We’ve all seen the cute 1961 Disney animated classic 101 Dalmatians and we were introduced to Glenn Close’s Cruella De Vil in 1996. How many children do you think had nightmares of Glenn Close stealing into their houses late at night and taking their puppies? I know I did.
But perhaps one of the more light-hearted scenes was when Roger and Anita presented Pongo and Perdita’s litter with their very own dog collars, each accessorized with personally etched pet ID tags. The naming of the puppies had to do with their own whimsicalities. Rolly is named for his chubbiness, Patch for the black spot on his eye and Lucky for his (so as not to spoil the movie) lucky breaks, as it were.
Naming our best friend shouldn’t be stressful process, but the name should mean something. Just like us, our pets have to live with their names for the rest of their lives. Shouldn’t we give them a name that stands for something?
What’s in a Name?
Psychology Today argues that our canine friends have the language capacity of a two-year-old toddler. That’s actually pretty impressive. Haven’t you ever been surprised by something a toddler said? Haven’t you ever wondered how they thought to string those specific words together?
I know, our dogs can’t talk to us like a toddler can, but we can still communicate with them. One way to form this connection is through our pooch’s name. As an example, Psychology Today asks how a dog knows when he is supposed to follow your commands, especially if he isn’t looking at you. How will the puppy know if you are talking to him? If you’ve adopted two puppies, getting them used to their individual names is incredibly important—you won’t want them both responding to the same name.
Your dog will know if you are talking to him by the use of his name. The dog’s name acts as a communications indicator. When the dog hears you call his name, he knows it is time to pay attention.
There has been much argument between canine experts over whether a dog’s name should have one syllable or two, if the name should have hard consonants or be no more than four letters long. Who knew there were so many rules when it came to naming our puppy pals?
The Name Game
As a new dog owner, you won’t want to give your dog a name that has been overused. You’ll want your dog’s pet ID tags to read as more than another “Bella” in a sea of Bellas. Here are the Top 10 most popular dog names for male and female dogs:
- Bailey 1. Bella
- Max 2. Lucy
- Charlie 3. Molly
- Buddy 4. Daisy
- Rocky 5. Maggie
- Jake 6. Sophie
- Jack 7. Sadie
- Toby 8. Chloe
- Cody 9. Bailey
- Buster 10. Lola
You might be looking at some of those names and be thinking, “Gosh darn it! I thought (blank) would be a perfect name.” That’s okay—if you’re set on a name, go for it. All I would recommend is that you play with a few. Which name does your dog seem to pay more attention to? If he prefers Sid to Bowie, then Sid is probably the better name to go with.
What if you’re the pet parent of a chilled out and friendly dog? Does the name Brutus really work for him? It wouldn’t really, the dog’s personality is very important in determining the puppy’s name.
Here’s another piece of advice: when in doubt, look to your favorites. If you have a shaggy black dog and you loved Harry Potter as a kid, doesn’t it seem fitting to name the pup after the Harry’s godfather, the animagus wizard Sirius Black? What’s you and your dog’s favorite food? Is it pickles? Maybe Pickles is his chosen name. It’s not hard to decide on a name, but nor should it be taken lightly. Man’s best friend deserves a name of meaning.