Dog naming has apparently become more than naming the dog with the spot ‘Spot.’

Naming has become a reflection of the fact that dogs are now often considered members of the family rather than just the pet. Instead of names such as Brownie, Rover or Smudge, we are seeing a huge surge in names like Molly, Bella and Alfie. These names are carried with the same connotations as a human: thereby creating a more complete family package, rather than ‘us and the dog’.

A development, corresponding with this change, is that owners are now more willing to research the science behind names in order for their pooch to be happy and content. If you were so inclined you could find out that experts suggest dogs react much better to names ending in a long vowel or a short ‘a,’ for example ‘Simba’/’Bella’ or ‘Leo’/’Sumo.’

Photo by  Jonathan Kriz / CC BY

It is important to remember a dog’s name is probably the most important word in its life – it is the common denominator in all commands and directs the dog to learn a pattern in which to respond. Trainers teach owners to say the dog’s name and then the command rather than the command and then the name. To say ‘Coco sit’ means the dog’s attention is gained and the word ‘sit’ is taken as a direct command, however if you say ‘Sit Coco’ the dogs attention is only gained after the command is said and the dog may not associate the command with itself. Another consideration is that names should not be similar to commands or other words the dog hears frequently. For example ‘Kit’ is too similar to ‘sit’ and ‘Beau’ is too similar to ‘no.’

Having a popular name can also be a hindrance. In training the dog is taught to react to its name specifically, if more than one person is calling out the same name in the park, training may be compromised because the dog is confused.

Dog naming has certainly evolved into a well thought out process: what will benefit the dog, what will fit with the family, what is on trend, what the name suggests about the dog and how the dog will be presented. The art of choosing the right name seems to have become just as important as the art of choosing the right breed!


*It is important to remember however that no matter how much you love your dog’s name it is not recommended that you put the name on your dog tag. This is because of the chance of dog theft – it is much easier to sell a stolen dog if the thief has the name; the dog will react to the sellers voice, making the transaction look more legitimate.

Nonetheless you must have a dog tag and your phone number and address however is necessary under the dog control 1992 act. You can buy dog tags in all our Pet Pavilion stores. You just have to fill out a quick and easy form and within a couple of days your tag will arrive at your chosen address.

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