How To Choose Puppy Names

So you have a new puppy! Congratulations! Now it's time to give your new little friend a name. This is a very important part of owning a dog. There are several things to keep in mind when choosing a puppy name, including the following:

  1. Whatever you choose, you and the dog have to live with for its entire life. This being said, I would recommend avoiding things like "Stinky" or "Drooly." As true as these names may be, your dog has feelings too, and you probably don't really want to introduce a member of your family by saying "...And this is our dog, Fatso..."
  2. Take your time! Get to know the puppy for a couple of days, learn about its personality, and see what fits!
  3. Make it something simple that will easily get your dogs' attention, but not confuse them. Naming your dog a command you are going to be giving them at any point in their life will only confuse them and frustrate you. If you name your puppy something that is easy to say and will quickly gain its attention, it is probably a winner!
  4. Name them something that has meaning to you. Be it after a favorite musician, artist, friend, etc., if it means something to you, it will come to mean something to your puppy.
  5. Be creative! If you were to yell "Come here, Spot," how many dogs on your block would come running? If you were in puppy training classes and said "Rover, sit," how many puppies would (hopefully) sit? Try to come up with something new and different!
  6. If you choose a long name, come up with a nickname or shortened version that the dog will recognize. For example, my dog's name is Dandelion, and we call her Dandi for short! Whatever you decide, be consistent so they know you're talking to them.
  7. Think about the process that you went through to get your puppy. Maybe something strange or exciting happened that could inspire a name? We adopted a dog named "Paycheck," which his past owners named him because he cost an entire paycheck. People love to hear stories about how dogs get their names, so if you can have a good one, use it!
  8. There are a TON of web sites available that have listings of many different puppy names. A personal favorite of mine is BabyDogNames. This site has some great tips on naming your dog, along with lists of popular, unique and famous dog names for you to look through. Another site uses the "Puppy Names Database" where you can search through over 6000 puppy names based on categories (such as appearance, foods, historical, etc.) and if you puppy is a boy or girl. Visit Puppy-Names to check out the database (there are instructions on how to search on the page as well). If you can't find the perfect name on either of these sites and you want to look through a few more, try typing "Puppy Names" into a search engine and you'll get a TON of hits with many different lists of names.

Whatever you decide to name your puppy, be proud of it! Naming a puppy can be fun, and a great bonding experience. Take your time, be creative, and have fun!


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