How to choose your dog’s name

blue parakeet on hand

Kayser, the brave German shepherd, Canela, the intelligent chocolate Labrador, Rosita, a loving Maltese, Blackie, the mischievous collected one, Spark, the hyperactive border collie or Cholita, the reckless half-breed with strangers, but super spoiled with her owners. Choosing a name for a dog is far from an easy task. Furthermore, the name chosen will determine the type of relationship that will be built in the future.

Contrary to what the vast majority of owners think (and do), the name is not what the dog should hear right before a “No!”, “Get out of there!”, “Drop that!”,” leave me!”, “get off!”, etc… When this is the case, the only thing Spark learns is to ignore his name, so he ends up being (or appears to be) a disobedient dog.

The dog’s name is THE SIGNAL to pay attention, the first step in connecting with the person and should immediately produce attentive and relaxed eye contact, ready to receive more information. For this to happen you must try two things: first, use his name only for good things and situations, for example: Cholita, let’s go for a walk?, Kayser, good sit!, Spark brings the ball!!!!, Rosita, come here, etc…and second NEVER EVER IN ANY CIRCUMSTANCES use his name to call him out, challenge him or punish him.

Unintentionally, many times the name determines the type of breeding to which that dog will be exposed. In this way, if we meet “Chiqui” we could assume that he will be a very gifted dog and to some extent even fearful, while if we meet “Sultán” he will probably be an alert dog with great self-confidence. This is not a rule, however it is usually an acceptable predictor.

On the Internet there are hundreds of sites with endless lists of names for dogs, so I will refrain from incorporating one. Instead I leave some tips that could be useful when consulting these lists:

Try to choose a name with a maximum of two syllables, as it is known to be easier for the dog to recognize than longer words.

Dogs more easily hear the sound associated with the letter “s”, for example: simon, kayser, sasá, etc.

Hard consonants attract the dog’s attention more since they better cross the barrier of different sound frequencies, they also activate more audio receptors in the brain: for example fat or gumbo instead of gem or gino

Avoid names that can be confused with basic obedience signals (sit, sit down, down, lie down, come, eat, stay, stay, etc…).

Finally, I recommend to all those owners who have suffered the loss of their lifelong gift or gift, to refrain from reusing that name on the next pet. It raises unrealistic expectations about the dog’s temperament and tends to lead to deep disappointment. Also, it’s just not fair 😉

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By Lee Chun Hei