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Tips for Choosing The Best Name for Your Dog

Owners, the world over, often take care in choosing a name for their new dog. Sometimes they wait to see what the personality is. Occasionally an owner names a dog after their favorite character or celebrity. Kids like having a say in name choice. There is no right or wrong in choosing a name for the newest family member. It is a personal and unique choice. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when naming a dog, mostly in the world of training.

Popular Dog Names

A few universal names come to mind when thinking of popular dog names. Fido, Rover, Pluto… but according to registrations over the last decade, these fun names of the past seem to be staying in the past. Some of the top names for male dogs today are Max, Bailey, Buddy, Charlie, and Rocky. For female dogs its Bella, Lucy, Molly, Daisy, and Maggie. The boys seem to have a head start over the girls as far as training goes.

shutterstock_179649317Tips for Success

When choosing a name, look toward the training aspect of a good strong moniker. Are there plans for the dog to actively participate in sporting events? Has the dog been tapped to be a service dog? If the dog has been chosen for the purpose of having a job and going through extensive training, then there are a few things to keep in mind.

Give the dog a strong, crisp first syllable something starting with a B, C or T. This is to grab the pups attention right off the bat. Second, keep the name short. Calling out “Clementine” during an agility competition takes time and energy. With all the activity and hoopla going on, the dog’s attention will be gone by the time the third syllable is pronounced. Stick to a one or two syllable name.

Teaching the Name

One of the most difficult aspects of bringing a new dog into the pack is finding the perfect name. As soon as that is done, it’s time to start teaching the dog to respond to this new word. Most dogs adapt rather quickly to a new name, no matter how old they are.

To begin, call out the dog’s name. If he responds by looking toward or in the general vicinity of the owner, toss the dog a treat. Continue to do this several times a day until the dog is responding 100% of the time.

Once he offers his full attention by calling out the name, stand and begin calling him over by name. As soon as he makes it halfway, toss a treat. Once the dog gets it, wait for the gap to close a bit more until the dog is at the owners feet waiting for the treat. This can also be done with two people as sort of a relay game. Treats may be substituted for high praise, to save wear and tear on the stomach.

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Written by Renee Moen
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