Tips on How to Name a Puppy

Naming a new puppy is always a challenge. It’s fun, of course, but picking just the right name for your new furry friend is important.

You want to get it right. And you only get one chance, so choose wisely!

You can name your dog anything you want to name him. He’s yours. There’s no “wrong” answer here. But there are some guidelines that you might want to consider before you hang a moniker on that cute little pup.

5 tips to help you pick your puppy or dog’s name

The first thing that you need to consider is that he’s not going to stay a puppy. He’s going to grow into a dog. You’re going to have to call him and others may be listening. Do you really want to stand out in your yard and holler, “HERE PEEPOT” at the top your lungs? I didn’t think so. So keep this in mind when you are naming your dog.

what to name my puppy
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You really don’t want to name your dog one of the single-word commands, either. Don’t name him “Stay” or “Sit” or “Down” or any of the other commands. You’re just going to confuse the poor animal when he’s going through obedience training.

Even if your dog is a purebred with a pedigree and comes with a registered name, you’ll still need to give him a name that he’ll learn means you’re talking to him. I don’t advise using names like Rover or Fido. But the name needs to be short. Dogs are smart animals, but there’s no sense in stretching that intelligence be demanding them to learn to come you call him by a long and convoluted name. His name should contain no more than two or three syllables.

If your dog is a small breed but is quite nervous, you must choose a sweet name so as not to excite him. If your dog is calm and has a submissive temperament, there too, opt for a sweet name.

It really helps if you choose a name you love, because you will use it very often. Also make sure that everyone in the family agrees on the name, to avoid confusion.

Don’t change your dog’s name. Once you’ve named him, stick to that name so you really do need to get it right the first time. Of course, when you adopt your puppy from the shelter, he’ll often come with his own name.

If you decided to bring home a dog that is quite older, it would be probably better to stick with its old name. But, what if the name of the dog is “Barney”, the name of your-ex whom you had a bitter breakup? Then, stick with other sounds similar to it.

Below we give you some guidelines and tips to help you with your very important decision. You will certainly find inspiration here on how to pick a name for your new puppy!

what to name your puppy
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A classic name for your puppy

Names from the old days can be fantastic for dogs. These names are unique and classic.
How about these ones:

  • Albert
  • Arthur
  • Humphrey
  • Agatha
  • Harriet
  • Clark
  • Sophie

Your favorite food

Who doesn’t think about his favorite meal or drink often? Perhaps that is going too far to call your dog pizza, but it’s funny right?
How about:

  • Bacon
  • T-Bone
  • Ice-T
  • Tequila
  • Alfalfa
  • Gin
  • Gouda

Foreign-sounding names

Looking for an original name for your dog with a foreign vibe to it? Asian names are very trendy in recent years:

  • Hichiko
  • Yuzu
  • Hotchi
  • Suzuki
  • Yuki
  • Fujio
  • Arigatou
how to name a puppy male
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A famous dog name

Do you have a favorite famous dog? Maybe it’s a real existing dog (Laika, for example, who was the first dog in space), or a Hollywood celebrity? Here’s some inspiration:

  • Lassie
  • Rin Tin Tin
  • Bolt
  • Pluto
  • Beethoven
  • Lady

A name based on appearance

Is your dog brown? Is he black? White? You have numerous options. If your dog is striped or spotted, think of animals that resemble it. Does he have any other specific details? Is he very big or very small, maybe because he was the runt of the litter? This can all give you the inspiration to choose his perfect name.
For example:

  • Blackie
  • Ebony
  • Brownie
  • Sienna
  • Ivory
  • Snowy
  • Spock

A name describing his character

Your pup is mellow, excited or proud? You can choose a name based on his character so he has a name that suits him perfectly!
Like these ones:

  • Thunder
  • Demon
  • Hippie
  • Harmony
  • Zen
  • Rocky
  • Tarzan
  • Speedo
  • Funny

Teaching your puppy its name and mistakes to avoid

Ok, so now the hardest part is over and you found that perfect name for your new dog, you can focus on learning it to him!

Teaching a dog its name is nothing more than teaching him a signal. His name is the signal for “look at me and wait for instructions.”

Here are some tips to help you with this:

  • Be sure to take the time to teach your dog his name from the start. You are going to use his name in all of your future training. Use his name when you feed him, call him for walks and for play time.
  • Use his name in the command if you want action, do NOT use it if you want him restricted from action. This is very important. Hearing his own name makes a puppy leap into action by his very nature. When you want your puppy to come, say, “Puppy, Come!” [insert his name instead of the word Puppy, of course] When you want him to lie down, simply say, “Down”.
  • A dog’s name should only be used when positively interacting with the animal. Call the dog’s name to get him to come to your side or call his name when you are serving his dinner. Don’t, however, call your dog’s name when you are unhappy with his or her actions. The dog would negatively associate that with punishment.
  • There are many different ways to teach your pup his name. One of the easy options is to use the curiosity of your dog. Practice this at home if your dog has been lying down somewhere. Stand near him, call his name and praise him when he looks at you. Repeat this a few times and then continue with what you were doing.
  • If your puppy, after doing this a couple of times, looks at you every time you mention his name, you can also practice in more difficult situations. For example if your dog running around. Build this up until, for example, he also looks up from sniffing when you call his name or when you are at a greater distance.
  • Do not repeat his name if he does not respond immediately! The goal is to teach the dog to respond after one command. Makes a sound or a hand movement to draw his attention. Then say the reward word and give him a treat.
  • Don’t let children who play with the dog constantly mention his name. The danger is that his name will become a mere “background noise”. The dog then learns to ignore it.

With these tips, naming your puppy and teaching it to him should be lots of fun!

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