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20 Tips To Follow When Naming Your New Puppy

Written by Viena
Viena is passionate about all sorts of domesticated pets. They have written dozens of articles across the web.
Published on
Thursday 13 August 2020
Last updated on
Tuesday 9 May 2023
tips to follow when naming your new puppy
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You can always find tips to follow when naming your new puppies. However, given the many options to choose from, this thrilling task can sometimes become exhausting. But, as a loving fur parent, it is your ultimate duty to find the best name for your pup.

You can use your imagination, with a dash of your smartness, to come up with unique dog names. There are no exact dog naming rules. Thus, it’s up to you and your pet to know if you already have the perfect name. Just remember, your ultimate goal is to give your puppy a name that you and your pet will love and relish.

Tips for Naming Puppies

Choosing a dog’s name is more than just the owner’s smart thinking and taste. Further, it dramatically depends on the character, attitude, and emotionality of your new pup. And so, there are a few essential tips for naming puppies that every pet parent needs to follow.

1. Be Unique

If you own more than one pet, use a different name for your new pup. Likewise, give your new dog a name that doesn’t sound similar to the other, which might make your dog confused. Having names like Ted and Bubble is okay. But imagine if you name your pets Ted and Ed. Or Bubble and Ruffle?

You can also get inspiration from various sources to come up with unique dog names. Some pet owners are starting to like the names of celebrities, sports stars, and food names. While others even follow alcohol names like Brandy and Whiskey or fiction names, including Merlin and Casper. So, be creative and let your imagination take your dog’s name to the next level.

2. Keep it to Two Syllables

Avoid long names for your new puppies. Short names will be easier for your dogs to remember. As a rule of thumb, keep it to a single and maximum of two syllables. This way, your pup can understand it better. Also, that is the reason why most commands are limited to just one or two syllables only. Consequently, the same tips apply in naming your new puppies, which you must follow.

The best way to test if the name you choose is the right one, repeat it many times over. Thus, if you remain comfortable after saying it a bunch of times, then that’s what you are looking for in a name. Besides, we usually end up shortening long names after some time.

tips on naming a new puppy
There are no rules to follow when naming your pup!

3. Keep Nicknames at Hand

As we give our loved-one pet names, why shouldn’t we give our dog a nick-name? Essentially, most puppy names have variations and always end up as shorter names. So, come up with a nick-name that is cute and but easy to pronounce. Most importantly, it must not sound far from your pet’s full name. Otherwise, you might end up confusing your dog.

For example, if your dog’s name is Tootsie Roll, you can use Tootsie, Toots, Tooti, and the like as nicknames. Or, if nothing else works, you can try nick-name tests and quizzes online to come up with the perfect one.

4. Make Sure It Doesn’t Sound Like a Command

Always consider the commands you will be giving your pets frequently. And, never pick names of puppies that will sound like any of those commands (e.g. “sitty”, “downey”). The most common instructions we say to our dogs are no, sit, stay, come, down, and fetch. Besides, you don’t want your dogs to think you are saying “no” or “go” when you are calling “Bo.” Or, they might not move an inch when you call its name “Ray,” thinking you mean “stay.”

It will be difficult for dogs to tell the difference between words that rhyme. Therefore, avoid names that sound like commands that you plan to train your puppy. Otherwise, it would all be too confusing for your fur baby. So, to prevent having more troubles and headaches in the future, try to pick a different sounding puppy name.

5. Consider Their Personality

You might want to wait for a few days before naming your new puppy than picking one immediately after birth. Waiting for your pup’s particular traits to come out might help you get the right name.

Hence, getting a name that suits the personality of your dog may be the best decision you could make. So, if you have a smart pup, you can name it Einstein. Similarly, for a dog that chews on almost everything, try the name Carbo. And, if your dog just loves to run everywhere, maybe you can have the name Ultra, Turbo, or Miles.

6. Looks are of Importance

Aside from personality, one of the tips you can follow in naming your new puppies is according to its physical appearance. And, if you and your dog feel like it, you can use the name Shorty, Tiny, Spot, Dottie, Blackie, or whatever that best describes your pet. These names to follow can depict your puppies pretty well. And, it will also make it easy to identify your fur baby if it gets lost. However, the problem is that there are lots of other dogs with the same names. Hence, you might want to be more creative to make your pup stands out among the others.

7. Avoid Cheeky Names

Offensive names for new puppies are a no-no. Never use names with negative connotations or those that may sound rude and disrespectful. If you don’t feel comfortable saying the name in public, then stay away from it. You will have to call your dogs in public areas like dog parks and public streets. How would you feel shouting an offensive name around so many people?

Moreover, inappropriate pet names include racial and cultural slurs, insults, slang terms, and curse words. Finally, never name your new puppy after your close relatives and friends. Naming your child the same as your mother-in-law or uncle is perfectly fine. But, it is considered rude and indecent to name a pet with that of your relatives.

8. End with a Vowel

The tips pet owners follow in naming new puppies don’t merely rely on creativity. Accordingly, there is a bit of science in it. Choose names that end with a sharp “a” or long “e” sound. Dogs can easily comprehend these words and easily register.

Names with vowels usually change the tone when you are calling your pet. It matters to our dogs since they can distinguish sounds in frequency ranges, which are much higher than humans. Therefore, a name with an ending vowel can easily get your pup’s attention.

naming your puppy
You can name puppies based on how they look.

9. Choose One That’s Easy to Call Out

Select a name that is both easy to call out and that you enjoy calling out. Since you will be calling your pets a lot of times every day, make sure that your pet’s name is something that you are happy to say over and over again. It is wise to pick a name with just one or two syllables that dogs can easily respond to and recognize. It is much easier to call out the name Jack or Zoe than Cruella de Vil.

10. Go Back to its Roots

One of the simplest tips for puppy naming you can follow is to choose a name based on their breeds and roots. Use their breed heritage as your inspiration in selecting the right name. You can research their origins like using German names for your Shepherds and Schnauzers. Or maybe get an Irish name for your Setter or Wolfhound. Try searching on the internet for the popular human and international names reflecting the background and history of your dog.

11. Try the Name for a few Days

When you already have the chosen name, it is time to test it on your pet. Use the name for a few days and see how your fur baby will respond. Does your pet wag its tail or perk the ears when you call? If you don’t receive the reaction you expected, don’t get discouraged easily. You can try using a nickname like Nico for Nicolas, or Rosie for Rosalina.

12. Avoid Over-Complication

Don’t choose an over-complicated name like Mr. Snuffleupagus, when you can just say Snuffy instead. Another tip to follow in naming your new puppy, try to look for one that will grow with your pup. For example, using small dog names like Puppy or Tiny may not be appropriate when your St. Bernard grows in a few years.

13. Avoid Changing an Adult Dog’s Name

When you choose a name, stick with it. When adopting a dog, it usually already has a given name. However, you can still change it if you think that it doesn’t suit its character. Your pet must have a name within the first two months. Avoid changing an adult dog’s name if it is familiar with it already. But, if you must change the name, try to choose one that sounds nearly similar, like Andy to Brandy or Sandy. Further, you can teach your dog to recognize its new name through practice, repetition, and reward.

If you don’t want to have more than your pet going towards you when you call out its name, avoid a popular one. Otherwise, you will always end up with two or more dogs in the park that have the same name as your pup. The most popular dog names are Max, Bella, Bailey, Lucy, Molly, and Buddy. Unless you are deeply attached to a specific name, look for an alternative moniker for your pet.

15. Choose a Theme for Your Puppies

For pet owners with more than just one puppy, they can name them all in a theme like fruits, chocolates, wines, or movies. If you have three male adorable and funny pups, you can try Moe, Larry, and Curly. Likewise, if you have two, why not Sugar and Spice or Merlot and Syrah? However, make sure that you like each name individually since your pets may not be together all the time.

16. Let the Dog Choose

If you are having problems with choosing between two favorite names, you can play a game with your pup. Write these two names on a placard or a bowl with treats on them. Let your dog choose which placard or bowl it wants to eat from, and voila! The one that it chooses is the winning name. Just try to choose a suitable name that your dog will grow and get accustomed to for its entire life. You and your dog must feel happy every time you call out this name.

17. Look Towards Your Hobbies

You can also use dog names according to the things you like and your hobbies. If you love traveling, you can have uses the names of places for your dogs. For the bookworms, the names of authors can be a good idea. How about Frazier, Sugar Ray, or Ali for sports and boxing enthusiasts?

18. End with a Hard Consonant

Another new puppy naming tip you can follow is to distinguish it by using a consonant. Dogs are more attracted to specific names than others because of how they sound to their ears. Further, canines respond better to sharp-sounding sounds and hard consonant dog names. These consonants are P, K, and D. Further, these letters create more energy and can easily grab the attention of your pets. Similarly, these sounds easily register on dogs.

The scientific explanation on this is that strong consonants stimulate the brain’s auditory receptor neurons of dogs. A name with the softer S or F might be a little more confusing for your pets. So always think of how your dogs perceive the names you will be giving them instead of thinking about how they appeal to you.

19. Choose One That’s Easy to Repeat

Once you have the potential new name of your puppy, you can test it out. Say it over and over again to ensure that it feels natural on your tongue. It will help if you call the name out loud also to check if it is easy to pronounce and remember. Moreover, try saying the new name in different tones to find out which one best suits your pup. Remember that you will be saying the new puppy name quite a lot.

20. Choose One Your Dog Responds to

You can sometimes get too excited about naming your new puppy. But, don’t go over the top by getting super trendy or extremely witty ones. Choose something that will endure, which you and your pup can live with for the rest of your lives. So pick something that your pet can easily respond to, just like learning to act in response to a command.

For the same reason, names act like cue words for dogs, instead of personal identification. So, always make sure that your dog will respond when you call out its name and associate it with good things. You can successfully do this by giving your pup a treat or reward every time it positively responds to its given name.

length of dog names
Shorter names are much more effective!

Tips for Naming Your Puppy – FAQs

At this point, you might already have a puppy name in mind. But, there are still some things you want to get some clarity first. Here are a few questions most fur parents might ask when it comes to choosing a name for their puppy.

Should dog names be two-syllable long?

It is wise to keep your dog’s name short and straightforward. Using a name with no longer than two syllables is easy to pronounce. Further, dogs can respond quicker with short names. Two-syllable dog names may work better, especially if your pet is distracted. This first syllable can alert the attention of your pup, and the second syllable can get them to act and come running. If your dog misses the first syllable when distracted, it receives confirmation upon hearing the second syllable.

But, breeders and exhibitors are familiar with long dog names. Nonetheless, the American Kennel Club allows names up to a maximum of 36 characters. If dog owners need more letters, they just have to pay an additional fee, and they can use up to 50 characters.

How do you properly name a dog?

Your dog responds to names that are short, choppy, and have sharp sounds. A name with a long, slow, and soothing tone will never be effective. Huck may be more preferred by your pup than the name Huckleberry Finn. It can also be helpful if you use a name that describes the traits and character of your pet. Or, if you are having a hard time thinking about a name, you can also use dog name generators available on the internet. These name generator sites can provide a variety of choices for you to find the perfect puppy name.

How long does it take for a dog to learn their name?

It is a dog parent’s responsibility to teach pets their names. It is your priority when having a new pup over than teaching it a command. If you already have the right name, your pet can recognize it in less than a week through consistent daily training. Use a pleasant and rewarding training process for faster results. Just spend at least ten minutes every day, and you can get your pup’s attention within days upon calling out its name.

What is the most uncommon dog name?

Over the years, pet owners are becoming more creative when it comes to puppy names. They are coming up with more unusual names like Chicken, Big Nose, Van Dog, or Christian Gray for dogs that like leashes and biting. Your options for off-beat, unique, and unconventional names are wide-ranging. However, make sure not to use names that are offensive, disrespectful, and vulgar. You might regret choosing an inappropriate name just because you thought it was cute and fun at the beginning.

So, whatever tips you follow in naming your new puppy, just remember that it has to be something you and your pet will appreciate. It doesn’t matter if it is after your favorite actor, highly unusual, or very popular. The key is that your fur baby responds to it pretty well. Besides, your pets don’t care, for as long as you call them with love and sweetness.

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