Choosing a name for your new puppy is quite a responsibility. Remember that the dog will have this name for the rest of its life. Names like Fluffy and Cuddles are cute for tiny puppies - but tiny puppies grow!
FIRST THINGS FIRST…
Is your dog a boy or a girl? It sounds like a stupid question but it's surprising how many dogs start life as Paul and have to swap to Paula! You may have been told the sex by your seller - but even they get it wrong sometimes.
Here's how to check the gender of your new puppy.
Flip the pup over onto its back. Both dogs and bitches have nipples so that won't tell you anything. If it's a boy, there will be a tiny scrotum just under the anus, almost between the dog's back legs. The testicles descend by about 8 weeks of age, which makes it easier! If it's a girl, there will be a tiny slit just under the anus, almost between her back legs.
DON'T MAKE PEOPLE JUDGE YOUR DOG
Names are very emotive. If people hear you call your dog Ripper or Fang, they immediately make a subconscious judgment on the dog's personality. Your dog may be the softest, daftest creature ever - but people will still be wary. The dog's true character can help you to choose an appropriate name. It's worth just watching your dog for a few days and see what sort of character it is. Once you get to know your dog a bit better, names might choose themselves!
Once you have chosen a name, don't change it. It's part of training your dog. When you call your dog, you want it to come to you. If you keep changing the name, the dog won't make the association and won't know what's going on!
Dogs can easily hear the ‘hard’ consonants, like D, K and T. Combine this with a short name of one syllable (two at the most) and it will make it much easier for you to train your dog. Try to avoid choosing a name that might confuse your dog. This could be one that sounds like a command (i. e. sit, fetch, come etc) or it could be a name that sounds similar to the name of a member of your family.
Choosing the right name makes life easier for everyone - especially for your dog! Just remember that you will need to happy to shout this name to call the dog in last thing at night, or in a park, on the beach… Would you feel comfortable to call for ‘Honey Child'? Nicole Ritchie is!
IT'S ALL IN THE BREEDING…
If your dog is a pedigree, it might already have a name. These names can be very fancy but it may give you an idea. You may wish to use part of the name, or shorten it. If you intend to breed from your dog, don't forget to register it with the Kennel Club in your country.
Our relationships with our dogs are changing and the way we name them reflects this. Over half of all dogs now have ‘human’ or celebrity names. The most popular name for a dog in America (and worldwide!) is Max - and for a bitch, Maggie. A recent survey showed that 97% of dog owners believe that their dog is a companion. 74% viewed their dog as a member of the family!
HELP IS AT HAND
If you need inspiration - do a quick search online. There are many sites offering hundreds of name suggestions. Good luck!
For more articles on puppies , click here. Rebecca presents information on all things canine here.