This article is contributed by guest writer, John Woods (dog trainer and member of the association of professional dog trainers).
The Importance Behind a Dog’s Name
A dog’s name is the single most important word which they will learn. It will stick with them for the rest of their life, and it is the key to helping them understand when directions or commands are aimed at him, and when to respond.
Dogs have the language skills of around a two year old and so it can be quite confusing for them if they hear the word ‘sit’ during a conversation you’re having with a friend. However they learn to know that when they hear their name, the words to follow are for them to listen to. Choosing your dog’s name should be a fun and exciting task for you and your family.
The Right Name Is Important for Training
The name you choose for your dog is important for a number of reasons says David Woods from My Pet’s Name; it helps to create a bond with your dog and associate positive training to your dog.
Short names are usually better, but if you’re already set on a longer name, perhaps you could find a way to shorten it to use in important situations.
A one or two syllable name is often the best length name for a dog as it allows you to quickly call it and get their attention.
When you’re able to quickly get their attention, you’re much more likely to be able to train them with new commands more efficiently.
Whilst we’re on the topic of commands, make sure that the name you choose doesn’t sound similar to commands which you are likely to use with your dog or even other words that you use on a daily basis for that matter.
For example, if you call your pup Ray, he might have a difficult time learning the command ‘stay’.
Using hard consonants such as K and C can also help your dog with training. It is believed by some experts that these consonants have higher frequencies which help dogs to focus much more quickly than names without these letters.
Your Dog Will Have This Name for Life
It’s important to remember that when you choose your dog’s name, he will be known by that name for the rest of his life.
Therefore, if you give your kids the task of choosing a name, you might want to make sure it’s not too out there!
You will have to yell this name across dog parks, shout it whilst you’re out on walks and call it when it’s time for din dins.
Picture yourself doing all of these things, or even better actually give it a go. Go to your back door and see if you feel comfortable shouting out the name you’ve chosen. If you do, the chances are you’ve chosen a good one!
One last thing to consider when thinking about this name that will last for the duration of your dog’s life is to ensure it’s a timeless one. Try not to choose a name based on a current trend, or movie that’s likely to be forgotten within a couple of years, unless you want to have to explain his name every time a stranger asks what his name is!
A Name can Provide Insight into the Dog
If you’re out walking and you hear someone shout ‘Come, Bullet’, the likelihood is, that you’ll know just from their name that they are a quick and lively dog.
Likewise for if you hear a name which is related to another aspect of their personality, or even their appearance.
If your dog has a funny and quirky personality, you might even want to choose a funny name which reflects that.
If you want to name your dog based on their appearance, there are a whole loads of features which you can draw inspiration from.
Perhaps you can use the color of their coat to think of a name, a popular example is finding a foreign word for their color, for example you could call a Black dog, Noir which is French for Black!
Ultimately, whatever name you choose for you dog, will be the one that stays with it for life. It should make you smile, and be quick and easy to say.