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3 tips for naming your puppy

Updated on March 27, 2012

Choosing the best name for your dog

Your dog is special to you, so Frank just doesn't seem like a name you would give to man's best friend. Here are some ideas for choosing great dog names. The main three rules to remember are: Don't make it a human name. Make it easy to differentiate. & make sure it's something you love.

RULE 1 Don't make it a human name. Ever met someone with a dog named Jim? Scott? Jennifer? If you have, I'm sure your impression of them changed a bit. The best names for a dog aren't currently being used by your friends, coworkers or family members. Dogs have the unique ability to have a weird name without judgment. Go ahead name it Ko-Ko-Bee, Griffin, Marbles, Denali, Foxy, Reesey, Bubba, or whatever your favorite city is.

Here are 3 ways to select a unique name.

1 Name your dog after a place special to your family. We spent our honeymoon in California and Hawaii, so Kaui is a name we liked, along with Maui, Hilo, Lanai, Cali, etc. So where are you from? Where did you meet? These are great places to pull names from.

2 Name the dog after a famous person past or present. A bulldog named Stonewall Jackson, a Great Dane named Yao Ming, a Pug named Cheney, these are funny, cool ways to name a dog. I know this goes against Rule 1 (naming dogs after people), but for celebs and historical people you should make an exception. Plus, wouldn't it be fun to tweet, "Yao ming is peeing on my porch."

3 Make it something that won't go out of style. Remember when it was cool to name your dog Lassie? Not so much any more. Is your Great Dane ready to be called Scooby for the next few years? Certain names are cool for a while, but be careful when trying to name a dog a hip current name. You might regret it later.

RULE 2 Make it easy to differentiate. Dogs need to be able to respond to their name when they are called. If his name is Bo, he might get confused when you say NO. Name your dog something you won't mimic often in everyday speech, or in commands to the dog. This will keep learning and obedience training so much easier for your new pal. Think through your commands you want the dog to learn, and be sure to choose a name that doesn't sound similar to any of those commands.

RULE 3 Make sure it's a name you love. If it's cool, funny, and smart, but you don't like lose. It has to be a name you will love saying, hearing, and talking about. If it breaks some rules but you love it, YOU WIN. At the end of the day it's all about the dog. When we were naming our mini schnauzer, I wanted to name him Teach. Here's why. He has a black beard. We live in an area where Blackbeard the Pirate was a local legend. Edward Teach was Blackbeard's name in real life, so I thought Teach was a great choice, but my wife wasn't crazy about it. One day we were talking about a ride called Griffin, and our puppy came running. We said it again and he barked. He chose the name Griffin and we love it.


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