By Jennifer McVey
If you have recently adopted a dog into your home, once you have gotten used to each other for a bit, you’ll find that you might have some trouble thinking up a name. As you might already suspect, choosing a dog name is an important part of getting your new pet settled and making them a part of the family, so make sure that you choose wisely. When you are considering names for your dog, keep the following tips in mind, and you’ll find that you have a great place to start.
1. Don’t pick anything that will embarrass you later.
While your dog’s name will primarily be used by your family, remember that you will need to take him out and bring him into contact with other people from time to time. Make sure that the names that you are looking at will not embarrass you should you have to put it down on a veterinarian form or if you have to give it to the kennel where you are boarding him. If it’s not a name that you are comfortable giving them or your older, more conservative family members, give it a pass.
2. Keep it short.
You’ll find that keeping the name to one or two syllables is usually for the best. Short word and names are the easiest kind for your dog to distinguish from the words around it, and you’ll find that a dog will learn its name much more quickly if he can hear it distinctly. Take the time to make sure that your dog knows his name by repeating it to him often and making sure that he associates it with praise.
3. Keep the vowels in mind.
If you are adopting a dog, especially if he is an adult, you may find that he comes equipped with his own name. This is fine if it’s a name you like, but what if you can’t stand it? While renaming a dog can be a cause of confusion, you’ll find that if necessary and if you are patient, it can be done. Try to find another name that has the same vowel sounds. For dogs, vowel sounds are the easiest to hear and if you can replicate the sounds of his original name, you’ll find that he’ll pick it up much more quickly.
4. Yell it out the door.
This is the litmus test for if a name is going to work. Go to your back door or the front one and call the name out as if you were calling your dog. You’ll find that if the name rolls off of your tongue easily and doesn’t get too many stares, that this might be the one for you. This can be a great final test for a name that you are considering.
Once you’ve chosen the right dog name, here are a few quick guidelines to teaching your dog his name:
1. When you call your dog’s name, use an upbeat, positive tone of voice. If your dog reacts at all to the name, give him a big hug and pet, telling him what a good boy he is. You can offer a treat, too. Do this for a few minutes each day.
2. Don’t teach your dog any other commands during this time. Focus on name recognition only.
3. Take your dog out into different situations and teach him his name. Try out his name while at the dog park, while you’re walking him on a leash, when he’s running free with other dogs.
4. Don’t use your dog’s name in a negative manner. Keep it positive and upbeat and your dog will soon respond quickly to his new perfect dog name.
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