reflect what you are as a pet owner. How many times have you rolled your eyes when you hear the name “Killer” or “Stinker” used as dog names? Obviously, there is no one rule when it comes to choosing dog names (it’s a matter of preference, after all), but that doesn’t mean you preference should exude bad taste.
Here are some pointers when choosing dog names for your beloved “best friend”:
A name reflects what kind of pet your dog is. Therefore, when summing up name choices, try to include only positive names. You wouldn’t want other people to think your beloved dog is a bad dog simply because his name is “Killer” or “Death Bringer” (you’d probably laugh, but these are actual dog names). Again, these names would also reflect what kind of owner you are. After all, what kind of owner would name their dog after such negative words and ideas? The same goes for word meanings and connotations, or the historical implications of the name. A pet name such as “Hitler” will obviously not be a crowd favorite. Literary allusions or mythologies such as “Hades” (the god of death) is not as off as the obvious; also, it’s a cute pet name and will probably describe the kind of pedigree it has.
Speaking of pedigree, why not consider name choices after the dog’s origin?
For instance, a dog from German pedigree (such as a German Shepherd) will probably sound good with a German name or names from characters in German literature. Melchior, in essence, may not be the best pet name (due to reasons that will be cited later), but it fits because of its German pedigree. Lulu (named after German playwright Frank Wedekind’s character from his renowned series of plays) is good because it is simple and does not instantly connote negativity or exude a negative image (technically, the Lulu in Wedekind’s work is somewhat negative, but it’s not as if Wedekind is a popular writer anyway). A Japanese dog such as a Spitz or a Terrier can have names such as Yuri or Akira, although some think it’s too obvious or redundant.
And speaking of obvious, many pet owners consider pet names that are ironic. This means to say the dog names they give their pets are opposite of what their dog is, like naming a Chihuahua “Jumbo” (despite the fact that the dog is small) and naming a Dalmatian “Spotless” (Dalmatians are known for their spots). Being ironic may seem like a good idea, since it is unique and it doesn’t state the obvious. However, you wouldn’t want to name a dog something it is not. Again, it will make you seem as if you’re a poor judge of character—and that you’re a poor character yourself. You can find dog names for your pet without sounding redundant (needless to say, naming a Dalmatian “Spotty” isn’t inherently wrong, but it’s not exactly the most creative name in the world). Instead, try to gauge the character of your dog. But then again, that wouldn’t be very unique.
But before you think of something unique, your name choices should be practical first. There are a number of factors that will determine whether a pet name will be appropriate regardless what kind of dog you own.
The first thing to consider here is the sound. Make sure it doesn’t sound like any common dog commands, such as a “sit” or “run.” This is important if you plan to teach your dogs these tricks (and you probably will). Take note that dogs remember the commands phonetically (obviously, they cannot understand the command “sit”; they merely remember it through muscle reaction). If a name sounds like “sit,” your dog may think you’re asking him to sit. Also, make sure the pet name is easy to say.
This is a name you will be saying a lot of times. A name such as Melchior, as mentioned earlier, isn’t ideal in this respect because it may pose difficulty in terms of pronunciation, especially with the kids or anyone not familiar with the name. In comparison, Lulu is good because it is easy to say and pronounce. Needless to say, make sure the pet name is unique enough not to sound like any other dog names or pet names in your house. Sometimes, a name will sound alike to the dog even if you don’t think it is. Make sure the difference is significant. If you have a dog named “Katie,” try to avoid the sound used in the first or second syllable of the name.
Another reason why Lulu one of the better name choices: it only has two syllables. It’s pointless to give a pet nicknames. Therefore, you might as well give them a short name, hence eliminating the purpose of a nickname. Melchior might be shortened to Melchy (pronounced as Mel-kie), so why not use that as a pet name instead?
A timeless name is the most appropriate name for dogs. You may have a penchant for naming your dogs are current pop culture figures, but time will reveal this isn’t wise. People who named their dogs after Paris Hilton (and there are a lot of people who did) are probably beating their names right now. When it comes to dog names, timeless and simple names work like a charm.
You may think that you have a license to name your dogs whatever you want—but you shouldn’t. Sensible dog names are necessary, as they will say that you are a sensible pet owner as well.