One of the most difficult parts of adopting a dog is figuring out a name for them. There are so many naming options out there that it can be extremely difficult to settle on just one name. If you have other family members involved in the naming process, it can be even more difficult to settle on a name that everyone likes.
Luckily, there are a few guidelines you can follow to make the whole process go smoothly.
Put Your Personal Preferences First
You’re the one that has to call your dog by their name day in and day out, so it is important to put your own personal preferences ahead of any other factors you might be considering. We have a lot of naming suggestions in this article, but you don’t necessarily have to abide by any of them. If a guideline or idea creates more roadblocks than it tears down, it might be time to rethink it.
It might sound like a great idea to give your German Shepherd a german name, for example. However, you may find it nearly impossible to find a german name you actually like. In this case, you may want to reconsider whether or not your dog needs a german name at all.
You Don’t Have to Choose the Perfect Name Right Now
It actually takes a little bit of time for a canine to learn their name, so there is no reason you have to select the absolutely perfect name right this second. It is more than okay to try a few names out and see which one best fits your dog.
If you’ve already chosen a name, it is also completely fine to change your mind and pick a different one. Even if your dog has already learned their name, it won’t cause too much confusion if you decide to call them something different. Just be sure to re-train any commands you have taught them.
Choose a Short Name
Dogs have an easier time learning and remembering short names. Because of this, you may want to consider selecting a shorter name for them. There are plenty of name options out there, so choosing a short name shouldn’t be too difficult.
With that said, if you just cannot find a short name you like, choosing a long name is okay too. However, you may want to consider choosing a nickname for training purposes that you can use when you want their attention
Alternatively, you can choose an attention word to train instead, like the word “look”, for example. You will need to train this word as an attention-getter command, so your dog knows to stop, look, and pay attention.
Take Your Dog Into Account, But Not Too Much
You should always consider your specific canine when choosing a name, of course. You don’t want to name your huge dog “tiny” unless you’re trying to be humorous. Your dog’s personality should also contribute to these decisions. However, you shouldn’t put too much stock in it.
It can take over three months for a dog to warm up completely to their owner and new environment. They can act very differently during this time period than they would normally act. Because of this, it is important not to choose a name solely because it matches how your dog acts in the first few days after adoption. Odds are, they will act very different in only a few short months.
Of course, it isn’t practical to not give your dog a name for three months while you wait to see what their personality might be. Because of this, we recommend choosing a name based on other factors.
Consider Your Dog’s Breed
One thing that can give you an idea of how your dog might act is their breed. In most cases, breeds share particular personality traits. German Shepherds are known for being reserved, for instance, while Pomeranians usually have big personalities. Feel free to consider your dog’s breed when deciding between a few different names. When you are stuck, there are some great resources available that can help you choose the best dog names.
If you have a mixed-breed pooch, relying on the breed can be a little more difficult. You never know which traits a particular dog is going to inherit from which breed. In these cases, we don’t recommend putting as much weight on your dog’s breed when choosing a name.
Where a breed came from can be a source of inspiration as well. If you have no idea what to name your dog, you can begin looking at names from their breed’s country of origin. You might give an Akita a Japanese name, for instance.
Of course, there is nothing that says you have to do this. Keep our first guideline in mind and feel free to ignore this suggestion if you need to.